Author Topic: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread  (Read 10309 times)

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Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #60 on: October 17, 2016, 04:50:02 PM »

Offline moiso

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I am thrilled this forum topic exists... on CB no less.

Here's my question, about lawns.

I've been a homeowner for about a year and have done nothing to my lawn other than mow it and water it. It looks terrible in many places, dry and weed infested.

Is it necessary to hire a lawn company to fertilize, re-seed, de-weed, etc? It's expensive for a big property, and I've also heard that some companies will use high nitrogen fertilizers that are like crack for your lawn, ie they make it spruce right back up but it's not that healthy underneath.

A landscaper we talked to recently said he wants to "dethatch" the lawn, that is tear it up and re-seed it. Then he said I should just buy a spreader and some low-nitrogen fertilizer and just fertilize 3-4 times per year. I'm not sold on the need to "dethatch" (others say this is counterproductive, you just need to "aerate".

Anyway, any and all advice welcome.
A few years ago my front lawn had deteriorated very badly because we went through a drought and I had it very short and didn't water it.  I spent a whole season trying to fix it myself with fertilizer,  more seeds, etc.  It didn't work and it was a huge waste time and small waste of money.  I was told it was so bad I should have all the old stuff removed and I had the yard hydroseeded.  It's been absolutely beautiful ever since.  I now have a lawn service,  and it's super convenient and they keep the lawn looking great.   It's not all that expensive either- like $330 for them to come and greet the front yard and the back yard 5 times a year.

Also, the back yard wasn't looking so great but it was salvageable.  I let the lawn company core aerate it one year and spread seeds the same visit.  They brought that yard back to good standing too.   

You can try it yourself, but it's a guarantee of success if you let a professional do it.

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #61 on: October 17, 2016, 04:56:48 PM »

Offline hwangjini_1

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given how ecologically evil the modern lawn is, perhaps you could decide to fill in bad spots with alternatives to grass. for example:

- ornamental grass (it can grow from 3' to 8', looks nice)
- flower boxes
- ground cover, many come with flowers, lots to choose from
- lawn ornaments/statues

these all are a LOT less work and a LOT easier on the ecosystem.

here are a few examples:
http://eartheasy.com/grow_lawn_alternatives.htm
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/19141968/list/7-low-maintenance-lawn-alternativeshttps://www.planetnatural.com/organic-lawn-care-101/alternatives/
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Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2016, 05:52:00 PM »

Offline Surferdad

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given how ecologically evil the modern lawn is, perhaps you could decide to fill in bad spots with alternatives to grass. for example:

- ornamental grass (it can grow from 3' to 8', looks nice)
- flower boxes
- ground cover, many come with flowers, lots to choose from- lawn ornaments/statues

these all are a LOT less work and a LOT easier on the ecosystem.

here are a few examples:
http://eartheasy.com/grow_lawn_alternatives.htm
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/19141968/list/7-low-maintenance-lawn-alternativeshttps://www.planetnatural.com/organic-lawn-care-101/alternatives/
I've had good luck covering areas with pachysandra and vinca (sp).

Also suggest mulching out an area (such as a tree grouping) with bark mulch, then make a border with small stones.  You can then plant ornamentals in the mulch.

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #63 on: October 17, 2016, 06:23:26 PM »

Offline rocknrollforyoursoul

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given how ecologically evil the modern lawn is, perhaps you could decide to fill in bad spots with alternatives to grass. for example:

- ornamental grass (it can grow from 3' to 8', looks nice)
- flower boxes
- ground cover, many come with flowers, lots to choose from- lawn ornaments/statues

these all are a LOT less work and a LOT easier on the ecosystem.

here are a few examples:
http://eartheasy.com/grow_lawn_alternatives.htm
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/19141968/list/7-low-maintenance-lawn-alternativeshttps://www.planetnatural.com/organic-lawn-care-101/alternatives/
I've had good luck covering areas with pachysandra and vinca (sp).

Also suggest mulching out an area (such as a tree grouping) with bark mulch, then make a border with small stones.  You can then plant ornamentals in the mulch.

The downside of bark mulch and the like (e.g., crushed rock) is that it can easily get strewn around the yard, especially if you have little kids. In the 10 years I operated my own lawn-care business, I came to despise mulch and crushed rock. ;D
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Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #64 on: October 17, 2016, 06:37:00 PM »

Online Neurotic Guy

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With the drought this summer, my usually very nice lawn took some abuse.  It's still mostly grassy but has spots of dead grass.   My plan was just to take a garden rake, scrape the ground on the bare spots and pick up whatever dead grass comes up with the scraping.  My plan was not to go so far as digging up and turning over the dirt in these areas.  I was then going to apply my winter fertilizer. 

