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#1
Old 06-28-2002, 02:15 PM
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Ask the Guy with the Greatest Lawn Care Advice Anywhere! Got issues? Check in here!

Ah....life in my part of the world right now is full of people pouring chemicals into their lawns, buying fungicides, fighting drought, lugging bag clippings around and spending dollar upon dollar on their lawns. And most of them look like crap, or cost hundreds of dollars and have issues every week. Or, they water and water and water....and still have issues. All because they get stuck in the Scott's (TM) mentality, or the Home Improvement store mentality.

Of the hundreds of homes around me, I have the greenest and healthiest lawn to be found. Additionally, I have the lowest maintenace and the lowest cost.

Most people are on step 3 or 4, or have watered 3x as much...or have lugged countless bags of clippings to the curb, or wherever.

Me? I fertilized last in September. That's right, I said September. Total outlay for my half acre of grass? 25 bucks!

I haven't bagged clippings in two years now.

Haven't needed fungus control, or disease control. When the grubs got a little tough, I broke down and spot treated with a $6 back of bug control - generic no-less.

People ask me who does my lawn, and I tell them 'no one'. What program of fertilizer? 'None!' They get indignant! They think I'm holding out!

There are many more tricks to turning you lawn care into almost "no care". Want them? Just ask?

Have a problem...tired of chasing your tail? Let me know. I can help you and your lawn!

Enjoy the summer, don't fret over your lawn!
#2
Old 06-28-2002, 02:27 PM
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I think my Dionaea Muscipula get too wet. They handle the Winter freeze fine, but vanish in the rainy Spring.
#3
Old 06-28-2002, 02:30 PM
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Preach it, brother. Our methods are the same, although I did give it a half application of fertilizer in April.

I'll deep water in the summer for about 30 minutes a week early in the morning. A neighbor lets his run in the afternoons for 10 to 11 hours, depending on when he remembers it. Mine looks a heck of a lot better and I never get brown patch.
#4
Old 06-28-2002, 02:35 PM
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Okay - my lawn consists mostly of moss and dandelions. And I rent, so major lawn care projects are out of the question.

Any advice?
#5
Old 06-28-2002, 02:41 PM
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I live in Nevada....plenty 'o sun.
Brown spots come and go...healthy patch here, weak patch there.
Sprayed to kill the little bugs (gnat-like) and also put down some fertilizer in the Spring and Winter...
I water 15 minutes at 5:00am. That's it.

Tell me, Mr. Sod....what am I doing wrong/right?
#6
Old 06-28-2002, 03:00 PM
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See Hillbilly Queen's question abut mole removal.

StG
#7
Old 06-28-2002, 03:32 PM
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Dmark - not enough water. Water should soak in twice a week.

Bump it up 45-50mins.

Shallow watering causes thatch, disease, encourage weeds and bugs.
#8
Old 06-28-2002, 03:37 PM
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I am trying to not use chemicals. I did not weed and feed this year. I fertilized this spring. I have this weird vine / weed / ??? that winds itself all through my grass. I some spots it has choked the St.Augustine out. I live in Houston so we get lots of heat and at least currently lots of rain.
How can I get my lawn thick and green and healthy without weeds and without chemicals?
#9
Old 06-28-2002, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lawoot
Okay - my lawn consists mostly of moss and dandelions. And I rent, so major lawn care projects are out of the question.

Any advice?
You answered you own question: It'd be a major project.

Could try a moss killer, weed killer, then re-seeding in fall.

Re-seeding by hand could take a few years to establish enough desirable grass.

Other than that, smells of major project.

Best now since its crap anyway: kill the moss, weed 'n' feed, and keep cutting it. Grass likes cutting and weeds dont. Weeds are green and look half decent cut.

cut about mid setting. Healthy lawns get cut highest setting. Leave all clippings.
#10
Old 06-28-2002, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacksen9
I am trying to not use chemicals. I did not weed and feed this year. I fertilized this spring. I have this weird vine / weed / ??? that winds itself all through my grass. I some spots it has choked the St.Augustine out. I live in Houston so we get lots of heat and at least currently lots of rain.
How can I get my lawn thick and green and healthy without weeds and without chemicals?

