Ruxie 2020 Renovation

Discuss how to and whether you should renovate your lawn
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Ruxie88
Posts: 38
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 6:11 am
Location: Central NJ
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: 3000-5000
Level: Some Experience

Ruxie 2020 Renovation

Post by Ruxie88 » June 29th, 2020, 8:11 pm

Decided I want to reno part of the front lawn (~1300 sq ft) this summer. This area gets about 40-50% shade, mainly in the morning, during the day due to the house and trees blocking the sun. Because of that, I plan to use Mazama KBG. I would appreciate any feedback/thoughts on the below timeline. Thanks.

Week of June 21 (T-8 weeks)
> Start lowering HOC (Bag mow)
> Spread compost
Week of June 28
> Bag mow at lowest setting without scalping
> Set up fencing and irrigation
Week of July 5 (T-6 weeks)
> Apply soil amendments
> Spray glyphosate…Bag mow 2-3 days later
> Continue to water daily (Fallow)
Week of July 12
> Spray glyphosate
> Bag mow at lowest setting
> Level lawn with topsoil
Week of July 19 (T-4 weeks)
> Continue to Fallow
Week of July 26
> Spray glyphosate
Week of August 2 (T-2 weeks)
> Rake/dethatch to ensure soil is not compacted
Week of August 9 (T-1)
> Add micros, P & K (4-5 days prior)
August 13
> Spray glyphosate
August 14
> Spray Tenacity
August 15 :D
> Seed Down
> Spread peat moss
T+3 weeks
> Apply fertilizer (AMS & Oceangro/XGRN)
> Reseed where necessary
T+4 weeks
> Spray Tenacity
> Spray micros & fungicide
T+5 weeks
> Apply fertilizer (AMS & Oceangro/XGRN)
T+60 days
> Spray Prodiamine

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andy10917
Posts: 28674
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Ruxie 2020 Renovation

Post by andy10917 » June 29th, 2020, 8:33 pm

I don't know all of the acronyms you're planning to use, but I really only see one thing that I think you need to adjust for...

Once the Seed Down time occurs, times are based on "G" (germination), not "T" (Seed Down). And there is a time gap of roughly 14-21 days between T and "G".

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ken-n-nancy
Posts: 2313
Joined: July 17th, 2014, 3:58 pm
Location: Bedford, NH
Grass Type: Front: KBG (Bewitched+Prosperity); Side: Bewitched KBG; Back: Fine Fescue Blend + Prosperity
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Ruxie 2020 Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » June 29th, 2020, 9:53 pm

Sounds like you have a good plan. Having a plan from the outset makes a big difference. Just a few thoughts / questions / tweaks below. (We've become serial renovators, doing some sort of renovations more years than not over the past 7 years...)
Ruxie88 wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:11 pm
Decided I want to reno part of the front lawn (~1300 sq ft) this summer. This area gets about 40-50% shade, mainly in the morning, during the day due to the house and trees blocking the sun. Because of that, I plan to use Mazama KBG. I would appreciate any feedback/thoughts on the below timeline. Thanks.
Do you have your seed yet? If not, you need to get it ASAP. You really want to have your desired seed in hand before spraying glyphosate. For at least a couple years, the Long Island Cauliflower Association was the go-to place for Mazama KBG.

