Restarting From Scratch

Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue, Rye and Bent, etc
thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 4th, 2019, 12:01 am

Hi Folks,

I used to be a lurker on the forums for a major part of last year and this year, finally, bit the bullet and became a member. Read through a lot of really informative discussions and based on those discussions took on the task of redoing my backyard last year.

I had put in the time to clean up the yard of all the weeds and got a soil test done by the PSU Extension and based on that put lime down to reduce the acidity, put seed down and starter fertilizer to get the lawn going again.

This is what I had to show for it till the second/third week of July 2019 for it.
Image

After that I have no idea what happened, but the yard just completely died, either it was the peak summer/dry spell for 2-3 weeks that just completely killed the grass. I was planning on following the nitrogen regimen of applying about a pound of nitrogen starting easter, memorial day, independence day and labor day but the labor day one never happened. My guess is that the nitrogen application for the july 4th timeframe probably just completely ovewhelmed the grass.

Anyway, what has happened has happened, so here I am again, starting from scratch.

My plan is quite the same as last year, which is kill the weeds/grass the whole nine yards. This time, I have covered the grass with 6 9x9 tarps in order to completely kill anything growing. Last year I completely tilled the soil as there was way too much debris in the soil(glass pieces and stones). I did not use chemicals as I have small kids and also a dog. I'm not against using chemicals, but want to avoid using them if I can. If I do go down the chemicals path, would a generic glyphosate be enough to nuke everything and start from scratch or do I need to buy specialty chemicals. I do have a siteone close by that I could go to if there is something that needs to be purchased.

The yard is covered with these weeds all over the place.
Image
Image

I will wait till about end of this week to see how the tarps have fared in cleaning up everything and then decide if I should spray the remainder or cover it with tarp and wait for nature to take its course. Once everything has been nuked, I will rake the lawn up and put seed, starter fertilizer and seed aide to allow tackiness in order for the seed to take.

My lawn size is not too big, about 1400-1500 sq ft.

My plan is to use the following mixture of seed, alongwith a 10-6-4 starter as the soil report from last year suggested a mixture along those lines.
Image

Most of the yard is in a shady spot with some parts getting more sun than the others, that's the reason I went with a shady mix of grass rather than one that requires full sun. Based on my area and the transition from 6b-7a, what type of seed would be good to use here? I have given the combination I used last year. Till the time the grass was growing, I was keeping it quite high, about 4 inches or higher to minimize the weeds and that was working very well.

Any pointers on what I should do different than what I have listed above would be welcome.

Also, if anybody has not mentioned this, Andy is a god!!!

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andy10917
Posts: 29162
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: Restarting From Scratch

Post by andy10917 » September 4th, 2019, 12:43 am

Also, if anybody has not mentioned this, Andy is a god!!!
Then why does my wife call me "The Idiot"?

Please post a picture of the "dead lawn" before we go making assumptions about pushing the Reset button. If possible, full lawn pic and medium closeup, please.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYcPBE5PXhs

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 4th, 2019, 9:32 pm

andy10917,

here you go, it looks to be pretty dead to me, but what do i know.


Image

Image

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 4th, 2019, 9:35 pm

Image

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 4th, 2019, 9:41 pm

Here are bigger pictures of my backyard before the fiasco



Image


thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 6th, 2019, 7:43 am

Looks like the pictures I posted are still too small, here are the bigger sizes of the pictures.


Image

Image

Image

JHazzardB
Posts: 415
Joined: August 7th, 2012, 11:16 am
Location: OKC, OK
Grass Type: Front Yard: KBG blend. Back Bewitched/Nuglade
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Experienced

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by JHazzardB » September 6th, 2019, 2:08 pm

I'm no guru or expert but I'll give you my two cents.

1) Soil amendments and adding lime, starter, and other stuff will get tackled by the Soil Peeps in that section. They enjoy Logan Labs soil tests. They eat em like skittles.

2) I'd nuke it. Glyphosate. You probably won't even need that much of it based on the pics. It'll be quick and clean and give you a clean slate.

