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New lawn reno grass patchy

maple_sugar

LawnSite Member
Hi folks. Im in need of advice. I did a turf reno which consisted of taking out the previous sod job that was dying. We took in down 4 inchs and replaced it with new topsoil 4 to 6 inchs. The topsoil consisted of sand black topsoil and peat mix. Up here were in a very sandy area so weed need to take multiple ph tests and add lime to bring up the ph . So we added lime grass seed and fertilizer. The new lawn came in the grass looks great except for its patchy and looks like it just needs to fill in. im just wondering we did the job in the spring and aerated again in the fall and added more seed fertilizer and lime in the fall. I my main question is should i aerate in the spring add more grass seed and fertilizer or just fertilize and cut the lawn all summer leaving 2.5 to 3.5 inchs high will the lawn fill in over time on its own. Thanks for the advice.
 

KerbDMK

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Minneapolis, MN
If you are using Kentucky bluegrass seed or a high percentage of Kentucky bluegrass seed you can probably allow it to fill in on its own. Save yourself the work and expense of spring seeding and reevaluate at the end of summer. You can seed again in the fall if you want to.
 
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maple_sugar

LawnSite Member
Thanks the advice this was my first lawn. Thats what i think ill Do. My customer cuts her own lawn but i lime and fertilize for her. Ill evaluate it in the fall to aerate and overseed . And another ph test
 

KerbDMK

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Minneapolis, MN
On the other hand, if the client wants a thick lawn quickly and doesn't mind the expense, you may be able to please the client with a spring seeding.
 
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maple_sugar

LawnSite Member
I should have finished my thought. Some say aerating in the spring may cause weeds to spead as well. They really have no weeds to speak of with a new lawn. Should i aerate and over seed in the spring. Im new to this and want to give my clients the lawn they want
 

KerbDMK

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Aeration can help a spring seeding. Aeration has some potential for spreading weeds but it sounds low in your situation. Can you use a grass seed safe starter fertilizer with weed preventer or Tenacity herbicide in Ontario to prevent weeds?
 
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RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Wait. I am wondering; exactly why did you need to take out the sod? What was the diagnosis or problem? Correct the cause. Any insects, grubs? Disease?
What was the soil pH? How much lime recommended by the soil test lab? Not all sand is acid.
Possibly you have sown a seed mixture high in perennial ryegrass. Problem is --rye does not spread much. And bluegrass is slow to take hold. Was the seed buried uniformly with a quarter-inch of good soil?
Was water applied every day and uniformly?
How much sunlight? Sod does not do well in the shade.

Consider a vigorous raking or power rake in spring (or late summer)--followed by more seed. Of course, you cannot use crabgrass control when applying new seed, (unless it is mesotrione)(Tenacity).
Also, try to upgrade your seed. Try to find one of the new dark green spreading-type perennial ryegrass varieties. "Sideways" or "Zoom" for instance.
 
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RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Also, include a mix with about 80 percent top-quality Kentucky bluegrass, otherwise the rye crowds out the bluegrass. Use a bluegrass that claims to spread aggressively and have high density. It will be slow to germinate and take hold, of course. Be sure to sell the customer on the idea. Soil will be a bit cold in the spring. Sow it early, but do not expect germination until about the date of the first mowing in your town. Probably about the first week of May.
Include, a spreading-type perennial rye that is known for vigorous tillering. The rye will be faster and satisfy the customer sooner.
Add some annual rye and pre-germinate it, if speed is essential.
Correct the reason for the "patchy" effect. Was the seed raked-in carefully? Topsoil applied uniformly and firm?
You can always depend on the customer to apply lots of water. However, it is wise to read the customer's water meter, before and after, so he cannot lie about how much water he applied. And ask to see his water bill--so he can prove he used 50 percent more water than normal. In most towns, you can look up the water usage and water bill for any address online.
It is best to give the customer a free battery-operated water timer. Set it for 30 minutes every day. Help them hook it up and position the sprinklers.
 
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maple_sugar

LawnSite Member
Thanks for the great advice. The sod lawn they had installed years ago just died and turn brown most likely from under feeding and watering and keeping up on ph levels . There first ph level test was 5.5. Were in a very sandy area. Im trying to adjust the levels up through spring and fall additions of lime not to add too much at one time. Mostly ill lay out 25lbs of lime to 1000 sqft. My one mistakes maybe i didnt rake the seeds in well enough with the first seeding. You gave me alot of good tips that i will try. 80 percent blue grass etc etc. Would you aerate as well as rake the siol for good soil to seed contact?
 
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