dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
4159
share rss forum feed


Sennheizer

join:2012-05-14

1 edit

1 recommendation

Lawn care: Fertilizer, lime, and maintenance

I figured I'd start a thread for everyone to share their experience with lawn care. People can post why they approve/disapprove of fertilizer or why you should or shouldn't lime your yard. That discussion that always seems to happen in other threads where it really has no place can now be consolidated and posted here!


Sennheizer

join:2012-05-14
I take my soil to the local college for a soil test annually. I follow their recommendations to amend the soil. Typically they say fertilize and lime in the Spring. In addition to that I aerate in the Fall plus overseed. I don't water the lawn at all. I mow about 2 1/2" to 3" in the Spring/Fall and 3" to 3 1/2" in the Summer. I mow the lawn down to 2" for the last mow of the season before Winter.

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
reply to Sennheizer
It really depends on where you live. He in my part of central Texas, there's solid limestone 6-12 inches beneath the surface. We certainly have no need to add lime to our soil.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to Sennheizer
It's all about the zone and the type of soil and rain in your area.

Once you figure that out it's cruise control.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to Sennheizer
said by Sennheizer:

I mow the lawn down to 2" for the last mow of the season before Winter.



There is a lot of conflicting advice around the web concerning this. So I asked about it on Toro's FB page last fall. They forwarded the question to their agrostologist (scientist that studies grasses). His answer was that there is no reason to make your final cut short. Snow mold is the concern people have with the taller grass over winter. But as long as you raked leaves and debris in the fall before it snows, and clean any leaves and debris left come spring snow melt, there is nothing to worry about. I left mine normal height last year, and my spring lawn was magnificent.

He also pointed out that snow mold is worse some years, and not so bad other years. And it doesn't matter if the grass is 3" or 2". Either one will get it if you don't keep the lawn clean before snow cover, and ensure it is clean immediately after snow melt.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
reply to Sennheizer
Here, fertilizer and moss kill are a must in many places.

bemis

join:2008-07-18
Reading, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Sennheizer
This year I put down lime pellets in early April, I seeded some bare areas caused by construction with a 2-in-1 seed/fertilizer mix, and then a few weeks later used the rest of the bag to overseed the rest of the lawn.

I plan to put down some of the "organic" insect repellent granuals this weekend... they're nothing much more than mint scented pellets, the bugs like to avoid it so the lawn stays relatively bug free... I put it around the foundation fairly heavy, and then use my drop spreader for the rest of the lawn. I don't like the other insecticides with heavy chemicals because I feel like you can kill off birds and other animal life with them which is just depressing... Attracting birds to your lawn can do wonders for reducing the bug populations.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
Yeah, insecticides have pros and cons. Same for grub poison. I like killing the grubs, but I don't like that is also kills the earthworms.


Rojo_P

join:2001-10-03
Lancaster, OH
I had to decide to either use grub product or give up entirely on a lawn.
In our area the moles make a mess of the turf looking for grubs and too, the racoons dig and lift the turf looking for a juicy treat.


ITICharlie1
Premium
join:2003-01-22
St. Louis MO
reply to Sennheizer
Here is what I do. Late March/early April I spread a spring fertilizer with crab grass and weed preventer, followed with a good lawn soaking. Spot weed and water during the growing season. I cut my grass often and to about 3" high. Late September I will spread a fall fertilizer and water often till about mid October. Every three years after the last cutting I will core aerate and spread compost over the entire lawn. The following spring I will power rake. I have not had a problem with grubs of moles.
--
Don't let my reality hinder your imagination!


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Lurch77
Milky Spore is grub-specific... and actually gets more effective year after year. The grubs eat the bacteria in the spore, the bacteria muliplies in the gut of the grub until the grub actually bursts... replenishing and multiplying the bactria in the soil. The grubs actually eat themselves to death. Pretty soon, no grubs, no moles, no raccoons, no crows!!! I'm tellin' you guys... it really works... and it's about as safe as it can be.
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
I'm going to look into that. Sounds too good to be true, there must be a down side to use it?


