Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Discuss how to and whether you should renovate your lawn
bazilbrush
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Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » July 23rd, 2021, 10:22 am

Monmouth County, NJ lawn. 20,000 sq ft. Debating renovating front and rear or just front alone. As I would be top dressing and over-seeding the rear anyway, it seems like doing a full renovation isn’t much extra cost or effort.

Prep Work:
Power rake entire lawn (already started)
Moss Out to totally kill moss where found
Calibrate sprinklers/ tuna can test
Prune trees where relevant
Liquid aeration

Products:
200lb UnitedSeed SuperTurf1 (TTTF)
Vigoro starter fertilizer
10 yards topsoil
20 yards compost

Steps:
8/8 Glypho
8/15 Glypho
8/21 Scalp and bag, spread 10 yards topsoil on front lawn to level, apply Tenacity.
8/23 Apply starter fertilizer, Seed 10lb/1000 soft, roll, top dress with 1/4” compost
Water 3x per day for 2 weeks.
9/12 Millorganite.

Questions:
Am I seeding too early in the season? Any benefit to moving the timeline forward or back?
Should Tenacity go down before or after the compost?
What is the best fertilizer composition to use in the weeks after seeding? How frequently should this be done?

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » July 23rd, 2021, 12:21 pm

If you can glypho a little earlier, do so. It'll give you time to catch more sprouting weeds with the second glypho, which can be a spot spray, and spread out the scalp and bag, which is going to be more of a process than you think it will.

If you can move the seeding back a bit, that would also be fine (to the weekend earlier if possible, but if not, the 23rd is fine, particularly for TTTF). Plan on watering for longer than you have listed, at least in spots. Some will lag.

Early gives the grass more time in the season to develop, but TTTF develops fast anyway. It's not that important. I actually went in late July, but most of the lawn stalled until mid-August anyway due to the temperatures.

You can spray Tenacity as you please, but I'd do it atop the compost when you're done. It'll work its way down.

For the first month, you won't need to fertilize. The grass seed contains all the nutrients the new grass requires, and the new root isn't developed enough to effectively absorb nutrients very well yet. At Day 30 or so, unless you have a soil test telling you differently, feed with any high-nitrogen fertilizer (or an organic that's protein-heavy like soybean meal, although Milorganite would be fine). 9/12 is probably a bit early, but I wouldn't tell you not to. If the grass is developed enough, sure.

October, you can feed again, around October 1-10th. If you held off until September 20th, back the feed date to October 15th. It's still warm enough for us (I'm across the line in PA). Milorganite or soybean meal is great, or a high-nitrogen synthetic, barring that soil test.

At the end of the season, particularly on new grass, feed with a synthetic when growth stops, but the grass is still green. Anything high in nitrogen, low everything else is fine. That's usually around Thanksgiving, but buy it early--places put out their Christmas stuff and pack away lawn things in September. I already have my end-of-season in the garage.

bazilbrush
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » July 23rd, 2021, 2:01 pm

Thanks. I can certainly start it all a week earlier. I was timing it to trying to minimize the time where I have a dead lawn, as I know that having a dead lawn will annoy my wife.

That post seeding feeding advice is great, I'll load up on product now so that I dont have to worry about supply issues later.

Regarding my rear lawn, what would sway me to overseed rather than renovate? Am I wrong in thinking that I'm doing pretty much the same work in both cases? I have had trouble over-seeding in the past, as the old lawn grows back so fast and needs cutting before the seedlings have grown and I'm never sure when to mow it.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » July 23rd, 2021, 7:42 pm

While the dead lawn is super-annoying, the fallow period is there to let weeds sprout, to be killed and die off BEFORE the seeding. More is better. I killed mine in early July, but I understand that many spouses are not so tolerant. My husband did not care.

There's really no reason to reseed if renovation is an option. Reseeding, as you noted, means fighting with the existing lawn, the old cultivars, and you always have to do battle with the old lawn trying to overgrow the new stuff. Fescues establish fast enough that there's no real reason to bother. Bluegrass might be an exception here, but even so, I chose a renovation for exactly that reason. I had a full lawn in September, even if it wasn't very sturdy yet.

