Jump to content

Unofficial Home of Old Simplicity & Allis-Chalmers Garden Tractors

Sign in to follow this  
jsarro

Grass Lawn Maintenance Thread (Pics 8/10)

Recommended Posts

jsarro
I am starting this thread for anyone who would like to discuss all aspects related to grass, lawn care, and the use of the garden tractors in the care and maintenance of the yard. If this thread is more appropriate for another area of the site, I understand if it needs to be moved. I am starting the thread with a discussion from another thread. Thanks
quote:
Originally posted by MysTiK
Zoysia - I'm OTL - I only know it as a "warm season grass" (whole other world). Canada is all "cool season" grasses. Mainly, in seed mixes, K.blue, P.rye, and C.fescue. 8D I hope you got all your questions answered - isn't it just amazing talking about "rusty olde junk"? I love it.
Zoysia is a very warm season grass so it very unusual to see this grass in the north east. When we bought our house 8.5 yrs ago. Our yard was mostly Kentucky Blue grass, Rye, and Fescue. We had one small patch of Zoysia in our front yard either brought in intentionally , naturally, or unintenionally. I did not even know what it was. I thought it was dead thatch, as it appeared a straw color in the cooler seasons while everything else was green. Over the years I began to realize how tough this grass was. No weeds, super thick, and spreads by rhizomes underground. It became the best part of my lawn requiring no assistance. Shorter slower growing season which means less cutting. Green in the dead heat of summer with no watering, while all the other grasses die. Will grow in poor soil including very sandy soils. When I start my rear and side lawns this fall. I will plant a mix of Fescues and Blue grass from seed as they grow fast in cool conditions. Then over time I will introduce to those areas the Zoysia from either plugs of patches of sawd from the front yard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jsarro
I found this article linked below years ago to be very helpful in organic lawn care. http://www.richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp The information is both good in changing a yard over to organic from synthetic or starting a new lawn from scratch. I have also seen this information applied to turn the most troublesome yards into beautiful lawns without chemical treatments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jsarro
Your welcome Scott! Glad you like the article! That article really help me understand the dynamics at play with developing healthy natural grass. I have used the Ringer Lawn Restore years ago, it works great! dOddOd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by jsarro
I found this article linked below years ago to be very helpful in organic lawn care. http://www.richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp The information is both good in changing a yard over to organic from synthetic or starting a new lawn from scratch. I have also seen this information applied to turn the most troublesome yards into beautiful lawns without chemical treatments.
I really enjoyed the richsoil take on what to with dog poo on a lawn. I especially enjoyed the writing on the "mow it tall" concept. However, things went downhill fast shortly after that when he started talking more and more about stuff like "his passion", his preferences, what he likes and doesn't like, etc. A good scientific article is stark and cold - just the facts. He especially shot himself when, in VERY BRIEFLY mentioning "thatch", as if it is something really bad (it's essential, unavoidable, and provides habitat for his highly acclaimed "micro" and "macro" critters) - I agree those are good too; but where does he think they exist? But then he immediately mentions some kind of magic grass that miraculously converts itself from it's rhizomatous nature, in some x-files manner, to suddenly express itself as a stoloniferous grass. There can be such grasses; but they are pretty rare. Usually it's one or the other. I know some warm season grasses are vulnerable to stolon domination - perhaps that's what he meant - who knows. It seems the only species he mentioned at any length is his personal preference (again) for tall fescue. Sure, it's a tough grass; but it's coarse, relatively heavy bladed, and not usually ranked with more desirable fine turfgrasses. After reading the beginning I became more and more aware that he has something to sell, and I thereby relagate him to what I previously, in another recent thread, as a snake oil salesman. I actually thought about entering his personally recommended forum, just to have an argumentative experience. Why would I even bother. But I am dismayed by your mention of 'converting ... organic from synthetic'. There are actual synthetic lawns - one of the oldest is "astro turf", and recently others have appeared - I don't know what they are, plastic, polyurethane, vinyl, fibreglas, rubber, who knows. That's the kind of talk that I hear from too many people who rave about 'organic' as the be all end all of everything good. There really is no such thing. Grass needs N, and knows not where it comes from. P is essential for root growth and flowering stages of senescence. K makes for good plant turgor, and is about overall health and resistance to disease. and those are the basic ingredients in most fertilizers that are sold on the market. Slow release is often best because it minimizes burn tendencies caused by excessive quantities. The problem with organic fertilizers is that are enormously slow to show results - they can take years, and during that time, such treated lawns appear weak. This is counter to the grow it tall concept; which is best achieved in a hurry. The weed controls, and habitat and general ecology and stability and power and strength and resistance that follows