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Lawn Care Tips


andy_b

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Here is what I follow for the New England area

1) Fertilize: Wait until the nearest forsynthia to your yard blooms and then put down a fertilizer that included crab grass protection. Then repeat with various fertilizer types (weed protection, bug protection etc) every 6 weeks until late fall

2) Water: It is better to water less frequently and more deeply, than more frequently and less deeply. If water stays on the surface, the grass roots will grow up to get to the water. Let your water sink in deep into the earth and force the grass roots to grow down

3) Cutting:

a) Never cut in the hottest part of the day if possible. It produces too much stress on the blade

b) Cut in a different direction each time. If you cut in the same direction every week, the blade starts to lean one way, which means the complete blade is not getting a maximum look at the sun

c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant

d) When cutting, try to never take more than 1/3 of the blade off at a time, which may mean cutting more often in the spring when the grass grows quickly.

e) Keep your cutting blades sharp. You want to cut the grass, not rip it.

f) Mulching mowers. This is a concept that confuses most people. Yes, feeding your grass clippings back to your lawn is a good thing. However, if you can actually see the grass clippings after cutting, this will do more damage than good. If your grass is long, it is better to bag than to mulch. If your grass is short and you can REALLY mulch up what little part of the blade you are cutting, it will be beneficial to put the clippings back into the soil.

4) Seeding: It is better to seed in early fall than in the spring time. You won't battle weeds, and the temperature and harsh rains are better in the early fall than in the spring for new grass growth.

Edited by andy_b
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Here is what I follow for the New England area1) Fertilize: Wait until the nearest forsynthia to your yard blooms and then put down a fertilizer that included crab grass protection. Then repeat with various fertilizer types (weed protection, bug protection etc) every 6 weeks until late fall2) Water: It is better to water less frequently and more deeply, than more frequently and less deeply. If water stays on the surface, the grass roots will grow up to get to the water. Let your water sink in deep into the earth and force the grass roots to grow down3) Cutting: a) Never cut in the hottest part of the day if possible. It produces too much stress on the blade b) Cut in a different direction each time. If you cut in the same direction every week, the blade starts to lean one way, which means the complete blade is not getting a maximum look at the sun c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant d) When cutting, try to never take more than 1/3 of the blade off at a time, which may mean cutting more often in the spring when the grass grows quickly.4) Seeding: It is better to seed in early fall than in the spring time. You won't battle weeds, and the temperature and harsh rains are better in the early fall than in the spring for new grass growth.

:whitecorner:
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Here is what I follow for the New England area1) Fertilize: Wait until the nearest forsynthia to your yard blooms and then put down a fertilizer that included crab grass protection. Then repeat with various fertilizer types (weed protection, bug protection etc) every 6 weeks until late fall2) Water: It is better to water less frequently and more deeply, than more frequently and less deeply. If water stays on the surface, the grass roots will grow up to get to the water. Let your water sink in deep into the earth and force the grass roots to grow down3) Cutting: a) Never cut in the hottest part of the day if possible. It produces too much stress on the blade b) Cut in a different direction each time. If you cut in the same direction every week, the blade starts to lean one way, which means the complete blade is not getting a maximum look at the sun c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant d) When cutting, try to never take more than 1/3 of the blade off at a time, which may mean cutting more often in the spring when the grass grows quickly.4) Seeding: It is better to seed in early fall than in the spring time. You won't battle weeds, and the temperature and harsh rains are better in the early fall than in the spring for new grass growth.

:whitecorner:
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:excited:

My neighbor waters his lawn all winter like 2-3 times a week. WE LIVE IN COLORADO!!

Now if I see there is going to be a 5-7 day period without any chance of moisture, I will go out and spray down the yard in December and January, but you are exactly right when you point out that grass roots need to go deep. People that overwater are actually hurting their yard. and these are the people that will have huge deadspots when the heat of July and August hits.

