Sprayed Roundup Now What

bighead262March 26, 2011

So I bought a house almost two years ago and the lawn has always been a major concern that I wanted to fix. The front lawn always had a pretty crappy grade, grubs have always been a issue, crabgrass everywhere, ivy present in lots of areas and so on. Three weeks ago I decided to spray roundup everythwhere and now I dont know what to do. I live in MD just south of Baltimore and the lawn is currently brown. Should i just go with sod at this point or is their an easier way. I dont really know what the next step should be at this point so any help is appreciated.

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Sod is by far the best thing you can do at this point. Seed would give you a yard full of crabgrass again.

If Kentucky bluegrass is an option, check into that. For a good KBG lawn you must have a lot of sunlight. If you have a mix of sun and shade, then you would need a mix of KBG and fescue. If you have mostly shade, then fescue.

Chances are the problems you had were from improper watering and mowing. There might have been more to it.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 2:54AM
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neemoil

i suggest you to read this article because it helps you to derive an idea about the treatment of lawn grubs. Neem oil treatment for lawn grub worms

Very informative article..

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:56AM
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bighead262

The lawn is a bit shady in the morning due to the way the sun rises over the house but it is primarily sunny throughout the day after about 10am. The only tree in the whole yard is a crepe myrtle that only shades a very tiny portion of the yard. I have noticed that the grass under this tree never took as well as the rest of the yard, althoug the weeds still seem to do just fine.

If i were to sod what would be the best way to go about doing that? Should i rent a sod cutter to remove the old layer of dead thatch that I have now?

I definately mowed the lawn too short myself last year but the little old lady we bought the house from didnt take care of the lawn in any way before us. Everything everywhere ran rampant and untouched. She lived in the house for the last 50 years or so and her husband passed in the early 90s, so i assume the lawn was pretty wild for almost 20 years.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 9:59AM
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tiemco

If you are going to lay sod then it would be in your best interest to get a soil test done now. When you lay sod you are putting living grass that is used to good, fertile soil on top of whatever you have. If the soil beneath is very poor, then the sod will not thrive and can possibly die out as its roots grow into it. A soil test will tell you what you need to add to the soil before you lay the sod. I think a sod cutter isn't necessary since the grass is all dead, you don't need too remove it. Ideally you want to loosen the top 4-6 inches of soil, then roll it with a water filled roller. A box blade is the best way to do this correctly. If you can't afford it, or it's not feasible, then using a power rake on it's lowest setting followed by a manual raking (to remove all the stones and thatch while evening everthing out) will loosen it up without causing the lumpiness you get with tilling.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 1:02PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I agree with tiemco.

Here are the basics of lawn care. Even if all you have is weeds, following these rules will give you a decent looking lawn.

  1. Water deeply and infrequently. Deeply means at least an hour in every zone, all at once. Infrequently means monthly during the cool months and no more than weekly during the hottest part of summer. If your grass looks dry before the month/week is up, water longer next time. Deep watering grows deep, drought resistant roots. Infrequent watering allows the top layer of soil to dry completely which kills off many shallow rooted weeds.

  1. Mulch mow at the highest setting on your mower. Most grasses are the most dense when mowed tall. Bermuda, centipede, and bent grasses are the most dense when mowed at the lowest setting on your mower. Dense grass shades out weeds and uses less water when tall. Dense grass feeds the deep roots you're developing in 1 above.
  1. Fertilize regularly. I fertilize 4 times per year using organic fertilizer. Which fertilizer you use is much less important than numbers 1 and 2 above.
    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 5:46PM
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bighead262

The box blade is really not feasable in the yard. I looked into this first after reading about it in the forums before I poseted. Did a little research but the yard just isnt that big and too many obstacles are the main reasons I went agaist this. Will power raking and rolling give me a depth that will be acceptable for the new sod? I dont want the new sod to lay above the sidewalk, so will I have to remove dirt this way as well? I have already collected my soil sample and will be taking it in tomorrow for analysis. There just so happens to be a testing site in the are that I am working in so hopefully results will be in by maybe wednesday or thursday.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 10:11PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Yes use the power rake to loosen the soil at the very surface only. It rakes down into the soil. When you are finished with a pass, sweep the loose soil away and evaluate whether to make another pass and how deep. What you want is a perfectly level surface and no loosening of the soil under that. The rototiller is the worst tool for preparing soil for a lawn. It always leaves the soil bumpy after it all settles (3 years later). Leave the underlying soil structure alone and only work at the surface. That is what the box blade and power rake do.

You also do not want water puddling inside a concrete surround. That will give you a swamp and the associated swamp grasses like nutgrass. The soil surface should be right about at the level of the concrete. Then with sod it will raise up nearly an inch. That allows for drainage out of the concrete container.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 9:24AM
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johngood5(7)

"Sod is by far the best thing you can do at this point. Seed would give you a yard full of crabgrass again."

Could you please explain why in more detail?
What about hydroseeding?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 5:32PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

This is the season for crabgrass seed to sprout. Crabgrass seed needs sunlight and daily watering to germinate. So does grass seed. If you give the crabgrass the same treatment as you give grass seed, then you will get crabgrass and grass at the same time. Crabgrass is just enough of a faster grower to take over. It is a sod forming grass that spreads quickly wherever there is bare soil.

