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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I have a decent lawn but would like to improve it. We have neighbors who pay a service to come in and treat their lawn. They pay a lot of money for this service but their lawn is superior to anyone else in the neighborhood. I would like to keep up with them but not pay someone else for the service.

I am in zone 7b with a fescue lawn. North Carolina. We have a lot of red clay. I have an in ground irrigation system. Two weeks ago I applied Ortho Weed-B-Gon Chickweed, Clover & Oxalis Killer For Lawns, 1-Pt., and Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed 5000 Square Feet. This past fall we airated and put down seed and fertilizer.

We have some bare spots that have direct sun light on a hill in the yard. Yesterday I hosed the bare spots down, raked them up and put down fescue seed. There is also some short seedy grass that you can see in the photos.

We have a push mower and in previous years I think we have been cutting the grass too short. Maybe around 2.5". Yesterday I mowed for the first time and moved our push mower up to the third highest setting (I could go up two more settings to leave the grass taller). It is about ~3" now.

Over the past couple of years I have dug the yard up in places and laid down sod. Some of that sod has taken pretty well but it isn't great. In previous years I have also put out lime and that seemed to help but I haven't applied any lime this year.

I really wish I knew what to put on the lawn to make it look awesome. I will buy products and do work on the lawn, I'm just not really in a financial position to pay someone on a contract to do that for me.

Do you have any ideas of what I could do to help the lawn look great? Here are some pictures.
Thank you for any guidance you could give.
 

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The seedy grass could be KBG or Poa Annua. I hope for your sake its the first one.

If you haven't yet I would put down Scotts starter with weed preventer down. That will keep weeds from popping up but allow the new grass to grow.

The key for the new grass will be water. Getting it to survive the summer will be the hurdle. Typically a cool season lawn we'd seed in the fall. But it can be painful having bare spots all spring/summer/fall so I get it (I'm gonna have to seed some areas too)

What kind of fertilizer schedule have you been using in the past?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I fertilize four times per year. Two weeks ago was the most recent application. But this was just 30-0-4, so not very balanced.

Here is a close up of my short, seedy grass. Any ideas on how to get rid of it?

 

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chris2995 said:
Hello. I have a decent lawn but would like to improve it. We have neighbors who pay a service to come in and treat their lawn. They pay a lot of money for this service but their lawn is superior to anyone else in the neighborhood. I would like to keep up with them but not pay someone else for the service.
I feel the same way.

chris2995 said:
I am in zone 7b with a fescue lawn. North Carolina. We have a lot of red clay. I have an in ground irrigation system. Two weeks ago I applied Ortho Weed-B-Gon Chickweed, Clover & Oxalis Killer For Lawns, 1-Pt., and Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed 5000 Square Feet. This past fall we airated and put down seed and fertilizer.
How big is the lawn total? Check out this website for a quick answer >> FindLotSize

chris2995 said:
We have some bare spots that have direct sun light on a hill in the yard. Yesterday I hosed the bare spots down, raked them up and put down fescue seed. There is also some short seedy grass that you can see in the photos.
Do you know what kind/brand of fescue seed was used?
The grassy weed is most likely Poa Annua and is easiest to take care of with Pre-emergence herbicides, anything that has already taken root will be difficult to eliminate in a fescue lawn.

chris2995 said:
We have a push mower and in previous years I think we have been cutting the grass too short. Maybe around 2.5". Yesterday I mowed for the first time and moved our push mower up to the third highest setting (I could go up two more settings to leave the grass taller). It is about ~3" now.
That's definitely an improvement, Fescue will perform better at the 3" HOC.

chris2995 said:
I really wish I knew what to put on the lawn to make it look awesome. I will buy products and do work on the lawn, I'm just not really in a financial position to pay someone on a contract to do that for me.
I'm a huge fan of Milorganite, one bag is around $13 and will cover 2500 Sqft at the label rate. It will give your lawn that deep dark green color that no Scott's product can match!

chris2995 said:
Do you have any ideas of what I could do to help the lawn look great? Here are some pictures.
Thank you for any guidance you could give.
Do you have a Backpack Sprayer? I assume you have a spreader but knowing for sure is always good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Redtenchu said:
chris2995 said:
Hello. I have a decent lawn but would like to improve it. We have neighbors who pay a service to come in and treat their lawn. They pay a lot of money for this service but their lawn is superior to anyone else in the neighborhood. I would like to keep up with them but not pay someone else for the service.
I feel the same way.