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Here is what I follow for the New England area1) Fertilize: Wait until the nearest forsynthia to your yard blooms and then put down a fertilizer that included crab grass protection. Then repeat with various fertilizer types (weed protection, bug protection etc) every 6 weeks until late fall2) Water: It is better to water less frequently and more deeply, than more frequently and less deeply. If water stays on the surface, the grass roots will grow up to get to the water. Let your water sink in deep into the earth and force the grass roots to grow down3) Cutting: a) Never cut in the hottest part of the day if possible. It produces too much stress on the blade b) Cut in a different direction each time. If you cut in the same direction every week, the blade starts to lean one way, which means the complete blade is not getting a maximum look at the sun c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant d) When cutting, try to never take more than 1/3 of the blade off at a time, which may mean cutting more often in the spring when the grass grows quickly.4) Seeding: It is better to seed in early fall than in the spring time. You won't battle weeds, and the temperature and harsh rains are better in the early fall than in the spring for new grass growth.

Add to #3 having a sharp blade at all times. It's easy to tell when it has to be sharpened by looking at the grass you just cut. If the top is nice and clean, everything's fine....if it's jagged, it's time to sharpen the blade. I recommend having a second blade sharp at all times. :excited:
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Here is what I follow for the New England area1) Fertilize: Wait until the nearest forsynthia to your yard blooms and then put down a fertilizer that included crab grass protection. Then repeat with various fertilizer types (weed protection, bug protection etc) every 6 weeks until late fall2) Water: It is better to water less frequently and more deeply, than more frequently and less deeply. If water stays on the surface, the grass roots will grow up to get to the water. Let your water sink in deep into the earth and force the grass roots to grow down3) Cutting: a) Never cut in the hottest part of the day if possible. It produces too much stress on the blade b) Cut in a different direction each time. If you cut in the same direction every week, the blade starts to lean one way, which means the complete blade is not getting a maximum look at the sun c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant d) When cutting, try to never take more than 1/3 of the blade off at a time, which may mean cutting more often in the spring when the grass grows quickly.4) Seeding: It is better to seed in early fall than in the spring time. You won't battle weeds, and the temperature and harsh rains are better in the early fall than in the spring for new grass growth.

Add to #3 having a sharp blade at all times. It's easy to tell when it has to be sharpened by looking at the grass you just cut. If the top is nice and clean, everything's fine....if it's jagged, it's time to sharpen the blade. I recommend having a second blade sharp at all times. :hifive:
excellent point.I should also mention something about grass clippings as well which goes along with sharp blades
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I am going to take pictures of my lawn this weekend and let the power of FBG's guide me. Bought the house last year and it was in good shape, but I've never taken care of a decent lawn before and I think I need to take some action this spring.

:hifive:

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Aeration is the best thing you can do for a lawn. I aerate once in the Spring and once in the Fall.

This is something I have never done but have always heard such good things about it.Do you rent a machine to do this?
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Aeration is the best thing you can do for a lawn. I aerate once in the Spring and once in the Fall.

This is something I have never done but have always heard such good things about it.Do you rent a machine to do this?
:shrug:We bought a New House last fall and the 3 Acres need a LOT of work. So we are renting a Aerator and buying a de-thatcher we can attach to our riding Lawn mower.
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My yard is big mix of weeds, dead spots, grass and dirt. I think I will just look for some cheap service to come out and fix it

:unsure: add a rampant mole problem and this is my yard. I said heck w/ it and just hired someone. My laziness was an additional catalyst
Don't knock it. The dedication of a lazy man to find easier ways to do it has powered most of civilization's advance.
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Thatching is also key. I rent a machine every spring that's $35 for 2 hours. It get up all the dead grass. Raking all this up sucks but it really does help the lawn.

Also, a :rolleyes:
Just about everything I've read recommends skipping the dethatcing and just core aerating. Supposedly, dethatching rips out too many good grass roots.
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I typically cut my lawn pretty high, it's definitely higher than all my neighbors. I have the mower on the 3rd from highest setting. Well, I fertilized two weeks ago and we have had a lot of rain, so I had to cut last night with plans on cutting again this weekend. I decided to cut on the highest setting to avoid cutting off too much, and I have to say my yard looks pretty damn sweet right now.

How high do you guys cut? Thinking of maybe sticking with this height. Only thing I am afraid of is if I have to wait longer than normal due to schedule or weather, and the grass gets really long and I don't have an option of going any higher for a pre-cut.

