Shallow roots

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by guntruck, Sep 8, 2001.

  1. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Gentleman, i have an account that i think has a shallow root system. When she first called us it was because 3 other LCO's quit her due to the fact there equipment was tearing p her lawn. At first i thought it was because they just wanted in and out and they were rushing but its not. I have had the account for over a year now and things are great she loves us, but i too tear the turf no matter how careful i am. Im not the best with identifying grasses so im gonn take a jump at rye but its got alot of shade all over the entire lawn aexcept in 1 spoit, this spot grows well and isnt sensative. All other spots are somewhat sensative. No matter how slow or careful it tears and you can forget using a belt on it because when you turn the one wheel stays still and it tears. The yard goes downhill in the back when i try to slow down on my chariot it slide sand rips the top of the grass off in sectons!!! I am going to overseed and aerate which should help but it just seems to me the root system is too shallow due to all the shade. Am i even in the ball park for this or what could cause this turff to tear like this when i mow? PLEASE HELP!! LOL

  2. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    You are on track here. All grass needs sun and the best thing to do is get the lower limbs off the trees so the turf gets more sun. I have a lawn like this also.

    I aerated it last fall and over seeded the lawn. It came in very nice, but as soon as the leaves came out this spring, it is going back to what it used to be. I told her she needed to get a tree guy out there and remove some of the lower limbs so the turf gets more sun, but she still hasn't done this. Even shade mix grasses need some sun to grow.

    We use the old Chopper that has next to bald tires on the back, on these areas. This is the only way we can mow this without messing it up.
  3. dhicks

    dhicks Member
    Messages: 770

    Like Eric says: Sun is the best remedy. I have several sccounts like this and the clients will not get a tree company out to thin out the trees.
  4. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    I have never recommended this to my client before because i wasnt sure of the situation, but i will now. Thanks for the help guys, as always much appreciated!!!!
  5. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    I would also suggest the tree service come in. However, I would also suggest that you go in and check for root pruning insects such as grubs. Tearing up turf in big areas when you turn is a good sign of grubs. Check it out- all you have to do is cut a section of turf back, and look for grubs.
  6. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    I was asked to take on a property with the same problem. His yard was mostly ledge and hard clay sub soil. The builder put just enough loam to get grass growing. The water didn't drain down and the roots couldn't grow down. The turf was so soft that you could push your fingers into the turf and pull it up.

  7. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    I think were on the right track here.Also maybe take a soil cup sample and look at what kind of soil mixture you're playing with.If you find theres clay or sand this could answer alot of questions.
  8. You could apply fert. that stimulates deeper root growth. and the others are on the right track.

  9. peteloare

    peteloare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I agree with the other posts. However,one more thing that will help is,back off on nitrogen apps. Have the customer "spoon feed the turf". 1/4 - 1/2 lb N./ 1000 sq. ft. every other month. If she has a service fertilizing her turf they are probally app. 1 lb n. / month.
  10. GreenStar

    GreenStar Banned
    Messages: 114

    i get this all the time. we have clay soils that when poked feel like quickcrete.this cats with new lawn are water monsters,not realizing it's not draining.i've had luck with spring/fall aeration with a fall overseed.also a spring /fall application of 5-20-20.contracters are throwing sod on clay backfill telling customers it's they just grate it and weed killing at when we come along they point the finger at me .it takes some time to make them understand that they need to do more upkeep than the average joe with a 50 yr old seeded all know the reply they dont have at ie."dollar spot" sorry i'm still burning mad about this one account it's the same account from last year with the same dollar spot problem

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