You could jump to a fall feeding (i'm less familiar with such southern climates) only - organic. Good products from Ringer and Milorganite. Also, depending on the area, there are various local organic weed killers. They are usually local in distribution.

Good Weed mgmt also comes from:

frequent cutting, high cutting and deep twice weekly watering.

To catch up, get a liquid weed killer that advertises to 'stick' even in the rain. May need it twice.

You might need chemicals to catch up only on the weeds.
#11
Old 06-28-2002, 03:54 PM
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Moles? alot ... might need a trapper.

One bugger? Use the yard, walk around, etc.....and shove steel wool into any holes.

Using the yard actually helps, as infrequently used yards will be more attractive to Mr Mole.
#12
Old 06-28-2002, 03:56 PM
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Identify weeds here...pic links on right.

Buy a weekiller that mentions the specific weed:

http://dgsgardening.btinternet.co.uk/weeds.htm
#13
Old 06-28-2002, 04:01 PM
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Creeping Charlie.
Live in Wisconsin.
It's invaded my grass now, from my 'garden'. Bastards just grow and grow.
I'm an amatuer lawn care guy, so the Borax thing is out, I'll overdo or underdo what is needed.

What do I do to get rid of it, Guy With The Greatest Lawn Care Advice?
#14
Old 06-28-2002, 04:20 PM
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First of all, you need to be sure that Charlie is who he says he is because proper weed ID is essential to good weed control.

Adjust your practices to improve turf health and density (that is, increase mowing height to 3 inches or more, fertilize and overseed in the fall, water properly, etc.). DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS. Keep soil dry as long as possible.

A postemergence broadleaf weed killer containing salt of dicamba (3,6-dichloro-o-anisic acid) is your best bet. Check the ingredient list on the label to see if it contains this active ingredient. Often it is found in combination products (Trimec, Three Way Lawn Weed Killer, etc.) and is mixed with weed killers, 2,4-D (2,4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) and mecoprop or MCPP (2-(2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy) propionic acid). Products containing triclopyr or 2,4-DP may also provide decent control.

in the spring, spray again. In fact, wait until he is blooming, as he is very susceptible to herbicides at that time (April to June). Again, a second application may be necessary.

NO BORAX!

Again, weedkillers might be necessary to catch up and give you time to adopt good practices.
#15
Old 06-28-2002, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Philster
Dmark - not enough water. Water should soak in twice a week.

Bump it up 45-50mins.

Shallow watering causes thatch, disease, encourage weeds and bugs.
PER DAY?!
Yikes....this is a desert!
Ya want me to drain Lake Mead?
When I said 15minutes at 5:00am, that is every morning, 7 days a week.
Or do you mean ONLY water twice a week for 45-50 minutes and not water the other days?
That would be pretty iffy with our average 105-110 degree days burning on it all day.
#16
Old 06-28-2002, 06:53 PM
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Our city has a weed abatement program. I keep telling people who want me to cut their weeds that
if they would just wait for them to flower first & then let me cut them, then I won't have to cut
them again so soon. Naturally they get around two feet high, which looks spooky.

So what do you think? Wait for the grass to flower or just do it when its 4" high? These
are meadows by the way. Not lawns.
#17
Old 06-28-2002, 07:21 PM
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Thanks Philster. I will follow your advice and hopefully get rid of my weeds.
#18
Old 06-28-2002, 08:12 PM
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Well... here's my situation:

Climate: Memphis --> hot & humid in the summer, occasional ice and snow in the winter.

Ground: Mostly clay and sand. There's about 1-3" of dirt/sand/clay mixture on top, then it's clay and sand beneath that. Needless to say, the ground is like concrete.

Lawn: Err. What lawn? It's a roughly 10 feet by 20 feet chunk of earth hemmed in on all sides by concrete, exposed to full sun all day. Normally it's mostly clover, but the heat has killed all of that off for the season. The grass that is there might be bermuda: it's been neglected for so long at it's best it looks like a guy's 2 o'clock shadow, but with mange. (It doesn't even rate being compared to a 3 o'clock shadow.)

What kinds of options do I have? I'd prefer it to be as low upkeep as possible, and it doesn't have to be your standard run-of-the-mill lawn: I'd be just as happy if anyone knows of an herb or other plant that will serve as ground cover. (The one exception: vines/ivy, I just don't like the look of that as ground cover in an urban setting.) If I had a way to haul in some nice looking gravel, I'd turn it into a rock garden: who cares if that wouldn't 'match' the house.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!