is all good. If it means not wallowing in a prone position on the lawn for a few weeks, then so be it. Yes, I noticed the pix of the young woman lying on the lawn - but you missed the many bugs that crawled up her shorts. That's a pretty organic lawn - be careful what you pray for. :D The article, while decrying thatch, did recommend leaving clippings on the lawn. That's hilarious, cos when you leave clippings on, you begin the wonderful beneficial existence of a HEALTHY thatch layer. A healthy thatch layer IS the habitat where those beneficial bugs coexist is ecological stability. That includes the earthworms, which the author declared, that those worms will munch on "organic material" (thatch is VERY ORGANIC) :D and convert it to more useable material - aka worm "castings". Take out the previously condemned thatch layer, and you just lost most of your resistance to elevated soil temps, esp. on hot days, and apart from "tall mowed lawn"; just lost naturally occurring (or should I say "organic") sources of N, P, K humus, cellulose, etc., not to mention the eventually healthy soil resulting from same. So much for "organic". A better word would be "natural"; and most of these processes happen in a lawn that's always been mowed tall, with or without any fertilizers. It's simply a miniature "rainforest", esp. when one views it as an earthworm sees it. Dirt. There is no "dirt" in horticulture. The guy is a moron. He also condemns mixes of sand and rock. These are essential for drainage. He also poo poos drainage - and yet he recommends the very thing he says not to do = water heavy 1" at a time, etc. Also his story about split the watering just ignores other naturally existing soils which have unique characteristics and structure and physical properties. His super calli fragilistic expialadoicious 8) word = is better known as "hydrophobic". Fairy ring is hydrophobic. Also habitual use of pesticides will eventually leave films on not only the soil, but also on the DEAD thatch layer itself, creating strong potential for a weak lawn that CAN'T be watered, and is essentially poisoned. Wetting agents can help break that, also excess additions of water, also aerating and dethatching, followed by overseeding. And most of those are not allowed by his recommendations either. There are many holes and many myths in what he says. In his words - "wrong, wrong, slap, slap". Read it again for the first time. So sadly, he is just another one of those socalled organic freaks that I can't tolerate; and he has snake oil for sale. He also mentioned "salts" a few times. The stuff he is using will involve salts also. Salts are naturally occurring and a major part of many reactions such as equilibrium reactions in organic chemisty - where there's a basic rule of thumb = an acid plus a base produces, and coexists as a salt and a water. Also adjusting the pH of soil is extremely difficult, but will be somewhat apparent at the very shallow surface level, and might trickle down. Of course, that would involve drainage, which means sand and rock might be needed; but he calls that dirt. Sand is one of the finest growth mediums available, and largely because of it's drainage - but it requires water and nutrient inputs. yada yada yada. I like the tall grass part. The rest is a sad story. Sorry to perhaps sound oh so negative - I prefer genuine accurate information, and a diverse and heavy dose of it. He's an amateur; but he probably gets a lot of hits on his website - or whatever he is selling. His outline is not the recipe for a stable lawn - although constantly adding compost will work miracles - he got that right. and perhaps a few other things. but the inconsistencies and errors dominate his talk. He never claimed perfection; and neither do I. He is hiding his failings with inputs. Call those organic and I will show you a money trail. read it again. or don't. If you are willing to descend to the depths of undesirable synthetic chemical burn, check out Purdue University - look for the "turf tips" section - and enjoy the educational material. Parts of that are for home lawns. Parts of it are for turf professionals. It can get pretty technical. there are other sites similar. they call it "turf" and they look after their turf through accurate info. The socalled "organic lawn" concept is good - but the people in it are profiteers and rarely talk like pros. They simply are in business first; and "turf management" second, if at all. They don't know. But they know what they do - in truth, if they ever stop long enough to go there. just my really strong opinion, based in formal education. sorry, can't fix that. The only thing I value in socalled 'organic' is potential cures for some problems - the pesticides in Canada are banned. The author got that right. But there are some cures such as corn gluten, nematodes, milky spore. Grub control involves knowing the life cycle; and depending which species requires multiple treatments over 2 or more years. Diversity of species, micro and macro, minimizes potential for problems caused by domination by one species - no one species can dominate in a competitive ecosystem. Pesticides kill that ecosystem; which necessitates using more and more poisons ad infinitum, to offset an endless parade of problems - this is only a problem if one is really interested in a establishing a fine stand of turf that will endure. The easy lawn only needs excess water to create a weak lawn that won't tolerate traffic, drought, heat, cold, etc. - the dark side of poa annua. But the bright side, it makes seed like crazy, and will return when 'nice' conditions return. repeat repeat, nice lawn, dead lawn, nice lawn, dead lawn - enter the opportunistic weeds. Thatch is key to diversity of species. end of rant. Peace. sm03

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
arnoldir
