which Marathon/dandelion questions

Need2SeeGreen(10 (SoCal))March 21, 2013


I am completely new at lawns.

Is there a way to tell which kind of Marathon grass you have? My friend's gardener told her that's what she has, but I was looking around here, and there seem to be several kinds of Marathon. And, does it matter? She lives in Orange County.

I am trying to help with a dandelion problem, which I never noticed until this year. I've been trying to pull them when I get a chance, and meanwhile, we try to pick the flowers.

Should we spray? How many dandelions do you have to have, to make that be the right choice? I am worried about whether we already reached a tipping point. Most likely, I guess we will spray.

She already knows she needs to water less often and feed the lawn, too. Would that be likely to take care of the dandelions? (There's some clover too.)

Also, I had an idea of growing a flat of grass and putting in little plugs where I dig out the dandelions, but, problem is, it's hard to get all of the root even though I try. Would a dandelion root be able to beat up a plug of grass?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Marathon comes in three varieties: Dwarf, dwarfier, and dwarfiest. I don't know of an easy way to tell one from another. You might ask the neighbors. It might come down to when it was installed.

How often does she water? I'm 99% sure she waters daily because someone in SoCal has convinced even intelligent home owners that daily watering is the only way to go. In Orange County, west of the coastal mountains, you should be watering about once per month this time of year. In fact if you are getting rains now, then you don't need to water at all.

You can spot spray dandelions and clover with a product like Weed-B-Gone. It is a foliar spray, not a soil drench. The main ingredient is a growth hormone that overstimulates the plant until it dies by using up all its reserve nutrients. It has no effect on grass.

The best way to keep weeds out is to improve the density of the turf. Marathon only improves with more seed. But wait! Now is a horrible time to put out more seed. I would suggest nursing your way through this season and seeding in the fall. And I would further suggest that you steer away from Marathon and put in some Kentucky bluegrass. You are in one of the few areas of SoCal where you can get away with KBG. Here is a KBG lawn in northern Orange County.

He hardly does anything to it except water every other week and apply used Starbucks coffee grounds when he gets enough. He hasn't used chemical fertilizer or herbicide in years. The owner is definitely not a lawn guy. This is his first lawn. All he does is what I told him about 10 years ago. The neighbors think he's a lawn genius.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 5:17PM
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Need2SeeGreen(10 (SoCal))

Wow, that is a stunning lawn!!! Thanks so much for your suggestions!! We will continue our battle with the dandelions.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:16PM
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