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Powhatan's 2018 Lawn Journal

27507 Views 180 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Captquin
Located in the transition zone. New home construction completed in Oct 2016 on a several acre wooded lot that includes a small private fresh water lake. It's my understanding that the local woods have never been harvested. We're sharing the woods with several wildlife animals that sometimes wonder onto the lawn.

Edit: Added application quantities, some additional comments, and pictures.

My ground soil is a mix of Remlik and Nevarc soil series. The 0" to 3" level is loamy sand, 4" and lower is loam/clay/silt/sand mix layers.

Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab results collected Apr 2017

Oct - House completed. Home builder put down fast growing annual ryegrass, looked pretty but by the following Jun it had all died off.

2017 - First year establishing new lawn

  • Hand-pulled weeds during the spring and summer: foxtail, crabgrass, sericea lespedeza, clover, dogfennel, spurge, and nutsedge.
  • In Feb plug aerated and dormant overseed turf-type tall fescue coated (Scotts Southern Gold Mix) - rainfall irrigated. I knew the contractor's annual ryegrass would die during the summer, so wanted to put something down that would hopefully establish.
  • In spring amended with dolomitic lime 40#/M and Black Kow compost, in fall amended with Pennington Fast Acting lime 6#/M
  • In spring and fall growing season put down mostly Milorganite 5-4-0 with some Scotts Turf Builder for Southern Lawns fertilizer 32-0-10 approximate 80/20 mix. My soil is loamy sand which doesn't hold nutrients well, so I felt using mostly slow release fertilizer would be better. Yearly estimate nitrogen applied: 4.21#N + 25% (recycled grass clippings) = 5.26#N/Yr
  • In Jul lawn went dormant, early Aug grass greened up with rainfall. I estimate about 60% of the Feb dormant overseed survived the summer.
  • Early fall plug aerated, amended with Black Kow compost, and overseed turf-type tall fescue & hybrid bluegrass (Southern Belle) and perennial ryegrass coated (Scotts) - hose sprinkler and rainfall irrigated. I put down the grass mix for a better chance of establishment.
  • Late fall after first frost date put down Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard 32-0-10

Sep - Overseeded for the second time of the year. Back yard coming along well considering, but the front seem to lag behind.

2018 - Second year establishing new lawn

  • Hand-pulled weeds during winter and spring: mouse-ear chickweed, spurge, marestail, bulbous buttercup, hairy bittercress, poa annua, dandelion, virginia pepperweed, dogfennel, sericea lespedeza, and deer-tongue grass
  • Early Feb amended with Pennington Fast Acting lime 7#/M
  • Mid-Feb dormant overseed KY-31 tall fescue coated (DLF Pickseed) - snow melt and rainfall irrigated. I decided to go with KY-31 because I noticed it growing well in the gravel road ditch in front of the house where the acidic soil has never been conditioned, and since it was doing that well there, I felt it surely must do very well in conditioned fertilized soil. Plus, I've read that the KY-31 is very heat & drought tolerant.
  • Late Feb put down Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for new grass with Weed Preventer (mesotrione) 21-22-4 & Milorganite 5-4-0 approximate 80/20 mix, then month and half later put down another round of the same 80/20 mix.

  • Early May put down GrubEx and Bayer Advanced Complete Insect (ticks) Killer
  • Mid May rained for a week and seasonal heat & humidity levels rising, suspected fungal presence so put down Scotts DiseaseEx at the preventative+ rate 2.3#/M.
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Looks great. You guys gave gotten a lot of rain this past month, right?
Green said:
Looks great. You guys gave gotten a lot of rain this past month, right?
Thanks @Green

We've received a decent amount of rain almost weekly with the typical chance of summer thundershowers. Been lucky so far, no high pressure heat dome sitting over us for weeks at a time, but the 10 day forecast for early July shows hardly no rain which is typical.
Hand-pulled some dogfennel, sericea lespedeza, and nutsedge weeds.

About a week ago, I noticed moss/algae patches on the rise so I bought Scotts Moss Control granules to apply the next time rain was forecasted so I could spread it down ... well, it's been hot with no rain and the moss started dying back, so moss control application is put on hold.

Most of the lawn grass blades have grown above last Sunday's HOC 3.5" mow, but with the current summer stress, I'll just let the grass be. It's not like it's growing spring fast.