I apologise for only skimming through the above posts, but wanted to add my 2 cents on what is certainly one of the thorns in my side. POA ANNUA #&@#! I have found that a big propane torch is the best non chemical way to deal with this in yard. As soon as they start to show up I burn them to ash down to the dirt. Healthy turf grass will recover in 8 - 10 days after the burn. IF all you have is poa, like my back yard was, I just sweep the torch to burn off the seed and leave the plants. However, be carefull as the poa seeds burn like they are soaked in gas and the burn can get away from you. Have hose at the ready. Bye for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jsarro
Roger thanks for the input on the torch. I have seen those advertised and thought it would be a useful tool to deal with with weeds popping up in garden beds. I have not yet bought one, but would like to try it in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jsarro
Graham, I have not read the article in years, nor did I re read it for this commentary. These are some of the main points I got from it years ago that I saw as valuable, that have stayed with me, that I will review. Mowing high and often, is less stressful for your grass, beneficial for photosynthesis, yet encourages shading of weeds. Watering infrequently but heavy encourages a deep root system. Building weak soil with compost is beneficial to the flora of the top soil which will help in the creation of nutrients for grass growth. PH being in a desirable range can favor grass over weeds for dominance. In acid conditions lime is useful to raise the PH. Hearty grasses require less work to maintain than delicate softer grasses. Grubs can be controlled with natural microorganisms such as milky spores. A few treatments can offer 20 yrs of protection without harm to birds or other animal life. This can save you money in the long run, and decrease your exposure to pesticides on a yearly basis. Corn gluten can be a non toxic pre-emergent helping to eliminate crab grass while you build the density of your lawn. Natural fertilizers can offer nutrients to microorganisms and plant life without upsetting water tables or introducing high amounts of sulfuric and hydrochloric acids. These acids can upset the PH of the soil. I may have forgotten some things here. In terms of snake oil salesman, I have not looked at the site for any length of time in years to see if anything is being sold. I printed the article off and just received free information that helped me. As far as organic being a scam. I view the term to mean natural and without synthetic chemicals. That is all. If you are buying products, then buyer has to beware. I mostly just think of it as manure is a organic fertilizer etc. So from my perspective in regards to lawn care, going natural or organic can be cheaper and safer. I got interested in organic lawn care when I became a home owner. I was looking to maintain my yard as safely and inexpensively as possible. I do not need the most perfect lawn nor do I desire it. I view the long term yearly exposure to lawn chemicals as a potential health risk for myself and my family, not to mention other animal life. That is a risk I can avoid and choose not to take. People are free to do what they want otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jsarro
In addition another main point gained in the article was that the depth and quality of top soil is critical for a easy to maintain healthy lawn. I have also in the past used milky spores, corn gluten, lime, and ringer lawn restore, and have been happy with all of the products. I have found with the Zoysia grass, that I have not needed to do any of the above to maintain it. That is why my long term goal is to cultivate this grass primarily. It will save me time and money. Some people will not like Zoysia as it is not as green as some of the other grasses, and it goes dormant in cool weather and becomes more of a harvest straw color in the winter. It is also aggressive enough that it can grow into mulching beds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
arnoldir
Hey Jack, you are most certainly welcome. Other lessons I have learned the hard way: Do not water in the evening, grass stays wet and fungal spores will germinate. I put in a new back lawn last year, and made that mistake. I had Greasy Spot (Pithium) fungus erupt all over the place. First it looks like white cotton candy on the blades, then it all lays down and turns black and greasy. I took the easy way out and hit it with a fungicide in a spot sprayer, but I read that corn meal (not gluten) is usefull on fungus. I also sprayed the mower with the fungicide to prevent transfer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysTiK
I doubt it's possible to be completely rid of poa annua. It's a seed factory, at any height of 1/8" or higher. It's an annual. It's a real woosy also. It hates stress. Hates dry. Hates traffic. Hates competition. It's the first to die in a drought. It will leave bald patches behind if it's the dominant grass; which invites weeds (opportunistic weeds). Fine turfgrasses can better resist the conditions that p. annua hates. Cultivation methods aimed at finer turf TENDS to encourage finer species while discouraging less desired species. Long story short - give it exactly what it hates. With a watchful eye, and careful monitoring soil moisture, you can find the ideal water regimen that will encourage root growth - force the roots to dig for water. Poa annua doesn't live long enough, and lacks the endurance, to grow roots in search of deep soil water. Poa will always grow again due to seed in the ground due to high seed production. The thing is to know your lawns minimal water req's to encourage root extension, thus making desired species stronger, leading to good domination. It's a process until the roots are actually