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Thread: The yard & garden line is OPEN

  1. #91
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck
    Hey Man, the point of this thread is to help people...not to make their neighbors laugh at them.
    Ha Ha. About 3-4 times a year, I remind my suburban nieghbors that I grew up in the sticks.

    This would be one way to remind them.

    GL

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  3. #92
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by gonelong

    My parents place had about 3 acres. We had buckhorns everywhere and my Dad's solution was to send us kids out with a hammer and a bucket. It actually worked pretty well.


    GL
    You sure it was the buckhorn and not just wanting some peace and quiet?
    Once on a trip to Traverse City (all day in the car with three boys!) my dad gave my brothers and me all a handful of non-dairy creamers and told us to shake them until they turned into butter. I think we shook the damned things from Dayton to Saginaw.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  4. #93
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Ok Sundeck,

    I just moved into a new house in May. The previous guy didn't take great care of the lawn and it had a lot of brown spots.
    I tried putting seed down(without doing anything else) and when it looked like that was taking, I spread some fertilizer on the whole front yard early in June.

    Now I've got huge dead spots, and most of the grass is getting a little worn. How can I get the grass green before the end of the summer.

    EDIT: Oh yeah the new house has a sprinkler system so water isn't an issue. I've been watering about 25-30 minutes 3-4 times a week.
    Last edited by Hoosier Red; 08-01-2006 at 04:40 PM.
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  5. #94
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck
    You sure it was the buckhorn and not just wanting some peace and quiet?
    Once on a trip to Traverse City (all day in the car with three boys!) my dad gave my brothers and me all a handful of non-dairy creamers and told us to shake them until they turned into butter. I think we shook the damned things from Dayton to Saginaw.
    Ha ha, it was probably a bit of both, though peace and quite was a pipe-dream for my Dad.

    I remember Mom and Dad packing up us 5 kids and Grandpa in the station wagon and driving to Pennsylvania for a 2 week "vacation" in a pop up camper. My Dad grew up as one of 14 kids and had 5 himself. He doesn't even know that you can have peace and quite at home. Dad's idea of peace and quite was to go fishing, and he regularly brought us little knuckleheads along so that probably wasn't it. (Incidentally, I listened to many a Reds game with Dad as we were cleaning fish ... we both love fish and he took me almost every weekend from spring to fall).

    Poor Mom on the other hand, she had grown up as 1 of 2 children and was stuck at home with us all summer.

    In our family, you were expected to pull your own weight. We didn't live on a farm or anything (I REALLY respected those kids, we had it creampuff compared to them) but we had 3+ acres of grass to mow with a 16" push-mower ... a 2+ acre garden that always needed plowing, fertilizing, planting, weeding, and harvesting ... apple, cherry, and peach trees to pick .. raspberries and strawberrys (endless quarts) to pick ... a grove of trees that made for endless leaf raking (and humongous piles of leaves to jump into) and picking up sticks from (to mow) ... as well as a 4 acre woods that always had dead trees to cut up and clear ... etc ... always something.

    My guess is that it was a rare instance when we were pretty much caught up on our other chores and he had to find something for us to do to keep us out of Mom's hair and out of trouble. If we had too much free time he would come home to an exasperated wife and have to dish out punishment (beware the "board of education"). : By keeping us busy he could come home to dinner and then tinker outside, checking up to see how our list of chores were coming along.

    GL

  6. #95
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red
    Ok Sundeck,

    I just moved into a new house in May. The previous guy didn't take great care of the lawn and it had a lot of brown spots.
    I tried putting seed down(without doing anything else) and when it looked like that was taking, I spread some fertilizer on the whole front yard early in June.

    Now I've got huge dead spots, and most of the grass is getting a little worn. How can I get the grass green before the end of the summer.
    Nitrogen is what makes your grass green. Applying just about any commercial fertilizer will have enough in it to do that. However, assuming you are in Indiana, you can forget about green until the heat wave is over. Cool season grasses respond to heat by going dormant. It's perfectly natural.

    Without seeing your yard, it's hard to know what the problem is with the brown spots, but let's just assume your lawn is just lacking in established turf, aeration and nutrients (that usually is the problem).

    When it cools off, your healthy grass will rebound, provided we get a little rain. Otherwise, I'd say, water it a lot in the mornings- that will help keep the root system healthy.

