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Old 18-06-2008, 01:15 AM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Default Lawn Problems

Hi,

I moved to a house a few years ago and decided to try my hand at making a
lawn. Got some reading material and when I thought I undersoood how (big
mistake) started. I put down approx 5 or 6" of double mix topsoil and toped
it off with 2" of triple mix soil. I used a starter fertilizer and lime and
seed mixture gaurenteed (probably another mistake) to grow in local
conditions.

Anyway the first year the lawn was impressive but it didn't overwinter very
well and by the fall I could tell it was in trouble. I tried fertilizer and
lime with no apparent results. The following spring the lawn was almost
completely dead. I searched for the cause and found an abundance of crane
fly larva in the lawn. Got a soil test done and results showed the ph was
very low 4.6. I applied the recommended lime and fertilizer, sprayed to kill
the crane fly larva and reseeded the lawn. After reseeding the weather
turned cold but after a few weeks delay the seeds germinated although there
was a high kill rate. Again the lawn grew well at first but by the fall I
knew it was again in trouble.

This spring approx 30% was dead. I collected soil for another soil test and
the results shocked me. The ph was 4.2, and while I wasn't expecting it to
be where I wanted, I didn't expect it to go down. I again applied the
recommended lime and fertilizer. It's been 6 weeks now and the lawn isn't
responding very well at all. Diging into the lawn didn't reveal any insects
or larva but I noticed that the roots aren't very deep into the soil.

Any suggestions... things to look for ... anything would be a help and
greatly appriciated.

Thanks
Dave



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Old 18-06-2008, 08:27 AM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Feb 2007
Posts: 22
Default Lawn Problems

On Jun 17, 5:15 pm, "HOPKINS, DAVE"
wrote:
Hi,

I moved to a house a few years ago and decided to try my hand at making a
lawn. Got some reading material and when I thought I undersoood how (big
mistake) started. I put down approx 5 or 6" of double mix topsoil and toped
it off with 2" of triple mix soil. I used a starter fertilizer and lime and
seed mixture gaurenteed (probably another mistake) to grow in local
conditions.

Anyway the first year the lawn was impressive but it didn't overwinter very
well and by the fall I could tell it was in trouble. I tried fertilizer and
lime with no apparent results. The following spring the lawn was almost
completely dead. I searched for the cause and found an abundance of crane
fly larva in the lawn. Got a soil test done and results showed the ph was
very low 4.6. I applied the recommended lime and fertilizer, sprayed to kill
the crane fly larva and reseeded the lawn. After reseeding the weather
turned cold but after a few weeks delay the seeds germinated although there
was a high kill rate. Again the lawn grew well at first but by the fall I
knew it was again in trouble.

This spring approx 30% was dead. I collected soil for another soil test and
the results shocked me. The ph was 4.2, and while I wasn't expecting it to
be where I wanted, I didn't expect it to go down. I again applied the
recommended lime and fertilizer. It's been 6 weeks now and the lawn isn't
responding very well at all. Diging into the lawn didn't reveal any insects
or larva but I noticed that the roots aren't very deep into the soil.

Any suggestions... things to look for ... anything would be a help and
greatly appriciated.

Thanks
Dave


My brother in law maintains golf courses. Let me share a few things
and see if any of this helps.

They water heavily (about 30 - 45 minutes) twice a week. Fertilize
every two weeks and mow the lawn to about three inches. I tried this
and got great results. The heavy watering and fertilization schedule
gave me deep roots and eventually choked out almost all the weeds. I
still have some oxalis growing here and there but for the most part,
my lawn is looking pretty decent.

Also, I had TruGreen inspect my lawn and tell me if I had any fungus
growing. It's a decent little report they run for free while they're
trying to sell your their service.
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Old 18-06-2008, 10:51 AM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jun 2008
Posts: 3
Default Lawn Problems


"nightrider.36" wrote in message
...
On Jun 17, 5:15 pm, "HOPKINS, DAVE"
wrote:
Hi,

I moved to a house a few years ago and decided to try my hand at making a
lawn. Got some reading material and when I thought I undersoood how (big
mistake) started. I put down approx 5 or 6" of double mix topsoil and
toped
it off with 2" of triple mix soil. I used a starter fertilizer and lime
and
seed mixture gaurenteed (probably another mistake) to grow in local
conditions.