there = be careful as you are approaching drought levels. Note also that P, the middle number on the ferts bag, phosphorus, encourages root growth. It tends to linger in the soil, so avoid large numbers or heavy applications of P. This is consistent with the notion of avoiding excess fertilizer generally. (and those manufacturers want to sell more more excess! Growing a fine lawn is about promoting desirable tendencies and discouraging undesirable tendencies. Direct control is not really possible. It's about "tendencies". Sometimes a big push seems good; and it might be; it depends; but there's probably a price to pay later. Example: high N will promote rocket growth; but the lawn will suck up all the other micronutrients in the soil at the same time, resulting in other deficiencies, which will promote weakness later. Note the words: tendency, promote. Not direct control. Nature rules; no matter what you think you are achieving with a flame thrower, burning it to the ground. 8) Poa annua is! Much of this is only possible when a lawn is Established. Getting it established probably involves tactics that promote p. annua, weeds, etc.; note some seed mixes contain Annual Ryegrass, which is also an annual, and it germinates in 5 days, and grows rocket fast and tall. It is known as a "nurse crop" because it tends to shade the cute little seedlings that appear days or weeks later, and acts to stabilize soil. Shocking news is that weeds, in a new lawn, are also considered "nurse crop", and should be ignored - they get tortured later when mowing begins - same as the "mow it tall" concept. My favourite approach to weeds is "ignore them: they are not worthy of your attention". Another approach is to hand pick 10 weeds a day in less than 3 minutes, and then quit. They are not worthy of your time either. For new lawns or overseeding, you want to know what exactly is in the seed mix. And you want to know not only the characteristics of those species; but especially the Germination Times of those species. It depends. Warm or cool season species are often 2 different worlds. In my (cool season) world, Perennial rye=7 days. Creeping red fescue=15 days. Kentucky Bluegrass=21 days. Any disruption in ideal conditions for germination means add more time. Think of it as a month during which you can basically "Keep off the grass" and water mist twice (or more) a day lightly. Ignore the weeds, and the po'annah'. Basically spoil those cute little babies for a month. Then start mowing tall and growing roots in a borderline drought. Stress is good. but don't push too hard. (also don't fertilize until after several mows). I don't know warm season grasses. A local university or college with a turf program does. It's all different. @ Jack I like your recommendations far more than that website. Thanks, good info. But I don't think minimal ferts time release is really a problem for people or for "run-off" into rivers, lakes, or, perhaps, water table. Excess is a problem. Even golf courses know that. Golf greens are designed to drain - they are 4 feet of sand, unless they are really old, as in 'old school'. times have changed. and thank God the mercurial fungicides are gone, at least in this country. Does corn gluten really work on crabgrass? I can see applying that over snow, in February, to catch the germination time for crab. (pre-emergent). Ever heard of borax (boron) on 'creeping charlie'? It's a one-shot deal; but I have never tried it - yet. Not sure if you have it - probably you do. Weed kill 2,4-D doesn't bother it. Trouble is boron lingering in soil, and boron temporarily stunts grass. A 2nd app is possible the following year - but that's the maximum. Good old 20 mule team borax - poison for your clothing.?? It's harder to find it now. But it's the only thing for charlie - a highly invasive low-growing ground cover. It has about 17 other names too. But those purple spring flowers are o so cute. OO I have heard boron is a good counter for mold also. Not sure how toxic to humans boron is. Need more info - for all of it - always.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysTiK
here's a link re: Poa Annua from: Virginia Tech - Virginia Cooperative Extension http://www.anr.ext.vt.edu/lawnandgarden/turfandgardentips/tips/poa_control.html . there's tons of links on this - it's a popular topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysTiK
Link to Purdue University Archived Turf Tips http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/turftips-archived.html There's lots of info here; often more than what is offered at other Turf School sites. Some is targeted at Turf Professionals. Some is targeted at home owners. The Home Page: http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/ On the home page, there's a link for Home Owner's Lawns: Help for your home lawn - Various resources = HERE sm03 http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/homeowner.html The Homeowner link covers lots and lots from sod to seed, from crabgrass to poa annua, fertilizers, etc etc etc etc This site has changed over the years; but it seems the info is still available. some info is in PDF format. I used to read a lot of stuff here. I found Purdue to be pretty open about sharing tek info re Turfgrass Science. A lot of Turf Schools don't openly share info like this - you have to take courses. This is pretty much a direct service to the local Indiana Region. In Ontario, the seasonal changes and times are all a few weeks different. Some of the stuff I learned from Purdue, when I mentioned to local ferts and seed suppliers, they thought I was quite crazy. See especially the concept of LATE FALL FERTILIZATION - they told me I was nuts, that the ferts would all leach out over winter. I tried it, and instead of the usual brown lawn in early spring, I had a green lawn in early spring. Frozen turf does