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#19
Old 06-29-2002, 12:18 AM
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I'm a neophyte, be gentle with me. I've never had a lawn before. I mean, Mom had a lawn when I was growing up, but other than mowing it and moving the sprinkler ocassionally, I have no experience with a lawn.

Buying a house with a small yard. Haven't examined the lawn closely, but there are some small bald patches in the back (looks like where kids have played). The back yard is fairly shady, would get mid-day sun. How do I get grass to grow here? In front, the grass looks okay, not too green, but not all brown, no obvious weeds. This part of the yard will get a lot of sun. What do I need to do to keep it healthy?

I'm buying a push mower (it's a small yard), what other "lawn tools" am I going to need.

Salem is warmish in the summer, July-September daytime weather in the 70's and 80's, with a few 90's thrown in. It generally cools off at night, and we can count on some rain (like right now) all summer.
#20
Old 06-29-2002, 12:39 AM
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Climate is MD Eastern Shore. My yard is very shady and the lawn is dying or dead in the shady places in back and is also losing the battle in front. The giant Loblolly pines in the front yard suck all the water out the soil and don't leave any for the grass. They also cover the ground (ie grass) with pine shats. I rarely water and leave that to the whims of nature. I have a new mulching mower that pulverizes the grass clippings. When should I seed? How often should I water? Why are there ant hills all over my front yard. Why are some large areas of my back yard all weirdly soft and spongy underfoot (it's almost creepy) . Do I need a sprinkler system? A riding mover with a thatching attachment? Little rugs of of sod farm grass laid down? I'm so confused. My lawn hates me and I hate it. Mutual loathing with a monocot can't be good for the soul.
#21
Old 06-29-2002, 02:43 PM
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astro, maybe you should just get some turf.



I'm sorry, really I am, very, very sorry.






No, I'm not.
#22
Old 06-29-2002, 05:18 PM
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My turn.

Surrounding our 16-acre property (in east central AL.. Alabama clay) on two sides is pulpwood land. The third side is a nice little cemetary. Our land *used* to be pulpwood land.. we cleared out only enough for the house site and a little path to an observation area. Rest of it is still natural forest (and briars that are about as thick as your wrist). Before we cleared, there was no shortage of grass and other ground cover. But now..

Oh, ::sigh::.

Once we had the house started, we tried to seed the areas we wanted as lawn. So we seeded. Put out the seed, put pine straw over the seed, watered as instructed, and waited. And waited. And waited. Right, then. Put out a different type of seed, blew cellulose over the seed, watered, and waited. Still waiting. Now we have some clumps, here and there, of sad-looking grass, but the rest of the yard is still Alabama clay. And we have erosion problems from hell, which could be solved if we had GRASS.

What the heck are we doing wrong? The trees we transplanted are doing *fabulously*- less than a week after we put them out they were putting out new shoots all over the place. Even our hawthorne, which is notoriously tempermental. But we can't grow grass!
#23
Old 06-29-2002, 07:17 PM
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"I haven't bagged clippings in two years now."

I mowed that meadow of grass, grass was one to two feet high, didn't have to bag anything, reason is, todays mowers
are mulching mowers,

Haven't watered my clients lawn for 8 years, doesn't need fertilizer either. I noticed its fed by an
undergroup spring. Green all year long.
#24
Old 06-30-2002, 12:06 AM
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Here's a real easy question that I was going to start a thread with, but now I don't have to:

I'm a new homeowner. I have about a half-acre lot, mostly on a hill. Eventually I'm going to have to mow it, so I need to buy a lawn mower. (I won't have to mow it very often--this is the fourth year of drought conditions around here.) What should I get? I'm thinking a self-propelled is probably the best way to go, because of the hill. Is a Lawn-Boy really all it's cracked up to be, or are other brands of mower just as good?

Dr. J
#25
Old 06-30-2002, 12:26 AM
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Thanks for doing this, Philster. You've already helped before (when we needed to fill some sparse spots, thanks a bunch.

