Author Topic: Growing a kick ass lawn  (Read 6843 times)

BOP Mustache

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Growing a kick ass lawn
« on: August 31, 2018, 09:56:32 PM »
My wife and I just moved into our first home that we purchased last month.

It is a brand new home and the builder/developer we bought it off has sown some lawn seed which has come up quite well. Iíve gone through and manually weeded anything that isnít grass and gone down the Google rabbit hole.

I need to top layer with compost once a year, liquid feed it with organic fertiliser, re-sow grass seed on top of the lawn and aerate and de-thatch it once a year too plus a PH test.

Being a frugal man and realising most of what western civilisation is wasteful what do I do here? I get a lot of pride out of keeping the home nice and tidy and having the nephews (and hopefully soon our own kids) over to play on the back lawn will be one of lifeís great joys.

How do I make a top class lawn without overdoing it with expensive wasteful crap? Iíve just watered it all with seaweed organic fertiliser and believe itís done nothing at all.

I was thinking just top dress with a little compost once a year like I do my veggie gardens and be done with it and fill in the gaps with any lawn seed in patches where it isnít growing.

I donít want to use herbicides, synthetic fertilisers, etc.

Thanks a lot!

Syonyk

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2018, 10:01:36 PM »
This is only slightly less contentious on the forum than paying off your mortgage early.  Quite a few people will argue a lawn, period, is wasteful.

As for growing one without fertilizers/etc?  Compost, lots of it, worms... good luck.  Mine is not exactly "alive" this summer.

NoVa

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 01:15:15 PM »
Beautiful lawn, not my thing. I will point out a mulching lawnmower requires far less fertilizer than if you bag your clippings. It turns out the grass clippings you haul away are pretty close to the nutrients the lawn needs. There are times you need to bag, when the thatch builds up too much.

HipGnosis

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 01:36:38 PM »
My lawn was apparently neglected for years.
After much trial, error and $$, I found:  http://www.richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp 
Organic Lawn Care For the Cheap and Lazy      LOTS of GREAT info!!

Start with a soil analysis so you don't waste $ on nutrients etc, that your lawn doesn't need.

letired

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2018, 01:41:55 PM »
+1 richsoil.com, if you absolutely MUST have a lawn. If you can bring yourself, consider adding some flowering plants for pollinators and wildlife, either in the lawn itself or along the edges. I fine uniform lawns sort of creepy, and think that clover, dandelions, etc add a lovely dimension of color and life to lawns. If you really want to go nuts, consider a native grass lawn. There are seed mixes available of native short grasses for most regions out there.

Papa bear

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2018, 02:36:04 PM »
Mow at the highest or 2nd highest setting. Mulch the grass into the lawn, do not bag. Hand pull weeds as you see them when you mow. Overseed holes or bare patches when noticed.  If you fertilize, do one heavy application in late fall. Mulch the leaves into the lawn instead of raking. 

That should get you 95% of the way there.  Address issues as they come up. No need to aerate, extra fertilization, weed killer, bug killer, dethatch, etc unless you have a problem.


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Papa bear

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2018, 02:36:46 PM »
Oh, this is midwest, above average rainfall advice.  If you're in the south or west, good luck.


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Fishindude

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2018, 07:14:54 PM »
The best thing to make grass grow is nitrogen.
Spread some Urea on your lawn very lightly a couple times per year and that will make it go.

Syonyk

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2018, 08:43:51 PM »
The best thing to make grass grow is nitrogen.
Spread some Urea on your lawn very lightly a couple times per year and that will make it go.

If you're sufficiently creative, you can even get small amounts for free, and reduce your water bill in the process! ;)

MasterStache

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2018, 07:16:07 AM »
The best thing to make grass grow is nitrogen.
Spread some Urea on your lawn very lightly a couple times per year and that will make it go.

Yes and no. Spreading pure Urea in the summer is a big no no for cool season grasses. I would even advise against it in the spring. It forces top growth. I only use Urea in the fall to encourage new grass growth and/or as a winterizer. And only in small doses. I bought a 50lb bag a few years ago and still have over half left.

OP, check out this thread:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/do-it-yourself-forum!/overseeding-our-lawn-how-to/

letired

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2018, 09:56:35 AM »
Oh, this is midwest, above average rainfall advice.  If you're in the south or west, good luck.


Advice is same for south/Texas, just with different grass species.

