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Lawn Care


Lexusfreak
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Just curious what folks use to care for their lawns? I've been given advice from family to not go crazy with the fertilizer/chemicals etc & just keep my lawn mower on mulch (let the grass be it's own natural fertilizer etc), water & cut frequently which I have been doing.....our lawn looks decent enough, with very few weeds & dandilions....which I will take care of.

My next door neighbour has gone absolutely nuts & is putting no less than 4 different types of fertilizer on, weed chemicals out the wazoo had a landcsaping company bring this giant roller to flatten things out & is getting the lawn aerated. :blink::rolleyes: Mind you his grass looks fantastic, but he's also spending a fortune getting it like that.

I'm looking at doing a few low cost & low maintenance things (keep it simple) to improve the appearance.....our home was brand new last summer & looking for some suggestions. I'm trying my best to avoid dangerous chemicals because of our year old Son. I appreciate any assistance. B)

:cheers:

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I assume you have a cool-season grass such as tall fescue. If so, you're probably past the ideal window for late-winter application of fertilizer, even up there in the Great White North. What are your absolute maximum summer temperatures, and how much rainfall do you typically receive during the summer months? Without knowing your climate, it's hard to give you the best advice for maintaining and improving a fescue lawn.

But the single best thing you can ever do for your lawn is to aerate it. I do it myself every autumn, usually in late September, before planting my fall grass seed. Aeration establishes little microclimates in your turf and allows both air and water to penetrate deeper into the roots which is what grass plants require in order to thrive and improve year over year.

Assuming you have fescue, don't mow it below 3 inches, and 3.5 inches is actually better. Fescue needs a high crown in order to survive during the hot summer months. I bag my front lawn and mulch my back lawn. Bagging the grass provides for a cleaner look, but a fine mulch (assuming you're not cutting more than about a third of the height of the grass off at any time you mow) helps provide nutrients as well as moisture. I mulch the back lawn because our dogs live there and I never use fertilizer or chemicals on the back lawn as a result.

The rule of thumb for fertilizing fescue in our neck of the woods is to use three relatively light applications each year - the first in mid-February (our late winter), the second in late September (right after the new grass seed is applied over the just-aerated lawn), and the last in late November (to provide the new seedlings with enough nutrition to allow them to develop deep roots during the winter). Most homeowners over-fertilize - your grass will actually be healthier if you under-fertilize, so be stingy on using it, and stick with a product that promotes root growth over top growth. The key to long-term fescue survival and improvement is strong and healthy roots, not rapidly-growing top growth (which is a sign of overfertilization).

The biggest problem with fescue is that it is such a water hog. Our fescue lawn is more than 15 years old and since we tend to go into severe drought status each summer through autumn and sometimes even into winter, last October I began to convert our lawn from fescue to a heat-tolerant and drought-tolerant bluegrass hybrid called "Thermal Blue", developed by the Scotts Corporation. It spreads on rhizomes and is therefore very aggressive, it requires only about one-third of the water that fescue needs, and after two or three years it should no longer need to be seeded each autumn because the turf will be so thick. It is the only cool-season grass that sends out rhizomes and therefore spreads itself without having to be seeded after two to three years. You fertilize it and mow it and aerate it just like fescue, and it can be planted right into your fescue lawn without having to kill off your fescue first because the "Thermal Blue" is so aggressive that it will eventually take over and choke out your fescue. You may be too far north to plant "Thermal Blue", but if I were you, I would certainly look into it. After slaving over fescue since I was a kid in the 1960s, this "Thermal Blue" bluegrass hybrid is the only way to go if your climate permits it. And you only need a small amount of seed, usually about one-fifth of what you would need to plant fescue. So if you typically put out 25 pounds of fescue seed, count on ordering about 5 to 6 pounds of "Thermal Blue" seed. Hard to believe I know, but it's true.

My source for "Thermal Blue" seed is Green Velvet Sod Farms in Bellbrook, Ohio. Phone (800) 342-0571. Website www.greenvelvet.com. Check it out - this may be your answer as well....

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Wow! Thanks for the info RX....I will definately look into your suggestions. To answer your question earlier in your reply, this is the best I was able to find on the amount of precipitation & average temps we get in these parts...(precip is measured in mm's & temps in Celsius). Thanks again!

http://www.st-thomasedc.on.ca/index.php?page_id=686

:cheers:

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you need 4 apps of fert min, lime, and issues for grubs/inserts etc. Problem is most homeowners apps are the stuff at china-mart or HD. I use Leco since it is better. I also like to use only spray but I need some grans. I agree, most homeoners over app since most don't know what what grass they have, soil levels, think more is better and some think the pros and homeowners have the same stuff.

I use Dimension 2EC for pre-post (up to 3 tiller) emg ($800 for 2.5 gallons), Drive 75 ($140 for 1lb), talstar for insects ($60 for 32 oz), Confront for weeds ($200 per gallon), Merit ($80) for grubs I can go on and on. Works 100 time better and use very little. Most homeowners do not understand what the real stuff is. Heck a nice spreader is $300 to $500.

I agree aerate is one of the best but I would toss in a new pre-emg in the fall and it will stop about 80% of the next years crab.

Lastly, I would never use Scotts stuff; over priced and there ferts are nothing that great.

Grass is anyother hobby. In fact I just installed another inground sprinkler sys. 9 zones, 54 PGP/I-20 Hunter heads, ProC controller, 2,000 ft of poly pulled, Blazzing saddles, over 200 ft of Funny, mini-click wireless, etc...Lawn get approx 1" of rain per week.

I have 3 show dogs and kids. The trick, I feel, is water in fert etc water in 24 hours later, then wait to dry and you are fine..But I wait 48 hours onces dry and then all go on. After that time, it is in the root system. Also be careful with the mulcher...Too much is a bad thing

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Lawn is one of my hobbies (above detailing I think). Spray is or seems like a lot but you do not use mucg. Most is 1.5 ounce per 1,000 ft. Plus easier to control and quicker uptake.

My neighbors goat also has a unique spray attachment :cheers:

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