Hot answers tagged

40

Identifying crabgrass: Video: Will the REAL Crabgrass Please Stand Up? from University of Illinois Extension Personally, I pretty much follow all the advice given in this brilliant article: Organic Lawn Care For the Cheap and Lazy So far, the advice given in that article hasn't totally prevented my crabgrass problem. I'm still battling crabgrass, ...


34

It doesn't matter so much how often you mow, as much as how long the grass is. If your lawn looks yellow and dried out after you've mowed it, you probably have the blade on your mower set too low. Some people like a super-short lawn like a putting green, but doing this requires both a specific variety of grass and lots of extra care spent on fertilizing and ...


29

It sounds like the best thing for you is a clover lawn, although of course it will only "look like grass" from a distance. Recently, after noticing that many homes in my neighborhood have large patches of clover in their lawn, and knowing how difficult it has been to battle in my own lawn, I did a search on it. Instead of finding many resources on how to ...


28

To keep things simple (mainly for my benefit), lets go with: Total lawn area, 1500ft2 Healthy lawn area, 300ft2 Dead lawn area, 1200ft2 Therefore you have an area of 20% "healthy" lawn remaining. Depending on what you read and from where it comes, it's "generally" said it is worth the time and effort to repair a lawn that has 50% to 66.6% healthy lawn ...


28

You don't want water-retaining soil sitting against the building because this causes damp problems. Creating a porous soakaway like this will mean any water sinks to a lower level than would cause any harm to the building.


25

Some tips that have worked for me: Loosen up the soil before scattering the seeds so that the seeds aren't trying to penetrate firm soil. Mix the seeds with some compost or sand so that they're not all lying exposed on top of the soil. Press the compost/seed mixture lightly into the existing soil. Water twice a day until the new grass is established. As ...


22

There are several things that suggest the answer to your question is "the more often the better" and that your reaction to mow less frequently because of the yellowing you see after is the opposite to what you want for a green lawn. First of all, we all know that for a lawn to be green it must be growing. Grass pales and turns yellow over time unless it is ...


21

How to aerate is covered by the other answers, but as for how to know if you need areation: If you can easily sink a spade into your soil down to the handle, it doesn't need to be aerated. If you have to force the spade into the ground and/or pound it with a hammer, your soil needs to be aerated. The other sign that aeration is needed is if water isn't ...


21

That is annual bluegrass, Poa annua. It grows in lawns during the spring (and/or fall, depending on climate) and causes some very nice lawns to thin out, as it grows very thick and chokes out the lawn grass. The problem with removing it is that this is a grass itself, so you cannot kill it with selective weed killer. This site gives good information on the ...


19

This link covers various ways to attack thistle infestations. I do believe your approach is probably the best. I would continue to control the spread of the plants on the other side of the fence and try to pull them out as long it does not create unbearable labour. I can also offer a few suggestions for thistle: If possible, loosen the ground around the ...


19

There are several ways of removing these dandelions from your lawn: If you have a cool-season lawn and are happy to take the chemical route, you could use a selective weedkiller containing 2,4-D or MCPP, such as Trimec, Speedzone or Momentum, which are best applied in mid-spring or early fall You could hand-weed using this tool which has received excellent ...


18

It is difficult to be sure, without the help of a close-up, but if the patches look like this or this, the problem is likely to be Poa Trivialis. Poa trivialis is a perennial grass that spreads by stolons forming light green patches in the turf. It is best adapted to shady, moist, or overwatered sites, and because of this, it often appears in mixtures ...


17

My decades ago hort 101 class said fertilizer is not really necessary if you use a mulching mower. If you bag the clippings or if you want thicker greener lawn you can apply fertilizer up to 3 times per year. The applications should be timed to catch the grass growing but not the weeds. Here in central Iowa with bluegrass/ryegrass/fescue lawns the grasses ...


17

I planted "shorty mix" from DirtWorks (company no longer in business): 40% Discovery Hard Fescue 30% Blazer IV Perennial Ryegrass 30% Moonshadow Kentucky Bluegrass It does not grow very tall or very quickly and does not need frequent mowing. I also knew some people who planted a low-growing clover on their lawn that they almost never mowed. It ...


17

JSBangs is right on about not over-cutting. Some other important considerations are Keep your blades sharp to prevent any tearing whatsoever. Put away the string trimmer when your lawn is having problems. Get a testing kit to check the fertility and pH of your lawn area and correct if needed. Keep the grass long enough to shade the roots in hot months. ...


