Posted by
Message
absolute692
USA Fan
US of A, MFer
Member since Feb 2007
3909 posts

Help me save my yard

So I broadcast sprayed pre-emergent (Princep) back in October. Spot treating with post emergent (Celsius, Surfacts, Dye) 2x between November and December. Have had success with that. I got the kit to take samples and will be doing that soon and sending to LSU.

Now comes the issues:

Below pic is my front yard sod. The strip between sidewalk and street looks the same. Basically seems like it has lots of "holes/patches" with dead grass. Can see down to soil/dead or even thatch layer. I'd like to thicken all this up. Backyard and other side of driveway the grass is fine. It's only the part right in the front. Looks almost like the sod never took, but the back yard/side is fine which causes concern.



Then I have the issue with my beds. The boxwoods are borderline if not full blight. The azaleas aren't growing (I haven't been in the house in the spring to see if they will bloom). I showed some pictures to an associate at Cleggs who recommended a small feed as they look hungry. I got some Hi Yield Growers Special and gave the beds a half feeding then watered and put down pine straw. Current state is below. I'm hoping I haven't lost them where I need to replace them all.

Front Bed:


Back Bed:


Bonus pic of my yard after a hard rain. Going to be leveling it out this spring.



All ideas are welcome. I've got a long way to go to where I want it to be, I just hope that isn't going to require a complete renovation.


gotiger
LSU Fan
Delray Beach, FL
Member since Feb 2009
2490 posts

It’s all fixable. Definitely need to soil test both the soil for the yard and your beds. Must be something missing for the boxwoods to all be fading like that. Boxwoods lately have struggled at times for whatever reason, but usually it’s one here or there and not the whole row of them.

However, you definitely need to trim them regularly and please weed the beds.

The grass looks as though it may hold too much moisture in that area or maybe it’s a high traffic area? Also, confirm your grass type. That obviously is a determining factor of what it may need.

Lastly, it’s a tough time to do much. I would just get your soil test done. Decide what it needs based on that and plan to hit it hard this spring and give it the summer to see if it can thicken up. Cutting the grass at the proper height and often enough is important based on your grass type.


Art Vandelay
LSU Fan
LOUISIANA
Member since Sep 2005
9601 posts

Definitely holding too much water right there. Need some more pictures.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
absolute692
USA Fan
US of A, MFer
Member since Feb 2007
3909 posts

Grass is centipede. I understand now is not the time to fix it but want to start preparing for whatever it is I will need to do.

I'd say in the front there is very little traffic on the grass. Also has a decent slope to the street so water is not puddling in this area.

The back gets more traffic due to the dog. I will say that the grass that is flooded in that last picture is starting to go the way of the front with patches/holes of dead spots. But it is much thicker back there. The very back of the yard has no issues.

I run my sprinklers for 10 minutes once a week during the winter, it hasn't seemed to help the beds or yard. Located in the baton rouge area.


alajones
LSU Fan
Derptown
Member since Oct 2005
32696 posts

How long have the beds looked like that? They remind me of the beds that got caught up in the deep freeze last year. Around here (Shreveport) everything but the roots died in most beds. So new growth looks weird and is mixed in with dead branches. Most businesses and non-cheapos just pulled them up and replanted.

The back yard is weird. You may want to dig a trench around the patio and fill it with sand and gravel.
This post was edited on 12/23 at 8:50 am


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
10
gotiger
LSU Fan
Delray Beach, FL
Member since Feb 2009
2490 posts

So your back yard is more than likely the water being your primary concern. Take care of that and then you’ll have to give it time to see how the grass does. Another thing to think about in your back yard is the dog. If your dog is consistently peeing in the back yard in similar areas, you may see lots of brown spots due to an overdose of Nitrogen.

As far as where to start. Get that soil test back and note your soil deficiencies and try to correct that. If you’re not sure how, then a good online resource is Allyn Hane (Lawn Care Nut). He has lots of YouTube content and information on summer grasses such as centipede. I use the NEX products for soul micro/macro nutrients, aeration (all liquid products). In addition, I typically utilize a nitrogen and iron supplement (fertilizer and/or Double Dark granules). They have lots of products available online. Some things I order from them, others you can simply find at your local store, such as Milorganite at Tractor Supply. That is a slow release organic nitrogen supplement that you can load your yard with without fear of burning it.

Hope all that at least gets you started. One of the harder things in all of this is figuring out your yards sq. footage and then how you can divide your yard in an organized fashion to ensure proper dosing of any/all chemicals you may put down.

Forgot to mention water via sprinklers. You really shouldn’t need sprinklers at this time of the year. Centipede should go dormant at some point this winter and boxwoods don’t really need much water. I found they actually do better with no sprinklers most of the time, although once a week for 10 min isn’t that much. In the summer, however, you should water once every 2-3 days depending on heat. You don’t want too much water because then the soil will remain saturated and your grass then has no reason to grow a deeper root system for nutrition from the soil. It simply has shallow roots and gets all nutrients from the surface.

Went back and just looked at your post regarding pre-emergent and Cesius. That’s all great, but I would question the use of anything such as Celsius which may agitate the grasss if not dosed exactly correct, especially with turf that is already struggling. How old is your lawn?
This post was edited on 12/23 at 7:24 pm


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
20
ronk
Member since Jan 2015
3659 posts

Take a deep breath. It will all be ok. Don’t use a pre em in the spring. Have some atrazine on hand for winter grassy weeds. When green up starts bring in some sand and push that water off your lawn. When your lawn is 50-75% greened up use a mid-high teen nitrogen fert. You’ll lawn will respond.


absolute692
USA Fan
US of A, MFer
Member since Feb 2007
3909 posts

Thanks for the response. Would you recommend liquid or granular fertilizer? I have backpack sprayer and broadcast spreader already.

