Minister of Fire
- Aug 21, 2013
Here's my theory on lawns. If its green, mow it and call it "the lawn". Not green? Well then you probably don't even need to mow it.
Around here, an unkept lawn becomes onion grass in spring and nutsedge in summer,
Nutsedge is one of the toughest weeds, you pretty much have to go with one of the sedge-specific herbicides to kill it. Also, understand it's life-cycle. It puts out new tubers each season, and each tuber has a 3-year life, which makes it a tough one to kill.What have you found to be most effective against nutsedge, treatment or just crowd it out? My neighbor, who does almost nothing, actually does worse than nothing, he periodically scalps the yard creating a weed factory including a healthy dose of sedge.
In all my years of cutting grass I don't ever recall seeing sedge until fairly recently but it wants to take over.
Nutsedge is one of the toughest weeds
I can't say anything negative about Dismiss, since it's the best thing I've tried so far. But maybe I'll have to give Sedgehammer a better look, next year. I just sprayed my nutsedge on Jul.4, so I'm done for this year.It's a toughy alright. Even after it's under control there's no real viable way to manage it at all by manual weeding.
Treated once with a sedge specific treatment designed to affect the foliage. I've read Dismiss works the same way. Seeing fast results but read that because this type only starves the tubers it can take a couple treatments. Sedgehammer may be the better choice since it treats the tubers.
Creeping Charlie is fairly easy to control, even using over-the-counter remedies. Nutsedge is six levels removed from it, in terms of difficulty and cost!I really wanted to just say screw it and do nothing with the lawn... problem is that alternating years of monsoon and drought have now killed large sections and around here we get creeping charlie (lawn ivy) that takes over and that's probably as hard to kill - and uglier - than Ashful's nutsege problem.
I still wouldn't care except that we plan to sell and move in the next 2-4 years and a lawn that looks like an abandoned lot doesn't fly with prospective buyers....
I dont and never will install sprinklers though.
Creeping Charlie is fairly easy to control, even using over-the-counter remedies. Nutsedge is six levels removed from it, in terms of difficulty and cost!
Ground ivy thrives in shady areas on thin turf, so if you have thin areas left by prior years' droughts, this year's cloudy and wet weather probably has that stuff growing nicely. Triclopyr, Dicamba, or 2,4-D all control ground ivy, to some degree. Since we're only a few weeks out from annual weed-kill for overseeding purposes (and you'll hit it sooner than me), I'd be ready to hit that lawn with Surge as soon as the chance of heatwave has passed. I usually do this mid-late August, in preparation for overseeding in mid-September. You need 3 weeks post-Surge, before you can over-seed, and you want your new seed down at least 4 weeks (preferably 6 weeks) before soil dips below 55F. This creates a very narrow window to hit, if you don't like wasting money on seed.
If you want a fantastic lawn next summer, get your post-emergent herbicide spray down in the next week or two. Then you can aerate and over-seed three weeks following. It will have time to germinate (even Tall Fescue) before soil temps drop below 55 F near the end of October.For the first time, I treated my lawn with a weed and feed product from Home Depot. It browned the lawn for a few weeks, but I think it really worked! Next year I'll apply at the right time of year and hopefully see better results.
I just Googled nutsedge. Seems my yard has a good bit of nutsedge. But I have an array of different plants in my yard that yard freaks hate. Dandilions, clover, nutsedge, crabgrass, and these little purple flowers that I have no idea what they are, but look really cool for a couple weeks in the spring. There's more of a mix in the older yard that was seeded in the 50's. Half of my yard was a garden from the 50's to the 70's, and then the garden gradually got smaller, so there's a mix of different seedings.
But it seems to be a self-sustaining system. The only part that I've felt the urge to mess with is our new sand mound. The excavation churned the topsoil down under, and the exposed layer hasn't had 60 years of organic matter mulched into it. I wouldn't care much, but I need to foster grass growth on the exposed clay mount so my $11k hill of dirt doesn't wash away. I'm hoping top dressing with compost and some additional seedings will thicken the grass.
They didn't seed or sod it? That's a requirement here - last step in the process. Completion inspection will fail if not done.
I suspect it was seeded, but since little care is usually put into segregating top soil from fill (clay), it rarely takes very well. They also usually use a contractor mix, which might be 60% annual rye, with the balance perennial rye and bluegrass. That annual rye pops up fast, and gives you a lush lawn for a few weeks, before it dies. Even the perennial rye will die during the first hard hot summer in PA. Aerate and overseed with Tall Fescue in early September, and you'll be set for life. Better yet, since it's such a small area, just rent a slit seeder for the day, and sow in Tall Fescue. Seed is expensive, so you want to maximize germination rate.
edit: we responded to maple at the same time. What seed did you use? Fertilizer? You've obviously already done your homework on soil amendments, not my area of expertise.
Yes, your requirements are a little different than mine. In your case, I'd just buy some sod for that steep clay back side. It's going to be easier than trying to get seed to grow, there. For the rest, you could use "pasture mix", sold by Agway, and many turf shops. It's usually a blend of local wild grasses, and will grow like nothing you've seen. As much weed as grass, but it will hold the soil, which is what you're after.I'm sure that it wasn't seeded, I was off work during the last few days of his work and was here the whole time.
I used Groundwork's Fast Lawn from tractor supply, mainly because it was given to me. I did the typical; spread the seed and then cover over with a layer of straw/hay. As I look though, I see that it's 80% annual ryegrass, so I'll need to reseed with something else. It looked decent when it was about a foot tall. Mowed (with the deck as high as it goes), it's pretty sparse. The excavator did truck in topsoil, but it's pretty rocky. The backside of the mound is all clay that was trucked in, and it's pretty steep. The ditch through the yard is clay that was dug out of the ditch before the pipes were put in.
I read up on using compost in yards, and they recommend putting on about 1/4 inch twice a year, so my plan is to do that with some mushroom soil when I have time here next week. My thoughts there were that I'll have to get some organic matter into the soil since it's currently all clay. I did not fertilize it. I was going to toss around some 10-10-10 before the next time the forecast calls for rain.
My goal isn't to make it look nice, especially the mound, as it's in the woods behind the house. What I'm after is a good blanket of grass for erosion control.
Yes, your requirements are a little different than mine. In your case, I'd just buy some sod for that steep clay back side. It's going to be easier than trying to get seed to grow, there. For the rest, you could use "pasture mix", sold by Agway, and many turf shops. It's usually a blend of local wild grasses, and will grow like nothing you've seen. As much weed as grass, but it will hold the soil, which is what you're after.
For any seed, use a Starter fertlizer, much higher than 10-10-10. Think closer to 18-24-12. If you're investing the time to go buy it, and then apply it, you might as well use the right product. Fertilizer is cheap, time is money.