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RE: Too late for dormant seeding? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: tiemco on 02.17.2012 at 07:56 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Tupersan is one of the only Pre-M's you can use on newly seeded turf, but it only controls 5 or 6 weeds (crabgrass being the most significant) and it is short lived, lasts about a month, so you will need to reply as crabgrass germinates throughout the late spring and summer months. It is also fairly expensive. Crabgrass germinates when soil temps are above 55-60 degrees for a full week, others use the blooming of forsythia to determine when to apply pre-M, either way it's a bit later than turfgrass germinates, but not by much. The fertilizer with Tupersan is fine, but you might be overfertilizing since you need to apply every month, for at least 2 months. Lesco might carry straight Tupersan.

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clipped on: 03.11.2012 at 12:04 pm    last updated on: 03.11.2012 at 12:04 pm

RE: Lawn Renovation Issues (Eastern PA) (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 05.14.2011 at 08:02 pm in Lawn Care Forum

There are mixes of fescue and KBG that go together. I don't know what they are off hand but the seed sellers know what they have.

If you kill the weeds, chances are different weeds will move in for the summer. I would leave them be and just practice taking excellent care of what you have. You'll be surprised how nice a field of weeds can look under proper care. Also get ready to fertilize on Memorial Day. That is your last chance for the summer (unless you want to try organic). Synthetic fertilizer and summer heat don't mix. The next opportunity is Labor Day.

Now is the time to ask, What do you want out of your lawn? Do you want a show place? Do you want it mostly green most of the year? Do you want to sponsor sports activities or run large, playful dogs over it? Your wishes at this point will really dictate which grass types to favor. KBG will not grow in shade. KBG will spread and fill in where there are bare spots. Some fescues tolerate some shade but they will not spread by themselves to fill in holes. The more uniform your mix of seeds the more uniform it will look. At the transition area from shady to sunny you will see a mix of KBG fading into fescue. You will likely need to overseed the fescue every year to keep it dense. Also the answer to the question above will dictate how much time you take preparing for seeding. You can seed into an existing lawn or you can kill everything and do a renovation. The full renovation takes more planning and longer execution so you really want to do that right. Seeding into existing grass is a matter of mowing short, power raking, blowing off all the chaff from the power rake, drop the seed, roll the seed down, and watering. You can do all that relatively quickly. Renovating takes at least another two weeks to kill the grass first.

With seed you get what you pay for. The seed you find at the box stores always has a small percentage of Weed and Other Crop listed on the guaranteed analysis. The weeds and other crop seeds you want to beware of are bentgrass and common bermuda. They don't have to list the exact species of weeds and other crop. All they have to do is list the weight percent in the bag. The problem with bentgrass and bermuda is the seeds are the size and weight of dust. Even a few thousandths of a pound will give you a lawn full of weeds. The best seed will have 0.00% of weed and other crop. Those will cost more but you don't have to start right away with a mess of tenacious weeds. Those seeds are sold on the Internet and at some really good seed houses.

Clover is only a weed if you don't like the look. When I was a kid you could not buy grass seed that did not have plenty of clover seed in it. When clover is evenly seeded across the yard, it looks very plush. It gets white flowers every week. Clover grows to 4-5 inches high and stops growing. It never needs fertilizer and can tolerate soil conditions that would set back normal grass. I think it has a lot going for it. When it looks bad is when it is just clumps of clover in the grass.

So back to business: If you are new, the place to start is to get your watering under control. If you are watering more than once a week now, stop that. Watch the grass so it does not wilt. If it does, then water, but the idea is to water longer, not more frequently. Your mileage will be different from your neighbors because of differences in soil, grass type, grass height, wind, and shade. Your performance will be different from mine due to heat, humidity, sunlight, and clouds. Oh and your sprinkler will be different, so you can't just say to water for an hour but you can say an inch. My setup takes 8 hours to get an inch of water. Fortunately my soil and shade conditions don't require more than a half inch per week. Before you water each time, spray with baby shampoo at the rate of 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Use the Ortho hose end sprayer with the big dial on it. They are sold everywhere. Soap will allow the irrigation water to follow to seep deeper into the soil. This step will save you a lot of grief. Deeper water penetration will stay in the soil longer and prevent runoff. The soil also benefits from improved microbial populations. Spray each time before irrigating for the next two months and you'll be good to go. It will soften your soil without aerating.

Anytime you feel a driving need to do something to the lawn, apply organic fertilizer. It will never hurt to apply even if you applied yesterday. Or you could spray it with molasses, milk, or even baby shampoo. These are helpful and can be done all at once or never, depending on your interest in this hobby. If you are interested in reading about the modern approach to organic lawn care, go to the GW Organic Gardening forum and find the FAQs. Scroll to the bottom of the list to find the Organic Lawn Care FAQ. It will point you to a low cost, low hassle approach to lawn care. I promise it will surprise you if you are unfamiliar with the topic. I stopped counting downloads on that FAQ years ago but since then it has spread all over the Internet forums. I'm guessing several hundred thousand downloads??? I know a lot of people who have gotten started with it and have spectacular lawns. I'll attach a motivational photo for you.