Depending upon how much shade is in the area being renovated, it can be worthwhile to start a shady renovation a little sooner than otherwise. However, it seems like an August 15 seed-down date for New Jersey is pretty early, so you're probably okay with that. Once September arrives, shady areas sometimes receive markedly less sun than they did in the summer, due to the mid-day sun being lower in the sky, and getting even more shade from nearby trees. Just something of which to be aware.
Ruxie88 wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:11 pm
Week of June 21 (T-8 weeks)
> Start lowering HOC (Bag mow)
> Spread compost
Week of June 28
> Bag mow at lowest setting without scalping
> Set up fencing and irrigation
What is the reasoning for bringing the HOC down gradually before applying glyphosate? Are you trying to get rid of some of the grass to make compost easier to spread? In general, you want the grass to be growing its best right up until the day the glyphosate is applied. You don't want any old grass (presumably undesirable after the renovation) or weedy grasses grasses (like poa trivialis or poa annua) that are present in the current lawn to be getting stressed or semi-dormant or fully dormant before the glyphosate is applied. Personally, I would wait to drop the height of cut until that mowing you have planned for 2-3 days after the glyphosate.
Ruxie88 wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:11 pm
Week of July 5 (T-6 weeks)
> Apply soil amendments
> Spray glyphosate…Bag mow 2-3 days later
> Continue to water daily (Fallow)
Week of July 12
> Spray glyphosate
> Bag mow at lowest setting
> Level lawn with topsoil
Week of July 19 (T-4 weeks)
> Continue to Fallow
Week of July 26
> Spray glyphosate
Week of August 2 (T-2 weeks)
> Rake/dethatch to ensure soil is not compacted
Week of August 9 (T-1)
> Add micros, P & K (4-5 days prior)
August 13
> Spray glyphosate
I particularly like your glyphosate / fallowing plan. Leveling early is a good idea, as it gives the new soil a chance to fallow, as well as to settle a bit so that you can potentially re-level again shortly before seed-down. I will note, however, that your fallow period is long enough that you may have soil erosion issues in the 5 weeks between leveling the lawn and seed-down. If you have a lawn that is as level as a billiard table, you can get away with that, but you may be susceptible to erosion issues in the first couple weeks of August with summer thundershowers. Just be prepared for that issue. If you have any significant slope, that's going to be a challenge.

I also like that you've planned time to get your watering right. Use those last couple weeks of July to figure out if you have wet spots or dry spots in your irrigation coverage, and get them fixed before seed-down.
Ruxie88 wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:11 pm
August 14
> Spray Tenacity
August 15 :D
> Seed Down
> Spread peat moss
This may just be a detail you've left out, but I would highly suggest rolling in the seed after seed down, and then spraying the Tenacity after rolling in the seed. I've usually spread the peat moss after rolling in the seed and spraying Tenacity. The Tenacity won't hurt the seed.
Ruxie88 wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 8:11 pm
T+3 weeks
> Apply fertilizer (AMS & Oceangro/XGRN)
> Reseed where necessary
T+4 weeks
> Spray Tenacity
> Spray micros & fungicide
T+5 weeks
> Apply fertilizer (AMS & Oceangro/XGRN)
T+60 days
> Spray Prodiamine
As Andy mentioned, these post-seed-down events depend upon germination time, rather than seed-down time. It's good to have a general plan based upon when the seed-down happened, but the dates of all of these items need to be flexible depending upon how quickly the grass germinated, and how it's growing. I vaguely recall that Mazama is comparatively quick to germinate for KBG, but I'd suggest looking for details on other Mazama renovations to get a timing to expect. (I've never planted Mazama, but Bewitched and Prosperity are comparatively quick to germinate for KBG, typically 5-10 days.)

Waiting to reseed until 3 weeks after seed-down is going to be very late for a shady area. You'll see when new germination has ceased / slowed down, and will need to make a re-seeding decision at that time. My one comment is that I've had better success encouraging the new grass that germinated than trying to add more seed after 2-3 weeks. (In other words, I prefer going with what germinated the first time around, rather than re-seeding.) It takes surprisingly little germinated KBG to be able to fill in by the end of the following June. One plant in every few inches will be enough. On the other hand, continuing "germination watering" for 2-3 extra weeks beyond when the first seeding should be transitioning to less frequent watering sets up problems with fungus, shallow roots, etc. For an example of how little grass is needed, look at the "big bare spots" in our 2018 renovation in the photo below, with the "after" photo the next spring. No additional seeding was performed.

Lamp Post View as of 2018-10-30 (Day 66):
Image

Lamp Post View as of 2019-07-13 (Day 323):
Image

As a separate observation, but related, I'd be wary of prodiamine being sprayed in the fall on the new grass, in case it hinders the root development. If you have a history of poa annua or poa trivialis problems, then it may be worth it. However, if you don't have a poa annua history, I'd favor not making the prodiamine application in October on KBG seeded in late summer. That said, only you can know if the benefits outweigh the risks.