The last warning: You Will Have Weeds. You Will Be Tempted To Spray. Resist. You can spray after the third mow, or spring, whichever comes first. Probably the third mow with TTTF. Many weeds simply won't survive mowing, or frost. They're going to drive you batty, but they're not permanent. You may go remove blossoming heads from any weed you want, but don't spray it. Don't pull it, you'll unseat happy grasses trying to establish themselves. Just wait.

bazilbrush
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » July 24th, 2021, 7:58 pm

Slight change of plan. After adding up shipping costs and extra weight needed per 1,000 sq/ft, it is no more expensive to do KBG as TTTF so I'm switching to KBG. I prefer the appearance of KBG but am a bit intimidated by trying to grow it. I'm trying to decide between Midnight (from UnitedSeed), Mazama (from Ford & Son) or a blend of the two.

Anyway, with this modification is there anything I need to do differently? Does moving the timeline forward become more important/ desirable? I did a soil test 3 months ago at Logan and the soil was in balance though lacking a bit of organic matter (it was analyzed on this site). This is why I was planning to top dress with compost instead of peat moss.


Masbustelo
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by Masbustelo » July 24th, 2021, 8:57 pm

If you go with KBG, the Mazama is very good in shady areas, as well as sunny. KBG is slow moving freight, it grows little by little, often sideways before it grows upward. If you seed down August 15th and have a way to water it, it will be well established by November. If you need an insta-lawn for psychological satisfaction or to make the wife happy TTTF would probably establish much quicker. Don't feel intimidated by KBG, it is just grass after all, and with fertilization and water you will do fine. If you don't get rain after you kill your grass you should sprinkle to get weed seeds to sprout and then kill them off before seeding. I see people that have TTTF having lots of disease problems. You will have much less of that with elite KBG.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » July 24th, 2021, 9:09 pm

No biggie. We generally suggest cultivars from multiple families (mine were Midnight II, Moonlight, and Bedazzled) as otherwise you can become susceptible to a specific disease or pest that can wipe the entire stand without stopping as the entire thing is a monostand). Mazama is a Midnight type, so if you choose it, you already have a Midnight variant.

Some members have monostands and do well (my lawn, at this point, approaches a monostand and I have little trouble with it), but it does present challenges. I know to expect red thread and rust every fall; conditions are right for it and the grass is not resistant. I don't need to treat it. So far, anyway. I have to watch closely for problems and react quickly if I should ever see one. So far, so good.

You're down to the wire, so you'll have to decide really fast on this one. I tend to agree that, in the short run, KBG produces the lawn more slowly. In the long run, it produces a nicer lawn that self-repairs and has fewer issues all told.

Can I suggest, assuming your schedule has infinite mobility:

7/25 Glypho (yeah, this is tomorrow, so let's assume it goes 8/1 instead)
8/8 Glypho cleanup
8/14, 8/15 Scalp and bag, spread 10 yards topsoil on front lawn to level, apply Tenacity.
8/23, if not a little earlier-- Apply starter fertilizer, Seed 10lb/1000 soft, roll, top dress with 1/4” compost
Water 3x per day for 3-4 weeks.
10/1 Millorganite.

If you can move the seeding date back a bit, so much the better. If not, the 23rd is a perfectly acceptable date.

I'm back-shifting your Milo because KBG simply won't be ready for it in 3 weeks, it takes 3 weeks to sprout thoroughly and will still be sprouting at a month.

bazilbrush
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » July 25th, 2021, 10:50 am

Thank you again for the advice. I just spent a chunk of time reading the NTEP reports and balancing them with what is available for sale etc and think I will go with a mix of Bewitched (compact), Everest (compact midnight) and Mazama (compact America). It looks like I can get all of these gold tag/ sod quality if I pay up a bit versus certified (I assume gold tag is worth paying extra for?). I'll buy 25lb of each and mix myself, seeding at 3lb/1,000 sqft.

I can move the glypho forward to tomorrow (it is raining today) as I don't think an extra week of bad lawn is that much of an issue. Frankly my lawn looks half dead right now anyway, as I have been identifying and killing weeds one by one this year and seem to not have a whole lot of lawn left (taking out the sedge 2 weeks ago was the last straw).

I picked up some Lesco High N synthetic fertilizer for the post-seed feedings, so am ready to go apart from buying the seed which I will do tomorrow (assuming you don't make me rethink the mix).

