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Lawn care around a pond?
#147823 02/04/09 09:29 PM
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I am the volunteer caretaker of a 300 foot long earth dam on one end of a 3 acre neighborhood pond in Midland, Georgia. The pond is stocked with bass and bluegill.

The grass on the dam is bahia. What precautions should I use for caring for the grass near the lake? I think I can use Scotts Weed and Feed and Scotts fertilizer with 2% iron safely enough. I am staying away from pesticides completely.

Is there a pre-emergent herbicide for preventing crabgrass that I can use by the pond? I haven't found one yet that said it could be used by water.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #147859 02/05/09 07:53 AM
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I can not directly answer your question. However most herbicides when applied properly will not harm anything in the pond. Pesticides, ant killer etc has a much greater chance to causing a fish kill. While it is great your are being safe I do not feel any preemergent on the market could do any damage to the pond if applied within label specfications.


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Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Greg Grimes #147885 02/05/09 11:10 AM
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GeoPond, I do not know if Prodiamine (barricade)is labled in Ga or not, It does have a low toxcity and stays put in the soil "however"all pesticide labels will state in the Enviromental Hazards section that they can be a problem if they enter the water, or reach a level beyond solubility.We use approx 12 tons per year impregnated on dry fertilizer of a 40% slow release with no P205 (18-0-7 with .29 Prodiamine) and a good share of it is applied around ponds and lakes with no problems.I apply it also to my own 7.5 acre lawn which has much of the watershed going into a small pond.My second choice would be "Dimension" and lastly Pendimethalin. Search to see if they are labeled in your state on your grass type.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN #148243 02/07/09 08:13 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

Both Pendimethylin (Scotts Halts) and Dimension mentioned fish toxicity, so I was wary of those. I don't want to be responsible for any kills or three-headed bass. The dam has had no maintenance done other than mowing for the 6 years I've been here and probably another 4 years before that and it looks it. I'm volunteering as caretaker for the dam and learning as I go.

The Prodiamine (Barricade) sounds great, low toxicity and an eight month effectivity. What Prodiamine only products can be spread with a fertilizer spreader? A Prodiamine/fertilizer combination should be perfect for a September application here in central Georgia.

Ted, do you know of a Prodiamine/fertilizer that is readily available in stores?

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148244 02/07/09 08:17 PM
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Mole crickets are a problem on the dam. Does anyone have any pond friendly advice on controlling those?

If anyone doesn't know what a mole cricket is, google for some pictures. UGLY little buggers!

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148276 02/08/09 07:57 AM
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Home Depot carried the Lesco line last year,Lesco always had Prodimine available impregnated on fertilizer. John Deere Landscape bought out Lesco so I do know the marketing plans.I would try HD first for retail sales.Prodamine has been around forever and should be easy to find.You may want to do a seasrh on Shaws and SpringValley and The Andersons fertilizers as they are all major players.The Andersons have a .48% Barricade impregnated on DG Pro (which is just a granular carrier no fert)that is applied @3.5-4 lbs per 1M sq ft.The key with prodamine is to get it applied early as it is root and shoot absoarbed and has no post activity.I would stay away from liquid formulations unless you irrigate as it can hang up in thatch and grass and a mowing can then wind row the product. Timing on crabgrass germination in your area should be well documented and may vary from large,smooth or hairy crabgrass. I prefer application at least 30 days prior to germination if you can not irrigate.Mole cricket control and water and fish will be more difficult to find a product you can be comfortable with.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN #148311 02/08/09 02:25 PM
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Thanks Ted.

I did see Lesco and Ferti-lome had some fertilizer/Barricade combinations. Lesco looks like it has way too many combinations. At least I have until September to figure out which one to get. Any recommendations?

I don't think I've seen Lesco at our Home Depot, just Vigoro and Scotts I think. We do have a John Deere Landscape store though.

I think I have my products and schedule figured out for the year:

April - Scotts Weed and Feed
June - Scotts with 2% Iron
September - fertilizer/Barricade combo

How does that sound? I'm hoping the Barricade will provide bluegrass, crabgrass, and some weed suppression for most of the year.

We do have irrigation by the way. There was a sprinkler system put in about 10 years ago when the dam was first hydroseeded. The system was used the first year and then shut off. It took a while to find all of the system.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148317 02/08/09 02:50 PM
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You may want to switch April and September around as Barricade in Sept wont control crab grass, We prefer fall applictaions for broadleaf weed control,(weed and feed)Most broadleaf weed control impregnated on dry fert do a lousy job and you have a lot more broadleaf options if you spray (unlike crabgrass control)Scotts brand normally is too fast a release to be a good value for our cool season turf, yours may be different. I would lean towards talking to JDL especially about what type of annual grass you have and germination dates.A good site for information is http://www.lawnsite.com but be aware if you post they will come down hard on most.I do mostly "search" there as the personalities can leave a lot to be desired at times on that site.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN #148326 02/08/09 04:53 PM
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Who is JDL?