Anyway the first year the lawn was impressive but it didn't overwinter
very
well and by the fall I could tell it was in trouble. I tried fertilizer
and
lime with no apparent results. The following spring the lawn was almost
completely dead. I searched for the cause and found an abundance of crane
fly larva in the lawn. Got a soil test done and results showed the ph was
very low 4.6. I applied the recommended lime and fertilizer, sprayed to
kill
the crane fly larva and reseeded the lawn. After reseeding the weather
turned cold but after a few weeks delay the seeds germinated although
there
was a high kill rate. Again the lawn grew well at first but by the fall I
knew it was again in trouble.

This spring approx 30% was dead. I collected soil for another soil test
and
the results shocked me. The ph was 4.2, and while I wasn't expecting it
to
be where I wanted, I didn't expect it to go down. I again applied the
recommended lime and fertilizer. It's been 6 weeks now and the lawn isn't
responding very well at all. Diging into the lawn didn't reveal any
insects
or larva but I noticed that the roots aren't very deep into the soil.

Any suggestions... things to look for ... anything would be a help and
greatly appriciated.

Thanks
Dave


My brother in law maintains golf courses. Let me share a few things
and see if any of this helps.

They water heavily (about 30 - 45 minutes) twice a week. Fertilize
every two weeks and mow the lawn to about three inches. I tried this
and got great results. The heavy watering and fertilization schedule
gave me deep roots and eventually choked out almost all the weeds. I
still have some oxalis growing here and there but for the most part,
my lawn is looking pretty decent.

Also, I had TruGreen inspect my lawn and tell me if I had any fungus
growing. It's a decent little report they run for free while they're
trying to sell your their service.


Thanks for the advice, but I've ruled out lack of water as a problem. I do
water regularly and we've had a very wet spring here. Th lawn didn't get a
chance to dry out. Now fungus is a possibility. How can you tell? Can fungus
cause the expensive problems that I have?



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Old 18-06-2008, 01:25 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 431
Default Lawn Problems

On Jun 18, 5:51*am, "Hopkins, Dave"
wrote:
"nightrider.36" wrote in message

...





On Jun 17, 5:15 pm, "HOPKINS, DAVE"
wrote:
Hi,


I moved to a house a few years ago and decided to try my hand at making a
lawn. Got some reading material and when I thought I undersoood how (big
mistake) started. I put down approx 5 or 6" of double mix topsoil and
toped
it off with 2" of triple mix soil. I used a starter fertilizer and lime
and
seed mixture gaurenteed (probably another mistake) to grow in local
conditions.


Anyway the first year the lawn was impressive but it didn't overwinter
very
well and by the fall I could tell it was in trouble. I tried fertilizer
and
lime with no apparent results. The following spring the lawn was almost
completely dead. I searched for the cause and found an abundance of crane
fly larva in the lawn. Got a soil test done and results showed the ph was
very low 4.6. I applied the recommended lime and fertilizer, sprayed to
kill
the crane fly larva and reseeded the lawn. After reseeding the weather
turned cold but after a few weeks delay the seeds germinated although
there
was a high kill rate. Again the lawn grew well at first but by the fall I
knew it was again in trouble.


This spring approx 30% was dead. I collected soil for another soil test
and
the results shocked me. The ph was 4.2, and while I wasn't expecting it
to
be where I wanted, I didn't expect it to go down. I again applied the
recommended lime and fertilizer. It's been 6 weeks now and the lawn isn't
responding very well at all. Diging into the lawn didn't reveal any
insects
or larva but I noticed that the roots aren't very deep into the soil.


Any suggestions... things to look for ... anything would be a help and
greatly appriciated.


Thanks
Dave


My brother in law maintains golf courses. Let me share a few things
and see if any of this helps.


They water heavily (about 30 - 45 minutes) twice a week. Fertilize
every two weeks and mow the lawn to about three inches. I tried this
and got great results. The heavy watering and fertilization schedule
gave me deep roots and eventually choked out almost all the weeds. I
still have some oxalis growing here and there but for the most part,
my lawn is looking pretty decent.


Also, I had TruGreen inspect my lawn and tell me if I had any fungus
growing. It's a decent little report they run for free while they're
trying to sell your their service.


