Grass does a pretty good job of choking weeds out by itself. A little broadleaf killer , ie 2-4d or round up, does wonders on spot treatments of weeds. Just make sure you don't mix it too strong or the grass gets killed as well.
I see a couple of solutions, both labor intensive, one a bit more expensive.
If you remove the weeds piece by piece by digging them out, or just remove full swaths of the lawn in 12 to 24" wide strips and then till up the exposed soil, "level" it out, top dress with sand and then a mix of composted bark mulch and soil less growing media (ie:HP Mix), and seed that now in the fall for grass in the spring. Come springtime, dethatch and aerate the remainder of the lawn and topdress with sand...continue to maintain by pulling weeds when they sprout up. Eventually the grass will choke them out of it is healthy enough.
The other option is to tear up all of the existing turf, till the ground and grade it, mix the same composted bark mulch into the top few inches of soil to prep the root zone, top dress that with a one inch layer of composted bark mulch, roll it, and turf it using turf from a nearby reputable turf farm.
It looks like you are in Hardiness Zone 8 (by Canadian Standards) so you still have about 8 weeks to do this. What is the exposure like in your yard there? How often would you like to do basic maintenance like mowing? Is it full sun/part shade/etc.?
My opinion is to either spray it and till it or, just tear it all out and till it. Then check your soil Ph. Put down some starter fertilizer with some seed (KBG or Fescue blend) and wah-lah! Just make sure to keep up with your fertilizer and herbicide treatments throughout the year and aerate in the Fall. :thumbsup:
I'm not familiar with composted bark mulch, is that a Canadian thing? The soil place nearby sells Lawn Top Dressing Mix for $35 a yard, I assume that's close to what you are talking about.
I'm liking the idea of grass turf. Seems like you get a flatter lawn as opposed to planting seed if it's prepared correctly, meaning rototilled, raked, and rolled before laying it down. Also with seeds it would be hard to keep their kids from trampling over it while it's growing. The turf looks pretty easy to do, thought I might try it since I've only ever planted grass with seed.
I'm thinking part of the weed problem is because there are weeds all around the lawn that spread. If there's weeds around the lawn, the wind will blow the seeds from the weeds onto the lawn creating weeds in the lawn wouldn't it? Probably everywhere around the lawn needs Casoron and two inches of bark to keep weeds from coming up around it and then spreading to the lawn.
If those are clovers then even high nitrogen (grass) fertilizer may help. Clovers are Legumes, and they live in a somewhat symbiotic relationship with grass because they add nitrogen to the soil and the grass uses it. When you add a lot of nitrogen, they die out and the grass thrives. Weed and feed will do this as well as kill other broadleaf plants.
Yes, I think composted bark mulch may just be a local or regional thing around here. We call it ICS, and it is produced locally. Essentially it is just bark mulch that has been composted and the finished product has a fine soil like texture. Just a preference for me, and not a necessity. Top dress mix from your local nursery should be sufficient, and they can provide you with more help with your project.
Once you put turf down you'll wonder why you ever did it any other way. With turf though, foot traffic will still have to be zero until the roots establish. Being late in the season, that may be upwards of three weeks. Mulching all of the surrounding areas where there are planting beds is a great idea. If you do go with turf, just be sure to pick or cut any weeds out of your product as you install it.
Those broadleaf weeds in the pics are a pain in the ass, as they grow similar to something like a clump or bunch grass...they have a wide shallow crown, and the off shoots begin to root as well.
The lawn turf company told me to use 3-Way Mix for prep, which is a lot cheaper than Lawn Top Dressing Mix. They said the Lawn Top Dressing is more of a mulch than dirt, I don't know what difference it would make. I think I would get rid of the old grass with Round Up and then a sod cutter. And it does get lots of sun which I think is more favorable for turf instead of seeds.
By the way, how do they build golf courses? Do they use seeds or lawn turf?
I hired a good company to take care of all the fertilizing and pesticide control of my lawn. I was spending a lot of money and time doing it
Best thing I ever did was hire this company. The cost is pretty much equal. With my time and materials I was spending it's only a few more bucks to have lawn company take care of it. No more headaches.
