Red thread patches in the Northeast from last year

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by nemow, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. nemow

    nemow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Im in the Boston area and my customer decided they were going to take me up on my offer to reseed...from the spring. They are very open to any plan shy of tearing up and re soding the lawn. The patches are only on the side yard seperated by this island of scrub trees. Kind of an out of sight out of mind approach until now. I mentioned to them in late summer (begining of August I think) that the time was approaching to take action. For whatever reason ,money probably, they have put it off until now.

    So... The lawn had red thread last season and then we hit a drought. Now we have small circle patches of dead grass. They just want it to have grass nothing special and the area is large so top dressing with loam would be out of the question with time constraints and loam supply at least this fall. The neighbored shared the red thread with them.

    What do I do?

    Slice seed and call in the Fert experts now?

    Fert experts then slice seed?

    Aerate call the fert guys

    Screw it and wait till spring when I do a clean up and have the dethatcher on the mower. Then seed.

    The homeowner is sort of a "do it himselfer" so he could apply fert himself if that helps. I just dont do it unless its starter fert.

    My worry is that we have had a few frosts. The property is pine needle acidic heaven. We do not have any irrigation to work with so a really long hose and a timer is the best we can do for water.

    Just wondering how you guys think I should approach this. These are long time customers that are really up for anything. I would like to keep the cost down for them.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,457

    I seems a little late for red thread. This disease does not usually kill the grass--it is supposed to recover when the temps cool off. If it is red thread, then I suggest overseed with a premium quality red thread-resistant type of perennial rye. Say Derby Xtreme, Palmer 4, or Amazing. A seed from the top 5 percent of the NTEP trial for your area. If the seed company claims red thread resistance--even better, (most do not). Slice seed now, add starter. But as weather is now cool--expect very slow germination and response. If there are dead spots consider reseeding those by hand on top of the slice seed.
    Of course if you reseed in spring--you would have to skip the crabgrass control. Non-irrigated is also a problem, (good reason to sow seed in fall).
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I would apply seed by hand if it is small areas , cover with compost by hand, be in and out with little time investment. We are very close to 'dormant seeding' here so the worst that happens is germination that is killed off by frost -so toss out more seed for dormant seeding. Then again in the spring AS the ground thaws. By the time you want to apply Pre-M for crabgrass your seed has already germinated and is grown beyond the influences of Pre-M.

    Fertilizer w/out water in an area behind scrub trees needs to be looked at. "Experts" means what? No irrigation? That automatically puts the lawn in a "low-medium maintenance" category.
    Most of your fertilizer experts think in terms of high maintenance lawns, with irrigation, look like a golf course mentality. No understanding how to deal with a low maintenance scenario.
    Low maintenance means 1 fert app. in the fall. Medium maintenance means you also do one in late spring b4 the heat hits. That is what the real experts are saying and that is also what I have observed over the course of my lifetime.

    I realize that I am wasting my time bringing it up, but perhaps someone out there will stop killing grass with overfertilization and actually do a professional job for the client and save the client some money.
  4. nemow

    nemow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Thanks for the reply.
    Expert as in I dont have a fert app license. I have a company that I throw leads to for fert apps. Its all they do and they seem to do it well.

    The lawn is seperated by a scub "island". It is almost looks as it is a double lot in the neighborhood that was never built on. Lots of sun (strange that it had red thread) far enough from the house and blocked by tree so that the home owner didn't care because they didn't have to look at it.

    Shouldn't I at least dethatch the area or aerate it to get rid of the dead cover over the spots? I dont think it will have much seed to soil ground contact. Thats why I was thinking slice seeding now dethatching in the spring and reseeding then. I also have to work around leaves now that it is so late in the season. It is pretty open so the leaves are mainly around the edges.

    When the rain stops I will take some pictures to better explain the area.
  5. nemow

    nemow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    It was red thread in the summer of 2007. Then a drought. Then dead spots where the red thread was. I let it be at the time because like you said, it usually recovers when the temps cool off.
    The neighbor was nice enough to share it with my customer. It never made it onto the main part of the lawn around the house or if it did it recovered fine.

    I mowed my girlfriends parents house after this one on my lawn list and they obviously got it too. I told her dad and he treated it so the two of us didn't have to listen to his wife...(someday mother inlaw?, Ugh) They had just done a pretty big loam and reseed on there lawn spring 2007.

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