Thanks for the advice, but I've ruled out lack of water as a problem. I do
water regularly and we've had a very wet spring here. Th lawn didn't get a
chance to dry out. Now fungus is a possibility. How can you tell? Can fungus
cause the expensive problems that I have?- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -




The most obvious problem is the PH is very low. Frequently when you
have topsoil that has been scooped up and trucked in, the PH will
often be low and need to be raised. A PH of 4.2 is very low and if
you apply the typical limestone to try to raise it, this will take
many months to treat it successfully. For a PH that low, I would
have used a fast acting contractor type lime and tilled it into the
soil. Obviously you have to be careful with this approach, as if you
applied it to an existing lawn, it would kill it. I'd get the PH
fixed BEFORE planting anymore seed. Are you sure you calculated the
amount of what you did apply correctly to raise the PH? It would
take a hell of a lot of limestone to raise the PH from 4.2 for a
decent size lawn.

Did the soil test give any indication of anything else wrong? Did
you have it interpreted by someone knowledgable, like a local
agricultural extension service? It's also important to know where the
problem lawn is located, what type of grass was used, etc, as the
problems with bermuda grass in Fl are going to be different from those
of fescue in NY. Fungus certainly could kill off a lawn this way.
The best thing to do would be to take about a sq ft sample of the
good turf and the failing turf, right at a boundary and bring it to an
agricultural extension service, if available. There really is no
substitute for actually seeing the problem.

I'd also advise that fertilizing every 2 weeks is asking for big
trouble. Excessive nitrogen, lots of water and high temps are a
prescription for fungus and disease. Golf courses do use a lot more
fertilizer than the typical home lawn and apply it in varying weather
conditions due to their special requirements. But to go along with
it, they also use a ton of chemicals to ward of fungus, either pre-
emptively or at the first sign of trouble.

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Old 18-06-2008, 06:08 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Feb 2007
Posts: 22
Default Lawn Problems

I'd also advise that fertilizing every 2 weeks is asking for big
trouble. * Excessive nitrogen, lots of water and high temps are a
prescription for fungus and disease. * Golf courses do use a lot more
fertilizer than the typical home lawn and apply it in varying weather
conditions due to their special requirements. * *But to go along with
it, they also use a ton of chemicals to ward of fungus, either pre-
emptively or at the first sign of trouble


I also applied supplemented with Ironite. I'm doing this to get deep
roots. My lawn looked dead prior to this. My bro in law's advice was
to basically get the lawn strong and slowly back off of the excessive
fertilization and watering schedule.


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Old 18-06-2008, 06:15 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Feb 2007
Posts: 22
Default Lawn Problems

Thanks for the advice, but I've ruled out lack of water as a problem. I do
water regularly and we've had a very wet spring here. Th lawn didn't get a
chance to dry out. Now fungus is a possibility. How can you tell? Can fungus
cause the expensive problems that I have?- Hide quoted text -


Yes it can but I thought fungi were hard to identify--I lack the
experience. I had to have someone help me do it. On my lawn we
identified some slime mold that was leaving a black, powdery substance
in the grass blades http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Slime_Mold_DP2.jpg
and read that this is harmless and does not hurt the lawn.

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Old 19-06-2008, 01:38 AM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jun 2008
Posts: 3
Default Lawn Problems

You're probably right about it being mostly a low ph problem. The
recommended application from the soil test was 16 lbs/ 100 sqft. I have
approx 2000 sqft and applied 320 lbs. I used peletized lime and I believe it
takes a long time to get results.

The type grass used during seeding consisted of the following:
30% Top Gun Perennial Ryegrass
25% Nublue Kentucky Bluegrass
15% Audubon Creeping Red Fescue
15% Lochsa Kentucky Bluegrass
15% J-5 Chewing Fescue

I live in Newfoundland, Canada...... Long winters, Spring is usually cold
with lots of Rain, drizzle and fog. Short summers.

Think I'll take your advice and bring some sod samples to the agriculture
lab.

Thanks for your Help
wrote in message
...
On Jun 18, 5:51 am, "Hopkins, Dave"
wrote:
"nightrider.36" wrote in message

...