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
It's relatively expensive! But you only need to apply it about every ten years or so.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to Pacrat
said by Pacrat:

Milky Spore is grub-specific... and actually gets more effective year after year. The grubs eat the bacteria in the spore, the bacteria muliplies in the gut of the grub until the grub actually bursts... replenishing and multiplying the bactria in the soil. The grubs actually eat themselves to death. Pretty soon, no grubs, no moles, no raccoons, no crows!!! I'm tellin' you guys... it really works... and it's about as safe as it can be.

Doesn't do a thing when it's Voles instead of Moles. Many people do not know the difference. Voles do not eat Grubs so eliminating them does not correct the problem.

Milky Spore is extremely expensive and does not always work on eliminating the Mole food.

quote:
What's the Difference Between a Mole and a Vole?
A mole is a mouse-like garden pest that causes subterranean damage. But so is a vole. So what's the difference between a mole and a vole? And why is it important to know the difference between a mole and a vole...?
Answer:

The preferred diet of the mole is a carnivorous one. The mole will eat worms, grubs and adult insects. Neither the eastern mole nor the star-nosed mole is a rodent, so any gnawing damage you find on plants is unlikely to have been perpetrated by a mole. But rodents do exploit mole tunnels to wage subterranean war on plants, thereby making the mole an accessory to the crime!

The vole, by contrast, is a rodent. A vole will gnaw at the base of a tree or shrub, especially in winter; thus the metal guards sold to prevent such vole damage. A vole may also damage flower bulbs and potatoes in the garden. But mainly, the vole will eat the stems and blades of lawn grass. And the runways they leave behind in the process make for an unsightly lawn. Voles can also inadvertently damage plants by burrowing into the root systems of trees and shrubs, causing young specimens to experience dieback or to begin to lean.

»landscaping.about.com/od/pestcon···ence.htm


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

1 recommendation

I've already got a vole exterminator. I just need to kill the grubs that kill my lawn and eventually attack my fruit trees after the become beetles.




Sennheizer

join:2012-05-14
reply to Lurch77
said by Lurch77:

said by Sennheizer:

I mow the lawn down to 2" for the last mow of the season before Winter.



There is a lot of conflicting advice around the web concerning this. So I asked about it on Toro's FB page last fall. They forwarded the question to their agrostologist (scientist that studies grasses). His answer was that there is no reason to make your final cut short. Snow mold is the concern people have with the taller grass over winter. But as long as you raked leaves and debris in the fall before it snows, and clean any leaves and debris left come spring snow melt, there is nothing to worry about. I left mine normal height last year, and my spring lawn was magnificent.

He also pointed out that snow mold is worse some years, and not so bad other years. And it doesn't matter if the grass is 3" or 2". Either one will get it if you don't keep the lawn clean before snow cover, and ensure it is clean immediately after snow melt.

I do that for winter maintenance not for mold. Lower the grass down then overseed/lime/fertilize/etc. so when the snow melts the following Spring everything grows back better then before.

tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to Lurch77
said by Lurch77:

I'm going to look into that. Sounds too good to be true, there must be a down side to use it?

Here is some really good information on Milky Disease:

»www.gardensalive.com/article.asp?ai=768


cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to Sennheizer
Last time I had a lawn (was Ex's, now long sold to someone else), I agree with Arthur to send soil sample in to local college for testing (pH, nutrients, clay, etc...results).

But one thing some folks don't know (I didn't) was that grass typically has a lifespan of 7 years. After that, it dies and depends on new seeding or propagation, let alone aeration and dethatching. So this lawnscaper owner (who does amazing work) tells me, till it under. Whattttt?

Since the last home had a sh-tty lawn (again Ex's and no longer mine), we listened to this guy, had the lawn tilled, 90% Kbluegrass seeded with rye, fertilized, lime (reduce acidity) and potash and gypsum (reduce hard clay in soil) added along with sand (draining) and manure (dry-baked fertilizer). Had sprinkler system added at this point with drip tubes for shrubs and ornamental tree (added later) along with zones.

