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Help me with my yard, please.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Danno77, May 8, 2013.

  1. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Yeah but you shouldn't be fighting to save it all summer. Put a plan together, start in the fall. You will see results next season and perfection comes gradually after that. This stuff doesn't happen in 1 season.

    Not unless you plan on buying a LOT of sod.

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  2. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    you could pick the weeds by hand, individually...or burn them with a magnifying glass.
  3. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Member

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    This is what we've been poking holes around here with lately. Best walk aerator in the business in my opinion.

    Attached Files:

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  4. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    Danno,

    The big box store stuff is normally not as effective as other concentrates you mix yourself. Got to TSC, rural king, etc and get a quart of trimec. Its more effective than 2,4d. You should see evidence of dying weeds in 48hrs max. It should run about $30/ qt. Mix per label, and then add .5oz of liquid dishsoap per gallon of H2O. It will help the trimec stick. Do the soap AFTER filling tank with water or you will have a tank full of suds and only half the water you want. You can buy surfactant to add if you so choose (only difference is no suds), but people have been using soap for ever and a day. It's proven....google it. Apply mixture to DRY lawn. No morning dew or anything. Next year, the very first app of fert needs to have a good quality pre-emergent in it such as dimension to prevent that outbreak. PM for more info....I can go on all day on this topic.
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Motion seconded. We run the same machine. Bumpy ride if you find roots or a rock tho. _g ::-)
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I agree with part of that. I would get the grub control down in two weeks, and ask a local turf guy about pH, so you can think about putting down some slow-release calcium now. Then you'll be in good shape to do a weed spray in mid/late August (wait for grass to recover from the July heat and drought), and your aerate/re-seeding early September. You will be disappointed with how things look at the end of the season, but well-rewarded for that work in the spring. Pick up the schedule I listed above in the spring, and by year 2 you'll be in good shape.

    Given your yard is not huge, I'd consider renting a slit seeder for a Saturday, and using that to put down the seed. Typical seed germination rates are doubled when you aerate, and 4x when you slit seed. Perennial grass seed is expensive, so you might as well get what you can out of it!

    Definitely the way to go on a smaller lawn. I prefer tow-behind for more than an acre or two.


    To answer your earlier question about rolling... I have yet to find the set of soil conditions where my wide 900 lb. lawn roller can make the ground flat, but my 2000 lb. tractor sitting on much narrower tires does not leave ruts. In short, lawn rollers don't work very well. If you mow a different direction each week with your riding mower, that will help flatten things out over a few years. Using the plug aerator once or twice per year also helps, slowly over the years. The only way I know to make a lawn FLAT fast is to grade it (toothed bucket or tiller) or a steam roller.
  7. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Member

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    Definitely the way to go on a smaller lawn. I prefer tow-behind for more than an acre or two.



    Agreed. Something like this is much better suited for large areas.

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  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    That'll get the job done! Mine is much more tame... a simple tow-behind plugger with cement castings as ballast weight. It's only 42" wide, which worked behind my garden tractor, but I'd like to find something closer to 60" for the CUT.

    Always imagined the 3-point jobs must tear the hell out of things when swinging turns, which is why I stuck with a tow-behind.
  9. Lighting Up

    Lighting Up Feeling the Heat

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    You've got good advice here let me add ....

    Never roll your lawn it crushs the young roots and compacts the soil. In the first picture the weed looks like creeping charlie if it has a blue flower it is that weed. It also looks like it's starting to yellow compared to the grass color, so looks like your spray is working. What I would do is add a extra ounce to what they recommend and hit those spots again. That weed patch is very Large and not showing a grass life so you may need round up there and then reseed. If your soil is compacted you may need to losen it up. Check out Gardenweb forums web site has good info on lawns and weed problems.

