Lawn Maintenance Program

GA_BubMay 28, 2011

Howdy,

I've got a Bermuda lawn in Atlanta, Ga and I'm in the process of developing a DIY fertilizer/herbicide program. I've found this site very useful, so I thought I'd post it here and see if anyone had any feedback (positive or negative). I've tried to base the program on a lot of the posts that I've found here as well as some other websites. Thanks in advance!

-Bub

Maintenance Schedule

1. Soil Test on January 15th

2. Apply Pre-Emergent (Dimension, Pre-M??) as per packaging on Feb. 15 (or when the bradform pear, dogwood, or forsythia begin to bloom)

3. Scalp the grass & bag clippings on March 15th or right at the first green-up

4. Apply lime (as per soil test or 40lb/1000sqft) on April 1st

5. Apply 4-1-2 or 3-1-2 (or as per Soil Test) at rate of 1lb N/1000sqft. on April 15th

6. Apply IMAGE Kills Nutsedge as per packaging on May 1st

7. Apply 39-0-0 slow release urea at a rate of 1lb N/1000sqft. on May 15th

8. Apply 39-0-0 slow release urea at a rate of 1lb N/1000sqft. on June 15th

9. Apply 39-0-0 slow release urea at a rate of 1lb N/1000sqft. on July 15th

  1. Apply 4-1-2 or 3-1-2 at a rate of 1lb N/1000sqft. on September 1st

  2. Apply Pre-Emergent (Dimension, Pre-M??) as per packaging on October 1st

As needed

1. Spot treat with selective herbicide as needed

2. Aerate entire yard every other year in early May

3. Apply fungicide to entire yard as needed

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nearandwest(7)

Would you consider an organic approach to lawn maintenance?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 9:04PM
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GA_Bub

I'm open to organic. I'm very new at this. I've only had a yard for 3 years or so and I'm just figuring things out...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 9:12PM
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tiemco

Looks like you have Bermuda. If this is true then you need to read the "Bermuda Bible". A member of this forum named Texasweed wrote it a while back, just google it, you'll find it. Going all organic might be tricky with Bermuda, as it needs lots of nitrogen in the summer, hopefully someone will have information on if this is possible. Looks like you applied dolomitic lime (40 lbs. per 1000). Most soil tests tell you to apply lime at that rate for acidic soil, but unfortunately many people should be using calcitc lime. Your soil test should have calcium and magnesium levels, you can use these to determine which lime you need.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:10PM
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GA_Bub

Thanks for the feedback tiemco.

I have reviewed the Bermuda bible and tried to use it in developing this program. I have used Dolomitic lime in the past (that's just what my local Ace had). But I haven't ever used this program. I'm just trying to get a plan together on what to do going forward.

My soil test from this year indicated that both the Calcium and Magnesium levels were good. My main issues were a low pH (5.5) and low Potassium (index of 100lbs/acre) which I attempted to correct with lime and fert applications in April.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 11:42PM
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nearandwest(7)

Do you have any trees in your yard that are creating shade issues?

Do you know what type of bermuda is currently in your lawn?

Do you have automatic irrigation, or is it a hose and sprinkler?

What is your current mowing height?

Are you planning on overseeding in the fall?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:37AM
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tiemco

OK, let me explain the two different types of lime and why you use one or the other. There is dolomitic and calcitic. Dolomitic contains mostly magnesium carbonate, calcitic contains mostly calcium carbonate. They both raise soil pH, but the ratio of calcium to magnesium in your soil is important. Your levels can both be in the good range, but if the ratio is off, then your soil consistency won't be ideal. Too much magnesium, and your soil will be tight, too much calcium, and it will lack structure. The ratio of calcium to magnesium you want to shoot for is about 10:1. Don't just use whatever you can find, use the proper lime. If you have a Lesco nearby, then you might want to try their Cal-Turf Pro, or their Mag-Turf Pro, depending on what you need. It dissolves much faster and its effects are much quicker than ordinary lime. What were your Ca and Mg levels from your soil test?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:57AM
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GA_Bub

All of this help is terrific! Thanks everyone! Let me see if I can answer all of the questions...

