adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Warm season member lawn journals
adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:00 pm

Current Status:
Image

So, about time I start one of these. Will return to add pictures later.

Prior year lawn notes:
2017
* Started caring more about the lawn mid-2017 after my son was born and found The Lawn Care Nut. I had approximately 7k square feet and was using a Kobalt 40v mower and string trimmer.
* Saw a LCN video where he mentioned "some guys with bermuda going crazy low" and showed what I think may have been @Redtenchu footage. This made me want to start reel mowing.
* Found @wardconnor on YouTube and became obsessed with the lawn. If I remember correctly I subbed before 1k subscribers. The latest video on his channel at the time was the first leveling video.
* Found TLF towards the end of the 2017 bermuda season.
* Bought an older California Trimmer on Craigslist for $350.
* Started a bluemuda experiment. It was great for the time I had it (see next bullet point), but due to herbicide conflicts I'm not sure I will do it again. I've driven by the property a few times since moving and it still looks great.

2018
* Got a new job in a city closer to family. Sold our house over the internet (Offerpad).
* We rented a house while building a house. May have been the best maintained rental lawn in the area?
* First started using PGR. It's the only product my wife knows by name and is happy to spend money on.
* I picked up a Pellet Pro for wetting agents. Earned my own LCN reputation in the neighborhood through this tool, as I typically apply it in the rain. Neighbors don't quite understand why I water the lawn in the rain.
* Wife got me a landscape blade for Father's Day.
* Took a chance on a $60 4-cycle string trimmer. Ran fine when I met the guy but a week later it exploded and leaked oil all over me. I ended up just draining the oil and gas and sending it to the dump. Got a 57v Echo on Amazon Warehouse Deals ($90) to replace it.
* Bought a Honda HRR216 for $40. It has some janky wheels and had a hole in the deck. I changed the spark plug, filter, oil, blades, and it runs fine now. I patched the hole with some JB weld.
* Sold the Kobalt 40v mower and string trimmer for $150.
* Found a Greensmaster Flex 21 on Craigslist and ended up getting it for $400.
* Sold the California Trimmer for $400.
* Picked up a Lesco 80lb spreader on Craigslist. Think I paid $100 for it. Gave my old scott's mini to my neighbor.
* Found a BlueBird Lawn Comber with bagger on Craigslist to replace my Greenworks scarifier. Paid $300 for it.
* Sold the Greenworks for $50.
* December 18: Finally moved into the new house. Standard "sod to the back corners and seed the rest" situation. Paid extra to have 20' extra feet of bermuda installed. I have 0.47 acres total, about 17k sq ft of turf.

2019
* The landscaper had abandoned about 3 pallets of sod in a lot across the street. The builder told us he'd left messages and got no response. He needed them gone and said I could have them if I moved them myself. This was early January, which in my area was basically non-stop rain. I moved all three pallets of soaking wet sod with a Gorilla Cart. The sod probably sat on those pallets for a month, but everything is greening up well.
* I've applied penterra to my swales and tournament ready pellets to the rest of the lawn. Two applications of bifenthrin thus far.
* Landscaping was the standard builder package in the front. I outlined landscape beds all around the house with the landscape blade (very handy tool for cutting sod), moved that sod to the back yard, dug natural edging all around the beds, then had 6 cu yd of mulch delivered. Between the 3 pallets I got from the builder and the sod I moved from around the house I probably added another 20' of sod to the back.
* I've slowly added a few plants:
* Japanese maple (Red Dragon)
* Japanese aucuba
* Boxwoods
* Variegated euonymus
* Hostas
* Forsythia
* Butterfly bush
* Blueberry bushes
* The back yard was seeded and strawed. It was fairly light so I got a 50lb bag of PRG, raked the straw, dragged it smooth with a drag mat, seeded it, rolled it in for solid contact, and re-spread the straw. I put some 13-13-13 down, set up a couple sprinklers, then started watering. My back yard is the greenest in the neighborhood at the moment. My primary goal with this project is erosion control. I don't have irrigation so I expect most of it will get smoked by the NC summer heat. Once the sod takes root I will start pulling plugs and transplanting it into the ryegrass.
* I am attempting to niwaki an Autumn Blaze Maple in the front yard to keep it short. It's "the neighborhood tree" and is required by the city so I can't remove it. I used some twine to pull the branches down into position last week, and removed competing leaders.
* I scalped the bermuda (0.5 HOC) Thursday night. I have high HOC brackets for the flex 21, so I will mow at 1 inch until the bermuda roots. Once the bermuda has rooted I will do a HOC reset to a lower HOC. I also applied some Screamin' Green (the free 1800 sq ft bag they had going a while back) and some cheap 24-0-11 I had from Lowe's last year (I estimate I have about 5k sq ft of bermuda, so needed a bit more than the Screamin' Green).
Last edited by adgattoni on Tue May 14, 2019 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:45 pm

Bluemuda at previous home:
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Rental Lawn as of November(still green!) last year:
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Landscape beds (pre-edging):

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Ryegrass (builder seeded, 3/17/2019):

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Ryegrass (my PRG, 4/15/2019):

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Last edited by adgattoni on Sun May 05, 2019 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:57 pm

Mowed the bermuda again at 0.75" or so today, but it's still working on greening up from the scalp last week. Also planted a few Stargazer Lilies.