In all, I think you have a great plan. Most important thing is to pray for no rain between seed-down and about day 14 after seed-down. If you have a significant likelihood of severe thunderstorms forecast within 3 days of your planned seed-down date, it may be worthwhile to postpone seed-down.

Ruxie88
Posts: 38
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 6:11 am
Location: Central NJ
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: 3000-5000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Ruxie 2020 Renovation

Post by Ruxie88 » June 30th, 2020, 2:57 pm

[quote=ken-n-nancy post_id=341430 time=1593482015 user_id=

I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions. I have been focusing on improving my soil these last two years along with my knowledge of this new hobby I'm enjoying. I feel I am ready to take it to the next level with a reno.


[/quote]
Do you have your seed yet? If not, you need to get it ASAP. You really want to have your desired seed in hand before spraying glyphosate. For at least a couple years, the Long Island Cauliflower Association was the go-to place for Mazama KBG.

Yes, I have the seed from SSS. I got double the amount I should require. Is there an ideal way to properly store it, so it last as long as possible?

Depending upon how much shade is in the area being renovated, it can be worthwhile to start a shady renovation a little sooner than otherwise. However, it seems like an August 15 seed-down date for New Jersey is pretty early, so you're probably okay with that. Once September arrives, shady areas sometimes receive markedly less sun than they did in the summer, due to the mid-day sun being lower in the sky, and getting even more shade from nearby trees. Just something of which to be aware.

Since I have been home several days/week due to COVID, I have been studying how much shade the area gets. I will be lightly trimming the trees to help the areas get even more sun. With the long fallowing period, I do have the option to move it earlier.

[/quote]
What is the reasoning for bringing the HOC down gradually before applying glyphosate? Are you trying to get rid of some of the grass to make compost easier to spread? In general, you want the grass to be growing its best right up until the day the glyphosate is applied. You don't want any old grass (presumably undesirable after the renovation) or weedy grasses grasses (like poa trivialis or poa annua) that are present in the current lawn to be getting stressed or semi-dormant or fully dormant before the glyphosate is applied. Personally, I would wait to drop the height of cut until that mowing you have planned for 2-3 days after the glyphosate.

Compost is already down. I lowered the grass from 3" HOC to 2.5". It was still a pain to spread the compost. :blackeye: Should I keep it at 2.5" or raise it back up to help better deal with the summer heat?

[/quote]
I particularly like your glyphosate / fallowing plan. Leveling early is a good idea, as it gives the new soil a chance to fallow, as well as to settle a bit so that you can potentially re-level again shortly before seed-down. I will note, however, that your fallow period is long enough that you may have soil erosion issues in the 5 weeks between leveling the lawn and seed-down. If you have a lawn that is as level as a billiard table, you can get away with that, but you may be susceptible to erosion issues in the first couple weeks of August with summer thundershowers. Just be prepared for that issue. If you have any significant slope, that's going to be a challenge.
I also like that you've planned time to get your watering right. Use those last couple weeks of July to figure out if you have wet spots or dry spots in your irrigation coverage, and get them fixed before seed-down.

Fortunately, the entire area is flat...not leveled, but it is flat.

[/quote]
This may just be a detail you've left out, but I would highly suggest rolling in the seed after seed down, and then spraying the Tenacity after rolling in the seed. I've usually spread the peat moss after rolling in the seed and spraying Tenacity. The Tenacity won't hurt the seed.

:good: Sounds good. Thank you.


[/quote]
As Andy mentioned, these post-seed-down events depend upon germination time, rather than seed-down time. It's good to have a general plan based upon when the seed-down happened, but the dates of all of these items need to be flexible depending upon how quickly the grass germinated, and how it's growing. I vaguely recall that Mazama is comparatively quick to germinate for KBG, but I'd suggest looking for details on other Mazama renovations to get a timing to expect. (I've never planted Mazama, but Bewitched and Prosperity are comparatively quick to germinate for KBG, typically 5-10 days.)