I am thinking I may be too late to over-seed now but will do in the spring.   Does this sound like an OK plan?

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #65 on: October 17, 2016, 06:59:34 PM »

Offline SHAQATTACK

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75 low humidy .....all the neighbors gone left the island till next May .....time to do work. ....just little ol me here .......love it.  Stuff grows year around , I swear a tree can grow five feet depending on the type of course.

I cleared out a load of tree and debris that surrounds my property and trimmed the overhang into my property that kills my grass.  If I don't the topical storms will do heir own type of landscaping.

I cut a dump truck load .

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #66 on: October 17, 2016, 07:13:48 PM »

Offline eja117

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With the drought this summer, my usually very nice lawn took some abuse.  It's still mostly grassy but has spots of dead grass.   My plan was just to take a garden rake, scrape the ground on the bare spots and pick up whatever dead grass comes up with the scraping.  My plan was not to go so far as digging up and turning over the dirt in these areas.  I was then going to apply my winter fertilizer. 

I am thinking I may be too late to over-seed now but will do in the spring.   Does this sound like an OK plan?
My lawn issue is I think a skunk trying to eat grubs under it. Mixed feelings.

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #67 on: October 17, 2016, 07:30:44 PM »

Online Neurotic Guy

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With the drought this summer, my usually very nice lawn took some abuse.  It's still mostly grassy but has spots of dead grass.   My plan was just to take a garden rake, scrape the ground on the bare spots and pick up whatever dead grass comes up with the scraping.  My plan was not to go so far as digging up and turning over the dirt in these areas.  I was then going to apply my winter fertilizer. 

I am thinking I may be too late to over-seed now but will do in the spring.   Does this sound like an OK plan?
My lawn issue is I think a skunk trying to eat grubs under it. Mixed feelings.

I had a grub issue once about 25 years ago.  I ended up spreading grub killer, digging up the entire lawn, reseeding.  Once that was done, an annual grub-killer application kept them away. 

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #68 on: October 18, 2016, 07:45:50 AM »

Offline eja117

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I've got more moss out there than I'd like

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #69 on: October 18, 2016, 10:31:04 AM »

Offline RMO

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With the drought this summer, my usually very nice lawn took some abuse.  It's still mostly grassy but has spots of dead grass.   My plan was just to take a garden rake, scrape the ground on the bare spots and pick up whatever dead grass comes up with the scraping.  My plan was not to go so far as digging up and turning over the dirt in these areas.  I was then going to apply my winter fertilizer. 

I am thinking I may be too late to over-seed now but will do in the spring.   Does this sound like an OK plan?

I did this exact thing with a few dead spots just a few days ago.  I've been told this is the best time to do it.  Weather is cool and rainy so less chance of the seeds drying out.  Fewer birds to worry about too which is nice.  There should be enough time for the roots to establish themselves before going dormant for the winter.  The problem with spring is there are more weeds and in these bare spots the new grass will have to compete with them.

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #70 on: October 18, 2016, 10:44:07 AM »

Offline bballinlilbetty

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So you know that ring in the toilet that happens? Have any of you ever successfully removed it or even seriously reduced it?  Without buying a new toilet?  After having had said ring for like 2 or 3 years?

We tried doing some stuff from youtube and failed pretty badly

I used to have that issue - I have a well with water that has a bit of iron in it. They sell tablets that you can put in the TANK of your toilet. They are essentially bleach tablets. They come in a few different scents. Don't get the "Iron Out" ones. Those don't work. Get the ones by Clorox that actually have bleach. Each table lasts about 2 months I think. Best $4.99 investment I've ever made. I got mine at Lowes - but I'm sure they have them at any grocery store, hardware store, etc. They take a bit of time to work depending on how deep the stain is (maybe a month or so). But next time you go to change the tablet, you will see the huge difference in your tank alone. And as you flush it will clean the toilet too.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 10:51:54 AM by bballinlilbetty »

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #71 on: October 18, 2016, 11:07:13 AM »

Offline bballinlilbetty

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I am thrilled this forum topic exists... on CB no less.

Here's my question, about lawns.

I've been a homeowner for about a year and have done nothing to my lawn other than mow it and water it. It looks terrible in many places, dry and weed infested.

Is it necessary to hire a lawn company to fertilize, re-seed, de-weed, etc? It's expensive for a big property, and I've also heard that some companies will use high nitrogen fertilizers that are like crack for your lawn, ie they make it spruce right back up but it's not that healthy underneath.

A landscaper we talked to recently said he wants to "dethatch" the lawn, that is tear it up and re-seed it. Then he said I should just buy a spreader and some low-nitrogen fertilizer and just fertilize 3-4 times per year. I'm not sold on the need to "dethatch" (others say this is counterproductive, you just need to "aerate".