Today's problem is that my yard just looks a little blah. Kind of yellow. No major weeds or other things. Just looks a little anemic next to my neigbors (we'll call them the Joneses). I'd like to spend as little time and money on the yard as possible, and still keep the yard within community standards.

FWIW we are in a small city just north of Cincinnati, Ohio.
#26
Old 06-30-2002, 03:33 AM
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Okay, I'll toss in...

First-time lawn owner. Lawn is in okay shape, not gorgeous, but passable. I'm trying to make it better by doing the home improvement routine, but am not sure if that's the best/easiest way to go.

Right now my main goal is to get the weeds under control. I had dandelions and crabgrass all over the place a while ago, but after hitting them with the weed killer ("kills weeds, not grass"), most of it seems to be gone. There's still some crabgrass hanging around, though, and I'm hoping that a repeat attack with the weed killer will get rid of them for good. My questions are:

(1) What's a sure-fire way to get rid of weeds from the lawn and keep them out? Preferably without requiring a big investment in time.

(2) What's the One True Path to a beautiful green lawn that doesn't require a big investment in time?

(Yeah, I'm a lazy SOB, so sue me )
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#27
Old 06-30-2002, 10:17 AM
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Hi, Philster.
You'll probably think I'm nuts for asking this question, but here goes anyway. Is there any way I can get my lawn to grow more slowly? I absolutely hate mowing the lawn. It used to be my husband's responsibility, but he has back problems now, so I've had to take it over. We have never joined the lawn worship cult that so many of our neighbors are a part of, so as long as we have something other than dirt for a yard, we're ok with it.
#28
Old 06-30-2002, 10:33 AM
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DoctorJ,
I would get a field mower, these have big wheels on the back. I use one for a similar situation as yours
although no slope. I don't think they make one thats self propelled though.

"Kind of yellow."

Get some iron (liquid spray if you can find it) & put it on, this should make it greener really fast without causing it to grow as fast.
Anemic= low iron :-)
#29
Old 07-02-2002, 03:09 AM
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Philster darling, where are you? You offered advice, you offered insight, you said you were the best, you lit the flame of hope within us! We can be rid of weeds and brown patches. We can water the proper amount. We can have a beautiful lawn! You told us this and we believed. With trembling fingers, we typed in our darkest secrets, our lawn failures, our shame. And have you responded? Have you given us guidance? A few lucky ones, chosen ones? have received your wisdom, but the rest of us are still waiting, still hoping for the revelation of lush green-ness. Philster, we put our trust in you. So get busy and answer, forchistsakes. Jeez, some people.

handy, thanks for picking up the slack.
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#30
Old 07-02-2002, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DMark


PER DAY?!
Yikes....this is a desert!
Ya want me to drain Lake Mead?
When I said 15minutes at 5:00am, that is every morning, 7 days a week.
Or do you mean ONLY water twice a week for 45-50 minutes and not water the other days?
That would be pretty iffy with our average 105-110 degree days burning on it all day.

45 mins, twice a week, per area.!!!!!!!!!!

Water every day!!??!! Disease and bugs comes from that.
#31
Old 07-02-2002, 10:21 AM
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Dmark - you can do little 10 min daily watering in afternoon to cool soil and grass thorugh evaporation in addition to heavy 2-3 times per week watering.
#32
Old 07-02-2002, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by handy
Our city has a weed abatement program. I keep telling people who want me to cut their weeds that
if they would just wait for them to flower first & then let me cut them, then I won't have to cut
them again so soon. Naturally they get around two feet high, which looks spooky.

So what do you think? Wait for the grass to flower or just do it when its 4" high? These
are meadows by the way. Not lawns.
Handy, as a rule, weeds don't like to be cut, while lawns bounce back better and stronger from regular cuts.

Meadows that are turf grasses? Or meadows that are wild grasses? Wild grass might not be able to choke off weeds like turf grasses foun don lawns.

Still, cutting regularly and high reduces the weed population. Might not be an area where you can get rid of them, but they might be thriving if let to bloom. Bloom = seeds.....not good.
#33
Old 07-02-2002, 10:25 AM
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We just built us a house, and we just recently (about a month ago) put th grass down with straw, and have been watering it lately, because it has been dry. It's growing, and growing well, but it seems a little thin, and we are getting a lot of weeds. Why's that? Also, how long till I can mow it? Do we have to do anything special if it has never been mowed before?
#34
Old 07-02-2002, 10:25 AM
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Handy - do not wait for grass to flower either! (had to re-read)
#35
Old 07-02-2002, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nightsong
Well... here's my situation:

Climate: Memphis --> hot & humid in the summer, occasional ice and snow in the winter.