Waiting to reseed until 3 weeks after seed-down is going to be very late for a shady area. You'll see when new germination has ceased / slowed down, and will need to make a re-seeding decision at that time. My one comment is that I've had better success encouraging the new grass that germinated than trying to add more seed after 2-3 weeks. (In other words, I prefer going with what germinated the first time around, rather than re-seeding.) It takes surprisingly little germinated KBG to be able to fill in by the end of the following June. One plant in every few inches will be enough. On the other hand, continuing "germination watering" for 2-3 extra weeks beyond when the first seeding should be transitioning to less frequent watering sets up problems with fungus, shallow roots, etc. For an example of how little grass is needed, look at the "big bare spots" in our 2018 renovation in the photo below, with the "after" photo the next spring. No additional seeding was performed.

Lamp Post View as of 2018-10-30 (Day 66):
Image

Lamp Post View as of 2019-07-13 (Day 323):
Image

Good to know! Thanks

As a separate observation, but related, I'd be wary of prodiamine being sprayed in the fall on the new grass, in case it hinders the root development. If you have a history of poa annua or poa trivialis problems, then it may be worth it. However, if you don't have a poa annua history, I'd favor not making the prodiamine application in October on KBG seeded in late summer. That said, only you can know if the benefits outweigh the risks.

In all, I think you have a great plan. Most important thing is to pray for no rain between seed-down and about day 14 after seed-down. If you have a significant likelihood of severe thunderstorms forecast within 3 days of your planned seed-down date, it may be worthwhile to postpone seed-down.
[/quote]

POA A has been an issue which has been a big motivation to do the reno. With the long fallowing, it may not be necessary.

User avatar
ken-n-nancy
Posts: 2313
Joined: July 17th, 2014, 3:58 pm
Location: Bedford, NH
Grass Type: Front: KBG (Bewitched+Prosperity); Side: Bewitched KBG; Back: Fine Fescue Blend + Prosperity
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Ruxie 2020 Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » June 30th, 2020, 8:01 pm

Ruxie88 wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 2:57 pm
Yes, I have the seed from SSS. I got double the amount I should require. Is there an ideal way to properly store it, so it last as long as possible?[/b]
That's good news! Most folks store their seed in a cool, dry place. Pick a place where critters (e.g. mice) won't get to it. A dry basement is where I keep mine. It should last for 3-4 years with no problem whatsoever.
Ruxie88 wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 2:57 pm
Since I have been home several days/week due to COVID, I have been studying how much shade the area gets. I will be lightly trimming the trees to help the areas get even more sun. With the long fallowing period, I do have the option to move it earlier.
More sun is generally a good thing. However, a little bit of shade can help the grass survive a hot summer. Personally, I think a little shade (but not too much) is probably ideal. I don't really know what that "ideal shade" would look like, though, in reality... ;)
Ruxie88 wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 2:57 pm
Compost is already down. I lowered the grass from 3" HOC to 2.5". It was still a pain to spread the compost. :blackeye: Should I keep it at 2.5" or raise it back up to help better deal with the summer heat?
Well, it's your decision. I know you're better off keeping the grass as healthy as possible until you get to "glyphosate day." If keeping it higher helps you in that endeavor (you're still a few weeks away) then you have your answer. If you can keep it just as healthy with it being shorter, then that's fine, too.
Ruxie88 wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 2:57 pm
...
POA A has been an issue which has been a big motivation to do the reno. With the long fallowing, it may not be necessary.
A history of Poa annua complicates things. In that case, getting fall prodiamine down may be worth it. The long fallowing will help, but my experience is that there are so many Poa annua seeds in any soil that has been previously infested that even a couple months of fallowing won't get rid of them all. The Tenacity will help. A good eye and hand-pulling will help, too, especially since you're only renovating 1300 feet -- that's small enough to have hand pulling be a viable strategy, if you have a discerning eye to distinguish the Poa annua from the Poa pratensis.

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