Marks journal 2020

Cool season member lawn journals
Topic Author
Mark B
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 11:50 am
Location: Wales, UK. NW USA climate
Grass Type: Tetris Kbg, Supreme Poa Supina
Lawn Size: 150sqm/1600sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Marks journal 2020

Post by Mark B »

@Chris LI Thanks Chris, now if I can manage to get it looking like this all over...😅 It is getting there fast to be fair.

I've noticed a couple of spots of rust show up this week, just around the edges and mainly on the kbg, so I believe the mower wheels have spread it a little.
Going to spray some urea N on it to attempt to help it grow out.
I want to mow tomorrow evening at a new HOC of 1.35". I'll now need to cut when it hits 2", I like this range.

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Topic Author
Mark B
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 11:50 am
Location: Wales, UK. NW USA climate
Grass Type: Tetris Kbg, Supreme Poa Supina
Lawn Size: 150sqm/1600sqft
Mower: Rotary

Triple whammy

Post by Mark B »

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Here is a triple whammy of the bad stuff in my garden today.

A profile of the "soil" in an upcoming reno spot. This one shows the value of digging a hole to have a look see what is going on and causing problems. I have barely 2" of topsoil followed by an abundance of pain in the form of coal ash buried by previous neglectful and lazy owners. I realised this a while ago but it didn't fill me with joy thinking about dealing with it, so I haven't dealt with it until now. The grass showed signs of yellowing roughly 4 months after germination and went slowly downhill from there, thinning, weeds taking over and not responding to care. I am digging the coal ash out by hand, disposing of it properly and replacing with topsoil.
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8th Nov and today.
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Not surprisingly, these crane fly larvae are taking advantage of terrible soil conditions and chomping on any remaining roots they can find. I missed my spring nematode app due to unseasonal dry conditions but the birds helped me out today, there were several robins and blackbirds keeping me company as I dug, greedily gobbling the larvae as I exposed them while shifting the topsoil.
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Topic Author
Mark B
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 11:50 am
Location: Wales, UK. NW USA climate
Grass Type: Tetris Kbg, Supreme Poa Supina
Lawn Size: 150sqm/1600sqft
Mower: Rotary

Reno foundation work

Post by Mark B »

After making many trips to the recycling centre, I have completed the removal and disposal of several tons of coal ash and subsoil. After skimming the top 2" of top soil and moving it to the side, I dug out roughly 4-5" of coal ash over a 30m² area. About 300sqft.
There is quite a dense orange subsoil with a lot of rocks at 6-7" depth which is my limit of excavation. I can't use machinery due to the sloped layout so its all being done by hand.

Some of the material at the top layer containing some topsoil I ran through a garden sieve, and I have a pile of about half a ton of 8mm screened blend of coal ash and soil. Not 100% sure what to do with that yet, maybe I'll spread it thinly at the 7" depth, maybe I should throw it thinly over the soil in the front that is fallowing and mix it with the heavy soil there.

I'll backfill with the set aside topsoil and fallow it for a while.

Will get the remaining 4" fresh topsoil in soon but not quite yet. I have to run the solid plate scarifier over the second half of the front section, bag mow the debris, rotivate and add home made compost and start the fallowing process there too. Hope to finish the fallow of the front by July and then get the topsoil in, level and seed in August.

Topic Author
Mark B
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 11:50 am
Location: Wales, UK. NW USA climate
Grass Type: Tetris Kbg, Supreme Poa Supina
Lawn Size: 150sqm/1600sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Reno foundation work

Post by Mark B »

Mark B wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:24 am

Will get the remaining 4" fresh topsoil in soon but not quite yet. I have to run the solid plate scarifier over the second half of the front section, bag mow the debris, rotivate and add home made compost and start the fallowing process there too. Hope to finish the fallow of the front by July and then get the topsoil in, level and seed in August.
I am always hopeful in my thinking, however many times I sweep reality under the carpet. This time, reality was hiding underground. :?
So I did bag mow and scalp the debris etc etc, but I also removed another ballpark figure of 2 tons of stone in this reno area. In the past, whenever I've forked holes into the lawn and heaved backwards a bit for what some may call aerification, I have hit many lurking rocks just a whisper underground. I had this opportunity to have them gone so I went for it. I could bore anyone reading with details of pulled ligaments and swollen tendons but lets just move on. Please be careful if you decide to use a hand held fork to lever basketball size stones out of your soil.

OK so I'm finally done with the heavy foundation work. Fallowing is going well, plenty of undesirables have reared their ugly heads and I have gly'd them twice so far.