On Jun 17, 5:15 pm, "HOPKINS, DAVE"
wrote:
Hi,


I moved to a house a few years ago and decided to try my hand at making
a
lawn. Got some reading material and when I thought I undersoood how
(big
mistake) started. I put down approx 5 or 6" of double mix topsoil and
toped
it off with 2" of triple mix soil. I used a starter fertilizer and lime
and
seed mixture gaurenteed (probably another mistake) to grow in local
conditions.


Anyway the first year the lawn was impressive but it didn't overwinter
very
well and by the fall I could tell it was in trouble. I tried fertilizer
and
lime with no apparent results. The following spring the lawn was almost
completely dead. I searched for the cause and found an abundance of
crane
fly larva in the lawn. Got a soil test done and results showed the ph
was
very low 4.6. I applied the recommended lime and fertilizer, sprayed to
kill
the crane fly larva and reseeded the lawn. After reseeding the weather
turned cold but after a few weeks delay the seeds germinated although
there
was a high kill rate. Again the lawn grew well at first but by the fall
I
knew it was again in trouble.


This spring approx 30% was dead. I collected soil for another soil test
and
the results shocked me. The ph was 4.2, and while I wasn't expecting it
to
be where I wanted, I didn't expect it to go down. I again applied the
recommended lime and fertilizer. It's been 6 weeks now and the lawn
isn't
responding very well at all. Diging into the lawn didn't reveal any
insects
or larva but I noticed that the roots aren't very deep into the soil.


Any suggestions... things to look for ... anything would be a help and
greatly appriciated.


Thanks
Dave


My brother in law maintains golf courses. Let me share a few things
and see if any of this helps.


They water heavily (about 30 - 45 minutes) twice a week. Fertilize
every two weeks and mow the lawn to about three inches. I tried this
and got great results. The heavy watering and fertilization schedule
gave me deep roots and eventually choked out almost all the weeds. I
still have some oxalis growing here and there but for the most part,
my lawn is looking pretty decent.


Also, I had TruGreen inspect my lawn and tell me if I had any fungus
growing. It's a decent little report they run for free while they're
trying to sell your their service.


Thanks for the advice, but I've ruled out lack of water as a problem. I do
water regularly and we've had a very wet spring here. Th lawn didn't get a
chance to dry out. Now fungus is a possibility. How can you tell? Can
fungus
cause the expensive problems that I have?- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -




The most obvious problem is the PH is very low. Frequently when you
have topsoil that has been scooped up and trucked in, the PH will
often be low and need to be raised. A PH of 4.2 is very low and if
you apply the typical limestone to try to raise it, this will take
many months to treat it successfully. For a PH that low, I would
have used a fast acting contractor type lime and tilled it into the
soil. Obviously you have to be careful with this approach, as if you
applied it to an existing lawn, it would kill it. I'd get the PH
fixed BEFORE planting anymore seed. Are you sure you calculated the
amount of what you did apply correctly to raise the PH? It would
take a hell of a lot of limestone to raise the PH from 4.2 for a
decent size lawn.

Did the soil test give any indication of anything else wrong? Did
you have it interpreted by someone knowledgable, like a local
agricultural extension service? It's also important to know where the
problem lawn is located, what type of grass was used, etc, as the
problems with bermuda grass in Fl are going to be different from those
of fescue in NY. Fungus certainly could kill off a lawn this way.
The best thing to do would be to take about a sq ft sample of the
good turf and the failing turf, right at a boundary and bring it to an
agricultural extension service, if available. There really is no
substitute for actually seeing the problem.

I'd also advise that fertilizing every 2 weeks is asking for big
trouble. Excessive nitrogen, lots of water and high temps are a
prescription for fungus and disease. Golf courses do use a lot more
fertilizer than the typical home lawn and apply it in varying weather
conditions due to their special requirements. But to go along with
it, they also use a ton of chemicals to ward of fungus, either pre-
emptively or at the first sign of trouble.


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Old 19-06-2008, 02:03 AM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 846
Default Lawn Problems

Hopkins, Dave said:

"nightrider.36" wrote in message
...
On Jun 17, 5:15 pm, "HOPKINS, DAVE"
wrote:
Hi,

I moved to a house a few years ago and decided to try my hand at making a
lawn. Got some reading material and when I thought I undersoood how (big
mistake) started. I put down approx 5 or 6" of double mix topsoil and
toped
it off with 2" of triple mix soil. I used a starter fertilizer and lime
and
seed mixture gaurenteed (probably another mistake) to grow in local
conditions.

