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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:59 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:19 am
Posts: 4
5 years ago we bought a house in Bastrop county, outside of Austin and installed toro zoyzia (sp??) sod and 3 truck loads of dirt.

I have pictures which, are a bit too large to upload. I can email them to you if they will help you to help me.

The pictures show the sod after it's gotten set in and growing. We added the sod and dirt in the back.

Some of the shots show open areas of dirt. That is what we started with (and have again). The areas of natural grass look about as good, for the most part as the sod. However, you can see a curved line where the sod and existing grass meet. The zoyzia definitely looks better.

It looked great and after a month of watering (and $$$) the sod did quite well until the drought. :D As long as we received rain once in a while or we watered once in a while the lawn was ok. Well, the sky quit raining and I could not afford to water any more. Besides, I was frustrated the natural grass was not thriving, but was still living. :cry:

So, now that we've received rain since August and hope for more I have some questions:

1. Who can I take a sample of my crummy, rock filled soil for analysis. I need to know if I can do anything to/for the soil that won't break the bank. Or, should I just bring in more topsoil and start over.

2. Should I forget sod and try to improve the natural, existing grass ???

3. I have absolutely zero experience with organic. I've heard the DD mention cost. So, how much $$ should I expect to spend for 1 acre minus the house and some trees (about 30,000 square feet of lawn)?

4. And the dog...... Is any of this organic stuff going to kill or injure the dog? I know he's going to do due diligence killing anything along the fence. But I don't really want him to be hurt with whatever organic stuff I end up using.

Thanks in advance for the help. I guess I'll need to ask the same questions in a tree forum. We've lost several 40+ foot hight cedars and oaks in addition to the zoyzia lawn.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:10 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Frisco, Tejas
Seeing as how you are talking about an acre or so, the cost of using anything in 40 lb bags would be substantial.

Here are two easy, inexpensive things you can do....

1. Find some stables near you and see if you can work out a deal to haul away some manure, a few pickup loads would be nice. Let it sit in a pile over the winter and rot, then spread it over the lawn. This isn't fun work but you take the wheelbarrow, fillit , spread little piles all over then grab the rake and spread it. If you can find a poultry farm and get a few loads of chicken c***, so much the better but mix that with the horse manure and let it rot a bit - it is a little hot to use fresh.

2. Next, get a good sized tank sprayer, add about 2 ounces/gallon of horticultural molasses (Lowe's has it around 12 bucks/gallon, goes a long way) and spray it around the lawn after you spread the manure compost.

What you will find is that the this will get a lot more worm activity going in your soil and things will really green up and spread in the loose soil.

Also, Zoysia is a bit of a pain to get going but once well established it chokes other grasses and weeds out nicely. It WILL go dormant in the heat of summer without irrigation and it comes back slower than some in the Spring. you might take some 10" squares out of the good part and transplant to the center of the 'gaps' once it is growing well in the spring. Work some manure compost and some poultry litter based fert into the bare spot with a dirt rake first and loosen the soil...

If you can do those two things, I'm betting your lawn will really take off next season.

The dog... dogs love to roll in fresh manure so compost it. Rolling in manure makes the dog smell like ...manure but the nice part with organics is that they aren't toxic.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:15 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:19 am
Posts: 4
Thank you so much. That's what I need for a start.


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