Golf courses will use a mix of both to very exacting standards. Your fairways may be rolled turf, and the greens may be plugs or seed. Most of the rough areas will be naturalized or seeded. I never got involved with turfgrass management for golf courses...so my understanding on that matter is limited to speculation.
You will never see a good golf course that does not follow a pattern of core aeration to make the most of (and control) rainfall.
The course I belonged to did core aeration, followed by a light seeding of selected grasses followed by a light pass with a wire "dethatcher" to break up the cores, distribute the seed and naturally slowly fill the holes to increase absorption of rain. - If course they had all the toys around and eager summer employees. Double cutting also does wonder for grass growth.
Use Roundup or Eraser to kill off you lawn. I prefer eraser as it's cheaper and contains 41% glyphosate. It is a non-selective herbicide and will kill everything to the root. it looks like you have alot of clover in your lawn. This is usually a sign of low nitrogen in your soil and/or compaction. Add a surfactant (or a few tablespoons of dish soap) to your glyphosate to make it stick to the clover better. In 5-7 days your lawn will be dead and brown or straw colored. If there is any green left hit it again with the gly. Once the entire lawn is dead scalp it as low as you can with your mower and rake/bag the clippings. Scalping allows light in for seed germination. The dead "stubble" that is left on your lawn will serve as a mulch to help keep moisture in. Rent a slit seeder which makes narrow slices into the soil and drops the seed into them. Seed to soil contact is very important for seed germination. Slit seed in a North-South direction then an East-West direction forming a checkerboard pattern. If you dont do this you will have a corn row effect when your seed germinates. use 1/2 seed rate in each direction. For example Tall Fescue is seeded at about 8lbs per 1k Sq ft so use 4 lbs N-S and 4 lbs E-W per 1k sq ft. A little additional seed can be broadcast to ensure complete coverage. After that put down a good starter fertilizer high in phosphorus (2nd number on bag). This helps the grass develop stronger roots which is important right after germination. Water 2-3 times a day or enough to keep the seed continuously damp (not soaked). Seed that is allowed to dry once watering begins, can lower your germination rate by 30%. Do not apply any herbicide until after the grass has been cut 3 times.
Cool season grasses should be seeded in the fall but can also be done in early spring. Spring is not preferred due to weed seed germinating at that time also and the chance of new grass not developing deep enough roots before the heat of summer hits. Fall is preferred due to less weed germination and much better weather conditions (more rain and daytime temps that are dropping). Seeds germinate best when the air temp is 60-75 deg with soil temps being 50-65 degrees.
If you want to put your neighbors lawn to shame get a mix of Bullseye and Faith Turf Type Tall Fescue (TTTF) (90%) with 10% Midnight or Bluberry Kentucky Blugrass (KBG). These are some of the best cultivars and are have very dark green color. KBG seed is very tiny compared to TTTF so with a 90/10 mix by weight, you will actually end up with 50% of each type of seed by count.
If you adjust your total lawn care approach to get the most vigorous grass YEAR ROUND, it will be less favorable for most weed growth. This is what professionals are usually very good at. What fertilizer at what time of the year, when to use pre-emergents and when to use broad leaf killers, top dressings, and so on.
You don't want to use pre-emergents or some weed and feed products when seeding a lawn. Most will also keep your grass seed from sprouting. Pre-emergents are used on established lawns. A good herbacide that is both pre and post emergent is Tenacity and it is safe to use on KBG and Tall Fescue. You can put it down at seeding time and it targets numerous weeds to keep them from germinating while still allowing your grass seed to germinate. After 3 mowings you can hit it again with T to get rid of any existing weeds, if necessary. Very good stuff but it is not cheap. About $80 for 8 ounces which will treat about 80k sq ft if I remember correctly.
Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum
A forum community dedicated to professional construction and remodeling contractors. Come join the discussion about the industry, trades, safety, projects, finishing, tools, machinery, styles, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!