How to have a Green Lawn in New England? Found an Answer - See pics in last post here!!

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.
Status
Not open for further replies.

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,780
Salem NH
Hello

It seems that having a green lawn in Southern NH and New England is not that easy even if you pay for a service.

I do recommend paying for a service since I did that for a year and had excellent results.

However there is alot to learn.

I know fertilizing, Lime and grub treatment here is definitely needed but first I worked out the basics which is Landscape and then type of grass needed.

The sun and shade seems to be a very important factor for the type of grass needed to make the lawn stay green.

My neighbor without changing the trees, totally ripped out her lawn including all the sod and top soil.

Then using 3 sprays of hydro-seed with a NE mix got the type of seed that will work for the landscape.

Basically it is easy to see from the pics that the tall wider blade grass works well in the sun. The thin blade grass seems to grow best in the shade.

In the pic below, the grass under the tree has thin blades and the grass in the sun has the tall thick blades. See close up!

So in my case, I cut down many trees and planted new ones and now the shading has changed alot.

So my question is?
Without planting a new lawn can over-seeding each year put the right grass type in place?


If you click on the 1st pic, then you can see the difference in grass type as you go into the sunny area.
 

Attachments

gpcollen1

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2007
2,026
Western CT
Sure, dethatching and over-seeding can work. You must do it at the right times of the year. I had to renovate my yard after moving in here 8 yrs ago and have been doing it slowly ever since. The best seed i have used is Jonathan Green Black Beauty. A wonderful color and is growing well in both sun and shady areas. I don't subscribe to fertilizer except for their organic, which I use in getting the lawn established. After that, i just mulch everything back into my lawn and add a bit of lime once per year.

Problem is - that broad leaf grass will come back not matter what and it thrives when hot and dry and your grass stops growing. It is part of life...
 

heat seeker

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2011
3,210
Northern CT
I do next to nothing with my lawn, and it looks pretty decent, not perfect by any means. About the only thing I do is mow it as high as the mower will cut. That helps the grass crowd out weeds, and keeps more sun off the soil so it doesn't dry out as fast. I do have ample weeds, but they blend in, and don't thrive all that well with the tall grass for competition.
 

Beardog

Member
Jan 13, 2011
219
NW CT
Looks like crabgrass is moving in on you. It thrives on heat and comes around when the lawn gets stressed by heat and drier conditions. Its an annual and putting down a pre emergent will keep the crabgrass seeds from germinating. I second the Jonathon Green Black Beauty seed. Pennington is pretty good as well, never had luck with Scotts. I do use the Scotts 4 step fertilizer program with another shot of turfbuilder with iron thrown in and a grubex application as well. I also spray the lawn with ortho's lawn weed killer. Water deeply and infrequently and I keep a pretty dense and green lawn.
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,780
Salem NH
ChocoLab said:
Looks like crabgrass is moving in on you. It thrives on heat and comes around when the lawn gets stressed by heat and drier conditions. Its an annual and putting down a pre emergent will keep the crabgrass seeds from germinating. I second the Jonathon Green Black Beauty seed. Pennington is pretty good as well, never had luck with Scotts. I do use the Scotts 4 step fertilizer program with another shot of turfbuilder with iron thrown in and a grubex application as well. I also spray the lawn with ortho's lawn weed killer. Water deeply and infrequently and I keep a pretty dense and green lawn.
Actually my problem is worse than that.

Below is a picture of a good section next to the burned section. Both sections had been fertilized, Limed, Grub Killer, and fungus treatment!! The burned section used to be in shade under a huge Magnolia tree (30 feet wide and 30 feet high). Now it is in full sun. So my question?

Is the burned out grass the wrong type for full sun??

What is this green grass?
 

Attachments

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,224
Northern IL
I am thinking of using Weed-N-Feed mixed with diesel. I would like to turn mine into a nice shade of crunchy brown. I hate mowing.
 
Jags said:
I am thinking of using Weed-N-Feed mixed with diesel. I would like to turn mine into a nice shade of crunchy brown. I hate mowing.
Just pave. I'm on well water and a tree hugger (when I'm not cutting them), so no nasty chems here. I live in S. NH as well, and I like that I don't need to have a pristine lawn here- I like having dandelions that I can feed to my house rabbits.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,224
Northern IL
Adios Pantalones said:
Just pave.
Probably not an option. I would have more parking space than Wrigley Field. Man - I wonder what the cost would be to pave 5 acres? <shudder>

Not trying to go off course of the OP, but I have been thinking of foresting a 2+ acre corner of the yard (NE corner).
 