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:35 am

Planted some Bloodgood japanese maples last night ($13.99 from Aldi). Ordered a refill of T-nex from DoMyOwn (159.95+free shipping).

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Sun May 05, 2019 9:05 pm

Trimmed up the sacrificial PRG yesterday before getting a nice heavy rain.

Also, just documenting the current state of the landscape beds:

Bloodgood japanese maple, forsythia, japanese aucuba, stargazer lilies
Image

Another Bloodgood, some blueberry bushes, butterfly bush, euonymus, more stargazers
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adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Tue May 14, 2019 10:27 pm

Mowed the sacrificial ryegrass tonight. Will probably do the bermuda tomorrow or the next day.

For anyone curious, I'm currently at about 0.75 inches. I have not leveled this lawn yet. Builder grading and sod. Just jumped straight to scalping at 0.5 inches, and really haven't had much of an issue. Once the bermuda has fully rooted I'll do a HOC reset to get even lower.


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adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Thu May 16, 2019 11:34 pm

The humic acid test:
I'm setting up five (5) 10' by 10' test plots to evaluate whether humic acid is worth my dollars.

The products and rates I will be testing:
1. Carbon-X (5 oz)
2. Microgreene (1 oz)
3. RGS (1 oz)
4. Air-8 (1 oz)
5. Anderson's Humic DG (2 oz)
6. No wetting agents plot
7. Kelp4Less Extreme Blend (2 g)

Generally I took the label rate per 1k sq ft * 10% (since my plots are 100 sq ft). A bit higher than label rate in some cases for convenience.

Plot Setup:
All test plots will receive:
- Reel Low Lovin'
- PGR
- Wetting Agents
- Ammonium Sulfate (except Carbon-X plot)
- FEature 6-0-0 (except MicroGreene & Carbon-X plots)
- Herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides as necessary
- Non-irrigated turf, but I will be watering with above ground sprinklers.

The remainder of my turf will serve as the control (i.e., my typical program).

All of my turf, including the test plots, have already received:
- Fertilizer
- Wetting agents
- FEature 6-0-0

Tests will include:
- Screwdriver test (compaction)
- Root mass comparisons
- Turf density comparisons
- Summer color comparisons (stress tolerance)
- Fall color comparisons
- Requests from other forum members (sorry - can't afford soil testing for each plot)

I hope to be able to answer the following:
- Can I just use Carbon-X in place of fertilizer+FEature+humic?
- How does MicroGreene compare to RGS+FEature? (2% sea kelp vs. 3% in RGS)
- Does Air-8 relieve compaction? (FWIW I could barely get my ProPlugger into the dirt in these spots.)
- Is there a difference between granular humic and liquid humic?

Preliminary pictures:


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Last edited by adgattoni on Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SGrabs33
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Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by SGrabs33 » Fri May 17, 2019 6:31 am

Nice project!

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
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Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Fri May 17, 2019 8:12 am

SGrabs33 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:31 am
Nice project!
Thank you sir!

Obviously this is all anecdotal, but a comparison point nonetheless for someone out there on the fence like me. I think it'll be a pretty decent test since it's not another example of going from barely taking care of the lawn to dumping tons of products and giving humic all the credit. You'll be able to compare a regularly mowed, watered, and fertilized lawn to the same program + humic to see the incremental changes from just the humic (in various formats).

And I'll be able to make the judgment call for myself on cost/benefit. I'd probably save $100/year or more downsizing my program if the humic doesn't give me a noticeable improvement in either appearance or root development.

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Sat May 18, 2019 1:49 pm

Image

Laid down some double wide stripes today.

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Mon May 20, 2019 9:19 am

PGR @ .25oz/1ksqft + FEature 6-0-0 @ 1.5oz/1ksqft were applied last night. I will probably put out more wetting agent (H20 maximizer pellets) tonight as I'm seeing some spots starting to dry out.

Thinking about adding a test plot for wetting agents too (a control plot that does NOT receive wetting agents).

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SGrabs33
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Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by SGrabs33 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:10 am

adgattoni wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:19 am
Thinking about adding a test plot for wetting agents too (a control plot that does NOT receive wetting agents).
I’d def like to see that. I have some tournament ready pellets coming tomorrow.

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Fri May 31, 2019 10:53 am

Still some dry spots, but it's looking better.

I'm letting it grow a bit taller (about 1 inch) so that I can harvest more sprigs later in the summer to transplant into the sacrificial ryegrass. I've already started taking some plugs with my ProPlugger, but adding sprigs to the mix will further aid in transitioning that section of the lawn to bermuda. The rye simply isn't doing well in this NC heat (though it would surely be doing better if I had established it in the fall vs. the spring).


