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Yard CPR

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by YardKeeper08, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    I’ve got two properties that are adjacent to each other that have about 75% of the grass turned yellow and dry like straw. I believe the grass has gone into drought dormancy because of lack of water and intense sun/ heat. I did notice that the areas near the homes (3’-4’) away from the houses are still green where the home shades the grass a bit but the rest of the yard has no shade. The home owner wants some fert put down but I don’t want the condition of the grass now blamed on me. Would watering the lawn well bring the grass back very soon or is it lost for the year? What would you guys do with the limited info provided? I believe the grass is a Kentucky blue/ Rye mixture and the yard is max one year old.
  2. jiggz

    jiggz LawnSite Senior Member
    from jerz
    Messages: 646

    Lol, no I wouldn’t put fert down till the fall.. just water it!! Especially if its k-blue it should bounce back in a couple weeks, that grass normally does best in direct sunlight ..when was the last time it rained there?? Maaan im going on 3 maybe 4 weeks here. everything is drying up.. anyhoo You really need to take a look at the condition of the soil… new lawn you say?? Is the home a new construction?? If so the dirt is prolly **** and could be the reason its not holding water..

    I would just water
    Aerate.."""not now!! the lawn is to stressed"" wait till it gets cooler
    And rake in madd compost
  3. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    Yeah I got the owners to let me start regular waterings. The soil is garbage and around here in this development if you dont fert a ton and water the grass will be junk. I'll just see how things look after a few weeks of regular watering. Then maybe add alittle fert to the lawn.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Why should I help?
    I keep telling you guys to slow it down on the cutting...
    It gets hot, no rain, the grass doesn't grow much anymore... And when that happens these weekly mow schedules put undue stress on the turf, stress it can no longer withstand (at least not without great expense), it really is that simple.
    Does anyone ever listen?

    Your customer's choice is simple: Spend a small fortune now on water and hope it and the rest of the folks doing it don't further strain the county's limited water resources where they go into restrictions, or let it go and spend a whole lot later in the fall (and might as well start praying they'll actually spend it too lol).

    Increase the water budget to 200% of current for the next 2-3 weeks and do not mow it or it will make matters worse, then it should come back but it takes time... Once it does (3-4 weeks) you can restore the budget to 100% but keep taking it real nice and easy on the mows, I would also raise the blade height by 1/2" as well.
    It would be of further help if the zones in the green area can be left alone and only increase the watering zones on the stress stricken areas, otherwise you'll end up with foot tall grass in the shade and nothing elsewhere.
  5. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74


    Thanks for the response but I'm not one of your helpers so please come down from your soapbox. I think you've assumed a little too much about the situation without asking any questions first "limited info provided". 1. It isn’t a weekly mow, it bi-weekly. 2. With one two hour soak it is already coming back. So please next time if you have something to say maybe you'll think before you chime in. But thanks again for your comments.
  6. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I have a customer with the same problem. I told him he needs to water religiously for the next few weeks. He's been doing it and the lawn is starting to come back. It was a virgin lawn (hydro-seeded in Jan.) that was never mowed after it took off. It got to be about 8-10" when I got the account. I mowed 3 times. On the last mow the grass was dry and crunchy but still had a few inches of growth. I finally was able to mow this past week (4 weeks later) and it's starting to look better. I'm going over to weed the flower beds and mulch today. I'll get a look to see if it's still getting better or if this last cut has made it worse again.
  7. YardKeeper08

    YardKeeper08 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 74

    Sounds verify similar to my situation
  8. calandscaper

    calandscaper LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 14

    As the others have mentioned, get them on a regular watering schedule. Definitely do not use fert until the lawn is well on it's way back and the customer has shown you that they are sticking to the plan. Additionally, if you put down a thin layer of compost throughout the affected areas it will help condition your soil. Living in a desert area I see this a lot.
    Good luck

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