madrone

Minister of Fire
Oct 3, 2008
1,290
Just South of Portland, OR
Jags said:
Adios Pantalones said:
Just pave.
Probably not an option. I would have more parking space than Wrigley Field. Man - I wonder what the cost would be to pave 5 acres? <shudder>
You'd just be trading your mower for a street sweeper.
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
Rent a aerator this fall do it in 4 direction's with good soil moisture (No later than then mid sept) over seed and lime and starter fertilizer all at the same time.....Stand back and watch! ;-)
 

gpcollen1

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2007
2,026
Western CT
heat seeker said:
I do next to nothing with my lawn, and it looks pretty decent, not perfect by any means. About the only thing I do is mow it as high as the mower will cut. That helps the grass crowd out weeds, and keeps more sun off the soil so it doesn't dry out as fast. I do have ample weeds, but they blend in, and don't thrive all that well with the tall grass for competition.
Forgot about cut height: everyone [or their wife] wants the golf course look. Cut higher than you think in order to keep your grass healthy. That short cut is just asking for issues; stealing moisture from down near the root zone, allowing sunlight for weed growth...\
 
smokinjay said:
Rent a aerator this fall do it in 4 direction's with good soil moisture (No later than then mid sept) over seed and lime and starter fertilizer all at the same time.....Stand back and watch! ;-)
Absolutely. Aerate, seed, and add compost all at the same time. Use a plug aerator rather than a spike one.

When I have fertilized- I used bags of rabbit food. It melts in with the first rain, fertilizes, composts in place, and is slower release than most of the straight chemical stuff (plus, your dog won't grow extra limbs).
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,384
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I've never been caught up in the great lawn deal . . . just regular old grass, clover and a few dandelions in the Spring and things look fine. I mean sure I do get some grass seed to throw down whenever I've had to dig up an area or have brought in dirt to cover an area . . . but other than mowing it . . . well that's about it . . . never felt the need to water, fertilize, etc. just to have a really nice lawn that most folks never truly use.
 
firefighterjake said:
I've never been caught up in the great lawn deal . . . just regular old grass, clover and a few dandelions in the Spring and things look fine. I mean sure I do get some grass seed to throw down whenever I've had to dig up an area or have brought in dirt to cover an area . . . but other than mowing it . . . well that's about it . . . never felt the need to water, fertilize, etc. just to have a really nice lawn that most folks never truly use.
Grass is the largest crop grown in the US. More potable water goes on lawns than is used for any other purpose in the burbs. We water, weed, add chemicals, use a lot of money, cut it, and a lot goes to the dump.

Higher mowing (as someone stated above) reduces water need, shades out more weeds, and reduces a lot of other issues. Mulching in place reduces fertilizer need, reduces weeds, and builds better soil. The thing here is to not let the lawn go too long between mowing- that's when stuff gets smothered.

Thatch is actually roots and stuff on the surface, not normally grass left in place. Plug aerating in the fall can greatly reduce the need to de-thatch (in addition to other benefits).

My wife likes a nice lawn, but it aint happening. Best thing started happening in my side yard- I have wild strawberries taking over! They stay low and are a great ground cover.

When I plant anything- it's clover or maybe Timothy hay out back. Clover used to be a common ingredient in lawn seed until new weed killers that also killed clover- then they started advertising "kills weeds like dandelions and clover". A victim of marketing! :lol:
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
I will fight the fight....100 years of a rail road went through the back part...
 

Attachments

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,788
Northern MN
Why strive for a green lawn? Nothing but work, more work, expense and more expense, and sucks time, money and energy from more useful and rewarding things. Nature does very well when left alone, and lawns are purely creations by humans with way too much free time on their hands. No rant, but our "lawn" remains purely natural, runs along our wood pathway from the garage to the house, a little along the side of the house for a firepit, and a little out front along another path. No dethatching, gets mowed as little as possible, no fertilizer, no collection of clippings, and plenty of margaritas and cool brews. That's time much better spent.
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
jebatty said:
Why strive for a green lawn? Nothing but work, more work, expense and more expense, and sucks time, money and energy from more useful and rewarding things. Nature does very well when left alone, and lawns are purely creations by humans with way too much free time on their hands. No rant, but our "lawn" remains purely natural, runs along our wood pathway from the garage to the house, a little along the side of the house for a firepit, and a little out front along another path. No dethatching, gets mowed as little as possible, no fertilizer, no collection of clippings, and plenty of margaritas and cool brews. That's time much better spent.