Image

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I also added some drip irrigation to the landscape beds:


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adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Fri May 31, 2019 11:00 am

SGrabs33 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:10 am
adgattoni wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:19 am
Thinking about adding a test plot for wetting agents too (a control plot that does NOT receive wetting agents).
I’d def like to see that. I have some tournament ready pellets coming tomorrow.
FYI I just posted a new picture. The new test plot for wetting agents is in front of plot #1 (on the far right - I ran out of stakes so I'm just going to guesstimate 10 feet back from the existing stake). It's not terribly different at the moment, but you can definitely see some yellowing in that area that isn't in other areas. The area in front of plot #3 is recovering from some brown patch I believe, but I think this spot is from heat/drought stress.

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
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Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:40 pm

So my neighbor's Sunjoe dethatcher wore out its belt in the middle of his bermuda seeding project, so I let him borrow my BlueBird power rake. After he was done, I couldn't resist myself and went ahead and verticut the entire lawn. It has a bagger, so I was able to easily dump the sprigs onto some of my sacrificial ryegrass area. I set up some sprinklers to water this area. I'll be trying to water this area 5-6 times a day.

I also put the following cocktail on it:

- Generic fertilizer I had left over from last year (I think a 28-0-11)
- FEature 6-0-0 (micros)
- Tournament Ready (water efficiency)
- PGR (stress reduction; carbohydrate efficiency)
- Melatonin (stress reduction; don't fully know how this works yet)
- Anderson's HumicDG
- RGS (stress reduction)
- Humic12 (would have done Microgreen for the additional kelp, but I had already mixed the FEature before I thought of it)
- Preventive rate of fungicide

I am still a humic skeptic, but I figured I'd throw everything in the arsenal at this to give it the best chance of survival. I do not have an irrigation system, so my sprinkler+timer+stay-at-home-mom setup will have to do.

This is the section I'm attempting to sprig:

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Some other pictures from today:

Ryegrass is looking crispy

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Flamingos installed

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I mowed the grass with the flex 21 (to gently pick up any loose sprigs) and the honda (basically a lawn vacuum) to clean up the debris from the verticutting. Doesn't look half bad considering it was post-verticutting!

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adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
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Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:02 pm

I have no idea how the sprigs are doing, but this section of the lawn sure looks better. I'm not sure if it's simply from the extra water or from the stress reduction cocktail.


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Brackin4au
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Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by Brackin4au » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:30 pm

I noticed you said you put Penterra in the swales and tournament ready everywhere else... have you tried tournament ready in the swale to see if it worked on it’s own there, to try and eliminate the need for Penterra? Just curious because I’m needing something for localized dry spot, but also have some issues with swales. So trying to figure out if one will do both and lessen the costs incurred.

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SGrabs33
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Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by SGrabs33 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:06 am

Brackin4au wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:30 pm
I noticed you said you put Penterra in the swales and tournament ready everywhere else... have you tried tournament ready in the swale to see if it worked on it’s own there, to try and eliminate the need for Penterra? Just curious because I’m needing something for localized dry spot, but also have some issues with swales. So trying to figure out if one will do both and lessen the costs incurred.
Not trying to hijack.

In prep for all the rain we have coming our way I just put out another app of TR. I’ll let you know how it works on my swales as they usually hold quite a bit of water for an extended period of time.

Also wouldn’t mind to know @adgattoni opinion on this.

adgattoni
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm
Location: 7B - Raleigh, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 16000
Mower: Greensmaster Flex 21

Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by adgattoni » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:08 am

SGrabs33 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:06 am
Brackin4au wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:30 pm
I noticed you said you put Penterra in the swales and tournament ready everywhere else... have you tried tournament ready in the swale to see if it worked on it’s own there, to try and eliminate the need for Penterra? Just curious because I’m needing something for localized dry spot, but also have some issues with swales. So trying to figure out if one will do both and lessen the costs incurred.
Not trying to hijack.

In prep for all the rain we have coming our way I just put out another app of TR. I’ll let you know how it works on my swales as they usually hold quite a bit of water for an extended period of time.

Also wouldn’t mind to know @adgattoni opinion on this.
@Brackin4au @Sgrabs33

I can certainly just do a test next time. I will apply Penterra to one side of the house and TR to the other, then try to get some pictures during a rain to compare. The pictures will still be a bit different given the swales handle different volumes of water. I will try to give some perspective on it, but you'll have to just trust me :) . Anecdotally, in the past I have only had the TR pellets, and I think it would help with both water percolation and LDS issues.

The coming week would be great for this (storms coming through), but unfortunately I'm leaving town for vacation this afternoon. :(
Last edited by adgattoni on Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

Brackin4au
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:11 pm
Location: Madison, AL
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Re: adgattoni's Lawn Journal

Post by Brackin4au » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:45 pm

No worries @adgattoni thanks for running. The experiment for us haha. I will certainly trust your findings. @SGrabs33 did you use pellets or the TR liquid?

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