3) I don't know this Seed Aide? Is it like Soil Moist? Don't know if this is a necessary step for you. If the lawn is relatively shady, and you keep the seed bed moist, and there's no huge run offs or washouts, your seed will stick. Grab some peat moss to lightly dust it over to maintain moisture through germination.

4) Pre-emergent barriers are an amazing thing. I don't know if you are against all chemicals but Pre-M will solve 90% of your troubles. I can't think of any other step I take in the yard that has as much benefit for time spent doing it.

5) I don't know much about fine fescues or per. rye so I'll let others chime in. I'd boost the amount of KBG in your seeding higher than 5% though. Actually I'd go straight KBG.

6) Do you do any fungicide treatments?

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andy10917
Posts: 29162
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: Restarting From Scratch

Post by andy10917 » September 6th, 2019, 5:27 pm

Caution on the Pre-M: don't apply Pre-M if you plan to be seeding in the following few months.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29162
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: Restarting From Scratch

Post by andy10917 » September 6th, 2019, 5:28 pm

... and Yes the grass is dead -- no idea what you did to cause that.

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 6th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.

Here's my plan of action then
  • Spray the yard to completely nuke it and then rake it to clean up the remnants.
  • Wait about 3 days for chemicals to dissipate.
  • Condition soil based on the test results - SoluCal(lime)
  • Put seed down along with either seed aide or peat moss
One question to the forum, based on my location, am I too late to do this or can I still do this?

Is there anything else, I am missing?

My yard gets about 3-5 hours of sun in the middle only. The other places are always shaded. That was the reason I went with a shade blend. I had purchased this blend based on the recommendation of the PSU local county master gardeners. If there is a better seed suited for this location, I can look into getting that type of seed.

Seed aide is a mulch made from cellulose fibers and recycled wood along with a tackifier. The reason I used this was because last year due to the amount of rains here in SE Pennsylvania, I had a lot of erosion in the soil. Saw that this made the seed stick to the ground. Additionally, you might notice in the pictures that my lot is a little sloping. I had to reseed twice last year because the first time the rains washed everything away.

Before spraying, I will send a soil sample to the local PSU extension to get a reading on what do I need to apply for a full restart. If the suggestion here is to send it to Logan Labs, I will look into what needs to done for sending a sample to them.

The PSU test covers the following:
The standard fertility report includes results for pH, acidity, Mehlich 3 phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and lime and fertilizer recommendations. The nitrogen recommendation is based on crop response.

Details about the test are given here:

https://agsci.psu.edu/aasl/soil-testing ... ape-plants

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 6th, 2019, 8:07 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.

Here's my plan of action then
  • Spray the yard to completely nuke it and then rake it to clean up the remnants.
  • Wait about 3 days for chemicals to dissipate.
  • Condition soil based on the test results - SoluCal(lime)
  • Put seed down along with either seed aide or peat moss
One question to the forum, based on my location, am I too late to do this or can I still do this?

Is there anything else, I am missing?

My yard gets about 3-5 hours of sun in the middle only. The other places are always shaded. That was the reason I went with a shade blend. I had purchased this blend based on the recommendation of the PSU local county master gardeners. If there is a better seed suited for this location, I can look into getting that type of seed.

Seed aide is a mulch made from cellulose fibers and recycled wood along with a tackifier. The reason I used this was because last year due to the amount of rains here in SE Pennsylvania, I had a lot of erosion in the soil. Saw that this made the seed stick to the ground. Additionally, you might notice in the pictures that my lot is a little sloping. I had to reseed twice last year because the first time the rains washed everything away.

Before spraying, I will send a soil sample to the local PSU extension to get a reading on what do I need to apply for a full restart. If the suggestion here is to send it to Logan Labs, I will look into what needs to done for sending a sample to them.

The PSU test covers the following:
The standard fertility report includes results for pH, acidity, Mehlich 3 phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and lime and fertilizer recommendations. The nitrogen recommendation is based on crop response.

Details about the test are given here:

https://agsci.psu.edu/aasl/soil-testing ... ape-plants

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29162
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: Restarting From Scratch

Post by andy10917 » September 6th, 2019, 8:10 pm

Here is your official guidance to get the test results from Logan Labs. We can't learn the test suites for the hundreds of labs out there, and if we allow more than one, we'll get "you did his, how about mine".