    Start a program for rejuvenating the lawn in late Summer. Keep watering, overseed, make sure you keep the root zone moist, then you can apply fall fertilizer...which is basically a greenup of Nitrogen. If you are ambitious, try aerating and topdressing. Otherwise, just rough up the brown spots, overseed and keep moist.

    Scotts four step program is pretty good, except that they add an extra, largely unnecessary step in the mid summer. That's step 3 I think...and it's basically nitrogen with an insect killer. So, you could start with their fall fertilizer, then pick up with Step 1 in the early spring. Step 2 is fertilizer with broad leaf herbicide, which you would apply May-June. I usually just keep watering in July and early August. At the end of August I start with the overseeding and then go into fall fertilizing.

    POST Edit:
    On that sprinkler system. I would recommend you give it a good soak once a week. That's about 1-1.5 hours. Short, frequent doses are more effective than long ones done less frequently.
    Last edited by SunDeck; 08-01-2006 at 04:45 PM.
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  7. #96
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Thanks SD for the input.

  8. #97
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    hey Sundeck. Couple of general questions for you:

    Any thoughts on bagging vs. mulching grass clippings?

    Also, I'm in part of the world where I need to dump some lime in my lawn on a semi-regular basis. I limed last fall when I aerated & overseeded, and that seemed to work pretty well. Is it ok to do the liming & overseeding at the same time (rationale is that both the lime pellets & the seed drop down in the holes)? Or is there a reason that should I think about splitting the two up (ie, overseeding in the fall, and liming in the winter / spring)?

  9. #98
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Check this out, the Georgia Turf management calendar. Lime is mentioned there.

    http://www.commodities.caes.uga.edu/...0_Calendar.htm

    I know the clays you are dealing with are highly acidic, but I wonder if you need to apply lime so regularly? Most experts recommend having a soil test to verify that the acidity of the soil is really high enough to warrant application. If you don't know the current pH of your soil, it's hard to know how much lime you need.

    You may have covered your bases here, but if you haven't checked the pH, I'd recommend that you do. It may allow you to avoid the extra work. And if you were to really go through with a soil test it will tell you a lot about what nutrients you may need in addition.


    On mulching v. bagging- go with mulching, but make sure your mower has the horsepower to do it well. I recommend cutting higher and more frequently. By cutting off less length, you are doing your grass a favor and making the mulcher work better.
    Last edited by SunDeck; 08-02-2006 at 12:29 PM.
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  10. #99
    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Should you raise the blade of your mower in the hotter months (July / August) or should you always cut with the blade at 2 inches?

    Also, if you are mulching and your grass gets out of hand (say you're on vacation) should you cut once at like 3 1/2 " and then again at 2" rather than cutting it once from like 4 1/2" to 2 inches? Does it matter?
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  11. #100
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    I've always heard the 1/3 rule, RL. That is, if you're going to cut more than 1/3 of the length of the blade of grass, you should bag it. A couple times when I've had to "make up" some cuts, I'll cut it down to 4 inches, give it a couple days to recover, then drop the blades.

    Like SD said, mowing more often at a higher cut is generally better for the health of the yard.

    When I'm on vacation, I pay someone to do it so it doesn't get out of hand and it's worth the money to not have to come home and cut the grass the first day back. I keep mine pretty tall anyway and if it goes more than 5 days, it gets crazy.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  12. #101
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by dabvu2498
    I've always heard the 1/3 rule, RL. That is, if you're going to cut more than 1/3 of the length of the blade of grass, you should bag it. A couple times when I've had to "make up" some cuts, I'll cut it down to 4 inches, give it a couple days to recover, then drop the blades.

    Like SD said, mowing more often at a higher cut is generally better for the health of the yard.

    When I'm on vacation, I pay someone to do it so it doesn't get out of hand and it's worth the money to not have to come home and cut the grass the first day back. I keep mine pretty tall anyway and if it goes more than 5 days, it gets crazy.
    Good point about the mowing height, in general. Bluegrass, for instance is normally a two foot plant. While it doesn't mind being significantly shorter, the length does make a difference to the root zone, which needs a little protection. And, this from the lawnservice point of view- it's not the height of the turf, but whether it's even and neatly trimmed that makes homeowners happy.
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  13. #102
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck
    Good point about the mowing height, in general. Bluegrass, for instance is normally a two foot plant. While it doesn't mind being significantly shorter, the length does make a difference to the root zone, which needs a little protection. And, this from the lawnservice point of view- it's not the height of the turf, but whether it's even and neatly trimmed that makes homeowners happy.
    Agreed. I like my back yard shorter (easier to clean up after dogs) but it looks like garbage. However, I mow the front at 3 1/2 and I can stripe it up all pretty-like.