not drain. surprise. Purdue outlines a 4 application ferts program, and Late Fall is the FIRST application. It's more effective than fertilizing in early spring; cos it already happened. If you consider your relative location and local climate, etc., the info available can be put into practice, w minor adjustments. If you get enough info, you know how to make it happen. There are other sources besides Purdue, lots of them - it's just that this is the best I found for covering pretty much all aspects of Home Lawns and Professional Sports Turf. The Pros are necessarily into pesticide use - but they are licensed and always studying more; they are not oblivious to health concerns. They are also trapped into providing a perfect sports field, or they are out of a job. It's not like that on your home lawn - you can adopt, or reject, anything; and you can use info to do experiments; cos you won't lose your home if your lawn isn't perfect. Like anything, it's a case of "Take what you want; and Leave the rest". I like to play w my lawn. My backyard is a disaster, dies every year, pure sand, and lots of tractor traffic - it's the staging area for tractor work, and it gets a lot of abuse - but the worst is hot sun, on pure sand, with no irrigation. One year I watered daily, ran out of water in my giant rainbarrel, and then it went dormant, or died, like usual. (it's green colour is crabgrass). There's a rare "blue fescue" that just won't quit - but it grows as a "bunch" grass - pretty bumpy unless there's enough of it. I have never seen blue fescue anywhere. Yes, it is light blue; but can appear green also. Like most things, it depends. There's a pdf on poa annua here also: sm01 - it will cover managing it to promote it or discourage it. It's one of the most fascinating studies in Turfgrass Science. I haven't really used this site for a few years. There's an old app they developed for Identifying Turfgrass Species. You need to learn the parts of a grass plant to use it - but I discovered with a bit of knowledge, you can kinda use it in reverse, by starting with what you do know. It features 'rotating pix'. Knowing the growth req's of a species is an advantage. http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2005/tool527.htm Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysTiK
The OP specifies this topic can also cover "the use of the garden tractors in the care and maintenance of the yard". One of the biggest issues I have is with the max mowing height on the olde iron decks (such as the 48" or 42" 3-blade decks). The cut tends to be amazingly smooth, beautiful, super stripes, and power to spare regardless of horsepower. However, it seems difficult and complex to achieve a mowing height between 3 and 4 inches. I can get 3"; but that's even complicated - or so it seems it might be. I have discovered that, as the rear of the deck is elevated with the roller-height adjustors, the angle of the belt-pulley on the center spindle in more and more off center as the mowing height increases. You can see this easily if you simply LIFT, manually, the rear of the deck. This little mystery drove me nuts until I watched it change as I increased height. The problem is that as the rear of the deck is raised, the front center spindle actually LEANS FORWARD - thus causing the belt to tend to rub the edges of the V-shape of the pulley. And THAT means that the entire deck is tilting forward. I was puzzled about HOW I was getting some unusual finish patterns on my lawn after mowing it. It seems that with the deck at max height of rear adjustors, the angle of the entire deck, and the blades, and the spindles, etc. all changes - and if this is taken to the ridiculous extreme, say at a mowing height of a ridiculous 3 feet, 8), that the deck is simply not mowing level - it's almost like the blades, in this extreme, would be mowing vertically, instead of horizontally - and this would make for a "hills and valleys" appearance, from the "bird's eye" view. And this is probably the problem I notice in finished appearance. I thought it was dull blades. I checked. One blade was badly bent - concave. I replaced it, and that helped - but still the finish pattern is not consistent - and I think it's about the entire deck tending to tilt. There are adjustments on the front yokes of the deck. I have heard it said that these affect the "pitch" of the deck. But I don't know how to dial in the pitch, or if it is even possible to offset this max height problem. So, the question is - has anyone figured out how to properly set pitch. All I can do so far, is GUESS. This is really a deck leveling issue; and I am experimenting with yoke adjustments. At one point, I adjusted one yoke more than the other; and I was rewarded with great difficulty installing the deck - as if the deck was twisted - one of the front pins installed easily, the other would not line up easily - had to be forced. So that's not right; and I have been fine tuning to line up the pins. And I don't know if the deck is even level anymore. It's pretty close. But the thing is to control that front pulley /belt angle. And I don't get exactly how to push /pull the deck with the front yokes. I suppose more experiments over time will get somewhere - but it's a lot of hard work grunting a 200-pound deck around just to spin the yokes a couple threads, and then reinstall. I would rather do it right by following what's built in, or not. These decks were made in an era where insane short short mowing was fashionable. More and more people are tuning in to "mow it tall". Anybody got the secret for yoke adjustments? Or how they are supposed to influence deck leveling. Or what's supposed to happen, when one knows what he is actually doing here? I think there's a danger of metal fatigue, and yoke breakage, if this is done improperly. And I have seen recent pix of exactly