Also, would you recommend atrazine over Celsius for the winter weeds? I’m about to have to apply another application of post emergent to the spots in the yard I haven’t hit previously.


ronk
Member since Jan 2015
3659 posts

Granular fert but no weed and feed products. Craw posted the fill chart for a winter weed mix. Use that and save your Celsius.


absolute692
USA Fan
US of A, MFer
Member since Feb 2007
3909 posts

quote:

Granular fert but no weed and feed products


Fertilome 15-0-15 should do the trick then.

I did dig up some samples from the beds and yard. I think I know the problem. It seems about 4-5" below grade was hard well packed clay. I'd assume it's going to be impossible for the roots to grow into/through this layer. I am hoping I'm wrong because this means the entire yard needs a thicker layer of soil, which all but seals the fate of my existing landscape.



ronk
Member since Jan 2015
3659 posts

We all have terrible soil. Aerate and top dress with sand or sandy loam. 15-0-15 would be a good fert to use. When I was Baton Rouge I used 16-0-8 on St Aug and centipede. Usually 2 apps followed by monthly apps of liquid iron.


absolute692
USA Fan
US of A, MFer
Member since Feb 2007
3909 posts

Here is my soil report from LSU. I seem to remember reading to not follow the optimal pH advice. With that said, anything different from what this thread recommends that I should do based on this report.



ronk
Member since Jan 2015
3659 posts

If the ph in your soil is truly 7.92 then you will want to work to get it to 5-6 for centipede. I do find it strange that your lawn and shrubs have the exact same ph but I'm not sure how the samples were taken and I'm not real familiar with LSU's reporting.

The nitrogen recommendations seem a bit high to me. Centipede doesn't like a lot of fert. I would suggest maybe 2-3 applications of fert at 2lbs of N per thousand. That would give you 4-6lbs for the year. I'm going by the ammonium sulfate suggestion by the way.


absolute692
USA Fan
US of A, MFer
Member since Feb 2007
3909 posts

That’s the report from my front yard. I assume they didn’t know that even though it was labeled so they mentioned both.

The pH from my front bed was 5.86.

I’m looking at doing about 5-6# of aluminum sulfate/1000ft to lower yards pH. Will wait until spring for that. Will probably order 3cy of sand for beginning of March to level the yard.

For fertilizer I’m having trouble finding 16-0-8, but 15-0-15 should do the trick. I’m wondering the math. For ease of math let’s look at the following: If I have a 100# bag of 15-0-15 that covers 15k sqft, that means I have 15# of nitrogen in that bag, which means I have 1# of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft. Is that right? So if I want 2# of nitrogen per 1000ft, I put down 2# per 1000ft.
This post was edited on 2/11 at 9:45 am


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
3905 posts

quote:

absolute692

You should work lowering your soil pH but do it slowly. I like this publication from MIss State LINK and focus Table 1. If you have clay soil, and I’m sure you do based on your current soil pH, you’ll note the pounds of elemental sulfur in the table matches the sulfur recommendation by the AgCenter in the soil test analysis. However, note the publication recommends not exceeding 2 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 sq ft per year, so you are looking at 3 year period to lower pH to the optimal target range for centipede. Personally, I’d suggest using elemental sulfur on the lawn over aluminum sulfate, it works slowly, less chance of damaging the lawn grass and it is cheaper. Don’t try to correct this lowering the soil pH in one year.

Lawn fertilization of centipede, LSU AgCenter and other land grant universities in the south, recommend not exceeding 1 lb of N per 1000 sq ft per year. LINK. To calculate how much 15-x-x is equal to 1 lb of N per 1000 sq ft divide 100 by 15, which 6 2/3 lbs per 1000 sq ft. Now, the AgCenter recommends for centipede to apply 0.5 lbs of N (3 1/3 lbs of 15-x-x) per 1000 in mid-April, followed by a second 0.5 lb N (3 1/3 lbs of 15-x-x) application per 1000 sq ft, if you think necessary based on the how the lawn looks, in June/July.

Obviously, use a lawn fertilizer and not straight ammonium sulfate, urea, or ammonium nitrate (consumer can’t given buy that in large amounts, bomb making and all that stuff) as noted in AgCenter’s soil test results - these are components of lawn fertilizers anyway.

I wish the AgCenter they would revise their reporting procedures for soil test results for home owners in regards to lawns but they haven’t - basically you get the same report that was originally designed for commercial farmers who understand this stuff and use these the recommended fertilizers in bulk. A little more difficult for the average homeowner to understand without a background in chemistry/soil chemistry.
This post was edited on 2/11 at 4:26 pm


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
10
absolute692
USA Fan
US of A, MFer
Member since Feb 2007
3909 posts

quote:

Aerate and top dress with sand or sandy loam


Always read aerate in summer. So which of the 3 options would be best:

I aerate later this month and then top dress with mason sand.

Level now with sand and aerate in summer, with another layer of sand after aeration.

Or sand now and aerate in summer with no sand to fill the plugs.


Replies (0)
Replies (0)
00
first pageprev pagePage 1 of 1next pagelast page
refresh

Back to top

logoFollow TigerDroppings for LSU Football News
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates on LSU Football and Recruiting.

FacebookTwitterInstagram