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Ugly, weedy, dying lawn

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by smalljaws on May 11, 2006 04:34 AM
Hello all,

First time poster here with very little lawn care experience. My lawn is essentially in shambles. The lawn is centipede located in the piedmont of South Carolina. My soil is in good condition based on a sample taken to the local extension. The lawn has never been that great, but this year it looks to be developing into a complete disaster.

I have serious weed problems, I applied Atrizine to half of the lawn a few weeks ago, but it has not really done the trick on the “grassy” type weeds that are everywhere. More disconcerting are large areas where it appears that the centipede is completely dead. Those areas look to be the dead root mass of centipede.

I would appreciate any assistance you can provide (e.g., fertilizer, weed control methods, watering schedule, etc.)

part of the lawn

dead areas


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by Longy on May 11, 2006 12:15 PM
It looks like it needs to be dethatched, aerated, possibly limed and given a light topdressing and feed. Once the grass grows healthy and is mowed long, it will outcompete most weeds. Lay off the chemicals and get some life and air back into the soil.

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The secret is the soil.
by johnCT on May 12, 2006 01:51 AM
Interesting. It is simply amazing what some people will do to get rid of weeds when it is most often some sort of cultural problem that causes it. Where'd you get the atrazine? Are you liscensed to apply it? Did you read about it and do you have any knowledge about it whatsoever? Hopefully you don't have kids, pets or well water. Its highly toxic and classified as restricted use by the EPA. Sounds like you have more serious problems than weeds now. [Roll Eyes]

Sorry to have to jump on a soapbox.

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John - Zone 6
by The Plant Doc on May 12, 2006 05:34 AM
Judging by the circular patterns in the lawn it appears that you also had a fungal disease attack your lawn at one point.
I agree with Longy that it will need to be de-thatched before going on to seed it. It looks as if it has way to much dead material on top to establish a good lawn. I am not too familiar with the southern grasses so I can't help you any certain grass types that would be good for your lawn.

Also what brand of atrazine did you purchase? You will need to check the label to see how long you have to wait until you can re seed will be.

As far as which fertilizer is the best for your area,I know you have already taken a sample to your extension office, but do so again and ask them for a break down of what your soil needs for turf grass, and while there they should be able to answer any other questions you have such as which grass would be best and how much water for your area, etc...

The best weed control out there is a good healthy lawn, but that will never totally control all weeds. If you need to apply a weed control, I think it would be best to stick to one of the more user friendly products like Ortho's weed be gone, which is a selective over the lawn product. It will not help with the grassy weeds, and there are other products that can be used to deal with them, but your first concern should be establishing the lawn. Once it is growing and in good condition you can then start to worry about the weeds.

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Mike Maier
The Plant Doc
by smalljaws on May 12, 2006 07:42 AM
Thanks for the help. Looks like another trip to the local extension is in order. Which BTW was where I was advised to apply atrazine.

JohnCT, no worries, jump on your soapbox all you like. With the tone of your message above I doubt many take your advice seriously. Oh, wait, you did not provide any advice did you? No advice, but you did provide me with a stereotype, a collection of accusatory and irrelevant questions and an ominous statement, which seems to imply that applying 1 tablespoon of atrazine to part of my lawn has rendered the lawn unfit for man, child and beast. Thanks for that, very helpful.

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by johnCT on May 12, 2006 08:42 AM
Originally posted by smalljaws:
Which BTW was where I was advised to apply atrazine.
You took their poor advice once and you're gonna go back and get more?

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John - Zone 6

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