    This is a fun thread, SD. Thanks!

    Is that "1/3 rule" a pretty standard way of thinking? Would you still stick with the 1/3 rule if using a mulching mower?
    Last edited by dabvu2498; 08-02-2006 at 03:01 PM.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  14. #103
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    My wife is hooked into the county extension office. She sent me this link a ways back about mowing height...

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/4000/4020.html

    I cut mine at 3.5" in the summer. I'm not big on watering my grass (i.e. I don't) so I try to let it provide its own shade.

    The spring I'm at 2.75" and then in the fall, I step-wise lower it down to 2" so the leaves blow into my neighbors yard

    Pay attention to the open sky

  15. #104
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    You certainly want to raise the mower in the hotter months. The more grass you have, the better the protection for the roots. This keeps the roots cooler and in really hot, dry weather, alive.

    If you water, do it in the morning or at night. Both are better than in the hot of the day because you lose so much water to evaporation before it gets where it needs to go, deep into the ground. Don't sprinkle your lawn with water on hot days, or ever really. You want the water to do deep into the ground so that the grass roots will go deep into the ground to get it. Watering often but not enough promotes shallow roots which makes for poor turf.

    I recommend, if you can afford it, hiring a lawn service to at the least kill the weeds, if you have a serious problem. The stuff you buy at the hardware store can be tricky to work with, especially granular, such as Scotts Weed and Feed. If you don't put it on when the turf is pretty wet, the weed killer will not stick on the weeds and thus is ineffective. It also doesn't kill many types of weeds. I know of a lawn service here that will guarantee they will kill ALL the weeds or they will come back and get it right for free.

    Not sure if this happens where many of you are, but in Maine if an area needs lime, moss will start to grow. If you have a lot of pine trees, you probably have acid soil. A soil reading is a good idea and again a lawn service will give you a ph reading for free. Beware of the cheap, ph meters at the hardware store for $6. They do not work. We have highly acid soil and we went everywhere with that thing and all it gave were neutral readings. There are ph meters, like the ones the lawn services have that cost $200 or more. There is a reason for that. Thing of other products that cost $200 and think of their $6 counterparts. Yep, yikes!

    If you do have a need for lime, it is something you can do yourself to save money. It is easy to apply (I'd get the granular and not the powder) and it won't burn so you don't have to be super exact when applying it. Weed killer and fertilizer are a different story.

    If you only want to spend a few bucks and want to try to get rid of some weeds and green up your lawn there are Scotts and Ortho products that you hook up to a hose and apply that way and they work pretty good. Most have a high nitrogen content and kill most weeds. You need to be careful to not spray anything other than the turf. It needs to be kept off flowers, shrubs and trees.

    Mulching the grass clippings is the better way to go. But bagging is cleaner. Mulching the clippings is a way to feed the grass and the clippings are high in nitrogen. I mulch whenever possible and put the bag on when the grass is a little tall or not as dry as it should be before mowing. This makes less of a mess. For anyone with not place to dump the clippings, mulch whenver possible. If you have a small yard and it doesn't take a long time to mow, you cand mow it once and if it makes a small mess, just mow it again and most of the clippings will break up and never be seen again. Also, going over an area a second time, in the same direction will really make your pattern stand out, if that matters to you. Its actually quite amazing how much grass you cut on a second pass. Next time you mow, do three strips, back and forth and then cut the middle strip a second time in the same direction. You won't believe how much shorter it is.

    Sorry, I could go on forever. Grass is one of my passions. HA HA.

  16. #105
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    I was going to mention one more thing (yeah right). A good way to get rid of leaves is to just mow them without the bagger on. It makes good food for the grass and you can really get rid of alot of leaves. It sure as heck beats raking them up and disposing of them.

    I love to do this when there are leaves everywhere in the fall. I mow my lawn and then afterwards my lawn is the only green patch in the entire neighborhood because everyone else is buried in leaves.


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