that. The yokes are curved, and staring at them, trying to imagine what actually changes, is enough to induce a senior's moment. :D (more) - Beyond standard adjustments, some are using new rollers with larger diameter. I have thought about adding those little wheels that some decks use - and maybe somehow incorporating a "wheel device" either beside or around the outer rollers. This would bypass any height adjustment limitations. (more, more) The ROLLER does not have to ride on the surface of the soil. My Pacer mower, is a full float suspended deck - and by specs for levelling, the roller is SUPPOSED TO BE 1/2" ABOVE THE GROUND = and it has no problem making stripes at the spec'd height. I was surprised. It still works. To attain a striped appearance, the grass simply has to be "leaned over"; not pressed down on the soil. ! And so, I think, add training wheels, get the roller of the ground completely. Enter the pulley /belt angle issue, and the insane vertical blades idea too. Any "yokes" info would be great. thx. The other scheme I have is to cheat by directly changing or modifying the actual blade height in the deck itself, by switching spindle parts, or raising them directly, as one would if repowering w a new engine, and trying to align a drive shaft. It's not rocket science; but there's a lot of relative positions and safety and wear to consider. Everything affects everything else; or it doesn't. any thoughts. dOd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jsarro
quote:
Originally posted by MysTiK
@ Jack I like your recommendations far more than that website. Thanks, good info. But I don't think minimal ferts time release is really a problem for people or for "run-off" into rivers, lakes, or, perhaps, water table. Excess is a problem. Even golf courses know that. Golf greens are designed to drain - they are 4 feet of sand, unless they are really old, as in 'old school'. times have changed. and thank God the mercurial fungicides are gone, at least in this country. Does corn gluten really work on crabgrass? I can see applying that over snow, in February, to catch the germination time for crab. (pre-emergent). Ever heard of borax (boron) on 'creeping charlie'? It's a one-shot deal; but I have never tried it - yet. Not sure if you have it - probably you do. Weed kill 2,4-D doesn't bother it. Trouble is boron lingering in soil, and boron temporarily stunts grass. A 2nd app is possible the following year - but that's the maximum. Good old 20 mule team borax - poison for your clothing.?? It's harder to find it now. But it's the only thing for charlie - a highly invasive low-growing ground cover. It has about 17 other names too. But those purple spring flowers are o so cute. OO I have heard boron is a good counter for mold also. Not sure how toxic to humans boron is. Need more info - for all of it - always.
Golf courses unfortunately are implicated in significant damage to the ecosystem. Their chemical and fertilizer uses are linked to damaging the surrounding habitat and to gender reassignment of tadpoles. Male tadpoles are being feminized and changing into females. This is said to be leading to significant loss in the frog populations. Synthetic fertilizers are not deemed harmless and are largely implicated in the dead zone bloom of the Gulf of Mexico. This is not even considering the potential ramifications on human health, but it clearly effects our food supply. Please see links below: http://www.tulane.edu/~bfleury/envirobio/enviroweb/DeadZone.htm http://www.epa.gov/gmpo/habpage.html Yes, corn gluten does work. I would not believe it myself, until I saw it. My friend 10 yrs ago moved into a swanky neighborhood. His yard looked like a dead zone other than the massive amount of weeds. Loads of crab grass. His wife wanted him to get the yard on a heavy duty regular program of chemicals like all the neighbors. He refused. He had small kids, plus animals, and he wanted no part of chemicals. He employed most of the info I mentioned above in my post. The only products he bought was corn gluten and lime. He applied corn gluten annually in the spring while he built up the grass. He had chickens so he used the manure and spread compost regularly. When he moved 10 yrs later he had the best looking lawn on the street, and he did it all organically, cheaply, and naturally. Our street hired a landscaper to maintain some common area beds this year. We asked him to use natural products for weeds instead of Preen or Round up. He had never used it before. He used corn gluten and clove oil. He said he could not believe how well it worked, although he said he smelled like gingerbread cookies from the clove oil mix. Still now months later, there are few to no weeds. Borax soap is a natural pesticide. My wife uses it on out clothes. I have not used it for anything other than ant control. It seems to work for that. I also want to say that natural products are not always 100% safe either, especially when you are highly concentrating them to be effective. So cedar wood may be fine, but cedar oil although it may be safer than some pesticides, it still needs to be handled with respect and caution in my mind. Boron is a essential trace mineral to the human body but in large amounts almost anything can become toxic. We have had very good luck with concentrated vinegar on weeds. This works very well when applied say to a hot sunny weedy sidewalk. The next day the weeds will be all dead and easily removed. We apply it with a pump sprayer. I am not writing any of this to criticize what products or chemicals other people may use. I am just sharing my personal experience with things we have tried. :):):)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jsarro
quote:
Originally posted by Willy
Borax soap is a natural pesticide. If you have trouble with creaping charlie Borax soap will get rid of it.