When you cover the bare soil with sod, then the crabgrass cannot get the sunlight it needs to get a good foothold.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 11:58PM
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tiemco

If you apply Tupersan at the time of seeding in spring, and every 4-6 weeks there after you will prevent most crabgrass germination. Tupersan is expensive however, and it isn't a broad spectrum preemergent. It only prevents a few weed seeds from germinating (crabgrass is the real significant one), so you will probably have other weeds invading. Unless your soil is sterilized, you are going to get weeds with a spring seeding. With sod, as Dhall said, the weeds can't make it through the sod layer in general, it's like a blanket over the soil. You might get a few that manage to poke through, but those can be handled easily, and will be the exception rather than the rule. Hydroseeding won't prevent crabgrass (unless you use Tupersan) as you are applying seed and a thin layer of mulch via hose. Hydroseeding is just a quick way to seed a lawn, it isn't much different than what you would do yourself. You will still get weeds other than crabgrass with Tupersan on a hydroseeded lawn.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 11:07AM
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bighead262

So I havent made it to get the soil test done yet as other things have come up at work but I am definately dropping the sample off tomorrow because I will have to be in the area this time. Once I get the results from that I am going to treat ground as necessary... I looked and it says Maryland has over 750 different compositions of soil! Absolutely insane!

I am reading correct however though that if I power rake that this will be a sufficient depth to plant sod? Most of the sod places I talk to say I should grade and inch to a inch and a half below concrete due to the thickness of the sod. I just want to make sure I get this right the first time. Just want to get the sod then spend hours here figuring out how to keep it beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 4:53PM
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johngood5(7)

Where do you get a soil test done in Maryland and how long does it take? I would like to do this. Using google to answer these questions only provided confusing answers.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 6:27PM
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tiemco

There are several avenues for testing soil. Most major state universities offer soil testing. Some are better than others. I have used Umass (it is a very good one for 15 bucks). You can use a private soil lab. Logan Labs in Ohio has a great soil test for 20 bucks. Your local extension office might offer soil testing, but I probably wouldn't go there. The Univ. of Maryland doesn't offer soil testing anymore, so you might as well just send it to Umass. http://www.umass.edu/soiltest/pdf/soilbrochure2011.pdf
You want the basic soil test with organic matter. It takes about a week to get results.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 9:04PM
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bighead262

Its called Agro Labs in Milford DE. I just happen to have to work in that area. That was the closest place I found listed to MD though .

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 9:17PM
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bighead262

So I received my soil test results back today. The pH has a level of 6.3 which seems to be good. Most of the majors were in the sufficient range with only potassium being in the deficient range. The results call for 2.5 and 3.5 lbs per 1000 square feet of nitrogen and Potassium respectively. I have been doing some research and all the equations to calculate seem quite ridiculous. I so far seem to have found that I will need 6 lbs of nitrogen and 8.4 lbs of potassium if I did my math right. Should I go with an all in one or buy single bags of each. Again all the numbers and equations confuse me a bit as math was never my strong subject.

Again I will be planting sod so I guess I need to get on this soon? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am going to try and power rake this weekend if the weather is right.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 11:00PM
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tiemco

I am not a soil guru, but I will tell you what I do know. The nitrogen is somewhat of a throw away number, so you don't have to worry too much about that. You fertilize a few (3-4) times a year, and for KBG you general supply 4-6 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per year. When you get a bag of fertilizer is has three numbers on it, let's say 30-5-10. The first number is the percent nitrogen available. So if the bag is twenty pounds, then thirty percent of the bag is nitrogen, so 6 pounds. The second number is the percent P or phosphorus, the third number is the percent K or potassium. Your pH is in range, but a maintenance application of lime wouldn't be a terrible idea, but you need to use the correct lime. The correct lime depends on your calcium and magnesium ratios. If your OM is low, you can start to fix that too. Did your soil test have any of these values: CEC, Base saturations, OM % (organic matter), Fe (iron), Mg (magnesium), Ca (calcium), Cu (copper), Mn (manganese), S (sulfer)? Let us know if you have these values.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 12:34AM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

>"Did your soil test have any of these values: CEC, Base saturations, OM % (organic matter), Fe (iron), Mg (magnesium), Ca (calcium), Cu (copper), Mn (manganese), S (sulfer)? Let us know if you have these values."

Double sawbuck says - NO.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 12:14AM
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tiemco

Not so fast gary, it's offered, but you have to pay a little extra. The basic test at 10 bucks isn't too bad either. Check it out.

http://www.agrolab.us/index.cfm?ref=10400

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:01AM
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bighead262

It did have all of those values if I am not mistaken. I will post follow up information this evening as the paper is out in the truck and we have been power raking and prepping the lawn all day until the rain really started to come down. In the meantime I ventured over the the farmers coop and the gentleman there was very knowledgable and helpful. He suggested lime as well as the other fertilizers of which I cannot remember a name. A good friend and I went at the lawn all day and aside for some edging along side sidewalks and driveways is pretty much done. Agrolabs had my info back to me via email the very next day in pdf form. Very polite staff

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 5:56PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

>"Not so fast gary, it's offered, but you have to pay a little extra. The basic test at 10 bucks isn't too bad either. Check it out.
http://www.agrolab.us/index.cfm?ref=10400"

WOW! You're right, that is a nice one - VERY nice.
Crow on my table for dinner tonight - I'll shut up now :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 9:08PM
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