Meet Olee Poole. He is a valued partner of ours who is passionate about turf and who is always learning and experimenting to find new ways to improve his yard. Members of our team had a great time visiting with him last month in North Carolina to talk all things lawn care. By collaborating with talented individuals such as Olee, we are able to constantly raise the bar in terms of the quality of our products and services. Our customers can be confident that they are receiving the best possible care for their lawns when they partner with us. Read on to learn more about Olee and his yard.
WinField United Pro (WinPro): How did you get started in this?
Olee: Buying this place because it was such a project (laughs). I’ve always wanted a good looking yard. I can say I bought the mower before I had grass. It was always a dream to have it and then you know, I’ve just gotten carried away with it. When I first seeded it, I went and bought about eight bags of grass seed. The guy said you need sixteen. I was like their ain’t no way I’m paying that much. And then I started learning. You can’t be cheap and have it turn out the way you want it.
WinPro: One of the things with the different grass seed varieties is that the seeding rate is the seeding rate. It’s based on how many seeds you need per square foot, how big the seed is, the seeding rate is different for each of the turf varieties. You gotta put out the right about of seed. That’s the place to not skimp.
WinPro: What do your neighbors think about your yard?
Olee: They like it. I’ve offered to help, but they’re just not into it. My oldest daughter is into soccer. She’s out running around with a soccer ball. I mean we use it. We play on it. I hate to say it, but that equipment every once in a while goes across it. You can see right here where the truck went across and hauled the rocks out. I’ll probably run the aerator across that and try to loosen it back up.
WinPro: People always get the perception when you fertilize that everything has to be the same and it doesn’t. You can find areas. You can micromanage parts of your turfgrass that maybe for whatever reason - it’s the rock or they have a traffic area that’s a little more compacted – and you can put a little more down on those areas to compensate for the lower turf quality or the soil is not as good. And just keep notes on it. It may be something where you find you have certain areas where they just always need a little bit more.
Olee: I’ll write down the date that like I coreplugged up here and what I put down and put some grass seed down. I try to put down how many bags I used as far as poundage and what setting I ran the permagreen on. When I go back, I don’t have to guess on the setting, I know.
WinPro: Where do you go to get your resources to learn about what to do?
Olee: A lot of it is from screwing up (laughs) and then I get fortunate enough to meet people like y’all (at WinField) and pick your brain. A lot of it’s from losing turf or messing up something or burning it and learning from that.
WinPro: Do you feel like now that you have experienced issues like with army worms do you see yourself starting to be more proactive with your approaches?
WinPro: How are you watering your yard?
It’s irrigated over that way. I have ground irrigation, but out here I have the big sprinkler and I have a one inch lay flat and I have to drag it around out here in this field, and I have some ball valves buried.
WinPro: Have you had any disease issues?
Olee: Oh yeah. I’ve had a little bit of brown patch, but what I really struggle with is gray leaf spot. I see some of that and I don’ know if it’s because maybe I’m heavy with the nitrogen.
WinPro: Could be the watering. When you guys get into the time of the summer when he’s watering heavy, what’s the humidity like?
WinPro: So high humidity, overwatering potentially… and that’s another one when we look at not only how much nitrogen for the season, but the type. Is there too much quick release? A lot of these disease issues are flared by quick release nitrogen. Seeing a lot of flush top growth, that tends to exacerbate some of the leaf issues.
Olee: That’s one of the reasons I want to mow lower this year. You know, last year I kept it at 5 inches. That’s what everybody claims: tall fescue, 5 inches. I don’t like it. It’s hard to walk in, it laid the grass over with the mower tires. I like this 3.5 so much better and I want it to get some air. The way I look at it is it’s sweaty and disgusting down there in the summertime because of the humidity. The humidity in North Carolina is bad. When you take a shower and walk outside, you think you shouldn’t have even taken a shower.
WinPro: What would be your advice for folks starting out their DIY journey?
Olee: The first thing I learned the hard way is when you first start is to make sure you have your compaction taken care of.
I broke that and now the water can move – uniform percolation. Take care of all your compaction before you ever start your turf in my opinion and if you can add some type of organic seed in with it and work it before you even start. Soil test and a PH test and figure out what actual nutrients it needs and then go to WinField and buy your grass seed and fertilizer.