Sibley

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2018, 07:21:02 PM »
The best thing to make grass grow is nitrogen.
Spread some Urea on your lawn very lightly a couple times per year and that will make it go.

If you're sufficiently creative, you can even get small amounts for free, and reduce your water bill in the process! ;)

Why don't you just go the old timer route and add clover? Clover puts nitrogen into the soil. It also needs less water, helps crowd out weeds, and is pretty hardy.

boarder42

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2018, 07:25:53 PM »
The best thing to make grass grow is nitrogen.
Spread some Urea on your lawn very lightly a couple times per year and that will make it go.

Yes and no. Spreading pure Urea in the summer is a big no no for cool season grasses. I would even advise against it in the spring. It forces top growth. I only use Urea in the fall to encourage new grass growth and/or as a winterizer. And only in small doses. I bought a 50lb bag a few years ago and still have over half left.

OP, check out this thread:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/do-it-yourself-forum!/overseeding-our-lawn-how-to/

Yep been following this thread lawn is great. I also picked up a robot lawn mower for 600 bucks last off season I don't even mow my lawn anymore and it mulches better bc of how fine the grass is cut.

smoghat

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2018, 08:23:43 AM »
If your lawn is flat, find a manual rotary lawn mower. Good exercise and better for your lawn. You can even ďauto-sharpenĒ it.

Cache_Stash

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2018, 08:33:58 AM »
My wife and I just moved into our first home that we purchased last month.

It is a brand new home and the builder/developer we bought it off has sown some lawn seed which has come up quite well. Iíve gone through and manually weeded anything that isnít grass and gone down the Google rabbit hole.

I need to top layer with compost once a year, liquid feed it with organic fertiliser, re-sow grass seed on top of the lawn and aerate and de-thatch it once a year too plus a PH test.

Being a frugal man and realising most of what western civilisation is wasteful what do I do here? I get a lot of pride out of keeping the home nice and tidy and having the nephews (and hopefully soon our own kids) over to play on the back lawn will be one of lifeís great joys.

How do I make a top class lawn without overdoing it with expensive wasteful crap? Iíve just watered it all with seaweed organic fertiliser and believe itís done nothing at all.

I was thinking just top dress with a little compost once a year like I do my veggie gardens and be done with it and fill in the gaps with any lawn seed in patches where it isnít growing.

I donít want to use herbicides, synthetic fertilisers, etc.

Thanks a lot!

Where do you live?  That matter a lot!

jpdx

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2018, 10:33:40 AM »
I woud try to minimize the amount of kick-ass lawn by adding areas of mulch, plants, raised garden beds, boulders, trees, etc. This usually looks better than a lawn, is potentially less wasteful, and can provide food too. Don't feel pressure to have a lawn just because your neighbors do (easy for me to say because where I live many people are into gardening and don't mind letting their lawns turn brown in the dry season).

wheezle

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 12:47:46 PM »
Why don't you just go the old timer route and add clover? Clover puts nitrogen into the soil. It also needs less water, helps crowd out weeds, and is pretty hardy.
This is my plan, currently. I like the way clover looks, and it seems practical for a lawn. I may try this next season.

asiljoy

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2018, 06:14:27 AM »
Why don't you just go the old timer route and add clover? Clover puts nitrogen into the soil. It also needs less water, helps crowd out weeds, and is pretty hardy.
This is my plan, currently. I like the way clover looks, and it seems practical for a lawn. I may try this next season.
Seconding on the clover. In my yard, it did a half decent job of even crowding out creeping charlie.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2018, 05:57:43 PM »
Why don't you just go the old timer route and add clover? Clover puts nitrogen into the soil. It also needs less water, helps crowd out weeds, and is pretty hardy.
This is my plan, currently. I like the way clover looks, and it seems practical for a lawn. I may try this next season.
Seconding on the clover. In my yard, it did a half decent job of even crowding out creeping charlie.

I third this, at the moment my go to grass mix is dutch white clover, creeping red fescue, and Kentucky midnight bluegrass.

rulesforrebels

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2018, 10:39:13 AM »
I've owned two landscaping businesses over the years. I get the argument a lawn is wasteful, however in the midwest throwing stones down like they do in the Southwest is not an option, most cities and/or associations wouldn't allow it.

Lawns are expensive to maintain, however if you don't maintain them it's incredibly hard, if not impossible to bring back a lawn full of dead spots, clovers and weeds, and getting new sod laid can cost thousands. It's also going to be important for resale value.

