Poor Soil?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by buddhaman, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. buddhaman

    buddhaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I had a potential customer approach me about a lawn that browns out very quickly at the slightest sign of heat, weeks before any others do. After walking through the lawn, it has a lot of bare spots. Most of the lawn is in constant sun. My first thought is poor soil. In some of the bare spots or where the grass is spotty, there is small patches of dark brown moss growing. My thought is to core aerate the lawn and then put down some type of lime product. What do you experts think or suggest?
  2. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    Browns out at the slighest sign of heat does it. Well you could have a sample of those spots tested. But another thing comes to mind right off -- lack of water.

    I'm sure you're going to get more input on this one and good luck.

  3. buddhaman

    buddhaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I know there is a lack of water so to speak. But this lawn dries out weeks before any others will. It is mowed at 3" also. It is real sparse grass.
  4. buddhaman

    buddhaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    Nobody else huh?
  5. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Soil test, don't guess. A test is usually not very expensive to have done at a cooperative extension office, Lesco or some garden centers. You can use a soil probe to determine compaction, soil composition and any buried objects. Improve the soil and the lawn and landscaping will improve, but first find out what is lacking or there is too much of.

  6. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 693

    You might also want to ID the grass type. Is it annual bluegrass? A fine fescue?
  7. buddhaman

    buddhaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I think the grass is a mix of everything. Mostly bluegrass, rye grass and fescue.
  8. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,733

    At the condo complex I managed, we had what sounds like a similar situation. We dug up the turf and found nothing but cobble under it. During the spring it would be green as all the rest, but once the heat would start to come, it would turn brown as there was no soil under it to hold any water. the complex did not want to spend the money to fix it at the time so I ended up watering it 3 times a day, 1 hour each time which helped, but was not the fix by no means.
  9. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    Like the rest said, soil test is your priority. As for now, I would raise the cutting height for the rest of the year. If it real sparse grass at 3, then you could help it out by cutting at 3.5 or 4 inches. Renovate in the fall and lay down what the soil needs after the test, along with some nice seed.gl
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Fertility could certainly be a problem, but so could the materials under the lawn that you cant see. A soil test will get you in the ball park for fertility but might not cure the problem by itself. I would also consider doing VAM micorrizhial innoculations. The Vam will attach to the grass roots and greatly extend the roots capacity to obtain nutrients and mositure for plant uptake. Go to Plant Health Cares web site www.PHC.com I think is the correct link, and check out their Micorrizhial products. The Vam will have to be injected into the soil since broadcasting the product will not work.

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