What were your Ca and Mg levels from your soil test?
1141 lbs/Acre of Ca to 151 lbs/Acre of Magnesium - so about a ration of 7.5:1. I did find my local Lesco store here yesterday. So I plan on mostly picking up stuff from there from now on. Looks like I may should try the Cal-Turf Pro for lime the next time around.

Do you have any trees in your yard that are creating shade issues?
No trees or shade issues. My front yard is free of trees and gets full sun. My backyard is shady, but I just sodded it with Meyer Zoysia. (I haven't begun to figure out what sort of fert program to use back there yet. I'm just working on the front yard mostly right now until I can get the sod established in the back.)

Do you know what type of bermuda is currently in your lawn?
I have no idea. My house is 63 years old. According to one of my neighbors, the bermuda was put in around 15-20+ years ago. So it's definitely not one of the newer hybrids. I've been basically assuming its common bermuda, but I have no basis for making that assumption.

Do you have automatic irrigation, or is it a hose and sprinkler?
I have no irrigation. I throw out a hose and a sprinkler when I need to water in fertilizer, but mostly I rely on the rain.

What is your current mowing height?
I've been trying to mow at about 2".

Are you planning on overseeding in the fall?
No, I hadn't planned on it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:13AM
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nearandwest(7)

Do you know the square footage area of your bermuda lawn?

What is the square footage area of your Meyer zoysia?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:58AM
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GA_Bub

The Bermuda lawn is about 2100sqft.
The Meyer zoysia is 1500sqft.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 11:05AM
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tiemco

Yes, a dose (high rate on bag) of Cal-Turf Pro in the fall would be recommended. Retest your soil every late winter or early spring to monitor pH and more importantly, your base saturations.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:21PM
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nearandwest(7)

Any chance that you could post some pictures of your front and back yard? I know your inquiry is for your bermuda lawn in front, but I would like to see the Meyer zoysia in the back also.

I hope you have been thoroughly watering the zoysia daily since it was put down. And you do realize that the fertility and maintenance requirements are very different for bermuda vs. zoysia.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:26PM
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GA_Bub

Let's see if I can figure out how to post pictures here...
The zoysia was sodded 5 weeks ago. I started out watering 4 days per week and am currently in the process of trying to decrease the frequency down to once per week (I'm currently at 3 days per week and plan to just do 2 days next week.) As far as fertilizing the Zoysia, my current plan was to roughly follow the same pattern as the Bermuda, except do only one round of 39-0-0 nitrogen instead of 3 and watch a little closer for thatch. Any thoughts on whether its safe to use a selective herbicide for weeds on the newly sodded meyer zoysia?

Seems I can't get the pictures to embed. The link below should work though...

Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lawn Pics

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 5:55PM
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nearandwest(7)

NO! Do not use any herbicide on your newly sodded zoysia this year. Attempt to remove those weeds by hand, being careful to also remove the root systems of the weeds as well.

I would advise you to stay away from 39-0-0 on new zoysia, and instead use a 4-1-2 ratio fertilizer.

That bermuda in the front yard looks good. Nice work. Hopefully Texas-Weed will read the information in this thread and post a response.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 12:44PM
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shailu

I have meyer zoysia in my front yard near Charlotte, NC. As had read that too many people had issues of thatching, I fertilize it organically, once a year only. Except for some fine clover like weed, here and there, rest it has been able to choke out over a period of time.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:38PM
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gLaMcamiLLe

If you would rather hire someone to take care of your lawn than do it yourself, you might require a payday loan to help get started. Every season has something new that has to be done in the lawn. Now that it is fall, you are likely to need someone who can rake the lawn and mow it down until it gets really cold.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:11AM
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grass1950

I've read the boards for yesrs, but THAT takes the cake.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:19AM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

GA_Bub wrote:
> Any thoughts on whether its safe to use a selective herbicide for weeds on the newly sodded meyer zoysia?

Hi, zoysia is a pleasure to have, isn't it. I'd be very careful with 2,4-D on your zoysia.

Using the selective herbicide 2,4-D can damage zoysia. From the Scotts Lawns book:

"Be aware that the broadleaf weed control 2,4-D can damage zoysiagrass if applied while the lawn is emerging from dormancy and greening up. Avoid applying any products containing 2,4-D, including weed-and-feeds at that time."

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:09PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Yes, spam comes in many forms.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:04PM
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