You can get by with a spring fertilizer and a fall fertilizer with dandelion control. If you can spring for aeraton or can get a good deal with a neighbors guy  that's good. Don't bag when grass has seed and will naturally fill in the lawn. As far as watering here in Chicago I can get by for the most part without watering unless we have a super hot heat wave that lasts for a couple weeks and then I'll try to water early morning or late at night. To save on water costs get a rain barrel, many cities give them out for free or will reimburse you if you buy one.

Sibley

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2018, 12:39:35 PM »
Why don't you just go the old timer route and add clover? Clover puts nitrogen into the soil. It also needs less water, helps crowd out weeds, and is pretty hardy.
This is my plan, currently. I like the way clover looks, and it seems practical for a lawn. I may try this next season.
Seconding on the clover. In my yard, it did a half decent job of even crowding out creeping charlie.

I third this, at the moment my go to grass mix is dutch white clover, creeping red fescue, and Kentucky midnight bluegrass.

Clover report: it's early, but it's growing quite well thus far. The backyard got taken over by crabgrass this year, which is now dying back. I plan to lower the lawnmower and scalp the backyard (just remind me to raise it again!), hopefully that'll clear out enough of the crabgrass and other weeds so that I can spread clover seed and it'll hit the ground decently. If I can get enough to take sprout this fall, then I can put crabgrass preventer down next spring and hopefully the lawn will be a grass/clover mix next year, rather than the creeping charlie, crabgrass, and whatever the 3rd weed is.

robartsd

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2018, 01:21:52 PM »
Why don't you just go the old timer route and add clover? Clover puts nitrogen into the soil. It also needs less water, helps crowd out weeds, and is pretty hardy.
This is my plan, currently. I like the way clover looks, and it seems practical for a lawn. I may try this next season.
Seconding on the clover. In my yard, it did a half decent job of even crowding out creeping charlie.

I third this, at the moment my go to grass mix is dutch white clover, creeping red fescue, and Kentucky midnight bluegrass.

Clover report: it's early, but it's growing quite well thus far. The backyard got taken over by crabgrass this year, which is now dying back. I plan to lower the lawnmower and scalp the backyard (just remind me to raise it again!), hopefully that'll clear out enough of the crabgrass and other weeds so that I can spread clover seed and it'll hit the ground decently. If I can get enough to take sprout this fall, then I can put crabgrass preventer down next spring and hopefully the lawn will be a grass/clover mix next year, rather than the creeping charlie, crabgrass, and whatever the 3rd weed is.
Before herbicides targeting broad leaf weeds became part of common lawn maintenance, clover was a sign of a quality lawn. I'd recommend clover to anyone who doesn't plan to use herbicides.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2018, 07:37:04 AM »
Interesting idea(s) about the clover.  I never realized it was once preferable to have.  Will clover crowd out grass or can they coexist?  Do you seed with both together? 

Stupid questions but we're talking about the clover that is basically a weed that naturally occurs in most lawns?  Will clover grow in shady areas?

TomTX

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2018, 06:44:14 PM »
Mow at the highest or 2nd highest setting. Mulch the grass into the lawn, do not bag. Hand pull weeds as you see them when you mow. Overseed holes or bare patches when noticed.  If you fertilize, do one heavy application in late fall. Mulch the leaves into the lawn instead of raking. 

That should get you 95% of the way there.  Address issues as they come up. No need to aerate, extra fertilization, weed killer, bug killer, dethatch, etc unless you have a problem.

Good list. Around here I do put the bag on the mower for 1-2 mowings during leaf time - leaves are just too numerous and tough (particularly the live oak). After a cycle through the compost heap, it ends up back in the yard anyway.

Sibley

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2018, 11:09:39 AM »
Interesting idea(s) about the clover.  I never realized it was once preferable to have.  Will clover crowd out grass or can they coexist?  Do you seed with both together? 

Stupid questions but we're talking about the clover that is basically a weed that naturally occurs in most lawns?  Will clover grow in shady areas?

I'm putting in White Dutch clover. Am seeding both grass and clover together, both seem to be growing fine. In my case, I'm trying to crowd out crabgrass.... anything is better than that!

gavint

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2018, 11:13:00 AM »
Hi there, I'm a professional landscaper, Gšrtnermeister operating in Germany. 

