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Discussion Starter · #1,002 ·
AS arrived quickly yesterday. Last evening, I got tired of looking at the brown Zoysia that had become thick and thatchy, so I broke out the Groundskeeper II rake and went to town. This morning, my wife was leaving for work, and popped her head back inside the front door and asked if I did something to the lawn (she didn't know I raked it out).
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Anyway, I spent quite awhile sharpening the newer Gator blade today, correcting the angle and balancing it. I swapped out the Ninja blade in favor of the Gator and took off the bagging chute, in favor of the side discharge chute. A quick edge with the string trimmer and I was off to mulch everything in together, to get all of my "greens" and "browns" to break down together, while the biological activity is still strong (temps rising over the next week-high 60's). I got brave and lowered HOC in the front to 2". I lost some color, but got more "greens" in the mix and it should thicken up. I didn't have time to spread some fert, but tomorrow's another day. I decided to go with AS, and save the urea for the spring.

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Discussion Starter · #1,005 ·
Excellent recovery on the hell strip. Not so hellish anymore!
Thanks! They can be resilient. The ones on the RV side were originally 100% TTTF when I renovated them a few years ago, and then overseeded with mixtures of TTTF/KBG, and this time with KBG/PRG because I ran out of TTTF and wasn't planning on buying more. The PRG will probably roast, but hopefully the KBG will survive and fill in TTTF dieoff in the future. I also have a few KBG plugs in the short hellstrip. We'll see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,006 ·
You sticking with the zoysia, or will you renovate that away? Its super durable, easy to take care of. I could let the whole backyard go to it, and do some reel mowing, but a long way from that.
Eventually, I would like to renovate it and replace with 100% kbg. It's the bane of my existence, but serves a purpose on the hellstrip, which gets cooked every summer. I just don't have the time to renovate it at that time of year, with work demands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,007 ·
I dropped 0.5 lbs N/M of AS on Saturday night just after sunset. Light rain started yesterday afternoon and stopped overnight with 0.14" of precipitation. Rain started up again this morning with a light rain and couple of heavy showers and paused with a grand total so far of 0.33" including yesterday (24-hour rain gauge on weather station). We're due for some more but this got it watered in. Lower HOC/violation of the 1/3 rule lost a little color, but was worth it as a reset cut and to get that 🤬 Zoysia thatch up. Had I done it earlier, I would have dropped some prg seed in the Zoysia, to see what it might do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,008 ·
24-hour rain total ~0.62". The grass is growing like gangbusters! The front grew 1"-1.5" and the back grew 0.75"-1.25" in 4 days. I checked to see how much mulched OM broke down and it seemed like most of it did. Last night's low was 64* and today hit 75*. It'll be mild the next few days so...

I've been thinking of experimenting with overseeding prg into the Zoysia to try to green it up a bit until it fries in the summer (just to mess with it :sneaky:), so I bagged everything @2" in the front and mulched the backyard (with the Gator), after using the Groundskeeper II to remove more thatch from the Zoysia. I picked up a little tri-rye and might drop some tomorrow for the helluvit. I had ended my PGR apps for the season, but now I'm reconsidering another app for the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,009 ·
It was too wet yesterday to drop the tri-rye seed into the Zoysia for my impulsive experiment, so I spread it today at sunset, when the wind died down. I'm not expecting much. It was more of a symbolic measure of flipping the bird at the Zoysia for obvious reasons and not so obvious reasons. Less obvious, is that I was returning the gesture after it tapped out extra early this year and flipped me off first. Usually, I can keep it looking pretty good with fertility until our average first frost (10/31-11/1). It's been milder than usual this time of year (70's several days this week and 67* today), but a cold snap at the end of September scared the Zoysia back into its roots.

The AS kicked and the cool season turf is super dark blue/green. I've mentioned previously that my beloved Bewitched does not work as a monostand for me, and that my 3-way kbg blend performs much better. I think that Bewitched does not have an aggressive rooting ability, because it struggles under my trees as a monostand. This photo is of a 4'x4' section of a Bewitched mono from several years ago when we took down the kids' playground. It struggles every year in the fall. I think it's prone to rust and doesn't have enough root system to compete with the tree roots.
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This photo is of a 4'x4' section of a Bewitched mono from several years ago when we took down the kids' playground. It struggles every year in the fall. I think it's prone to rust...
I think so, too:

I have Bewitched mixed into, oh, probably most areas...and everything gets rust. I'm not blaming it just on the fact that Bewitched is mixed in, but it certainly doesn't help.

On the other hand, fine fescue may be fairly resistant to rust. My areas with a lot of it have less rust, and look pretty good.

Two years ago, the rust was so bad that it thinned out the grass in some areas, and made it go brown/dormant in the late Fall. I ended having to overseed a section the following Spring. Because of that, I've been using Propiconazole on all of those areas in late Summer or Fall, whenever needed, for at least two years now. It actually seems to improve the disease over time. There's less this year than last year, for example. I'll probably keep using it every year.
 

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Good info @Green and @Chris LI! My Bewitched has a fair amount of rust on my collars, but my reel mowed areas all show no signs of it whatsoever. I guess the longer grass just isn't drying out enough during the daytime. It is markedly worse in my collars that get just filtered sunlight at most this time of year. I need to be better about late season antifungals, as my last application was over a month ago. My Bewitched also struggles later in the year around the trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,012 ·
Got a mulch mow in yesterday and raised HOC for both front and backyard to 2-5/8", to allow leaves to fit under the deck, not to mention it's still growing like wildfire.