    Basic rule is....soil test first, kill weeds, add nutrients like organic matter (compost) and fertilizer to the soil based on your soil test and water, water, water....seed, seed, seed...do this and you will be complaining about having to cut it to much...lol
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Shocking thing might be that most home lawns don't really NEED aeration. It's a good practice, and is indeed beneficial, as long as you're not doing it with temps over 80 or while the grass is dormant in the off-season but other than some small areas, I doubt many home lawns get the foot/equipment traffic necessary to compact the soil to the point of actually requiring relief.

    Joful is right on about the benefits of aerating before overseeding, but if I'm skipping the fall overseed, I don't feel bad about skipping the aeration too.
  11. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    What are you poking holes for?

    I used a 12,000lb compactor on my yard last year. Flattened it right out, smoother than a babies ass. :)
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  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Try doing 20 golf greens and then turning around and doing 9 fairways with one of those. Okay so maybe we had 3. ;) Oh yeah, and you walk backwards while aerating.


    smokinj and Joful like this.
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    And the purpose of poking holes in your yard is what exactly?
  14. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    Get oxygen to the roots. Sometimes the ground gets so packed and the root balls get so entwined that the plant basically suffocates.
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    It's not so much just the poking of holes, but more the act of bringing dirt plugs up to the surface, where they are crushed by the mower and distributed on the surface. This is why a plug / core aerator is preferred to a tine / spike aerator (which really does just "poke holes"). The process serves more purposes than I can remember, but here's the primary:

    1. Bring subsoil to surface, and organic matter into soil.
    2. The crushed plugs increase soil contact to fresh seed, and improve germination rate by more than 200%.
    3. Oxygen to roots (as already stated) / reduce soil compaction.
    4. Helps level out bumps in lawn over the course of many years (soil is plastic, just gotta remove some material to move it around under the weight of a mower/tractor).

    My primary goal in doing it is item 2, improving germination. I over-seed every fall, and the seed is very expensive. Core plugs are the best quick way to increase the germination rate. Anyone growing tall fescue, or any other non-creeping variety of grass, must over-seed regularly to keep up with damage repair. Some grasses will creep and self-heal divots and damage, but most of those grasses don't do well in my climate.
  16. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    my suggestion would be similar to above suggestions.
    only I would kill everything off with a non selective herbaside, till everything then seed and straw
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    This is almost never recommended. Much easier to keep what you got, and turn it around. Your yard would have to be pretty far gone (i.e. non-existent) to justify this approach.
    MasterMech likes this.
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Not to mention tilling the soil will encourage the weed seeds to germinate more so than the grass. If you had to nuke the lawn, then I'd slice seed, skip the straw, and apply the water. Water is key, the right amount at the right times, and water timers are your friend. ;)
    Joful likes this.
  19. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

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    Here in Ohio core aeration is a necessity. We have clay soil that gets compacted and needs an aeration at least once a year, and better to have it done once in the Spring and once in the Fall.
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  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Aerate (should be done 4 directions) and seed with starter fert asap. (18-18-18) This will give your lawn the best chance. You probably need a post emergent about mid to late June. Fert every 6 weeks. Its just a building block so it will take all season. Oh I would bet your looking at 5500-6500 sq ft.
  21. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Blanket app that lawn! Call it 3 oz per 1000 qf! More moisture in the ground will call for a little more. Add dawn to your mix it will help it stick(Sticker bond) ! 2-4d at the farm store is the very best and cheaper. Lawn care company cant even use it anymore.
  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Now that's what a proper aeration looks like. We use to use the ryan 28's walk behinds (two directions) that where great unless there tree roots.;)
  23. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I'll be interested to follow your results. I've got similar problems and a really nasty creeping charlie problem in the back yard but I really dont want to get in the habit of spaying strong herbicides with young children playing out there.

    I did the whole soil test, limed to the right pH, organic fert a couple times a year and over seeded a few times but its still a mess. All that work just seems to feed the weeds.
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Creeping Charlie or ground ivy, Best way to kill it is when you see the flowers on it. Use weed control with a litte dawn. If you spray it any other time your just wasting your time.
  25. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    You do need to be careful of feeding the weeds. Attack the weeds separately. Hold off on fertilizer and just use weed killer only for at least one season.

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