I'm hoping for a delivery of 5 tons of topsoil next week. My mate will loan me a wheelbarrow to help me get the soil where it's needed.

I have scalped the 2019 reno lawn area down to the lowest setting on the rotary mower and it looked like crap immediately. All the colour dissapeared and the high and low spots were brutally exposed. I kinda expected such and had faith and 3 days later there is plenty of new green growth coming through. I'm almost ashamed to say that @jrubb42 Going Low journal has been inspirational because I surely should have commented on it earlier. Thank you for your documentation and for the members that commented on it and have ultimately helped me out with my decisions.

I have bought a battery powered reel mower and it will be delivered tomorrow.

Sharpened the rotary blade.

On the menu is topdressing for levelling, the lawn is stressed for now so I'll hold.
More PGR is on the menu, the test plot I did has educated me, although now I am in a different position, but suffice to say, I like it! I would never have said that after a week of the initial application but long term you can see the effects are very beneficial especially if only doing a brief visual analysis.

I'll edit soon with a few images.

Peace.

Chris LI
TLF Supporter
Posts: 1581
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG,TTTF, FF-different mixes
Lawn Size: 5K
Mower: Snapper Hi Vac 21"

Re: Reno foundation work

Post by Chris LI »

"Please be careful if you decide to use a hand held fork to lever basketball size stones out of your soil."

Your entire post was well thought out and detailed. This excerpt is absolutely hilarious! I love dry British humor!

Topic Author
Mark B
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 11:50 am
Location: Wales, UK. NW USA climate
Grass Type: Tetris Kbg, Supreme Poa Supina
Lawn Size: 150sqm/1600sqft
Mower: Rotary

Going low.

Post by Mark B »

@Chris LI thanks :)

June 17th and 22nd. Took it down from just over 2" to lowest on the rotary (½"?) It took away the colour and scalped the lowest spots to bare dirt.
In this first picture, my glass marks the line I sprayed the pgr beyond.
Yes I had a beer for courage before going for it, and yes I had a beer after to help with recovery from shock! :lol:

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PGR line and starting to regrow from the crowns a few days later.
June 27th Used my new reel mower at 14mm.
Sprayed urea N at 2g/m² (0.2lb/M) to aid recovery. Also 1ml/m² of molasses to help the microbes.
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Reverse angle.

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Last edited by Mark B on Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
Mark B
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 11:50 am
Location: Wales, UK. NW USA climate
Grass Type: Tetris Kbg, Supreme Poa Supina
Lawn Size: 150sqm/1600sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Marks journal 2020

Post by Mark B »

Put down chicken manure 3% N at 75g/m² (½lb/M) as we have some good rain in the forecast.
Temps have dropped, 18C daytime, where did the summer go?
Over seeded some bare patches.

Topic Author
Mark B
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 11:50 am
Location: Wales, UK. NW USA climate
Grass Type: Tetris Kbg, Supreme Poa Supina
Lawn Size: 150sqm/1600sqft
Mower: Rotary

PGR test patch

Post by Mark B »

I put my first 5ml/100m2 of 25% PGR down on a test patch with a 1½" HOC on May 24th and am still waiting for the rebound effect.
I now know that was a high rate for the first ever app of pgr, it equates to roughly 10ml/100m2 (0.33floz/M) of tnex 11.5%.

Base temp at 6c, GDD is showing 334.
Base temp at 0c, GDD is showing 568.
I do not fully understand why there is such a big difference in the GDD figures.

edit: 39 days from May 24th times by 6 (degrees C) is 234, which is the difference in GDD. Still learning...

I want to go into rebound so that I can confirm how many GDDs it takes to do so. Then I can fine tune my applications of PGR based on visual data like clipping yields, and data from the greencast site.

Topic Author
Mark B
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 11:50 am
Location: Wales, UK. NW USA climate
Grass Type: Tetris Kbg, Supreme Poa Supina
Lawn Size: 150sqm/1600sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Marks journal 2020

Post by Mark B »

Yesterday I brushed in the chicken manure which had swollen in the rain but was still sitting on top of the grass, then mowed at 39mm/1.5". It just took a few tips off. It's taken 10 days to grow an inch after the 14mm/0.5" scalping.
Aim is to get it thick again at 1.5" before dropping to 1.25"/32mm and then ultimately 0.9"/23mm setting on the new reel mower. I want a low cut to help it dry quicker in our often cool and wet climate. I love the low mow look now!

I actually think the pgr area is starting to rebound because it was a few hairs longer than the rest of the grass when I mowed. I wanted to blanket the whole area with pgr but don't want to do it too early after stressing the grass because of the scalping, so I'm unsure when to apply.

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