Lawns are a bit wasteful, but are the lowest maintenance option for your property outside of letting the wilderness grow back.  They look great when they're doing well, and provide a wonderful backdrop for the house and other plantings.  They need not be expensive.

Herbicides and pesticides are not needed for a healthy lawn.  Keyword healthy.  Provide a good base for your grass to grow on, and it will do its thing.  15 cm of well-worked balanced soil with good organic content will do the trick.  Incorporate humus or well-rotted compost into the ground before planting with a tiller, or after planting with an aerator and topdressing.  Pesticides and chemical fertilisers will damage the soil ecology that will help your grass.

Maintenance is key - lawns like to be cut high and cut often.  Mow every ten days or so, and leave it high, at least 7 cm.  The grass species in your lawn are not the same as they use on golf courses, and can't take being cut short.  This mowing technique keeps the stress on the grass to a minimum, and allows it to defend itself against weeds and pests.  Mulch the grass when you can, this cycles the nutrients back into the soil.

Accept the fact you're going to have weeds.  A perfect monoculture of grass is only achievable with heavy chemical inputs (think golf courses). 

Water correctly - frequent light waterings encourage surface roots, making the grass prone to drought damage.  Water once a week at the most, and thoroughly, about 3 cm (use a rain guage). 

If you want to get really environmental, you don't need a mower at all.  There is a pretty slick rotary push mower from Fiskars that does a good job, trimming you do with special grass shears.  You can even do it with a scythe (pretty meditative work!).

 

coffeefueled

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2018, 09:14:44 AM »
I have a few bare patches from filling in low spots around our lawn with leftover garden soil/compost mix. We planted a blend of microclover, fescues, and ryegass.  Our area is pretty forested so we have quite the mix of mosses, grass and weeds and already decided it's not worth the time or expense to go for the full manicured monoculture lawn. Particularly since we're big into gardening so we don't want to use any chemical fertilizers. Next spring we're going to mix in some seed from PT Lawn Seed that has English Daisies and other small flowers along with yarrow and more microclover. The hope is that it will eventually take over any section that's not moss.

Has anyone tried sedges? We don't mind the taller unkept look and we're thinking about trying it in the back of the house.

Kayad

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2018, 05:38:26 AM »
What type of clover do folks seed?  I put down Dutch White seed this spring, but it kind of seems like I am going to always mow the flowers/seed heads off before it goes to seed. 

robartsd

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2018, 09:21:23 AM »
What type of clover do folks seed?  I put down Dutch White seed this spring, but it kind of seems like I am going to always mow the flowers/seed heads off before it goes to seed. 
Most grasses grown for lawns are mowed down before they go to seed. Clover is perennial so it will still be there next year. The clover will grow from "runners" sent out from existing plants to spread without going to seed. If you do desire your clover to go to seed, you can let it grow without mowing - it should only get about 12 inches tall. If it is intermixed with other grasses you  want to keep cut, you could try setting your mower to cut just above most of the clover flowers.

coffeefueled

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2019, 06:56:35 AM »
It's heading toward spring - how are everyone's lawns doing? When do you start spring overseeding for fescue/clover?

MasterStache

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2019, 05:16:29 AM »
It's heading toward spring - how are everyone's lawns doing? When do you start spring overseeding for fescue/clover?

Gave it a couple small doses of Urea as a winterizer and it was a nice dark green up until the end of January. The color was purely unintentional. Have no intention of overseeding with fescue in the spring as the grass will not survive the hot summer months without excessive watering. Not sure how clover would do. There is still a thick layer of chopped up leaves from the fall waiting to be eaten by the microbes/worms once warmer weather arrives. My neighbor was kind enough to give me lots and lots of leaves and I usually acquire them from others who rake them up and bag them.

My plan is to put nothing down in the spring and summer and reassess in the fall. 

Edit to add I actually stashed several bags of leaves away for some more natural fertilizer once the soil/grass wakes up.

Papa bear

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2019, 06:57:21 AM »
We’ve had a very wet winter.  Everything is pretty muddy.  But I did throw a couple of handfuls of seed around in patchy areas.  The freeze/thaw should continue to work the seeds in and I hope that this spring I get some good new growth.