Thank you Willy, that is good to know! Back east here our biggest weeds our dandelions, thistles, and crab grass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by Willy
Borax soap is a natural pesticide. If you have trouble with creaping charlie Borax soap will get rid of it.
Borax Solution for Creeping Charlie Control: LINK HERE: where I stole the info: see info on sprayers: http://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h519borax.html ================================================================== THE RECIPE: =================================================================== Dissolve 10 oz. Twenty Mule Team Borax in 4 oz. (½ cup) warm water. Dilute in 2.5 gallons of water. This will cover 1,000 square feet. If you have a smaller area to treat, cut the "recipe" accordingly. =================================================================== THE TERMS, CONDITIONS, CAVEATS, AND TOXICITY WARNINGS: ====================================================== = MAX APPLICATION = ONCE PER YEAR FOR 2 YEARS MAXIMUM = BORON IS SLOW TO LEACH OUT OF SOIL = BUILDUP IS TOXIC TO GRASS AND OTHER PLANTS = SOME TEMPORARY STUNTING OR BROWNING OF GRASS IS EXPECTED ========================================================== IMPORTANT: ============ MAXIMUM # OF TREATMENTS = 1 PER YEAR ONLY ONE APPLICATION A YEAR = MAX CAN REPEAT ONCE ONLY IN FOLLOWING YEAR (2nd YEAR) = MAX = DO NOT REPEAT FOR 5 YEARS+ THEREAFTER = RISK OF BORON TOXICITY - WILL AFFECT OTHER PLANTS = BORON SLOW TO LEACH OUT OF SOIL BORON IS AN ESSENTIAL MICRONUTRIENT FOR SUGAR/NUTRIENT TRANSPORT IN PLANTS; - BUT IS TOXIC IN EXCESS!! DO NOT TREAT MORE THAN ONCE PER YEAR, AND NOT MORE THAN 2 YEARS IN A ROW!!! =================================================================== THIS IS A CONTROL. THE REAL CURE IS TO PRACTICE GOOD TURFGRASS SCIENCE TO GROW A DENSE STAND OF QUALITY TURF - WEEDS REQUIRE A HOME - IF THERE IS NO HOME, THERE'S NO WEEDS - YOU HAVE PROVIDED A HOME FOR WEEDS - FIX THAT! OR CHARLIE (& OTHERS) WILL BE BACK SOON! =================================================================== .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysTiK
Everything is one link: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/efans/ygnews/lawns/ Highly Recommended dOd U. of Mn. Extension Well written - the writer meanders all over the big picture to pick up all the related details in order to communicate the desired message. Truly fascinating link. It's all right here. And it starts with what to do starting in the next few weeks. Current relevance. It's a huge link; one thing leads to the next. Get a coffee and enjoy the ride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jsarro
Here are some pics of my Zoysia grass! I do nothing to this grass but cut it when it needs it. I have not watered, fertilized, applied lime or any other product in 5 years. When I did use products, I only used organic non synthetic products. There is not a single weed within the Zoysia areas.




The significance of this next picture, is the small strip of grass next to my sidewalk. That strip of grass was 100% weeds when I bought the house 8 yrs ago. I ripped out all the weeds, composted it, fertilized it, planted new seed to only have it become a total weed fest again. What fixed it was a few years back I had some square pieces of Zoysia I harvested from my front yard. They were roughly 1' X 2' sections. I planted them in a skip pattern. The strip was planted at about 50% sawd. I let the remaining fill up with weeds. Now about 3 yrs later it is almost entirely 100% Zoysia. It still needs to thicken up a bit yet. All the weeds got choked out as the Zoysia spread by rhizomes underground filling in the whole area. This strip of grass stands up to the extreme heat/sun of the summer, and the salt of the winter. It always looked awful before even with the grass strip irrigated.


This next photo shows a weaker area of my yard not yet taken over by Zoysia. It is mostly Kentucky Bluegrass and Rye grass.


These last two photos are closer up shots of the Zoysia so you can gain an appreciation of the density of this grass.




Thanks for viewing. I love this grass because I spend no money on it. It just does it's thing, very low maintenance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AC_B-1Novice
I have never fertilized my lawn in the seven year I've been here. I never remove the grass clippings except when it lays much too thick which is only about once a year. My grass drives me crazy as to how fast it grows. When it is rainy I sometimes have to use the brush hog to mow it as it is too much for my regular mower. The grass itself is always damp and causes the deck to build up quickly unless it has been in the 80's or above for 3 or 4 days in a row. I have a weed that I have been told is ok to eat that drives me nuts. I can't get rid of it. It spreads low like crab grass, has a dark green penny sized leaf and red stems. Anyone know how to destroy these things or are they an alien plant life? larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AC_B-1Novice
Found a picture and a name for the weed I'm trying to get rid of. Help!