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » July 25th, 2021, 4:03 pm

Crap, you're right, I read Mazama as Midnight type. There's certainly no problem in over-balancing Everest as 40-50% of your lawn if you want a Midnight-heavy mix (cough...I did...cough). You're just making sure to have a backup. Or if Mazama is your joy, that way.

You'll see some arguments as to whether gold tag is worth it. I don't feel that you should EVER USE ANYTHING BUT GOLD TAG.

Sorry for shouting. It's worth it. You're going to get ten thousand weeds just from what you have. Don't get anything nasty from your seed, and some very nasty weeds are included in bags of seed that are not gold tag.

You can store leftover seed for spring (small patches can be done as a winter seeding or spring seeding, but larger areas are tough). Keep it in the cellar, or in the coldest, driest place you can that's not too cold. The rough rule is that temperature+humidity should not exceed 100, and the lower the better, within reasonable limits. My cellar runs 58 degrees with a humidity of 50, making it 108. Reasonably OK (it has its own air system, keeping the humidity lower). Sealed with gel, that would be even better. Seed would last a year and still have 50% germination.

Refrigerator? Probably 34 degrees, but the humidity tends to be 80%...so also about 110. Not really any better, but again, stored with gel, you could get seed to last a year with better germination than I could get.

bazilbrush
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » July 26th, 2021, 1:00 pm

Seed is ordered. More importantly the Glypho is applied. No turning back now. We say goodbye to this ‘lawn’.
Image

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » July 26th, 2021, 3:49 pm

It actually doesn't look bad, but...yeah, you can do better. That was the condition I had when I changed over. Nice, but not nice enough.

Bye bye, lawn. Bye bye.

Masbustelo
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by Masbustelo » July 26th, 2021, 7:21 pm

You will be happy you did all of this a year from now. And surprised by how nice it will look.

bazilbrush
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » July 31st, 2021, 6:37 pm

Image

Front lawn, picture taken today. Those dark patches are Kyllinga. Some of it is growing back. Tough stuff.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » August 1st, 2021, 1:03 pm

I remember that. It was about this point that panic and "what have I done?" started to set in.

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » August 9th, 2021, 8:54 pm

bazilbrush wrote:
July 31st, 2021, 6:37 pm
Image

Front lawn, picture taken today. Those dark patches are Kyllinga. Some of it is growing back. Tough stuff.
Looking good!

Spray that Kyllinga again, (and again), so it doesn't come back! You really don't want it in your new reno!

Most of all, though, have fun with this - it will be worth it in the end!

bazilbrush
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » August 10th, 2021, 5:26 pm

Image

Raking time! Boy what a miserable job this one is. I find myself singing vintage Judas Priest. “Raking the lawn, raking the lawn”. You are welcome.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » August 12th, 2021, 12:27 pm

Confession...I didn't rake. I used a tiller and used it in forward mode (non-digging) to "rake" the surface for me. Then mowed over with the bagger to pick up what it lifted. That got out 85% of the old lawn, which was more than good enough.

Pirate Russ
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by Pirate Russ » August 12th, 2021, 4:41 pm

You have tackled a very large renovation. 20,000 square feet is a lot. I hope you can keep up with the watering. As far as weeds, i might recommend Proscape 21-22-4 with .08 mesotrione. I have used it in my last 2 renos and, they have come out very well with essentially no weeds. I always tended to go light spraying tenacity, so this has eliminated the issue. In areas where i was concerned about Poa, i sprayed the tenacity. With 20,000 square feet, it is a lot faster spreading a starter with mesotrione than spraying tenacity. Best of luck. Look forward to seeing pictures.

bazilbrush
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » August 12th, 2021, 5:18 pm

Image

Image

Topsoil being spread. That 10 yards of topsoil I had planned - well it turned out that it needed 40 yards. I bought a landzie leveling rake that is doing a decent job of the spreading.

bazilbrush
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Re: Bazil’s 2022 Lawn Renovation

Post by bazilbrush » August 21st, 2021, 10:31 am

Update: everything has been moving forward on track. Seeds went down Late Tuesday, to get ahead of a rainfall that didn’t materialize. Peat Moss topdress was Wednesday-Friday, with full on watering starting on Friday.

I’m already seeing some areas of weeds appear. Looks like nutsedge, maybe was in the topsoil. Can I do anything about these now (glypho? Tenacity?) or is it too late as the seed is down? Morpheus said they would drive me batty. I didn’t think they would appear so soon though!


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