I'm sure you are right about the Scott's releasing too fast. They'd have you fertilize every month if they could. It is just a name I am familiar with. What you you recommend for slow release?

Let's see, if I apply Barricade in April that will last me until November, correct? I think that would allow for sprouting of blugrass and cool season weeds. A September application would last until April and then allow the crabgrass to come out. Weeds might pop up too, but soon after April the heat will kill them out.

This year I want to avoid applying a pre-emergent in April because we will be seeding in many areas.

The weed and feed is to help with the weeding. There are actually 3 lakes and 2 dams in the neighborhood with 40,000 square feet of area to look after. Our new home owners association is hopefully going to get a service to take care of the fertilizer and weeding.

By the way, the growing season for bermuda and bahia grass here starts in May and the grass will stay green as late as November.

I'll lurk around lawnsite. Thanks for the warning

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148330 02/08/09 05:19 PM
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I think it is picture time. This is the dam closest to my house.

5-9-08:



10-17-08 after filling the ruts with more than 3 cubic yards of topsoil and seeding:



6-18-08 better pictures of the ruts:



6-16-08:



10-15-08:



The second dam needs similar work done this year.

Last edited by Georgia pond; 02/12/09 06:02 AM. Reason: Added 10-15-08 picture.
Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148333 02/08/09 05:28 PM
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This is the other side of the same dam towards the end of 2008 after some good rains. It is amazing what a little care will do:



Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148336 02/08/09 05:49 PM
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JDL would be John Deere Landscapes and yes a little care goes a long way. We dont apply anything less than 50% slow PCSCU (poly coated sulfer coated urea)If a pre is impregnated then 25% is plenty as you dont want to tie up the herbicide. All of our applications have 2-3% iron.We average 3-5 lbs of total N per 1000 sq ft for the entire season April to November.This can take from 3 to 6 total applications.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN #148343 02/08/09 07:18 PM
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Thanks for your help and patience Ted. Obviously I have a lot more research to do.

The bank on the dam away from the lake wasn't nearly as rutted as the lake side was. Last April it was nothing but nearly foot tall dandelions. We couldn't even see if there was grass or not. With water and some fertilizer the bahia eventually filled in all the numerous bare spots. Nature always amazes me with her ability to bounce back. We had some strips of bermuda that I thought might need resodding. With some effort they bounced back beautifully. This is not a bad neighborhood by any means. These areas were just terribly neglected for some reason. Bahia is a tough, ugly grass, but it does need some care.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148373 02/08/09 09:43 PM
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Hi Georgia Pond:
I don't know about lawn care in Georgia. But here in our homeowners assn. we have just banned the use of any fertilizer with phosphorus. We are promoting reduced applications (of course you have to stay way back from the lakes like 15 ft) to avoid the run-off into the water, and want reduced number of treatments with slow release nitrogen products used. We are also suggesting a core aeration in place of a fertilizer treatment. Will be interesting if water testing of the water coming in through the storm drains comes out any better this year than last year. The slope in your photos looks like it just slopes right to the water, ever considered native plants in place of the grass?


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Re: Lawn care around a pond?
2catmom #148396 02/09/09 06:10 AM
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Hi 2catmom.

I'd read about the phosphorus concern around lakes. Much to my surprise the company that manages the lake added phosphorus last year.

I do want to keep applications to a minimum to keep costs and effort down too. I'll get no-phos if the levels are ever found to be high. I stay a few feet from shore when fertilizing.

Native plants could be a good idea. For now I want to re-establish the grass and then see how much care it needs to stay established. Erosion as shown in the pictures is pretty common in Georgia where the grass gets nothing but rainfall. We have areas where I work like that.

Another contributing factor in our erosion is the mowing service that loves to scalp areas of the grass to the ground. The scalped areas easily die in the summer heat. We need to quit going with the lowest bidder on everything

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148397 02/09/09 06:27 AM
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Have you considered using corn gluten meal as an organic pre emergent? I've never used it but it is supposed to work well.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
RobA #148406 02/09/09 07:54 AM
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Hey There Georgia Pond:
I just mailed out a Press Release today to all the local papers about the banning of phos. If you in your sub want a copy I could send it to you. We don't allow salt, why they have let lawn companies come in and put down 6 applications with untrained workers all these years with the storm drains going into the lakes makes no sense at all. It is a matter of getting what you pay for, I know the climate is different down there. They say there is enough phos. in midwestern soils already, maybe that isn't true about Georgia, I just don't know. Too much nitrogen isn't good either, I guess it depends on the use of your lake/pond, here it has always been swimming, floating, etc. We use the saying: "Use your head, you live in a watershed."