I spot checked the lawn to see how it's doing since it's been in the 90s with no rain this past week. With the surrounding trees, the lawn generally receives part sun/shade throughout the day, the front receives the brunt of the evening full sun.
A local Weather Underground reporting station recorded a 101.2F high temperature yesterday - yikes, and with the humidity it was hot, hot, hot. Weather forecast for later this week now shows rain, good time to give the yard a cut.
Mulch mowed this afternoon HOC 3.5", just a few degrees cooler than yesterday.
Some more comparison photos 2017/2018.

This is the front yard where it receives the bulk of the direct late afternoon and early evening summer sun. The soil here is a lot sandier than the rest of the lawn, consequently this area is taking longer to build up organic matter and establish grass, but it's slowly getting better.

Kinda neat seeing how a lawn section appears though out the year.

Aug 2017

Nov 2017

Jan 2018

Feb 2018

May 2018

July 2018
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Powhatan said:
2018 - Just because :gum:
I hear that. Is it me or does that grass have a blue tint?
social port said:
Powhatan said:
2018 - Just because :gum:
I hear that. Is it me or does that grass have a blue tint?
Must be the way the grass is laying and how the iPhone camera interprets the received color. It looks like emerald green and has that cool vibe to me. Maybe one day, the whole lawn will look like that. Here's the pic properties.

Edit: @social port I think the camera is picking up more of the hybrid bluegrass' color.
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Powhatan said:
I think the camera is picking up more of the hybrid bluegrass' color.
That is what I suspected.
I've been told that I'm partially colorblind, but I knew that I saw something distinctive in the color of that grass. It looks great.
Summer stress is more apparent now, past two weeks in the 90s with no rain.
That January 2018 picture should be banished!
pennstater2005 said:
That January 2018 picture should be banished!
be replaced with something more soothing :airquote:

for @pennstater2005 - Outer Banks North Carolina

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Powhatan said:
pennstater2005 said:
That January 2018 picture should be banished!
be replaced with something more soothing :airquote:

- Outer Banks North Carolina

Ahhhh.......thank you @Powhatan....much better :nod:
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Hand-pulled some deer-tongue grass, smooth crabgrass, dogfennel, sericea lespedeza, and nutsedge weeds and fed those to the compost tumbler along with some cut up brown paper grocery bags, coffee grounds, and fallen green tree leaves. It's been two months since I started using the composter and the brown earthy finished compost is beginning to appear.

Our area received 0.09" precipitation from the isolated thunder showers that passed over yesterday.
Weather forecast for next week has winds shifting to S/SW which means higher day & night temperatures with increased humidity along with higher % chance of daily thunderstorms - i.e. lawn fungal pressure increase. The current fungal infection noticed is very minimal, so like to keep it that way. Bad enough having summer stress.

Probably this weekend after a HOC 3.5" mow, I'll put down another preventative round of Scotts DiseaseEx granules (azoxystrobin) along with EcoLogic Lawn & Yard Insect Killer (ticks) granules. Ticks love higher humidity.

My new storage shed is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. I'll be moving the lawn implements from the garage to the shed, the wife will be happy about the extra room space returning to the garage.
Summer dormancy is kicking in high gear - mostly TTTF turning brown or curling, the HBG is starting to curl, and the KY-31 is staying happy green.
Fashioned a brick/gravel ramp for the new shed. Materials: 16 @ $1.59 each concrete cap blocks from Lowe's, 4 repurposed large fire bricks, and repurposed existing driveway gravel - total $25.44 :beer:

Edit: Forgot to leave clearance for bottom door frame to close. Had to remove top layer of bricks and some gravel. :dumb:
Hand-pulled some dogfennel, sericea lespedeza, smooth crabgrass, and nutsedge weeds. Mulch mowed green non-summer dormant areas at HOC 3.5". Put down 40 lbs of granular EcoLogic Lawn & Yard Insect Killer (ticks) @ 4#/M.
@Powhatan is this your first year using the ecologic products? I've been pretty impressed with the response I got with their weed and grass killer.
@social port, yep it's the first year use. So far I'm liking them, got a nice smell and they work for I need them to do. We're trying our best to not put down any carcinogenic product.
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