Anyway, any and all advice welcome.

I guess it depends on how much work you are willing to put in. I'm in a new house, where the previous owners tried to be 100% organic, and let everything grow wild. I grew up in a house of green lawn, so I had my work cut out for me to get things how I wanted.

If you can aerate your lawn, I hear that is the best thing. If not, dethatching will work well too. Dethatching essentially will dig up the dead grass that sits on top of the soil - so the rain, fertilizer, etc. can actually get to the grass and roots. Aerating does a bit of both, while leaving the plugs on top of the current grass helps naturally fertilize it too. But you only need to do this every 3 years or so.

This would be my advice though if you are willing to do it yourself. First, you need to understand to get your lawn looking great, it is going to take a lot of time - a couple years most likely. Second, commit to applying the proper fertilizers. I follow the "Scotts STEPS" guide, which makes things super easy. At the very beginning of spring, you put down fertilizer that has crab grass preventer in it. This will help tame and kill any existing crab grass you have or is trying to grow. About 8 weeks later, you give it the next round of fertilizer - this has stuff that will kill satan himself, otherwise known as dandilions. Another 8 weeks later they have a "heat control" which basically has some chemicals that try's to slow down the growth of your grass during peak summer so it doesn't require as much water. Then another 8 weeks later you can apply your winter fertilizer or really any of the others you have already applied based on how your lawn looks.

When mowing your lawn, I've always just used a mulching bladed mower. Makes it easier to manage since I don't have to bag the clippings, and the clippings actually put nutrients back into the lawn. Also, make sure you cut it shorter at the end of the season, and longer at the beginning and especially peak summer when it gets less water.

I don't know how bad your lawn looks - but trying to reseed an entire lawn from scratch can be very difficult. You'll likely end up with lots of weeds, uneven growth, etc. if not using hydroseed or something more professional than just casting seed and using a sprinkler.

If you have somewhat contained areas of weeds, you could always pull those up, throw down some new soil and plant new grass. Remember that wherever you have grass, weeds wont grow. And that grass will naturally try to "spread." So you just have to give it time, try to feed it and control the mayhem that you have, and help it along where you can.

I think most peoples lawns took a tough hit this year with the lack of water and rain - but it should come back looking better next spring. As far as hiring a professional - you could always have them come out, give you a quote with listing of everything they would be doing. Then take that list and quote, and do what they suggest on your own. The fertilizer is somewhat expensive depending on the size of your lawn, but it makes a world of difference I have seen.

Good luck and enjoy!

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #72 on: October 18, 2016, 12:18:59 PM »

Offline Surferdad

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given how ecologically evil the modern lawn is, perhaps you could decide to fill in bad spots with alternatives to grass. for example:

- ornamental grass (it can grow from 3' to 8', looks nice)
- flower boxes
- ground cover, many come with flowers, lots to choose from- lawn ornaments/statues

these all are a LOT less work and a LOT easier on the ecosystem.

here are a few examples:
http://eartheasy.com/grow_lawn_alternatives.htm
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/19141968/list/7-low-maintenance-lawn-alternativeshttps://www.planetnatural.com/organic-lawn-care-101/alternatives/
I've had good luck covering areas with pachysandra and vinca (sp).

Also suggest mulching out an area (such as a tree grouping) with bark mulch, then make a border with small stones.  You can then plant ornamentals in the mulch.

The downside of bark mulch and the like (e.g., crushed rock) is that it can easily get strewn around the yard, especially if you have little kids. In the 10 years I operated my own lawn-care business, I came to despise mulch and crushed rock. ;D
We raised one child in a yard with lots of mulched areas.  Just need to make sure they don't fiddle with, or eat, the mulch bits.  This does require careful supervision and more importantly, getting them involved with other outdoor activities.

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2016, 10:16:03 AM »

Offline eja117

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Thought I had the gosh darn curtain rods in there perfect. Then they just fall right out of the wall (after like a year). I now have to repair a small hole and find the [dang] stud that seems impossible to find.

Re: Yard work/homeowner stuff thread
« Reply #74 on: November 05, 2016, 10:42:43 AM »

Offline Redz

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Thought I had the gosh darn curtain rods in there perfect. Then they just fall right out of the wall (after like a year). I now have to repair a small hole and find the [dang] stud that seems impossible to find.

I put up a shelf in my shed last weekend.  I'm super proud of myself.  It's straight and sturdy and everything.

Totally baffled with what to do with my yard that was dug up last spring for a new leeching pit / septic system.  Crab grass looked ok in the summer, but now it's ugly out there.

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