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Old    Nick Heckerson (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       04-19-2010, 2:53 PM Reply   
It's getting to be the time of the year in the Midwest that the lawns are finally coming around. Just looking for a little advice. I'm pretty anal about my yard but after moving into a new house about a year and a half ago, I am still fighting my yard. My front yard was sodded by the builder and the back was seeded. Of course the builder used different types of grass between the seed and sod, so now that the seeded yard is coming around, it's a bright green where my front yard is a darker, deep green. Is there anyway to fix this other than continual overseed year after year?

Also, my lawn seems to come around a little slower than others. It takes to almost June to be thick like others. Currently I'm using the 4 seasons of fertilizers from Scotts, the TurfBuilder series. I know there is better stuff out there, but what do you guys recommend? I am unsure of the actual grass variety as I did not put it in. The front is a smaller blade, while the back is a thicker blade.
Old    KStateAlumni (bbeach)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-19-2010, 3:47 PM Reply   
Vigoro Super Green Lawn Fertilizer, you can get it at Home Depot...

See how much greener my lawn looks than my neighbors? And he has an expensive company come out and spray fertilizer...

Old    Chaserwaser            04-19-2010, 3:57 PM Reply   
hahahah i cant help but laugh ... reminds of fun with dick and jane too ... I got the lawn back
Old    S Dub (sdub)      Join Date: Jan 2003       04-19-2010, 5:54 PM Reply   
I am with you. kinda anal bout my yard. I moved from SoCal to StL 5 years ago and its hard to have a nice yard in the midwest. My yard is fescue so between the heat/ humidity and the f'n squirrels and moles it hard to keep it nice.

My biggest recomendation is fertilizing at the right times. And the formulas Scotts sells do not suit the mid west climate. I found the key is to fertilize 3 applications in the fall. That is the most important time. Your yard will be the first on the street to be thick and green come spring. I buy my fert. from a landscaping supply company. The prices compare with the Scotts but its higher quality slow release and the right mixture of nitrogen, phosporuous, potash.

This is my plan. As given to me by some 75 year old turf expert.

Fall months ( sept, oct, nov ) one applicaton of each mo. of a 18-5-9 or a 18-0-6. Good slow realease stuff.

Spring ( late feb, early march) use a 8-4-24 or a 7-0-22. If you have or get crabgrass, get the fert. with dimension crab grass control. In the spring do not use a high nitrogen fert. ( the first #) the more potash the better, it helps build up the roots to keep healthy in the summer. High nitrogen stull, like Scotts, pushes the grass to fast in spring damaging the turf in the long run.

Mid april you can use a 0-0-15 with a weed control.

The most important applications are the 3 fall ones. My yard improved dramatically just doing that.
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       04-19-2010, 11:09 PM Reply   
I would recommend anyone that is interested in a healthy lawn to take soil samples from your yard to your county extension office for analysis. Cost range from 20.00 to 50.00, but this will tell you exactly what amendments are needed. This has an impact on determining what fertilizer is going to give you the best results. Many people forgo this, but I put down sod (Zoysia) last summer, and the soil test was extremely helpful.

As someone mentioned earlier, slow release fertilizer is the best as it feeds your lawn gradually and helps build stronger roots (which is a weed deterrent). My local nursery has a recommended schedule for fertilizing your lawn and I would imagine a reputable nursery in your area has something similar.
Old    Matt (pierce_bronkite)      Join Date: Jul 2003       04-20-2010, 8:55 AM Reply   
Good thread. Anyone else have any other recommendations other than fertilizer?

What about aerating the soil does that help? I have a yard that is less than a year old (new house) and some parts of the grass are thin or hardly have any grass. Any tips on making the grass thicker?

I typically do the fertilizer/weed control in the fall and early spring.
Old    Mattgettel (mattgettel)      Join Date: Jan 2009       04-20-2010, 8:59 AM Reply   
yard & landscape=time away from the lake
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       04-20-2010, 10:02 AM Reply   
Well if you get moss over the winter for any reason you should start with putting down some Lime to bring the PH back up. Aerating can be good to get oxygen down in to the roots at the begining of the season. I personally use Nutri-Lawn where I live and they do a great job. Doesn't cost too much more for them to do all the fertilizing, lime, weed control, and aerating then it would cost me to do and then it leaves me to only have to cut the grass. Right now with the weather we have had up here ( mix of sun and rain) I could be cutting my grass every 3 days.