While considered an obnoxious weed in the United States, purslane can provide much needed vitamins and minerals in a wilderness survival situation. Ghandi actually numbered purslane among his favorite foods. It’s a small plant with smooth fat leaves that have a refreshingly sour taste. Purslane grows from the beginning of summer to the start of fall. You can eat purslane raw or boiled. If you’d like to remove the sour taste, boil the leaves before eating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysTiK
That's a tough situation, Larry; except it could help with the groceries. It will grow in wet or dry, it's a succulent, it loves wet. It's a summer annual. Grows from seed in spring, makes seeds quickly - that's the problem, and it loves water. Seeds survive in the ground - for years. So nukeing the lawn with roundup will kill the lawn and the purslane. In your case, it will all grow back, because you probably have Poa Annua as your main grass species, again because of constant water available. That's ok. The other way to manage P.Annua is to encourage it. So you have tons of seeds from 2 prolific seed producers. And also ideal conditions for both of them. The only thing you could do is promote the grass more than the purslane by increasing the mowing height. The purslane tends to grow low, so it won't disappear right away either. but it will die off in the fall - I don't know your location; but if you get frost in the fall, the purslane is done - until spring pops new seed. The control for seed germination is corn gluten from the organic world. Or from the traditional world, crabgrass treatments, PREemergent to prevent germination of the seeds. Preemergent should minimize new spring plants - but they are going to happen anyway due to perfect conditions - they will wait and grow later. So then it's a possibility of control with POSTemergent. This is basically the same treatment for crabgrass. Whether Pre or Post, it's always going to be about existing seed in the soil that will grow in perfect conditions. In otherwords - good luck with those treatments; no fix; but possible control such as population reduction at best. So it's back to basics. The best defence against any weed is a dense stand of tall healthy turf. If there is no home for weeds, they can't invade (airborne). If there is no sunlight due to tall grass, then growth rate is reduced, and so they are less visible. Also the taller grass will produce more grass puppies, which leads to increased density, which makes the grass more competitive, which gives even P. Annua a better chance of dominance. In this case, it's whoever makes the most seed wins. And both are basically seed factories. GOOD LINK HERE http://www.better-lawn-care.com/purslane.html#axzz23eZzqkU7 I searched "purslane in lawn". I also found some recipes, with garlic and olive oil. Herb gardiners grow this stuff. Also described as "lemon flavored spinach" and nutritional content is described as "superfood" way up there with spinach. Anyway, ignore it, and raise mower to max height. If you don't spray with toxic waste, you can harvest and throw it in a rice dish anytime. It would probably even grow in winter indoors. I am very curious about how the grass is wet all the time. Is it high water table or lack of drainage or both? Unless the lawn dries out, it is hard to grow anything other than the poa annua - unless you look into grass cultivars from seed retailers, seeking a cultivar that prefers wet, or high moisture. Another thing with tall grass, it will uptake more water - that only helps if the grass is borderline maybe drying out sometimes. Another idea is to promote better drainage, if feasible, by aerating. This promotes vertical percolation of water and nutrients from surface to deeper in the soil. Another idea is to import sand to a depth that will raise the lawn esp. out of standing water, and generally a 2-4 inches above the water table. But I don't know what's causing this apparent fulltime wet condition. If you are on clay, it holds water forever - my front lawn is green w no irrigation ever, just rain, and it survived the level 2 drought this year. But my back lawn is 4 feet of pure sand - and it will only survive with full time irrigation. A sandy loam might be the middle ground. And over time, if you have an aerator, you can effectively mix the new layer with the old - so if base is clay, add sand. The mix will eventually be sandy loam. Need a plug aerator and several years to do that. Sand is an excellent growth medium as long as water is available. golf greens are elevated 4' of sand, designed to carry a constant flow of water and nutrients, to an through the rootzone. Hope this helps or at least imparts some understanding of the situation. It's hard to say more without more info and maybe pix. A couple inches of sand might change the world from poa annua to Kentucky Bluegrass - but I don't even know where you are. sm01 And Kblue is a pretty fussy grass with water and ferts. Currently you have too much water by the sounds of it. Graham .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AC_B-1Novice
My grass survived the dry weather also with no watering. This was a pasture field for more than 100 dairy cows before we built here. Grass grows like crazy. Mower is set as high as it will go. I may have to keep killing it off in the spring and stay at it. The problem is a where I don't want any grass along the driveway and a few other places. I'm about to try copper sulfate (drastic) next spring and see what happens. Thanks for the info, I'll keep it. larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×