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Re: Lawn care around a pond?
2catmom #148414 02/09/09 08:44 AM
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RobA, You are correct about positive results about using corn gluten meal. There is some good information on it in the "Organics" section of http://www.lawnsite.com 2cat I think phos will be eliminated in most lawn care programs with the recent high cost of product.In the past it was a cheap way to get some "N" as products lake MAP (mono ammonia phosphate 11-52-0 and DAP (diammonia phospahte 18-46-0 had N @ 2-3 cents per lb Most formulators use a method called "least cost formulation" to get to a certain analysis 16-16-16 for example will have some 46% N urea sone 21%N (ammonia sulfate) and some Dap or Map in it to arrive at the 16% N. I have soil tested thousands of acres in NW Ohio over the last 30 years (mostly for crop production) and rarely find that an established lawn needs any phos.I applaud Michigans efforts to rid phos in lawn care.Look for "K" pot ash to go the same direction as phos in lawn care due to cost over the next 3-5 years.It seems that cost always over rides common sense when it comes to the enviroment, if it takes expensive fertilizer to curb use in lawn care high prices are a great thing. The down side is that expensive fertilizer adds to corn production being about $4.00 per bushel to break even and with a $3.60 corn market its easy to do the math on why we will subsidize agriculture for years to come.(I'll come down off of my soap box now) \:\)

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN #148459 02/09/09 12:11 PM
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Just another suggestion on Organics. Corn Gluten is a wonderful organic pre emergant it will also help with FA blooms in the pond. Try local farm stores or ganden centers. Try dirtdoctor.com for more organic information for the lawn. I am not sure on the timing in your area, but north central Texas timming is now until first of March.

Just a side note most chemical weed and feed products contain some not so good chemicals.


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Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Chuck Fikes #148515 02/09/09 07:10 PM
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Thanks everyone. This is exactly the information I am looking for.

I read a little about corn gluten as a pre-emergent. How costly and effective would it be compared to Barricade? Cost is definately a concern as the home owners association does not have unlimited funds.

The Scotts Weed and Feed has 2,4-D and Mecoprop as herbicides. I was hoping these were safe enough to use within a few feet of the lakes. From what I've read I believe I should stay away from anything with "amine" or "salt" on the end of the name.

I had planned on putting down some weed and feed this March before we fill and seed in April and May. Could someone recommend a fertilizer for this first application? I'd be willing to give up the "weed" part if it would be bad for the lakes. Available vendors nearby are John Deere Landscapes, Home Depot, Lowes, and stores that carry Hi-Yield and Ferti-lome.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
2catmom #148520 02/09/09 07:55 PM
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2catmom, I'm not hearing too much concern about phosphorus yet. I need to do a proper soil test and see what our content is.

Ours are not swimming lakes. Our lakes are pretty murky from the clay soil and pretty shallow, 10 feet max would be my guess. We do have quite a few people fishing though. I'm hoping that restoring the dam banks will help clear up the ponds.

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148534 02/09/09 09:42 PM
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Georgia pond
If you use the Corn Gluten it is a mild fertilizer. Look at the local garden center for a humate or we use gardenville soil food both are all organic. Do not get concerned about the numbers on the bag, unlike synthetic fertalizers organics will feed the soil not the plant directly. Healthy soil makes for healthy lawns.

Did I also read you had a cricket problem. Crickets is easy to solve with benifical nematodes.


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Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Chuck Fikes #148559 02/10/09 05:58 AM
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Thanks Chuck. Where do you get your nematodes? How do you apply them?

Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Georgia pond #148650 02/10/09 05:42 PM
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Consider just hand spot spraying weeds are they appear,Lot safer approach to weed control A good 2 4 d that also has an Aquatic label will work fine, We use Weedar 64 up to the waters edge and it has an Aquatic label.Your local JDL should have it or search NuFarm products that are labeled in your neck of the woods.

Last edited by Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN; 02/10/09 05:43 PM.
Re: Lawn care around a pond?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN #148655 02/10/09 07:14 PM
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Thanks Ted. I'll check out the aquatic 2 4 d's.

Since I didn't use a pre-emergent last year there are all sorts of weeds everywhere now, making spot spraying time consuming. I'm spraying with a Solo back pack sprayer. We have another volunteer on the other dam, but she is using a two gallon pump sprayer. That is why I was hoping for some relief by using a weed and feed.

It's all good though. Everything will still look much better than the same time last year when nothing was done but mowing. We are getting an early start on weeding. Plus, I don't think anyone expects the area to be weed free. The summer heat will kill most of the weeds anyway starting in May. Last year it was like someone hit a switch and all of the sudden the weeds died out and the grass appeared.

I started caring for the area starting last March when I grew tired of the neglect. The new home owners association is looking for a service to do the fertilizing and weeding. I may keep doing it if I can get good enough at it. The volunteer work has been rewarding and I am learning a lot. It is good to see the area slowly being restored to its original appearance.

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