Ground: Mostly clay and sand. There's about 1-3" of dirt/sand/clay mixture on top, then it's clay and sand beneath that. Needless to say, the ground is like concrete.

Lawn: Err. What lawn? It's a roughly 10 feet by 20 feet chunk of earth hemmed in on all sides by concrete, exposed to full sun all day. Normally it's mostly clover, but the heat has killed all of that off for the season. The grass that is there might be bermuda: it's been neglected for so long at it's best it looks like a guy's 2 o'clock shadow, but with mange. (It doesn't even rate being compared to a 3 o'clock shadow.)

What kinds of options do I have? I'd prefer it to be as low upkeep as possible, and it doesn't have to be your standard run-of-the-mill lawn: I'd be just as happy if anyone knows of an herb or other plant that will serve as ground cover. (The one exception: vines/ivy, I just don't like the look of that as ground cover in an urban setting.) If I had a way to haul in some nice looking gravel, I'd turn it into a rock garden: who cares if that wouldn't 'match' the house.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!

Clover is a sign of underfertilization, especially a nitrogen poor soil.

First, concrete-like soil means you also lack organic material that holds moisture.

Since you don't have a lawn to take care of, it seems, you need to get going on the soil first (when I think of your area, I think Zoysia grass....but check you local dealers).

Anyway....you need to aerate (with a machine that removes plugs of soil) and add in a lot of organic material like compost or humus....or products called "clay busters" and similar stuff that home stores carry.

And it is a fall project.



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#36
Old 07-02-2002, 10:33 AM
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Darn, my answer is in that post above, starting with, "Clover is a sign of underfertilization..."
#37
Old 07-02-2002, 10:39 AM
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Kallesa, you need a metal rake to tend to the occassional bare spot.

You live in grass heaven, by the way.

bare spots that are small: rake and turn the soil and sprinkle with seed as per directions. Seed is sold regionally, so your home store will ahve varieties for your area.

For general up keep, every fall spread an organic fertilizer as per the directions.

Even fertilizers are local, so check the home stores and ask for "organic".

Follow the rest of the advice from above: cut high, water 2-3 times (if needed) and do it heavy, not light. Fetilize in fall only, and go organic.....mulch the grass, do not bag it.
#38
Old 07-02-2002, 10:43 AM
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"Still, cutting regularly and high reduces the weed population. Might not be an area where you can get rid of them, but they might be thriving if let to bloom. Bloom = seeds."

Well, I cut it quite high you see? I think about 4" with a field mower. Next day some idiot who needed
time away from his wife, did it again with a riding mower, which is just dumb since it looked fine after
I did it. Now three days later its brown. sigh. Mostly foxtail grass.
#39
Old 07-02-2002, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by flowers
Hi, Philster.
You'll probably think I'm nuts for asking this question, but here goes anyway. Is there any way I can get my lawn to grow more slowly? .

This is a great question: Water only as needed, which is 2-3 per week in most areas when rain is missing.

Also, do not use regular fertilizers from all the big fert companies. They are nitrogen heavy and cause a lot of unecessary top growth. Use organic as it releases fertilizer over time through micro organisms doing their thing. Water won't cause a surge growth w/ organics.

Different types of grasses grow differenty as well. Some ryegrasses are very aggressive and grow fast, some of the newer fescues are very short dwarf grasses. The labels usually advertise the lower slower growing qualities.
#40
Old 07-02-2002, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by astro
Climate is MD Eastern Shore. My yard is very shady and the lawn is dying..l.

Ok. Skipping the whole quote since slow enuff 'round here:

Okay...bring soil and grass samples to county extension office. This would be ideal. Most people would never do this, so start overseeding in the falls with shade tolerant grasses (note 'tolerant' as grass doesn't prefer the shade)....your 'turf type tall fescues' and your 'creeping fescues' are the best choices for shade.