chris2995 said:
I am in zone 7b with a fescue lawn. North Carolina. We have a lot of red clay. I have an in ground irrigation system. Two weeks ago I applied Ortho Weed-B-Gon Chickweed, Clover & Oxalis Killer For Lawns, 1-Pt., and Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed 5000 Square Feet. This past fall we airated and put down seed and fertilizer.
How big is the lawn total? Check out this website for a quick answer >> FindLotSize

chris2995 said:
We have some bare spots that have direct sun light on a hill in the yard. Yesterday I hosed the bare spots down, raked them up and put down fescue seed. There is also some short seedy grass that you can see in the photos.
Do you know what kind/brand of fescue seed was used?
The grassy weed is most likely Poa Annua and is easiest to take care of with Pre-emergence herbicides, anything that has already taken root will be difficult to eliminate in a fescue lawn.

chris2995 said:
We have a push mower and in previous years I think we have been cutting the grass too short. Maybe around 2.5". Yesterday I mowed for the first time and moved our push mower up to the third highest setting (I could go up two more settings to leave the grass taller). It is about ~3" now.
That's definitely an improvement, Fescue will perform better at the 3" HOC.

chris2995 said:
I really wish I knew what to put on the lawn to make it look awesome. I will buy products and do work on the lawn, I'm just not really in a financial position to pay someone on a contract to do that for me.
I'm a huge fan of Milorganite, one bag is around $13 and will cover 2500 Sqft at the label rate. It will give your lawn that deep dark green color that no Scott's product can match!

chris2995 said:
Do you have any ideas of what I could do to help the lawn look great? Here are some pictures.
Thank you for any guidance you could give.
Do you have a Backpack Sprayer? I assume you have a spreader but knowing for sure is always good.
Hi. Thank you for the reply. I have a spreader but don't have a backpack sprayer. I will look for some Milorganite. The lawn received some high nitrogen fertilizer a couple of weeks ago. My yard is about 5000 sqft.
 

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chris2995 said:
Hi. Thank you for the reply. I have a spreader but don't have a backpack sprayer. I will look for some Milorganite. The lawn received some high nitrogen fertilizer a couple of weeks ago. My yard is about 5000 sqft.
Great, can you give us a pic of the entire front lawn in one picture? I understand that for privacy issues not everyone can do this, but seeing the entire lawn can sometimes give clues about trouble areas.

How much high N fertilizer did you put down over the entire 5k of lawn?

How much water is the lawn getting, and in what intervals do you water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Redtenchu said:
chris2995 said:
Hi. Thank you for the reply. I have a spreader but don't have a backpack sprayer. I will look for some Milorganite. The lawn received some high nitrogen fertilizer a couple of weeks ago. My yard is about 5000 sqft.
Great, can you give us a pic of the entire front lawn in one picture? I understand that for privacy issues not everyone can do this, but seeing the entire lawn can sometimes give clues about trouble areas.

How much high N fertilizer did you put down over the entire 5k of lawn?

How much water is the lawn getting, and in what intervals do you water?
If you look at my original post, the second picture shows a larger view of the yard with the bare spots. I put down about 13 pounds of the high nitrogen fertilizer. We have been having a lot of rain this spring and I haven't needed to water. The next time I turn on the sprinkler, I will do the 1" test and get my zone times sorted. Then, plan on getting 1" of water per week on the lawn.
 

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chris2995 said:
If you look at my original post, the second picture shows a larger view of the yard with the bare spots. I put down about 13 pounds of the high nitrogen fertilizer. We have been having a lot of rain this spring and I haven't needed to water. The next time I turn on the sprinkler, I will do the 1" test and get my zone times sorted. Then, plan on getting 1" of water per week on the lawn.
ok, I was just hoping for a larger shot of the yard, but that isn't very important.

So if you put down the 30-0-4 @ 12lb over the 5k lawn, that would be 2.4lb of fertilizer per 1k and would equal 0.72 of N per 1k (you might check my math).

Did you mention some trouble spots? I would do the screwdriver test in those areas and make sure there isn't anything under the soil.

For now, you're the best bet is to get some quality Fescue seed for the bare spots of the lawn and switch to milorganite for the rest of this year. Starting a Pre-Emergent program after the seeds fill in will help with future weeds.

Sounds like you have a good hold on the watering, keep up the good work.
 
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