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3) Cutting: c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant

Cutting the grass long is key. I cut mine long and it looks so much better than all my neighbors. It hold moisture so well and does keep a lot of weeds out. I only fertilize twice a year and water during the very hot, dry part of summer.
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Thatching is also key. I rent a machine every spring that's $35 for 2 hours. It get up all the dead grass. Raking all this up sucks but it really does help the lawn.

Also, a :unsure:
Just about everything I've read recommends skipping the dethatcing and just core aerating. Supposedly, dethatching rips out too many good grass roots.
This probably depends more on how new/young your yard is. Personally, I allow the clippings to go back into the ground on a new yard. It helps with erosion and moisture. I aerate once a year. In established yards, I have dethatched once every few years and aerate once a year.

I typically cut my lawn pretty high, it's definitely higher than all my neighbors. I have the mower on the 3rd from highest setting. Well, I fertilized two weeks ago and we have had a lot of rain, so I had to cut last night with plans on cutting again this weekend. I decided to cut on the highest setting to avoid cutting off too much, and I have to say my yard looks pretty damn sweet right now. How high do you guys cut? Thinking of maybe sticking with this height. Only thing I am afraid of is if I have to wait longer than normal due to schedule or weather, and the grass gets really long and I don't have an option of going any higher for a pre-cut.

I use the highest setting on my mower. I've found it helps tremendously if we hit a drought like period.
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Thatching is also key. I rent a machine every spring that's $35 for 2 hours. It get up all the dead grass. Raking all this up sucks but it really does help the lawn.

Also, a :lmao:
Just about everything I've read recommends skipping the dethatcing and just core aerating. Supposedly, dethatching rips out too many good grass roots.
I just picked up a Home & gardens lawn Maintenance magazine and they recommended aerating and than De-thatching to spread out the plugs drawn out.

At our old house, with less than 1/2 an acre mind you, we raked each spring to de-thatch and removed the old grass. seemed to help green it up faster :shrug:

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What about Lime?

Depends on the area...I sorta stayed away from that, but as you know, it's a big part of our clay rich environment. I dump 4 50lb bags a year on my yard each year and I can tell it's helping greatly. I do two in the spring, two in the fall. I could probably get away with 2 more in the summer, but haven't done that.
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3) Cutting: c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant

Cutting the grass long is key. I cut mine long and it looks so much better than all my neighbors. It hold moisture so well and does keep a lot of weeds out. I only fertilize twice a year and water during the very hot, dry part of summer.
How high?
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Thatching is also key. I rent a machine every spring that's $35 for 2 hours. It get up all the dead grass. Raking all this up sucks but it really does help the lawn.

Also, a :goodposting:
Just about everything I've read recommends skipping the dethatcing and just core aerating. Supposedly, dethatching rips out too many good grass roots.
This probably depends more on how new/young your yard is. Personally, I allow the clippings to go back into the ground on a new yard. It helps with erosion and moisture. I aerate once a year. In established yards, I have dethatched once every few years and aerate once a year.
Clippings don't contribute to thatch. Dead roots do.
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What about Lime?

Depends on the area...I sorta stayed away from that, but as you know, it's a big part of our clay rich environment. I dump 4 50lb bags a year on my yard each year and I can tell it's helping greatly. I do two in the spring, two in the fall. I could probably get away with 2 more in the summer, but haven't done that.
Thanks GB.
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3) Cutting: c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant

Cutting the grass long is key. I cut mine long and it looks so much better than all my neighbors. It hold moisture so well and does keep a lot of weeds out. I only fertilize twice a year and water during the very hot, dry part of summer.
How high?
Not sure how high it measures. I have my mower 2 notches from the highest setting.
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There is alot of good info in here. Remember though, it depends on the type of grass you have in your lawn. Warm season grasses such as bermudagrass and St. Augustine should be dethatched more regularly so that scalping can be avoided and lower heights of cut (HOC) can be achieved without scalping. 1-2" is a good HOC of the warm season grasses. Warm season grasses are sometimes overseeded in warmer climates with ryegrass in the Fall so that when they go dormant in the winter, the lawn will be green.

Cool season grasses (ryegrass, fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass) do not need much de-thatching but it's not a bad idea in the Spring to dethatch and interseed to recover from winter kill. Aeration is always a good idea, especially on high traffic or compacted areas. HOC's for cool season grasses should be 2-3" with the higher the HOC the better.