Now, for cutting height under trees and shade, there are two schools of thought: One says to cut it as high as possible to give more blade square feet to compete with trees, the other says to cut it short (2") because all that blade means more grass that needs more water and nutrition.

From my experimentation, which is now on the short school says:

Shorter is better in shade. It seems to dry out better (which prevents disease), and needs less nutrition/water, which is a losing battle near trees. It also gets more sod like when short from tillering out, and this helps choke off smaller invading tree roots.

Soil acid test: chances are, your soil is screwed up from tree waste. Using the fescues will help, since they aren't as fussy for soil acidity. If you don't switch grass types, get soil test or test kit and follow directions. You probably need alot of lime.
#41
Old 07-02-2002, 12:20 PM
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Ahh, so when Fall comes I should:
Dig, dig, dig, and add... Would plain ol' manure work? That I can get relatively cheaply around here.

(We were planning to dig out the itty-bitty plots of soil directly in front of the house that currently serves as the residence of some massive ugly bushes, so we'll just dig up everthing while we're at it.)

Thanks for the help!
#42
Old 07-02-2002, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nightsong
Ahh, so when Fall comes I should:
Dig, dig, dig, and add... Would plain ol' manure work? That I can get relatively cheaply around here.

(We were planning to dig out the itty-bitty plots of soil directly in front of the house that currently serves as the residence of some massive ugly bushes, so we'll just dig up everthing while we're at it.)

Thanks for the help!
Manure is a fertilizer, but can be mixed with top soil. Not the best way to add organic matter
#43
Old 07-02-2002, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bobkitty
My turn.

Surrounding our 16-acre property (in east central AL.. Alabama clay) on two sides is pulpwood land. The third side is a nice little cemetary. Our land *used* to be pulpwood land.. we cleared out only enough for the house site and a little path to an observation area. Rest of it is still natural forest (and briars that are about as thick as your wrist). Before we cleared, there was no shortage of grass and other ground cover. But now..

Oh, ::sigh::.

Once we had the house started, we tried to seed the areas we wanted as lawn. So we seeded. ... .. But we can't grow grass!
Ok. I don't know what you irrigation habits were.

Planting seed: the seed needs to contact the soil, but not move when watered. The soil can't be hard...at a min, it needs 1-2" loosened, ideally 4" loosend. The grass seed should be watered several times per day, lightly. Mulching is good to prevent it from washing.

Seeding: I've had good results from created slits by hand or ny creating slits with a machine. The seed will germinate because it can't wash away. Some seed even grows when buried.

Starter fertilizer: If the land is unfertile, get a starter fertilizer. You can wave the "organic only" rule when planting seed - just get a starter fertilizer (see home store).

Can you fertilize, seed so there is contact and no movement, irrigate 3-4 times per day and wait? If so, you have a chance. If these criteria cannot be met, don't plant seed.
#44
Old 07-02-2002, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chekmate
We just built us a house, and we just recently (about a month ago) put th grass down with straw, and have been watering it lately, because it has been dry. It's growing, and growing well, but it seems a little thin, and we are getting a lot of weeds. Why's that? Also, how long till I can mow it? Do we have to do anything special if it has never been mowed before?
Run now, and get starter fertilizer and some more seed for later (fall).

Weeds are acceptable - heck, they'll even help the seedlings stay in place....to a degree. You can't have all that fresh ground and be weed free.

Most grass needs to be over 4" before cutting, and then only cut an inch.

I would let it get to 4-5" and cut it by an inch. I would get starter fertilizer on it NOW, and I would water it 4-5 times a day, lightly, keeping the soil moist. Not the best time to grow grass right now, but if you can water, you are ok. Come this fall, you can get your lawn to fill in completely.
#45
Old 07-02-2002, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rjung
Okay, I'll toss in...

First-time lawn owner. Lawn is in okay shape, not gorgeous, but passable. I'm trying to make it better by doing the home improvement routine, but am not sure if that's the best/easiest way to go.

Right now my main goal is to get the weeds under control. I had dandelions and crabgrass all over the place a while ago, but after hitting them with the weed killer ("kills weeds, not grass"), most of it seems to be gone. There's still some crabgrass hanging around, though, and I'm hoping that a repeat attack with the weed killer will get rid of them for good. My questions are:

(1) What's a sure-fire way to get rid of weeds from the lawn and keep them out? Preferably without requiring a big investment in time.

