This is my lawn journal for the 2018 season. It is really a continuation of my fall 2017 reseed thread-my lawn is just at a different place now. For anyone interested in the full background, you can check my old thread here https://thelawnforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=999
I had a relatively successful reno (85% of 20k) in the fall with TTTF. Most of my new grass did not grow enough (sub three inches) to mow before winter came.
I did not have my first cut of the entire lawn until February. About a week and a half before I mowed, I put down starter fertilizer with mesotrione because I was afraid of harming young grass with a traditional pre-emergent.
Here are the main themes and goals for this season:
I already have some weeds-broadleaf mainly. I'm not too worried about them right now. I may use a post-emergent later this spring.
I have an ugly mix of grass close to my house. I made, what is in hindsight, a mistake when I did my reno: I left some of the old, healthy grass that was near the exterior of my house. Now that the old grass is growing beside the grass I used for my reno, it looks yellow-ish and wild. I haven't decided whether to kill this grass this fall or to simply seed it for several years with the hope of creating a more uniform stand.
I've also noticed some yellow patches of grass here and there throughout the lawn. It grows at a different rate than my TTTF. I'm not sure if the patches are plants that I didn't kill during the reno or if it is a grassy weed.
The fence is coming
I hear the fiery footsteps of Beelzebub coming up behind me. SWMBO wants a fence in the backyard. It's a privacy issue, and I completely understand. But it takes away the visibility of my grass from the street, and it detracts from the thrill of running long passes on a zero turn across my backyard. It also creates new challenges with watering, access to sunlight, etc.
A patio in the backyard in on the horizon as well. Between the patio and the fence, my backyard is going to get mangled. More seed this fall, for sure.
I'm trying to align the fence installation with my window for the pre-emergent. I've got things arranged so that just as the coverage for the mesotrione is ending, the fence will be installed. Once the fence is installed, I'm putting down some dimension.
The Bermuda saga
Some of you may remember that my weed garden last year was also a hangout for Bermuda. I spent most of the year trying to get rid of it. I haven't seen any this year, but I am keeping a close eye of things. If nothing else is accomplished this year, the Bermuda shall not return. If I see it, I will probably return to Ornamec. If necessary, I'll use glyphosate. I'll sacrifice any and all fescue for Bermuda eradication.
My soil never received the full nutrition package it needed last year. I've been trying to address phosphorous deficiencies via starter fertilizer, but other nutrients have not been added. My original plan was to NOT add anything to the soil this spring in order to avoid feeding any Bermuda that might still be lurking in the ground. Then, during fall, I would make as many amendments as I could.
Now I am thinking that this strategy may be too extreme. Perhaps I should make applications now, and then get a soil test in July to see how I am doing.
KMag (3 applications, with each application = a third of the label rate)
Two applications of 2.5 tablespoons of Borax per k (mixed with a very light dose of Milo)
I want to do some organic feedings with alfalfa pellets or cracked corn, but I am worried about attracting animals. Can anyone advise here? Am I being ridiculous?
There are spots in my yard where grass is simply not growing. I reseeded these areas at least twice. I need to figure out what is going on…perhaps another screwdriver test. Perhaps these are areas where water pools during rainfall. At a minimum I want to diagnose the issue. I've considered transplanting grass to these (relatively small) areas, but I would like to first know what is keeping grass from germinating and/or living in these areas.
Differences in growth rate across the lawn
My reno was ultimately successful. What I have noticed, however, is that I am getting very different rates of grass growth in different areas. These differences cannot be linked to access to sunlight, as far as I can tell. I suspect that this is a nutrition issue, but I am hard-pressed to explain why or to think of alternative explanations for differential grass growth.
I have two areas near my house that collect drainage from an air conditioner. No grass is going to survive in these areas. The ground turns into a black, soggy mess. I hope to address this issue this year, but I am still thinking through solutions. I've been reading this thread as well https://thelawnforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1547
My lawn is not smooth. There are bumps, more bumps, and even some bumps after that. It is pretty bad. I would really like to smooth things over, but I am still not sure about the right solution. I'm definitely a 'drag a pallet from a tractor' kind of guy, but the kind of material I should use for leveling, as well as the cost, is something I need to research more.
Border around the house
I would eventually like to install some kind of border that spans the full perimeter of my house. I'm thinking about using stones. It is something that I need to research, and I am not sure that I will get this project accomplished this year. From my first glance, it looks like the materials will be very costly.
Pictures? I know. I like them too. In good time…in good time. I'm trying to up my game a bit by taking notes from Pete1313. I want to take pictures of the same areas and from the same angles so that I can better document change over time.
Is my plate full? Maybe. But it's not a reno either.