Never in my life had we received so many compliments on the lawn. Low maintenance (did put down grub stuff and some dandelion killer one year...because neighbors didn't do the same).
I drove by last Spring (sniff) and although not as maintained (I did sidewalk edging with a flat spade), it still was green and healthy. (property is in CherryHill, NJ...)
--
Splat


Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
Premium
join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to mityfowl
said by mityfowl:

It's all about the zone and the type of soil and rain in your area.

If you get rain...mityfowl I know you know what I mean. I was just glad I have green anything in my yard last year.
--
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war


Sennheizer

join:2012-05-14
reply to Sennheizer
Our yard was neglected for 7 years by the previous owners. It's taken 2 years so far and it's not completely restored yet. I'm guessing another 2 years before the lawn is back to what most people would consider 'normal'. Hopefully at that point I can cut putting down lime to every other year. With any luck the mulch mowing will eliminate the need for fertilizer but not sure there. I'm trying to fit it up so that I need to do as little maintenance as possible but the college soil tests ultimately dictate what I do each year.


Sennheizer

join:2012-05-14
reply to Sennheizer
I fertilized 3 weeks ago and limed 4 days ago. Last year fertilizer greened up the grass a ton. This year the fertilizer didn't do much but WOW after the lime the yard looks great! Those guys at the college who do soil tests really know what their doing!


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
reply to Sennheizer
I never believed in using fertilizer until I tried it once. A great looking lawn for the dog and kids trumps all the negatives I use to hold against it.


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
reply to Sennheizer
How helpful is aeration?


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
said by Draiman:

How helpful is aeration?

Depends a lot on the condition of the lawn. Aeration helps loosen the soil, allow water to penetrate deeper. Lets oxygen reach deeper, as well as any nutrients that have been applied (lime, fertilizer). It also exposes fresh soil to give overseeding a place to take root. A healthy lawn can benefit, but a struggling lawn may be able to make more use of it. A poorly neglected lawn may not be able to make use of it without a lot of other stuff to go along with it.


wave_sailor

join:2001-04-23
reply to Sennheizer
I burned out my grass by using too much organic fertilizer (Jonathon Green) in the Spring. It was corn gluten based. So I have two sections that are now crab grass and various other weeds that have managed to come up. One section, probably 8'x8' was barely two years old that I had tilled and planted.

I'm thinking of spraying Spectracide with a garden hose.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
reply to Sennheizer
My lawn care routine? I mow it if I have to. Otherwise it gets nothing. I prefer the "prairie" method. This summer, all my neighbors have nothing to show but dead grass. My native weeds are as green as can be.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

1 recommendation

Your neighbors grass is not dead. It is dormant, a natural reaction to drought and heat. Come fall when the temps drop and you get some rain, their lawns will look great again.

My entire lawn was turning brown and quite ugly during the drought like conditions we had in early summer. Then we got rain, and it's back to beautiful.




Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to wave_sailor
said by wave_sailor:

I burned out my grass by using too much organic fertilizer (Jonathon Green) in the Spring. It was corn gluten based. So I have two sections that are now crab grass and various other weeds that have managed to come up. One section, probably 8'x8' was barely two years old that I had tilled and planted.

I'm thinking of spraying Spectracide with a garden hose.

If you managed to burn your grass with fertilizer then I'd skip Spectracide or you will most likely end up killing your lawn even more. Head back to basics and learn how to use fertilizer correctly first.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

My lawn care routine? I mow it if I have to. Otherwise it gets nothing. I prefer the "prairie" method.

Then you shouldn't mow it at all!


My native weeds are as green as can be.


--
Wacky Races 2012!


DataDoc
My avatar looks like me, if I was 2D.
Premium
join:2000-05-14
Martinsburg, WV
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Suddenlink
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

My lawn care routine? I mow it if I have to. Otherwise it gets nothing. I prefer the "prairie" method. This summer, all my neighbors have nothing to show but dead grass. My native weeds are as green as can be.

I wouldn't have a lawn that couldn't take care of itself.
--
US Border Agent Brian Terry was disarmed by the very bureaucrats that armed his killers.