Newbie-Summer Fertilizer Suggestion & Irrigation Time?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by wolfetone, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. wolfetone

    wolfetone LawnSite Member
    from MA USA
    Messages: 8

    Hi all,

    I am a newbie, looking for a nice green thick lawn.
    I just bought a home on a 0.4 acre lot. The lawn was patchy in places and didn't look good after the New England winter, patchy bald areas, hard soil, bumpy!

    In April I did a core aeration, top dressing with fertile topsoil, and overseeded the bald areas. I applied Lesco starter fertilizer to initiate the new grass.

    Recently, I wasn't watering much, as I say im a newbie and trying to figure this out, but with the weather over the last two weeks the bald spots have reappeared and the garden is almost as bad as it was. A lot of the bald areas never took to the new seed, probably because I seeded a bit too late and didnt water enough....

    So my question is, what is the best fertilizer I can use to feed my lawn and get it thick and green????

    Also, how much time per station should I set my sprinklers to?

    I am also planning a 3 weekly Jerry Baker summer lawn feed, ie beer can, detergent, ammonia, and corn oil/molasses...

    Any thoughts or advice????

    I had a colleague suggest Sustane, he didnt mention which one, good??
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The view of soil fertility is what you may want to rethink... the money involved of multiple applications of fertilizer for instant reults have driven the lawn industry to look at grass as something that will respond to the correct 'application' of one thing or another which is why these Jerry Baker things are actually taken seriously...
    Soil fertility doesn't fluctuate much at all and your starter fert is probably still dissolving in the soil since you haven't had enough rain to use it up... more fert is not what your grass needs if water is lacking... keep the soil moist but not compacted with excess water and overseed again next month as the Summer cools into Fall...
  3. wolfetone

    wolfetone LawnSite Member
    from MA USA
    Messages: 8

    Any suggestions as to how much to set the sprinkler times to for grass? ie 10/15/18/20 mins??? And I was going to use cyclic so it comes on every 3 days

    Thinking that's enough??
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  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    Here is some good info from UMass:

    As for irrigation; it's best to water deeply and infrequently. The idea is to get the soil wet down to the root system and then allow it time to dry out before watering again. Usually an inch of water is recommended for each watering. Every irrigation system is different. Measure yours by putting empty tuna cans on you lawn and time how long it takes to fill it up. How often you irrigate depends on soil type, sandy soil requires more frequent than clay soils. And my pet peeve is seeing irrigation during rainy days.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,811

    Good advice above. I suggest reseed about mid-August, where needed. Weather conditions are favorable--soil is warm for quick germination, new weeds minimum (once you have raked out the normal summer crabgrass and weeds). Aeration is not suitable as soil preparation for seeding--loosen the soil with a heavy rake.
    I suggest Lesco 24-0-11 fertilizer with 50 percent slow release, (at a minimum 30 percent of the nitrogen should be slow-release nitrogen).
    As for irrigation, depends on the rain, heat levels, and--the inches per hour your system delivers. Every three days is not much, only about twice per week. Its regional. Around here, we put a coffee mug out on the lawn and stack quarters in it. Use as many as it takes to buy a cup of coffee in your town. Run the sprinklers until the quarters are covered. Run them three times per week. If you are stating new seed--plan on irrigation every day--half as many quarters.

    Use top-quality blue and rye mixture. Good luck and let us know how you do. Pictures if you can.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    The average lawn up here is going to require roughly 45minutes per zone every other day. But this can vary greatly depending on your particular soil, and even more on your specific irrigation system. I can instal the same identical system at two houses only a mile apart, and the irrigation times can differ by 40% simply because of a difference in water pressure.
  7. wolfetone

    wolfetone LawnSite Member
    from MA USA
    Messages: 8

    Any idea what this is?
    Is it a grass or weed?

    Will weed-B-Gone eliminate this stuff or does it require hand pulling each one????
    ie is it a grass variant
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Irrigation should normally come on and be completed near the time of sunrise... Going out into your lawn and checking the soil for moisture is the best way by far to figure out what your soil needs in relation to your system...
    As noted by others,,, there is no way to imagine a 'time' setting on the system itself...

    If the water is not going deep into the root zone then you'll see that,,, when you inspect the soil after the water has had a chance to soak in... :)
  9. wolfetone

    wolfetone LawnSite Member
    from MA USA
    Messages: 8

    Any idea what this is? Its all over my lawn in the past week!

    Can it be killed by weed-N-feed or by Weed-B-Gone, or does it have to be removed by hand?

    Please let me know

    Thanks guys

  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,116

    well you could use a product called acclaim, butÂ… I'm not sure non licensed people can get it.

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