(2) What's the One True Path to a beautiful green lawn that doesn't require a big investment in time?

(Yeah, I'm a lazy SOB, so sue me )

1) How? Well...stop weeds before they start. How? In spring, put down a pre-emergent control. Then keep lawn cut high (see other advice in here about that golden rule) and water deep a few times a week. Cut regularly - weeds hate that. These practices, including getting OFF THE HOME IMPROVEMENT mega step program is a must. Mulch, don't bag the clippings, etc. Right now, you can hold them off, but not annialate them weeds.

2) LESS IS MORE: Water heavy heavy 2-3 times a week and cut back if rain supplements. Cut High, fertilize only in fall - maybe...maybe once in early spring. Use organic fertilizer - it lasts long and doesn't make gras grow fast....and it's cheap. Leave the clippings...they are PRICELESS.
#46
Old 07-02-2002, 01:37 PM
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OK Philster, here ya go.

I live in S. Wisconsin. Brand new house and yard in Spring of 2000. Pretty good sun all around, maybe even a little too much on the front yard in the afternoon. I aerated, and reseeded this spring along with 2 aps of weed n feed. I still have 2 problems though:

Weeds: Mainly clover and dandelions. I am beginning to win this battle, but still have odd "stripes" of weeds in my lawn. I also think I may have overdone the weedkiller as I also have....

Thin grass: A few small bare spots (including one where the weed n feed spreaded tipped over ), but mainly just thin, brittle grass. The side of my house that gets the most shade has a patch of thick, luxurious grass but a few feet away it's the same old thin crap. I water when I can (but not your recommended twice a week for 45 minutes). Could this alone do it?

Muchos Gracias
#47
Old 07-02-2002, 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by ShibbOleth
Thanks for doing this, Philster. You've already helped before (when we needed to fill some sparse spots, thanks a bunch.

Today's problem is that my yard just looks a little blah. Kind of yellow. No major weeds or other things. Just looks a little anemic next to my neigbors (we'll call them the Joneses). I'd like to spend as little time and money on the yard as possible, and still keep the yard within community standards.

FWIW we are in a small city just north of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Well, first ask yourself if you are following all the golden rules that have been mentioned:

cut high
water deep
leave clippings
organic fert in fall

Yellowy grass in spots could be a disease. The whole lawn Overall? it might need a kick, I doubt it, because you have no weeds or other probs.

I'm going to go out on a limb and tell you to check (sharpen) your mower blade. To get a whole lawn yellowy looking and not have weeds, it is likely that you are cutting a bit short AND with a dull blade. Look at your grass.....are the tops of the blades crisp and green or frayed and brownish and yellowy? Frayed = dull blade that is killing the grass.

If you cut high and w/ a sharp blade, even lacking fertilizer, you will be almost as green as any neighbor, especially over the long haul. Anybody can green up a lawn for the short haul w/ chems.

Those clippings that you leave and organic fertilizer will help you maintain a long green up, not like a short burst from chem fertilizers.

Rather than a dark dark green lawn in bursts, try for a modestly green lawn that stays that way for looonnnnng stretches.


You could dabble with some iron (Milorganite and Ironite are products that use iron for green up. Doesn't seem to hurt the lawn in anyway, while it does seem to help...although research hasn't had it's final say on it. )
#48
Old 07-02-2002, 02:21 PM
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Thanks, Philster.
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#49
Old 07-02-2002, 02:45 PM
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jk1245

thin crisp grass: underwatering

Clover: low nitrogen in soil. low usable nitrogen in soil - stop using the chem fertilizers like Scotts. Seek an organic alternative in your area....cut and leave grass clippings as they return nitrogen to the soil.

seed: weed and feed after seed? A big no-no. Weed and feed often contain chemicals that keep seed from germinating. Also, even if they just contain weed killers (kills live weeds), they should only be applied to established turf. Will harm new grass.

You need to be able to water if nature can't do it. Watering grass that is crispy will probably rot it and or invite disease. dry grass is going dormant and can only be awakened by a heavy heavy rain - something a heavy watering can't match.


In the shade, you soil is more moist, so grass is lusher.
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