After, I did my traditional Halloween fert drop. Opened and tried the new to me AS from K4L. Unfortunately, it's large prills, close to the jumbo urea, but not quite as bad. Went with a heavy drop of 0.75 lbs/N per M, for better coverage. This will also become my foliar spray like the jumbo urea. Grass already grew 1 in since yesterday. I skipped mowing the Zoysia hellstrip, so any prg seed isn't disturbed. Leaves are heavy in the back, as usual this time of year. Avg 1st frost is now, but no frost in sight, with temps around 70*.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,013 ·
Above normal temps have kept the grass in overdrive, with the AS. Highs were 70*, 70", 66* and today 73*. First frost still nowhere in sight, but the leaves are coming down on schedule. Backyard trees pretty much will drop 90% of their leaves in one week. About 75% were down today, so I mulched them with the Gator blade and mulch plug in @2-5/8". Mostly doubles passes in the backyard with a few triples, and mostly single passes in the front with a few doubles. Cool season grasses are spreading and filling in, with the Zoysia patches seemingly shrinking, everso slightly. There's a little more green throughout them. I still haven't mowed the Zoysia hellstrip, to see if any prg seed takes. Warm, moist temps are conducive to the leaf mulch breaking down. I will end mulching soon and switch to bagging, so I have enough for the vegetable garden. Also, that will help reduce the amount of unbroken down particles, smothering the lawn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,015 ·
That seems really late for the northeast. Yes we got 5 more good days here and then reality sets in. I see snow in the forecast the 16th and 17th, very unusual for MO. The weather here can be "unpredictable".
Yes, currently it is a bit late. I'm very close to the ocean ~4 miles and even less to the Great South Bay (~2 miles). Our average first frost date is 10/31-11/1. We had a sensational day today (77*) which is highly unusual. Tonight/tomorrow the temps will plummet, with a high around 50*, which is on the lower side.

I have today and tomorrow off, so I had reservations to play golf today for the first time in about 5 years. However, tomorrow is back to lawn care and mulching leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,016 ·
Last night was 48*, and today's high was 59*. That's not too bad. After sleeping in for the first time in a long time, got myself going slowly, but surely. 😅 I was pretty sore, but a hot shower various pain creams did the trick. After various chores/errands, I finally got to mulching leaves after dark with the headlamp. 🤣 A lot came down so it took longer than I thought (2.5 hours), but the front looks great, and the backyard is OK. Those little red maple leaves like to run away from the mower blade.

Anyway, this might be the last time I mulch. I don't have the supply of leaves I used to (with the tree removal), so I need to make sure I have enough for the vegetable garden, and I want to switch over to bagging earlier, to reduce the amount of unbroken down leaf mulch at the end of the season. Turf growth is strong, so I had a mix of browns and greens in my mulch mix. Color is very dark and the cool season grasses continue to creep back into the Zoysia. Overall, my outlook is positive on the season. After the Zoysia went dormant extra early, I was pretty bummed, but the turf has really improved across the board. Areas are filling in and the AS has kicked it into overdrive with the mild temperatures. I'll be lowering HOC soon, since a lot of the leaves are down, and I want to get there sooner than later, while there's time for it to tiller and spread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,017 ·
Yesterday, I squeezed one last leaf mulching session in just as it began to rain. What a mess! I was considering bagging, but my back was acting up, so that squashed that idea. I did a fairly good blowout of the front beds, too. Temps are predicted to be a little warm, so I'm trying to get everything to break down before they drop during the week (69* yesterday and already 71* today). I'll be bagging hereon out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,019 ·
3" of snow here, cold. Time for inside projects. Brussel sprouts picking day too, plant leaves really took a hit, supposed to make them better. Did you pick all your tomatoes yet?
Last harvest was late this afternoon as the sun was about to set. We may finally get our first frost tonight or tomorrow night (most likely tomorrow night), which is well overdue. Hopefully, the cold spell your having will not be too long, and you can enjoy the rest of fall before old man winter arrives for good.
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Discussion Starter · #1,020 ·
Happy Thanksgiving, all! I've been a bit behind with lawn/yard work with traveling for work last week (rare).

Note to self (and anyone interested) : It was a mistake to mulch all those leaves I mentioned in my last update. They clumped miserably, which defeated the purpose of breaking down. Not to mention, whatever didn’t clump, stuck to the bottom of the deck. I should have put the side discharge chute on, since I wasn't able to bag that day (bad back).

Moving forward, leaves were still a little on the heavier side, so I bag mowed with the same blade (newer Gator) on Tuesday at 2-5/8". Still good clipping production with avg height ~4". The Gator has good suction for a mulching blade, but I'll need to switch back to the high lift blade (or super high lift blade with "air lifts") to get up all the wet, compacted leaf mulch. Leaves are still hanging on the trees (not just oaks, and some still have a little green on them), so we're not nearly done with leaf season. I passed through NYC and parts north during my work travel and all the leaves are down, north of the city.

Yesterday, I chased daylight to finish trimming the Arborvitaes and English Ivy, but ran out of time and energy to put an extension pole on the PAS. FYI-I pre and post-gamed with a capsule of Willow Bark extract and Arnicare tablets, which worked well, despite forgetting the back brace I bought the other day. I took some more this morning and the soreness is almost gone.

No photos of the trim job yet, but the tri-rye is starting to fill in the Zoysia spots a little.
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