Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

A place to discuss organic lawn care products and practices
Post Reply
Topic Author
Kberg84
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 11:33 pm
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Grass Type: Geo, L1F, Tifgrand
Lawn Size: 10,600
Mower: Rotary upgrading to reel

Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by Kberg84 »

I need some help and would love to get some advice. Wife and I moved into a new house for us last year. House was built in 1984 and lawn appears to have not had much TLC if any other, other than simply mowing. I’m planning a lawn renovation starting with front yard first. Had my soil tested a couple weeks ago to get an idea of what I’m working with. I am wanting to go the organic route for various reasons but mostly because I have a 2 year old and 2 dogs. My question is...is it worth fertilizing and working on the soil now if I’m going to be killing off grass soon? Can I hit it hard with Organics to fast track the soil as much as possible, preparing it for new sod when time comes? Any advice on what Organics would be beneficial? Thanks in advance for any help!
Image

BermudaBoy
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:57 am
Location: Concord, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 5500
Mower: Ego 56V Select Cut

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by BermudaBoy »

When do you plan on sodding?

Topic Author
Kberg84
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 11:33 pm
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Grass Type: Geo, L1F, Tifgrand
Lawn Size: 10,600
Mower: Rotary upgrading to reel

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by Kberg84 »

@BermudaBoy im still deciding between pretty much geo, tiffgrand or L1F...starting to lean toward tiffgrand though. Still researching

BermudaBoy
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:57 am
Location: Concord, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 5500
Mower: Ego 56V Select Cut

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by BermudaBoy »

I was asking when you were going to lay the sod. That will help to determine if you should start amending the soil now or wait until you get ready to lay the sod.

Topic Author
Kberg84
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 11:33 pm
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Grass Type: Geo, L1F, Tifgrand
Lawn Size: 10,600
Mower: Rotary upgrading to reel

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by Kberg84 »

Oh my apologies...thought you said what. Don’t have a set date yet. Working on getting an oak tree taken down next week and then redoing irrigation. In no rush

BermudaBoy
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:57 am
Location: Concord, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 5500
Mower: Ego 56V Select Cut

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by BermudaBoy »

I wouldn't waste any soil amendments on your existing lawn. Save that money for the materials you'll need when you lay the sod.

Topic Author
Kberg84
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 11:33 pm
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Grass Type: Geo, L1F, Tifgrand
Lawn Size: 10,600
Mower: Rotary upgrading to reel

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by Kberg84 »

My concern was the sod would struggle since my soil is lacking so much. Don’t think that’ll be the case?

BermudaBoy
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:57 am
Location: Concord, NC
Grass Type: Tifway 419
Lawn Size: 5500
Mower: Ego 56V Select Cut

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by BermudaBoy »

It takes years to build up soil with organic material. If you are that worried about your soil you should probably top dress the lawn with compost or soil prior to laying the sod but I doubt your sod would struggle with your existing soil. You could put a layer of something like XSOIL or I’ve read that you can put down Milo and lay the sod on top. Bermuda will survive in just about anything given sufficient water.

Topic Author
Kberg84
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 11:33 pm
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Grass Type: Geo, L1F, Tifgrand
Lawn Size: 10,600
Mower: Rotary upgrading to reel

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by Kberg84 »

@BermudaBoy I actually put down Some XSOIL a couple weeks ago as I was getting antsy after receiving my soil results.