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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2019, 09:23:36 PM »
The lawn as it is enshrined in North American zoning codes is quite unmustachian. It does require considerable outlay of your energy and attention and will not give you much back, besides uniform conformity to the codes. It is inefficient symbol of suburbia because it contributes to sprawl wasting lots of space which could have generated some other useful activities. If you must have it, my advise is stop caring about it, treat it as nuisance, turn off the sprinklers, let grow whatever naturally grows there, and reluctantly mow it to avoid the fines from code inspector.

smoghat

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2019, 05:01:21 AM »
Lawns are a bit wasteful, but are the lowest maintenance option for your property outside of letting the wilderness grow back.  They look great when they're doing well, and provide a wonderful backdrop for the house and other plantings.  They need not be expensive.

That's exactly my plan. I'm planting native plants everywhere so that the wilderness comes back, although I'm letting about 1/10th of the property remain lawn. The lawn isn't ever the most difficult part of the property to maintain. Since we live in a hilly area, a large area of hill had been planted with ground cover which needs to be raked out (not easy because it's steep and there are lots of leaves!) and subject to nasty blights (goodbye pachysandra). Again, native plants to the rescue.

We've had a huge amount of rain last fall so there are now large areas of dirt exposed in the lawn. I'm going to have to forget the strategy of putting corn starch down to inhibit the weeds (my only serious effort with the lawn and environmentally safe, or so I am told) and seed from the start. I'm going to go the clover route and see how that goes. 

MasterStache

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2019, 05:17:28 AM »
We have a large maple tree in the front/side yard that releases it's "helicoptor" seeds every year. So every year I find maple tree saplings growing in random places (typically in the landscape). I have been carefully digging them up after they get tall enough and transplanting them throughout the backyard. Free trees and turning my shitty unusable backyard into something useful.

Sugaree

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2019, 06:56:50 AM »
I lost 23 trees last spring, mostly pines.  The yard is mostly a big mud puddle.  We reseeded, but the only way I'm going to have a lawn any time soon is to sod and quite frankly I don't care enough to drop $10k on that.  The trees that did survive were my apple and peach trees, so I think I'm going to put in a small orchard.  That way in 10 years, when my kid starts whining about being hungry after already eating everything in the house, I can send him out to the yard to pick something.

GuitarStv

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2019, 07:13:03 AM »
The best way to grow any kind of plant, is to carefully select a species that will thrive in the location it's at given the soil, light, and natural watering conditions.

Many people try to grow grass in a location where the grass will never naturally be happy.  This means that their grass gets diseased, doesn't have enough light and grows very slowly/poorly, gets parched/waterlogged and dies, or is simply outcompeted by better adapted local plants and requires constant weeding.

If your lawn is a good location for grass, your grass will look awesome for no effort.  If it isn't, then don't try to grow grass there.  Fighting against nature is a losing battle that's not worth the time.

coffeefueled

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2019, 09:25:48 AM »
Our yard is pretty shaded by surrounding trees. About 1/4th of our acre is going to be vegetable garden and local wildflowers etc and another 1/4th is woods, but the DH still wants some lawn in the front. We're not going for the green grass perfect monoculture look. We have a fair amount of moss, which we don't mind, but we do want to grow either grass or sedge with clover etc to get a fairly low maintenance green yard. Mostly we're trying to figure out when the best time to seed in new grass/sedge would be in the spring season...

robartsd

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2019, 10:55:58 AM »
That's exactly my plan. I'm planting native plants everywhere so that the wilderness comes back, although I'm letting about 1/10th of the property remain lawn. The lawn isn't ever the most difficult part of the property to maintain. Since we live in a hilly area, a large area of hill had been planted with ground cover which needs to be raked out (not easy because it's steep and there are lots of leaves!) and subject to nasty blights (goodbye pachysandra). Again, native plants to the rescue.
Leaves are nature's mulch - don't rake them out - problem solved!

I lost 23 trees last spring, mostly pines.  The yard is mostly a big mud puddle.  We reseeded, but the only way I'm going to have a lawn any time soon is to sod and quite frankly I don't care enough to drop $10k on that.  The trees that did survive were my apple and peach trees, so I think I'm going to put in a small orchard.  That way in 10 years, when my kid starts whining about being hungry after already eating everything in the house, I can send him out to the yard to pick something.
I'd look to add citrus to the mix.