I have had this photo around for years since it was posted here at GW by a member named William. I had forgotten what his circumstances were and have recently posted that this was a KBG lawn where he had recently raised his mower height. Last week I found a text file I had stored with my original copy of the photo. I had this all wrong. It is a fescue lawn that William had converted over to an organic program. He was sharing the results. Here it is.

This is not unusually good for an organic program following the 1-2-3 plan I posted earlier. You should expect this.
1. Proper watering
2. Proper mowing height
3. Proper fertilizer

Note that weeds are not a problem when you have this all under control. William has a weed in his yard. You can play Where's Waldo with it if you like. He was very happy, though.

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clipped on: 11.13.2011 at 11:22 am    last updated on: 11.13.2011 at 12:14 pm

RE: 46-0-0 fertilizer (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: rcnaylor on 12.27.2010 at 12:04 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Well, Goren, I'm a proponnent of feeding the soil, not just the plant, which seems to be what you are suggesting as the best path.

However, when you suggest feeding "just nitrogen" is somehow not appropriate or best at times, I think you put form over substance. Several very reputable studies suggest a last application of quick release nitrogen applications (organice or chemical) does in fact help the thing most lawn owners are trying primarily to foster to best result - turf grass.

Arguing just applying nitrogen, to something that depends primarily on nitrogen, (cool season turf grass) is like saying giving "just water" is somehow bad for people. Or like saying mother's breast milk isn't the best food for a newborn. Sometimes one food is best.

Cool season grasses need a certain amount of nitrogen, and a last fall feeding with 1 and quarter pounds of quick release nitrogen per thousand seems to help cool season grasses make it through the winter better and does it, as far as I can tell, without hurting the overall health of the microbes and soil. Your advise that adding a balanced fertilizer when the grass has already gone dormant is not supported by any study I've seen. Once you get to the late season fertilizer application, there is no reason to believe the other elements are beneficial to either the plant in winter or the soil next spring in the usual setting.

Usually adding a balanced fertilizer is a fairly basic approach and good advice. However, in the limited instance discussed on this thread, adding elements beside nitrogen are likely nothing but wasteful and maybe even adding to the pollution problem from runoff chemicals.

There is a time for one well timed, proper rate of quick release nitrogen, and for cool season grasses in cold areas of the country, right after the first hard freeze causes the grass topgrowth to stop is the proper time and "food".

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"There is a time for one well timed, proper rate of quick release nitrogen, and for cool season grasses in cold areas of the country, right after the first hard freeze causes the grass topgrowth to stop is the proper time and "food"."
clipped on: 10.25.2011 at 02:14 pm    last updated on: 10.25.2011 at 02:15 pm

RE: 46-0-0 fertilizer (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: rcnaylor on 12.22.2010 at 05:10 pm in Lawn Care Forum

BPGreen:
research has shown that for cool season grasses a high nitrogen application is much better for the lawn than the traditional "winterizer" approach.

Exactly. As a last of the season fertilizer on cool season grass, urea is an excellent choice. You try to put it down after the first hard freeze when the topgrowth has stopped. A quick release nitrogen, like urea, is used so it can be taken up by the plant and stored in the root and crown for later use. I've used it for years for that purpose to very good results. It is the only application where I don't use organic fertilizers myself.

And, for that use, the recommended rate is 1 and quarter pounds nitrogen per thousand square feet.

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clipped on: 10.25.2011 at 02:12 pm    last updated on: 10.25.2011 at 02:12 pm

RE: 46-0-0 fertilizer (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: hogan_nj on 12.16.2010 at 07:57 pm in Lawn Care Forum

i put down some 46-0-0 around thanksgiving. The grass now is very green and looks good except for two spots that are brown (burned). I guess it I missed watering those areas. The funny thing is it rained for 2-3 days in a row so I just watered in after application.

Do I need to reseed these spots in fall. I have mostly tttf and i know it will not fill in too well.

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clipped on: 10.25.2011 at 02:10 pm    last updated on: 10.25.2011 at 02:10 pm

RE: 34-0-0 and watering -- Bermuda (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 06.24.2011 at 08:10 pm in Lawn Care Forum

The idea of watering it in is to prevent the dew from only slightly diluting it. Dew will create a very condensed fertilizer and can kill the grass. By washing it through with a lot of water, you prevent that. So yes, go back to your normal watering.

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clipped on: 10.25.2011 at 02:08 pm    last updated on: 10.25.2011 at 02:08 pm

RE: I need the lowdown on TifGrand (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: nearandwest on 05.30.2011 at 07:43 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Well, I'm not midlothian, but I can tell you how to calculate the amount of Nitrogen in a bag. A 39-0-0 fertilizer means that this material is 39% Nitrogen. Percent means per hundred. Since it is 39 percent Nitrogen, for every 100 pounds of 39-0-0, there are 39 pounds of Nitrogen. Therefore if it is a 50 lb. bag, there would be half of 39, or 19.5 lbs. Nitrogen. And if you want to apply 1 lb. of Nitrogen per 1000 sq.ft., one 50 lb. bag of 39-0-0 will treat 19,500 sq.ft. if it is applied evenly.

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clipped on: 10.24.2011 at 12:32 pm    last updated on: 10.24.2011 at 12:52 pm