User avatar
bernstem
TLF Supporter
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: St. Louis
Grass Type: KBG
Lawn Size: 10,000
Mower: Honda HRX

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by bernstem »

You should fix the soil before sodding if possible. The better the underlying soil is, the better your new grass will perform. In addition, it is easier to kill happy, fast growing weeds than struggling weeds. The only situation where I could see waiting to amend your soil would be if you were going to remove the old lawn by scraping it off or with a sod cutter before the new lawn. If you do that right after adding amendments, the amendments will still be in the top layer that you take off.
Bluegrass in the Transition Zone
Front: Award, Solar Eclipse, Moonlight, Prosperity
Back: Solar Eclipse, Bewitched (in shade)

zinger565
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:48 am
Location: SE Wisconsin
Grass Type: No-Mix
Lawn Size: 9,750 sqft
Mower: Toro walk-behind

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by zinger565 »

bernstem wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 8:19 am
In addition, it is easier to kill happy, fast growing weeds than struggling weeds.
I think this is an underrated point sometimes. Either using herbicides or hand pulling, it's going to make things easier to see and easier to kill.
New year, new lawn.

2020 Lawn Journal

Topic Author
Kberg84
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 11:33 pm
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Grass Type: Geo, L1F, Tifgrand
Lawn Size: 10,600
Mower: Rotary upgrading to reel

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by Kberg84 »

That’s kind of what my thinking was. Work on building up soil as much as possible till the time comes. Planning on killing it all off, tilling and raking everything up

Topic Author
Kberg84
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 11:33 pm
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Grass Type: Geo, L1F, Tifgrand
Lawn Size: 10,600
Mower: Rotary upgrading to reel

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by Kberg84 »

How much time should I allow to kill off grass? Planning on spraying multiple times. Is there a general rule of thumb when killing off lawn? How many weeks between spraying? How many weeks from last spray to laying down soil and then sod?

User avatar
bernstem
TLF Supporter
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: St. Louis
Grass Type: KBG
Lawn Size: 10,000
Mower: Honda HRX

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by bernstem »

The best option if you need to till would be to kill the lawn, then till it and smooth it. You can spray glyphosate and then till the next day. You then want to fallow the soil and germinate any weeds that your tilling brought to the surface. Water like you want to grow new grass for ~1-2 weeks. That will let everything settle and germinate any weed seeds. Kill anything that comes up and do final leveling with weed free soil (assuming you can get it). At that point, you can either fallow more or proceed to seeding. The whole process will take at least a week or two. You can seed 24 hours after glyphosate.
Bluegrass in the Transition Zone
Front: Award, Solar Eclipse, Moonlight, Prosperity
Back: Solar Eclipse, Bewitched (in shade)

User avatar
bernstem
TLF Supporter
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: St. Louis
Grass Type: KBG
Lawn Size: 10,000
Mower: Honda HRX

Re: Soil tested, planning Reno, need organic help

Post by bernstem »

I forgot this was the organic forum. :fool: If you want an organic kill of the lawn, it is more difficult. Solarization is an option for the initial kill depending on size. Done right, solarization theoretically kills weed seeds, but in practice I have not found it to be 100%. The problem with if for fallowing is that it takes time to work so you have to plan for that. Fallowing without chemicals or solarization can be done by germinating the weed seeds and then killing them by turning over the top of the soil with a light tilling or cultivation. That does potentailly bring up more weed seeds and disturbes the fresh leveling. Another organic option would be spraying with horticultural Vinegar, but how practical that is depends on the size of the lawn.

Another fully organic option would be to till the lawn and add any amendments at the time of tilling. Smooth the lawn after tilling. There will still be plenty of grass, weeds, and seeds. Germinate any seeds by watering. This will also help the upcoming solarization (solarization needs water in the soil to work). Once weeds are germinated (~1 week?), start the solarization. You ideally want 4 weeks of solarization in the heat of summer. After the solarization is finished, everything should be dead and you can seed, topdress, etc.

The downside of this plan is that you have to have a plastic covered lawn for 4+ weeks, but you can do it without any chemicals. You will get the best kill with solarization in the hottest part of summer, so that may mean 2+ months of a plastic covered lawn, and I can't guarantee it will kill Bermuda (it is very tough). One of the warm season members may have direct experience.
Bluegrass in the Transition Zone
Front: Award, Solar Eclipse, Moonlight, Prosperity
Back: Solar Eclipse, Bewitched (in shade)

Post Reply