I would over seed any thin areas with a bit of soil.
Old    S Dub (sdub)      Join Date: Jan 2003       04-20-2010, 2:20 PM Reply   
I have always aerated in the fall and its always helpful. if you have poor soil, after aeration you can put down some compost over dressing. I would recomend aerating in the fall for the reason that you are less likely to cultivate up a bunch of weeds. In the spring its too warm and you are gonna create a good climate to grow a bunch of weeds. In the fall, it too cool to have a weed problem. But it depends on your climate. Here in MO,. weeds are crazy starting in mid march into april.

if you have thin grass, you might be able to get away with just dethatching your lawn. If you have more that a 1/2" of thatch at at base of the grass blades, you can rent a dethatching maching and clean it out. Cut grass to 1-1 1/2" then dethatch.

it all depends on what kinda grass you are growing. above info is for fescue.
Old    Tyler Hiney (thiney)      Join Date: Sep 2009       04-20-2010, 3:19 PM Reply   
There are so many factors that affect a good lawn. The biggest determining factor in what you do to keep your yard green is your specific climate soil and pest problems, so doing what others tell you works on their yard even if it is in the same area can get you into trouble. A couple of things that you need to know before you start putting a plan together are Grass type ( different grasses require drastically different agronomic approaches), Soil type (as someone mentioned above a soil test from your local extension service is the best way to get this information), Types of pest you are dealing with (Diseases, insects, weeds, ect.). Now once you know those things you can start thinking about fertilizing. As someone mentioned before the fall applications are very important for spring green up because this allows the plant to store as much “food” as it can before it goes into dormancy, that way it can survive the winter better and bounce back better in the spring. The spring applications are needed as well so that you can insure that you do not get any deficiencies. When thinking about fertilizers and their nutrient ratios a lot of time needs to be spent deciding what ratios to use and when as over fertilizing can be just as detrimental as under fertilizing. This is where the soil test, and knowing what type of grass and its nutrient requirements come in handy. When it comes to weed control it really depends on the specific weed problems you have. You will have to actually spend the time to identify them to properly control them. Some are better to just pull by hand some are need chemical treatments. Other pest are usually not a big deal you just address them as you find them again properly identifying them is the key. I apologize for the long post but there are four year degrees dedicated to growing grass (turf management for golf courses and sports fields) so its not like a cook book formula it is a science. These are just some of the basic things to think about. If any of yall have specific questions I would be more than happy to try and answer them as I have one of these degrees however useless it may be to me now since I did not go into this field lol.
Old    Nick Heckerson (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       04-25-2010, 2:18 PM Reply   
I wish mine was that green Beach. We're finally starting to get some rain here in STL, so hopefully that will help.
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Old    Nick Heckerson (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       04-25-2010, 3:12 PM Reply   
I'm pretty sure my Honda can take that old Lawn Boy though!!!
Old    Jonathan Bay (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       04-25-2010, 3:47 PM Reply   
No way. I threw away my honda mower ... ok, I sold it on CL for $100, and it was bought by the second poster who posted 15 minutes after the ad went up.

Honda engines are solid. I own a Honda Pilot and it is my 3rd consecutive Honda in a row.

But man, the mowing deck was poorly designed. It choked on grass cuttings 3 times per lawn mowing. I sold it just because I have a strong impulse to recycle. I felt like rolling it off a cliff.

My my new (3 yrs old now) Lawnboy is awesome.
Old    Nick Heckerson (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       04-25-2010, 3:52 PM Reply   
Haven't had those issues, but I did lose a wheel. Will agree that the motor is way more solid than the rest of the mower. Still growing up never saw a great Lawn Boy. I will probably go Toro next.
Old    KStateAlumni (bbeach)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-26-2010, 9:04 AM Reply   
That lawn boy is older than you Nick AND far more valuable! I can't believe I haven't been to your new place in STL!
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-26-2010, 9:32 AM Reply   
At least you guys have lawns. My back yard has so many trees, once the leaves come in, the grass dies off. I am considering taking down a few of them. It just sucks having to cut down large oak trees.
Old    Nick Heckerson (kstateskier)      Join Date: May 2002       04-26-2010, 9:53 AM Reply   
Paul, if you give the wind long enough in Wichita it will take them down!!

Beach, call the guy that powdercoated your trailer and see if he could put a new coat on that mower!

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