How much can I do all at once?

Mach57August 22, 2014

Hey all,

I have the following tasks I want to do over the coming few weeks. This is in a TTTF lawn, where some of it is great from rehabbing last year, but a lot of it washed out and left room for a ton of weeds and bumpiness.

I was thinking of doing all the below in one shot, in this order...

1. Pull dead grass/weeds
2. Grub control - Nematodes and Milky Spore
3. Level - ~50/50 Sand/Loam mix
4. Overseed w/ TTTF (pretty much newly seed in the bad areas)
5. Fertilize (Ringer's Lawn Restore II)
6. Top dress with a thin (1/4) compost layer

Can I do all of this at once, or am I doing too much? I core aerated last year and drainage seems good still, and I'd rather not have to pay to rent the machine and a truck again, if I can help it. (if you think it's a must, I'd do that before step 2).

The bad side of the front yard for reference... the weeds I could pull easily got pulled by hand, the rest is currently dying from 2,4 d so it'll be easier to pull in a week or so.

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danielj_2009

I don't know about the rest, but I do know you are about to get a slap on the wrist for core aerating your lawn. :o)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:28AM
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Mach57

Is core aerating out of fashion now? Advice from here last year was what prompted me to do it. The soil was very hard packed when I moved in, and the aeration certainly seemed to help alleviate that.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:36AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

What's done is done. If you were planning to aerate this year we might have tried to talk you out of it in favor of using shampoo. Core aerating will never be out of favor as long as lawn care professionals can make an extra $250 for providing the service. Spraying the lawn with about 50 cents worth of shampoo, two times, seems to work much better. Search this forum for "shampoo."

I would argue that the act of you taking better care of the lawn contributed more to your soil's health than the aeration. Again, what's done is done, so glad everything is working...sort of.

Are you sure you have grubs? Milky spore is a long term treatment for them. Nematodes works practically overnight. You can save some money on step 2. Otherwise it looks like a plan to me.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Mach57

Front yard isn't so bad for grubs, but back yard has some areas where the grass pulls up very easily. I haven't (yet) gone digging to count grubs, but I've definitely found some just in pulling weeds. I also have a ton of beetles around (japanese and otherwise), so even if not for the health of the lawn, I'd like to keep the other beetles down. My neighbors have said they've had some beetle problems as well. I found this guy on my fence not to long ago... biggest I've ever seen in NE, was at least 1.25" long!

I will do a more formal count before spending money on nematodes, although I think I'll put milky spore down either way.
I also seem to have a bit of a pill bug infestation outside, but from what I've read it's not really a problem?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:37PM
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bvaughn4

As I understand it, your grubs are turning into Japanese Beetles. About this time(Aug) they, Japanese Beetles, are starting to burrow back into the soil to lay eggs which will turn into the grubs which will feast on your sods roots until they mature and repeat!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:38PM
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morpheuspa

>>I will do a more formal count before spending money on nematodes, although I think I'll put milky spore down either way.

Milky spore is a good preventative. In this area, Japanese beetles weren't a major problem this year, and even my cannas and dahlia escaped without much visible damage.

The spores last for years, so what you do now will protect you for quite a while.

>>I also seem to have a bit of a pill bug infestation outside, but from what I've read it's not really a problem?

Not a problem. Pill bugs are little land-going crustaceans that eat dead matter and return it to the soil. They won't do any harm to your lawn at all, and actually help to return resources to the soil. Although my lawn and gardens are full of them, I ignore them as part of the "helpful critters" army that assists in keeping my soil in good balance.

Most beetles are on that list as well. Their lives are spent consuming dead material or waste products and breaking them down for return to your soil. They're not only harmless, they're critically important as a clean up crew and it's best to encourage them in your gardens and lawn.

Japanese beetles are the exception, they're an invasive species, they eat plants, and they serve no particular useful purpose that isn't better handled by another species. Destroy at will, I do.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:07PM
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