Sugaree

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2019, 11:41:29 AM »
I lost 23 trees last spring, mostly pines.  The yard is mostly a big mud puddle.  We reseeded, but the only way I'm going to have a lawn any time soon is to sod and quite frankly I don't care enough to drop $10k on that.  The trees that did survive were my apple and peach trees, so I think I'm going to put in a small orchard.  That way in 10 years, when my kid starts whining about being hungry after already eating everything in the house, I can send him out to the yard to pick something.
I'd look to add citrus to the mix.
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It gets just a little too cold here.  We're wanting to grow some in containers though.  Olives and avocados too.

Our climate is weird.  The only fruit trees that grow really, really well are apples, pears, persimmons, figs, and plums.  Oh, and pawpaw if you can find it.  Peaches (and by extension almonds) are a crapshoot because inevitably we get a warm spell like we've got now, and the trees will break dormancy and start to bloom.  Then we get one last freeze and it kills off a lot of the blooms.  In three years, I've gotten four peaches off my two trees.  I've been told that sweet cherries will have the same problem, so I'm going to try tart cherries that bloom a little later and see if I can get anything.  I figure if all else fails, they'll eventually bloom pretty like Bradford pear without the stench.  Also, thinking about plums for the low, wetter corner since they don't mind wet feet.  I want to espalier some apple and fig trees around the back yard to hide the chainlink fence, but I think I'm going to have to do it on the outside of the fence to keep the dog from chewing the limbs and getting sick.  The two apple trees that I already have were listed as compatible types, but they bloom at different times, so they've never born fruit.  I need to add something that will cross pollinate them.  Other than that, just the usual, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes if I can find something that will grow here other than muscadines.  I'd love to eventually give hazelnuts and pomegranates a try.  I had the front bed of boxwoods ripped out when they were working on the yard, so now I've got a great place for a kitchen herb garden.  I started several herbs inside last week for that. 

TomTX

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2019, 12:11:44 PM »
Sugaree, in what general area are you located? Sounds a bit like where I grew up in Maryland. Peaches and especially apricots were a crapshoot due to a chance of later frost after they flowered.

Things which grew great: Blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, raspberries, black raspberries, boysenberries, strawberries, hazelnuts, grapes (5 varieties), tart cherries, plums, pears (two varieties, prefer Seckel), apples (two varieties), rhubarb, asparagus and the cherry tomatoes which reseeded themselves every year. Plus the usual annual garden stuff.

Sugaree

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2019, 01:24:44 PM »
TomTX, I'm in the northern part of Alabama.  Foothills of the Appalachians. So this week we're supposed to have temp in the 60s and 70s.  The peach trees I have already have already broken dormancy and the bees are flying (I hope...I had to move them out of the yard due to a...difficult...neighbor).  But it's only mid February.  We're due for at least one more round of cold weather.  It''s not unusual for our one and only snowfall to come in March.  Once it was as late as April 1st. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2019, 03:09:24 PM »
We've had a lot of freezing rain along with snow, so the 3' of white on my lawn is layers of snow and ice. That is not great for the lawn, it gets very little oxygen through the ice.  It will be interesting to see what it looks like in April.

I am rural on a well, so my lawn gets no supplemental water.  When we have a long dry spell the "weeds" in the lawn stay green - clover (white and red), birdsfoot trefoil, dandelions, various other bits and pieces, and of course creeping Charlie.  In the summer it looks quite respectable.

smoghat

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2019, 03:54:08 PM »
I lost 23 trees last spring, mostly pines.  The yard is mostly a big mud puddle.  We reseeded, but the only way I'm going to have a lawn any time soon is to sod and quite frankly I don't care enough to drop $10k on that.  The trees that did survive were my apple and peach trees, so I think I'm going to put in a small orchard.  That way in 10 years, when my kid starts whining about being hungry after already eating everything in the house, I can send him out to the yard to pick something.

Yikes, how big is your lawn? I expanded a large part of our lawn with seed and sodded part too. It was far from 10k. Way far.

1 25 pound bag of Jonathan Greene Black Beauty Ultra is about $80 and covers a little less than 1/4 acre.

I've got 1/2 acre out here in a woody transition zone in the burbs. I can't imagine that anyone needs more than 1/4 acre of lawn. Beyond that, find a way to let native plants take over. 

Sugaree

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Re: Growing a kick ass lawn
« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2019, 04:02:39 PM »
It's a double lot.  2/3 of an acre, maybe?  My parents live next door and had their, smaller, yard done to the tune of $6500.  We probably also need 2-3 trucks of fill dirt too.  It's a mess.  And I just don't care that much about grass.