Anyway the first year the lawn was impressive but it didn't overwinter
very
well and by the fall I could tell it was in trouble. I tried fertilizer
and
lime with no apparent results. The following spring the lawn was almost
completely dead. I searched for the cause and found an abundance of crane
fly larva in the lawn. Got a soil test done and results showed the ph was
very low 4.6. I applied the recommended lime and fertilizer, sprayed to
kill
the crane fly larva and reseeded the lawn. After reseeding the weather
turned cold but after a few weeks delay the seeds germinated although
there
was a high kill rate. Again the lawn grew well at first but by the fall I
knew it was again in trouble.

This spring approx 30% was dead. I collected soil for another soil test
and
the results shocked me. The ph was 4.2, and while I wasn't expecting it
to
be where I wanted, I didn't expect it to go down. I again applied the
recommended lime and fertilizer. It's been 6 weeks now and the lawn isn't
responding very well at all. Diging into the lawn didn't reveal any
insects
or larva but I noticed that the roots aren't very deep into the soil.

Any suggestions... things to look for ... anything would be a help and
greatly appriciated.

Thanks
Dave


My brother in law maintains golf courses. Let me share a few things
and see if any of this helps.

They water heavily (about 30 - 45 minutes) twice a week. Fertilize
every two weeks and mow the lawn to about three inches. I tried this
and got great results. The heavy watering and fertilization schedule
gave me deep roots and eventually choked out almost all the weeds. I
still have some oxalis growing here and there but for the most part,
my lawn is looking pretty decent.

Also, I had TruGreen inspect my lawn and tell me if I had any fungus
growing. It's a decent little report they run for free while they're
trying to sell your their service.


Thanks for the advice, but I've ruled out lack of water as a problem. I do
water regularly and we've had a very wet spring here. Th lawn didn't get a
chance to dry out. Now fungus is a possibility. How can you tell? Can fungus
cause the expensive problems that I have?


Don't ask the Google Groper, they're clueless. Golf courses (well,
public ones might) don't water all zones that long, twice a week, as a "set
schedule". They most certainly don't fertilize every two weeks. There's
much more involved in maintaining a golf course than watering heavy and
fertilizing. It's amazing how having a relative-by-marriage in a specific
industry, somehow makes one an expert in that industry, willing to "share a
few things".

You've left out some very pertinent information, and without it, there's
not a person here that can help you.

Your "guaranteed" seed blend contains *what*, exactly? It could be mostly
Lolium multiflorum Lam., for all we know.

Is the area mostly shade? Sun? (morning, afternoon, etc)

Is it a high-traffic area?

Your geographical location would be quite helpful.

Are you always trying to establish the lawn by seeding in the spring? You
know that summer can be the most stressful time of the year for plants,
right? If you're in a warm region, those tiny grass seedlings are spending
almost all of their energy merely trying to survive. You can't really
expect them to have much left, to over-winter, can you? =P

Without knowing what you've actually been trying to grow, and where you're
trying to grow it, how could anyone offer any worthy advice? =)
--

Eggs

Is Marx's tomb a communist plot?
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Old 19-06-2008, 02:08 AM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 846
Default Lawn Problems

nightrider.36 said:

[...]

I also applied supplemented with Ironite. I'm doing this to get deep
roots.


BS. All the iron does is make the grass "greener". The fertilizer in
Ironite is 1-0-1. That ain't gonna do a thing for your roots. All it does
is give you a shot of iron, to make the blades a darker green.

[rest snipped]
--

Eggs

Photons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.
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Old 19-06-2008, 10:11 AM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Feb 2007
Posts: 22
Default Lawn Problems

On Jun 18, 6:08*pm, Eggs Zachtly wrote:
nightrider.36 said:

[...]

I also applied supplemented with Ironite. I'm doing this to get deep
roots.


BS. All the iron does is make the grass "greener". The fertilizer in
Ironite is 1-0-1. That ain't gonna do a thing for your roots. All it does
is give you a shot of iron, to make the blades a darker green.

[rest snipped]
--

Eggs

Photons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.


LOL -- thanks. Actually I knew that. I wrote that reply in a hurry.


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