TimmyG
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Joined: May 15th, 2012, 6:04 pm
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Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by TimmyG » September 6th, 2019, 9:28 pm


thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 23rd, 2019, 10:01 pm

Folks,

Took a little bit of time to get the soil test done, but here are the results.


Image

I have also posted the same to the Soil Test Interpretation topic.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29162
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: Restarting From Scratch

Post by andy10917 » September 24th, 2019, 7:07 pm

I don't see a link to this thread in the Soil Test Interpretation Queue.

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 24th, 2019, 9:40 pm

My bad, I thought I put the link in the forum. Let me do this again.

Also, here are the results in a little bit bigger format. Hopefully these are readable.

Image

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 24th, 2019, 9:49 pm

Changed my profile to reflect the lawn size. The lawn in the back is about 1400-1500 sq ft give or take a few. That's what I am tackling this year. Depending on how things go, I will tackle the front next year.

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 24th, 2019, 10:15 pm

A couple of things I noticed, even though the grass looked lush during the time from March till June, when the lawn was growing good, I did not like the look of that grass. It just felt too flimsy. After cutting it and even before a cut, it would look like the blades are just moving all over the place. That leads me to the next question, which is, what mixture of cultivars would be suitable for a yard that gets sun for a couple of hours in a day and is in shade for most of it. I went with the mixture listed above as that was what was available in a nursery here and it grew pretty well.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29162
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: Restarting From Scratch

Post by andy10917 » September 28th, 2019, 9:15 am

* In the future, test and use the 4" level for grass, not the 6" level (which is for plants) *

The soil has a TEC of 7.86 and an OM% of 5.41 - this indicates a somewhat sandy soil with a nice organic matter profile. If you could boost the OM farther with OM additions, the soil is in striking range of behaving like a Loam soil, with improved nutrient carrying capacity.

In the cations, Calcium is low, Magnesium high, and Potassium is quite short. These are driving the pH to 6.1 -- there is work to do.

Apply good calcitic lime (Encap/Mag-I-Cal/SoluCal/Sta-Green) at 9 lbs/K, every 90 days.

Locate and get Sulfate of Potash ("SOP", 0-0-50), and apply it at 2 lbs/K monthly April - September. It is not the easiest thing to find - sorry.

Phosphorus is good.

Iron levels are a little low. Either use Milorganite as one of your Nitrogen sources (it has a fair amount of good Iron), or apply 2-3 lbs/K of Ferrous Sulfate every 60 days. It is also sometimes sold as Iron Sulfate.

Do you want to work on micronutrients as part of your plan?

For Nitrogen, you can use Milorganite (see above), or Urea (46-0-0) at 2 lbs/K monthly, except July and August.

thalaivar
Posts: 31
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 2:27 pm
Location: Southeastern PA, 6b, 7a
Grass Type: CRF, PR, KBG
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Re: Restarting From Scratch

Post by thalaivar » September 28th, 2019, 5:53 pm

The samples were taken at a depth ranging between 3-6 inches with a majority being in the 4-5 inch range.

I think the magnesium being high is probably from the 225lbs of dolomitic lime I put down last year to bring up the ph. I had a soil test done last year from the Penn State Extension. They had suggested about 180lbs/1000 sq. ft as my pH was 5.2 last year. Based on the yard size of about 1400 sq ft, I put down about 250lbs. The report infact had suggested putting down Calcitic Lime but the place where I got the fertilizer mentioned that dolomitic lime has a better CCE(Calcium Carbonate Equivalent) to bring up the pH. That's the reason I put that down.

I guess more reading about putting lime is in order. I do have a 50lb bag of SoluCal that I can use now.

Getting a hold of Milo here in SE PA is almost impossible, I had located one place that had Milo but could not go for about 2-3 days and when I went it was all gone.

In order to reseed, what should be the type of starter fertilizer I should use?

I can get a hold of Chickity Doo Doo which I believe is a 5-3-2 fertilizer along with about 9% of Calcium.

Yes, I can try to work on micronutrients also.

One question, can the lime be applied during the winter or should I wait till the spring.

Thank you

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