16

One thing you can do is dig a series of swales. They can be nearly invisible -- you dig a shallow ditch on contour, and then fill it in with compost so that you can't really even see it. This helps slow runoff and avoid erosion. (You probably won't get away with "invisible" on a 25% slope.) Additionally, the swale holds water and allows it to seep slowly ...


16

Personally, I hate weed whackers. They're terrible at my house: the places I need to weed are either next to plants that can't get whacked, or they're next to wire fencing that chews through tons of string, or they're next to rocks that chew through tons of string. My preferred tool for getting in next to the fences, lilies, and trees is a pair of manual ...


16

Moss is just fine in your compost! Moss is one of the great opportunists in the plant world. Moss is not hurting your lawn. The presence of moss is telling us your lawn is not vigorous enough, you are watering too often and too shallowly, you are probably mowing too short and you've possibly got shade involved. The cool thing about moss is that if there ...


15

I would just use lawn sand or sandy soil. If the hollow is very deep then you could do it with successive treatments, but it sounds like you might be able to get away with one. The sand is relatively fine and not lumpy so the grass easily grows through it. It is also easier to level. We recently moved excess top soil to fill in a large (wide & shallow) ...


15

You may also wish to take the time to have a browse through the below site, as it directly relates to lawns in your local area: Turf website for Texas A&M University I highly recommend you listen to, "You Bet Your Garden" podcast -- Not So Perfect Produce, 27the August 2011 (Direct link to MP3) and start listening at 13mins:27secs in. How to water ...


15

I've seen this many times in new subdivisions. The worst was a house with heavy clay soil where a year after the builder left you could still roll up the grass. As you have found grass finds it hard to get roots into a compacted clay subsoil. I assume that you are not able to remove the existing grass and add two to six inches of topsoil. That would ...


15

I suspect the guidance came from a time of reel mowers, which do actually push the blades of grass over in the same direction. (I use a reel mower to maintain our acre and a half.) As you've pointed out, with a rotary mower there is a lot more randomness involved. That said, if you mowed your lawn with the exact same path every time, you would probably ...


14

I have had limited success with peeling back the turf and adding topsoil underneath. I cut three sides of a rectangle with a spade and rolled back the turf. It can be awkward if there are weeds with roots that go deeper than the grass's. It does leave a scar in the lawn, which will take a little while to recover. I suppose you could put seed down on the ...


14

Is your lawn a warm season lawn or a cool season lawn? If it's a warm season lawn, I believe the best time of year to establish (or repair) is mid spring to very early summer. For a cool season lawn, the best time of year to establish (or repair) is from August 15th to September 15th (exact date will vary slightly depending on the growing zone you're in). ...


14

Mushrooms, or toadstools, are usually caused by decaying organic debris, such as pieces of wood and dead tree roots, just below the surface of the lawn; they can also be caused by a thick layer of thatch (the layer of grass clippings, dead roots etc that accumulate on the surface, just below the grass line - see here), and they thrive in damp conditions. ...


14

First let me say, I'm no expert when it comes to sharpening lawnmower blades, I've done it on the odd occasion -- only on rotary mower blades, never on cylinder or reel mower blades. I do sharpen my own hand-tools, things like wood chisels, plane blades, etc and use sharpening stones to do those, but when it comes to lawnmower blades I've personally found ...


14

Perhaps I missed something in the other answers. The one and only reason is because of SPLASHING. Rain over the gutter, a hard sideways rain will splash mud/soil onto the siding. Not good for siding as the mud tends to hold moisture too long and can cause rot as well as a dirty 'skirt' on your siding. The gravel, drain rock, cobble or even the lava ...


13

This may seem odd, but it has worked for me. Place the dog's feces in the hole they dug, then cover it back up. You may have to do this many times if they continually dig there holes in different places. At some point your dog will dig in a hole that you have covered up once before. At this point they will be disgusted by what they find and will learn to ...


13

That is Mock Strawberry, Duchesnea indica. The fruits are edible, but rather tasteless. This is a common weed in much of the United States. Look for small, strawberry-like plants in your lawn, with long stolons connecting the individual crowns. These plants have five petaled yellow flowers. See comparison photos:


12

Deer and rabbits both have a very keen sense of smell. I use a mixture of garlic powder, chili powder and water to keep the deer out of the garden. I am pretty sure that would work for rabbits as well. Spray it around where they are nesting and see if they move. If they do make up a large batch and spray the whole yard. I spray once a week on average. If it ...


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