Because I like it, very good at it, and made a living at it for 18 years.... ;-) Cost is about 135.00 a year 87,000 sqft.
 

lukem

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2010
3,668
Indiana
Plant some Zoysia. That's some serious stuff. Once you got it, you got it. Needs only cutting...no chemicals or water for most.
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
lukem said:
Plant some Zoysia. That's some serious stuff. Once you got it, you got it. Needs only cutting...no chemicals or water for most.

But its Brown other than 3 months in Indiana. Thats a Georgia . seed. New Englad would even be worse.
 

lukem

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2010
3,668
Indiana
smokinjay said:
lukem said:
Plant some Zoysia. That's some serious stuff. Once you got it, you got it. Needs only cutting...no chemicals or water for most.

But its Brown other than 3 months in Indiana. Thats a Georgia . seed. New Englad would even be worse.
Oh...that's right...he wanted green. In that case:

In mid-late September, once things green up after the late summer brown stops and the rain starts again, apply some 2,4-D to burn down the broadleaf weeds. After a week, plug the yard and overseed...and don't be stingy with the seed. Fertilize again in late October or early November.

Next spring, apply some pre-emergent crabgrass control. Also, apply some high nitrogen fertilizer. About mid-may, hit it with some 2,4-D again. Mid June hit it with some iron to make it nice and dark green.

Never mow less than 3.25"...which you'll probably have to do 2x week in the spring and fall.
 

fishingpol

Minister of Fire
Jul 13, 2010
2,049
Merrimack Valley, MA
Don,

Lost of good advice already mentioned. I have less than a perfect lawn here. I am strictly organic as there are enough wetlands and rivers in my area that I will not pollute.

I have read extensively from websites for improving your lawn. For a golf course-like lawn, it involves way too many synthetic chemicals and I won't go there.

I have done the following:

I aerated the lawn 2 ways last spring with a core plugger, and put organic compost down and let the rain wash it in. It will fill the holes in a matter of a few days and allow you to overseed at the same time.

Put pelletized lime down regardless, we have acidic rain anyways, and the lawn will benefit from it.

Apply corn gluten in the spring before crabgrass seeds develop. It boosts nitrogen for the grass. I believe it can be done twice a year. Corn gluten is an interesting product. It takes a few years of applications to fully work though. It is a by-product of making cornmeal and it inhibits the growth of crabgrass seeds.

Use a mulching mower and leave all clippings where they are.

Set mower for 3 inches. Thicker grass inhibits crabgrass and weed growth.

Mulch leaves in the fall into the grass. It is great worm food and carbon.

Apply milky spore powder to organically control grubs. I put it down several years ago, and I don't see grubs when digging. I believe it is good for 5 years.

Have your soil tested through the extension at UMASS Amherst. There is an on-line form you can print and send a sample in for like 10 bucks. It will tell you what is in you soil so you can ammend as necessary. Grass needs certain nutrients to survive and if these components are not there, it is a struggle and crabgrass and weeds will take over.

There are other fun projects like making compost tea that I saw on This Old House that I may try. I have my dirt sample ready to go out this week and amend the soil in a few weeks.

I will aerate again next year. It can be surprising how compacted lawns can get to the point water does not permeate down to the roots.

Now if I can only get rid of my lawn violets. Those are a pain to eradicate.
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,780
Salem NH
fishingpol said:
Don,

Lost of good advice already mentioned. I have less than a perfect lawn here. I am strictly organic as there are enough wetlands and rivers in my area that I will not pollute.

I have read extensively from websites for improving your lawn. For a golf course-like lawn, it involves way too many synthetic chemicals and I won't go there.

I have done the following:

I aerated the lawn 2 ways last spring with a core plugger, and put organic compost down and let the rain wash it in. It will fill the holes in a matter of a few days and allow you to overseed at the same time.

Put pelletized lime down regardless, we have acidic rain anyways, and the lawn will benefit from it.

Apply corn gluten in the spring before crabgrass seeds develop. It boosts nitrogen for the grass. I believe it can be done twice a year. Corn gluten is an interesting product. It takes a few years of applications to fully work though. It is a by-product of making cornmeal and it inhibits the growth of crabgrass seeds.

Use a mulching mower and leave all clippings where they are.

Set mower for 3 inches. Thicker grass inhibits crabgrass and weed growth.

Mulch leaves in the fall into the grass. It is great worm food and carbon.

Apply milky spore powder to organically control grubs. I put it down several years ago, and I don't see grubs when digging. I believe it is good for 5 years.

Have your soil tested through the extension at UMASS Amherst. There is an on-line form you can print and send a sample in for like 10 bucks. It will tell you what is in you soil so you can amend as necessary. Grass needs certain nutrients to survive and if these components are not there, it is a struggle and crabgrass and weeds will take over.