:useless:

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3) Cutting: c) Keep your grass long (think plush carpet, not old fashioned astro turf). A longer blade will shade out weeds and be more drought resistant

Cutting the grass long is key. I cut mine long and it looks so much better than all my neighbors. It hold moisture so well and does keep a lot of weeds out. I only fertilize twice a year and water during the very hot, dry part of summer.
How high?
Not sure how high it measures. I have my mower 2 notches from the highest setting.
Let's get some numbers here. I measured mine. Typical setting has deck 2-1/4" off the ground which puts the blade at about 3-1/2" high. My highest setting puts the deck at 3-1/4" high for cutting height of about 4-1/2" high. Sounds high, but it looks good. Afraid it's going to look out of control 4 days after I cut, though.By the way, you ever get that gator blade?
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I typically cut my lawn pretty high, it's definitely higher than all my neighbors. I have the mower on the 3rd from highest setting. Well, I fertilized two weeks ago and we have had a lot of rain, so I had to cut last night with plans on cutting again this weekend. I decided to cut on the highest setting to avoid cutting off too much, and I have to say my yard looks pretty damn sweet right now. How high do you guys cut? Thinking of maybe sticking with this height. Only thing I am afraid of is if I have to wait longer than normal due to schedule or weather, and the grass gets really long and I don't have an option of going any higher for a pre-cut.

:blink:
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I typically cut my lawn pretty high, it's definitely higher than all my neighbors. I have the mower on the 3rd from highest setting. Well, I fertilized two weeks ago and we have had a lot of rain, so I had to cut last night with plans on cutting again this weekend. I decided to cut on the highest setting to avoid cutting off too much, and I have to say my yard looks pretty damn sweet right now.

How high do you guys cut? Thinking of maybe sticking with this height. Only thing I am afraid of is if I have to wait longer than normal due to schedule or weather, and the grass gets really long and I don't have an option of going any higher for a pre-cut.

:blink:
:mellow:What?
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If you guys plan on doing any raking/dethatching, make sure you do it before you put crabgrass preventer down, or you'll break up the barrier.

:coffee: Steps as planned::hophead:Aerate:banned:De-thatch:banned:fertilize:banned:Re-seed:banned: Edited by snogger
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i just sprayed moss-out on my lawns and dethatched. i am finishing spreading masons sand over it and will core aerate then use a core rake to break up the cores and even out the low spots. in 2 weeks it will look almost perfect, then I will overseed heavily with rye grass and fertilize. should have a perfect lawn in a month. i don't lime, as our soil is heavy clay and not recommended in Oregon clay. If i get any dandelions i pull them and fill with seed/sand mix. If i get any other types of infestations i'll usually hit it with this stuff called Weedmaster, you buy it at farm and garden stores.

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Thatching is also key. I rent a machine every spring that's $35 for 2 hours. It get up all the dead grass. Raking all this up sucks but it really does help the lawn.

Also, a :goodposting:
Just about everything I've read recommends skipping the dethatcing and just core aerating. Supposedly, dethatching rips out too many good grass roots.
I rented one of those "Dethatchers" once.Never again. It did exactly what you describe.I will be aerating soon, though.
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There is alot of good info in here. Remember though, it depends on the type of grass you have in your lawn. Warm season grasses such as bermudagrass and St. Augustine should be dethatched more regularly so that scalping can be avoided and lower heights of cut (HOC) can be achieved without scalping. 1-2" is a good HOC of the warm season grasses. Warm season grasses are sometimes overseeded in warmer climates with ryegrass in the Fall so that when they go dormant in the winter, the lawn will be green.

Cool season grasses (ryegrass, fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass) do not need much de-thatching but it's not a bad idea in the Spring to dethatch and interseed to recover from winter kill. Aeration is always a good idea, especially on high traffic or compacted areas. HOC's for cool season grasses should be 2-3" with the higher the HOC the better.

:thumbup:

Negative, Ghostrider.

1-2" is good for Bermuda, but St. Aug should be cut between 2.5 to 4" high. Also, it does vary according to how hot the summer is in your location. Lean toward the higher end of those ranges in hotter locations. Here in Austin, I cut my St. Aug as high as I can from mid-July to early September.

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