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Old 08-21-2018, 03:24 PM   #1
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Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


Gf and I moved into this home on a 0.4 acre lot just over a year ago and the PO left us with quite a mess of a lawn. This past summer we attempted to use weed control, fertilizer, and regular watering to see how far it would get us, but it didn't do much.

Which problem do we even start with? How should we address each? Are there any that would be worth the money to have a company come out and just have it done?

Problems:

1) Moles everywhere. I mean ALL over across front and back yards - not just one active area.

2) Creeping charlie has taken over more than half of the back yard.


3) Lots of matted, brown and dead patches of grass.


4) Very uneven grass "types". Sections of thick crab grass, sections of very thin, sparse grass, sections of thicker, brighter colored grass, etc.


5) Overall slope of lawn is fairly flat, but EXTREMELY bumpy. Lots of hard "softball sized" valleys and bumps across whole lawn - great for ankle rolling.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:07 PM   #2
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


For starters there may be a grub problem that attracted the moles. To test for grubs I've read to pull on a tuft of grass and if it pulls easy the grubs have eaten the roots. Never tried that because I don't fight those kinds of problems anymore but possibly someone will be along to suggest how to spend your money for a lawn.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:08 AM   #3
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


Moles often only go away with trapping and killing. While the lawn could likely do with a core aeration and overseeding this fall, I would do a soil test to see what amendments are recommended and spray the creeping charlie with 2, 4 D or something similar. You'll then need a crabgrass preemergent in the spring.

Not going to be easy; this will be a lot of work.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:20 AM   #4
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


Quote:
Originally Posted by stick\shift View Post
Moles often only go away with trapping and killing. While the lawn could likely do with a core aeration and overseeding this fall, I would do a soil test to see what amendments are recommended and spray the creeping charlie with 2, 4 D or something similar. You'll then need a crabgrass preemergent in the spring.

Not going to be easy; this will be a lot of work.
Will the preemergent in the spring for the crabgrass interfere with the overseeding from the fall?
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:45 AM   #5
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


Nope. The grass will germinate in the fall so the spring application will not affect it. It would affect a spring seeding but you have cool season grasses in your lawn and they shouldn't be seeded in the spring anyway.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


a home remedy that I have personally used to get rid of mole crickets,
grubs, cinch bugs and earthworms is Ivory Dish Soap in a hose end sprayer
set on the medium setting and really saturate the ground in the early morning
or late evening. . . . getting rid of the food source sends the moles away.
plus - when the bugs leave or die, you get your lawn back.
I found that no other dish soap brand will give the same results of Ivory.
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


Trying to sum it up step-by-step haha....

1) Check for a grub problem by digging up a section of grass 3-4 inches down near a random brown patch of grass.
2) If there is a grub problem, Johnny_inFL mentioned using ivory dish soap for moles, grubs, crickets, and cinch bugs, but also may get rid of the earthworms. Aren't earthworms good for the lawn? How would you get rid of grubs and leave the earthworms?
3) Fixing the grub problem may fix my mole problem, but if not, will need to trap/kill the moles. After doing this, how would you prevent moles from surrounding area from coming to ours?

Second Stage:
4) Do soil test and determine if anything extra is needed
5) In meantime, spray creeping charlie with an chemical like 2,4D to try and rid of it
6) Mid fall do rent an aerator and then overseed
7) Next spring use a crab grass preemergent

Might look into the thickness of the thatch layer and see if dethatching would be worthwhile. But otherwise, this should take care of most of the problems, except for the bumps/valleys. How would I fix the bumps/valleys? Do I have to go around and remove the grass and level the soil of each spot and then reseed that area?
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:20 PM   #8
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


hire a professional lawn maintenance company just to salvage
what lawn you have left - then you can maintain it yourself.
there is no way to pick and choose which bugs you can keep and kill.
moles LOVE earthworms and grubs !!!!
if the moles have a healthy food source, they are bound to
set up homes and proliferate like crazy. then next year, your problems are doubled.
I live in Central Florida and it is an ongoing - never ending battle with moles.
best of luck to you

buy a Miniature Schnauzer dog and teach him how to hunt down, dig up and kill moles !!!
Terriers are a specific group and type of dog that were originally bred to dig and hunt
for prey like foxes, moles, badgers, and rats.
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:02 PM   #9
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


I don't think the dog has been born yet, that would win a fight with a Badger, they are down right nasty.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:24 AM   #10
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


So to sum it up, I'm hearing that the solution is to buy a puppy.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:43 AM   #11
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


my brother has a Schnauzer that is a champion mole killer.
the dog finds them, digs them up, kills them, then drops them off on the back porch.
I don't know how the dog learned the trick, but he is quite good at it.

to sum it up - - - this is probably the best recommendation:
hire a professional lawn maintenance company just to salvage
what lawn you have left and stabilize it - then you can maintain it yourself.

.

.
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:32 PM   #12
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


Dogs and healthy lawns are often mutually exclusive groups.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:15 PM   #13
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Re: Lawn Disaster - Where to start?


Have a pro company come on and take a look. It might be easiest in the long run to remove what u have, bring in some good soil, grade, and seed. Now is a good time to do it as the grass will grow well with the summer temps down. Or they might just recommend killing off all the weeds and waiting a few weeks and overseeding.

It might cost ya $3,000+. And expect it to take some work over the next couple years to get the grass really solid and established.
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