There are other fun projects like making compost tea that I saw on This Old House that I may try. I have my dirt sample ready to go out this week and amend the soil in a few weeks.

I will aerate again next year. It can be surprising how compacted lawns can get to the point water does not permeate down to the roots.

Now if I can only get rid of my lawn violets. Those are a pain to eradicate.
Thanks Fishinpol for all the Info.

I did aerate with a spike aerator and overseed this past spring but did not get much grass out of 40 lbs of seed!
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,822
NNJ
Don2222 said:
fishingpol said:
Don,

Lost of good advice already mentioned. I have less than a perfect lawn here. I am strictly organic as there are enough wetlands and rivers in my area that I will not pollute.

I have read extensively from websites for improving your lawn. For a golf course-like lawn, it involves way too many synthetic chemicals and I won't go there.

I have done the following:

I aerated the lawn 2 ways last spring with a core plugger, and put organic compost down and let the rain wash it in. It will fill the holes in a matter of a few days and allow you to overseed at the same time.

Put pelletized lime down regardless, we have acidic rain anyways, and the lawn will benefit from it.

Apply corn gluten in the spring before crabgrass seeds develop. It boosts nitrogen for the grass. I believe it can be done twice a year. Corn gluten is an interesting product. It takes a few years of applications to fully work though. It is a by-product of making cornmeal and it inhibits the growth of crabgrass seeds.

Use a mulching mower and leave all clippings where they are.

Set mower for 3 inches. Thicker grass inhibits crabgrass and weed growth.

Mulch leaves in the fall into the grass. It is great worm food and carbon.

Apply milky spore powder to organically control grubs. I put it down several years ago, and I don't see grubs when digging. I believe it is good for 5 years.

Have your soil tested through the extension at UMASS Amherst. There is an on-line form you can print and send a sample in for like 10 bucks. It will tell you what is in you soil so you can amend as necessary. Grass needs certain nutrients to survive and if these components are not there, it is a struggle and crabgrass and weeds will take over.

There are other fun projects like making compost tea that I saw on This Old House that I may try. I have my dirt sample ready to go out this week and amend the soil in a few weeks.

I will aerate again next year. It can be surprising how compacted lawns can get to the point water does not permeate down to the roots.

Now if I can only get rid of my lawn violets. Those are a pain to eradicate.
Thanks Fishinpol for all the Info.

I did aerate with a spike aerator and overseed this past spring but did not get much grass out of 40 lbs of seed!
Aerating is the spring is probably going to help the weeds proliferate. Also, spike aerating is promoting soil compaction. Its best to plug aerate in the fall (weeds aren't growing) and seed for next year at the same time.
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
Don2222 said:
fishingpol said:
Don,

Lost of good advice already mentioned. I have less than a perfect lawn here. I am strictly organic as there are enough wetlands and rivers in my area that I will not pollute.

I have read extensively from websites for improving your lawn. For a golf course-like lawn, it involves way too many synthetic chemicals and I won't go there.

I have done the following:

I aerated the lawn 2 ways last spring with a core plugger, and put organic compost down and let the rain wash it in. It will fill the holes in a matter of a few days and allow you to overseed at the same time.

Put pelletized lime down regardless, we have acidic rain anyways, and the lawn will benefit from it.

Apply corn gluten in the spring before crabgrass seeds develop. It boosts nitrogen for the grass. I believe it can be done twice a year. Corn gluten is an interesting product. It takes a few years of applications to fully work though. It is a by-product of making cornmeal and it inhibits the growth of crabgrass seeds.

Use a mulching mower and leave all clippings where they are.

Set mower for 3 inches. Thicker grass inhibits crabgrass and weed growth.

Mulch leaves in the fall into the grass. It is great worm food and carbon.

Apply milky spore powder to organically control grubs. I put it down several years ago, and I don't see grubs when digging. I believe it is good for 5 years.

Have your soil tested through the extension at UMASS Amherst. There is an on-line form you can print and send a sample in for like 10 bucks. It will tell you what is in you soil so you can amend as necessary. Grass needs certain nutrients to survive and if these components are not there, it is a struggle and crabgrass and weeds will take over.

There are other fun projects like making compost tea that I saw on This Old House that I may try. I have my dirt sample ready to go out this week and amend the soil in a few weeks.

I will aerate again next year. It can be surprising how compacted lawns can get to the point water does not permeate down to the roots.

Now if I can only get rid of my lawn violets. Those are a pain to eradicate.
Thanks Fishinpol for all the Info.

I did aerate with a spike aerator and overseed this past spring but did not get much grass out of 40 lbs of seed!

Spikes dont count........ ;-)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.