Lawn care suggestions...

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The Annoyed Man
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Lawn care suggestions...

#1

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:47 pm

I confess that I am at a loss regarding lawn care issues ever since we moved back in 2017, and I could sure use some suggestions.

When we first moved to this house, our front lawn wasn’t perfect, but it was respectably good. Today, 2 years later, it is shot through with all manner of weeds; the St Augustine is faring poorly; and moles have turned it into a high risk place to walk. We have a what I would call a large front lawn, and I mean that nearly the whole thing has become treacherous footing. My wife is very unhappy with the way it looks (I confess more so than I am), and because she's not happy with it, I'm not happy.....if you know what I mean.

We water regularly as needed, and are careful not to over-water, so that’s not really an issue. I can no longer afford a gardener or lawn care service....not that the service I used to have (TruGreen) was worth a cup of warm spit....and so I’m curious to know what you do-it-yourselfers who take pride in your lawns do to keep it looking nice.

I'm willing to put in the sweat equity, but I don’t even know where to start...although it makes sense to me to start by killing off weeds and moles. What do you guys suggest?
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mrvmax
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#2

Post by mrvmax » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:13 pm

Here is the best info I’ve found, he’s on the radio weekends.
http://www.randylemmon.com/lawns/fertilize.html


Mike S
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#3

Post by Mike S » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:34 pm

I'd suggest first get rid of the moles, since they're causing the damage. If you have dogs or outside animals, I'd avoid poisons.

We had a small mole problem many years ago, & I had read to use fruity smelling bubble gum. Chew up some Hubba Bubba, & shove it into the holes. Theory was they'd eat it, be unable to digest it, & die of compaction or something. I don't know if it worked & they died in their burrows, or just got tired of our lawn & moved on.


Grayling813
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#4

Post by Grayling813 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:05 pm

Some people recommend this guy....I wouldn't though. :biggrinjester:

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LTUME1978
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#5

Post by LTUME1978 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:07 pm

I don't know what to tell you about moles as I have never had them.

For St. Augustine grass, I had great success fertilizing once in the spring and once in the fall with a 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer. I used a mulching mower and cut the grass at the 3 inch setting on the mower. It may take a couple of years to turn what you have into a pretty yard but that worked very well for me. I had to manually remove a few of the stubborn weeds but most got choked out by the healthy St. Augustine with time. Once it grew to the 3 inch height and filled in, it did not need as much water either.


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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#6

Post by RottenApple » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:31 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:47 pm
I confess that I am at a loss regarding lawn care issues ever since we moved back in 2017, and I could sure use some suggestions.

When we first moved to this house, our front lawn wasn’t perfect, but it was respectably good. Today, 2 years later, it is shot through with all manner of weeds; the St Augustine is faring poorly; and moles have turned it into a high risk place to walk. We have a what I would call a large front lawn, and I mean that nearly the whole thing has become treacherous footing. My wife is very unhappy with the way it looks (I confess more so than I am), and because she's not happy with it, I'm not happy.....if you know what I mean.

We water regularly as needed, and are careful not to over-water, so that’s not really an issue. I can no longer afford a gardener or lawn care service....not that the service I used to have (TruGreen) was worth a cup of warm spit....and so I’m curious to know what you do-it-yourselfers who take pride in your lawns do to keep it looking nice.

I'm willing to put in the sweat equity, but I don’t even know where to start...although it makes sense to me to start by killing off weeds and moles. What do you guys suggest?
I leave it to my wife. She likes yard work. I don't. :coolgleamA:

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03Lightningrocks
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#7

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:31 pm

Here is an idea.

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SRO1911
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#8

Post by SRO1911 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:52 pm

Celsius WG, it's a soluble granule herbicide that is phenomenal. It is available online, and while there is definitely some sticker shock - a little goes a long way.
As with ALL pesticides and herbicides - follow the label exactly. If a little is good more is NOT better. The vast majority of public water supplies are kept mildly alkaline. Chemicals work best between true neutral and slightly acidic. Typically, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water will suffice.

Celsius is harmless to saint Augustine and most strains of Bermuda although it can cause some degree of short term yellowing - if needed a light application of iron will correct it quickly.
It works as both a pre and post emergent. I'll be doing my yard this weekend and have my guys start hitting the city greenscapes in the next week or so.
For totally eliminating vegetation, I use esplanade. Unlike Roundup etc it is a once a year application here - further south it may be twice a year.
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#9

Post by Archery1 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:04 pm

If it's overall that it has never thrived like it should, not really responding to fertilizer like is should, it's the soil. Test it, professionally, before spending money on anything other than mole treatment. Usually, developed sites remove, replace, or lack organic matter/organic activity that nature provides over decades and centuries, and mulch from mowing is not enough to organically feed it to a thriving state. You get shallow roots systems, which make it more susceptible to water fluctuations, poor nutrient take-up, and the grass, though will live good enough to grow, it will never seem to just take off and get thick. I have the same problem from new construction, with hauled in pit dirt and clay from retention lakes. My solution is to keep amending with top covers of organic soil, decomposed manure from cow barns, anything of the sort to organically build the soil back up. It will take years, though.

My previous home was built in same area but built right on virgin topsoil, undisturbed other than immediate building site. I would kill anyone that put water or fertilizer on that lawn, as it was so thick and grew so fast that mowing it was a constant chore. Here, it's the opposite.

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Lynyrd
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#10

Post by Lynyrd » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:17 pm

I don't like St. Augustine because of the weaknesses to water, grubs, and fungus. I much prefer Centipede grass. When thick, it will choke out every weed, even bahia and nut grass. It requires less water and less fertilize than any other grass, and it grows into a thicker, deeper mat than any other grass. I cannot tell you the best way to convert from St. Augustine to Centipede because I have never done that. I am on my 4th lawn now, and have lived through St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Centipede. But you cannot go wrong with Centipede!
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#11

Post by Archery1 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:45 pm

Lynyrd wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:17 pm
I don't like St. Augustine because of the weaknesses to water, grubs, and fungus. I much prefer Centipede grass. When thick, it will choke out every weed, even bahia and nut grass. It requires less water and less fertilize than any other grass, and it grows into a thicker, deeper mat than any other grass. I cannot tell you the best way to convert from St. Augustine to Centipede because I have never done that. I am on my 4th lawn now, and have lived through St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Centipede. But you cannot go wrong with Centipede!
I actually had a lawn of bahia. Used here for pasture, but makes an excellent lawn by staying greener longer and greening back up earlier and is extremely drought resistant. The only problem with it was mowing. Like rope. Let it get too high by just one mowing, and there was no mulching to be had - just piles and piles of dense thatch. Only thing you could do was rake it all up, and it was thick thatch that had to be disposed of.


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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#12

Post by uthornsfan » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:49 pm

A few things about St Augustine.

Mow it tall 3" is absolute minimum. I'd recommend 3-1/2.

Mow it frequently, twice a week. Weds and Sat.

If your soil is like mine (lots of limestone) then you will need Sulphur and you will likely need to fertilize more than twice a year. I mix slow release Milogranite with Liquid fertilizer as needed. My yard needs nothing other than Nitrogen.

Finally, if you have disease spots, peat moss has worked well for me for something called take all root rot. You will know it if you get it, your whole yard will die eventually. Don't water too much, a good soaking at least once a week will keep it happy in all but the dryest conditions. To much water can stress as can not enough.

OH and check out "The lawn care nut" on YouTube


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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#13

Post by crazy2medic » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:59 pm

Moles are insectavores, they are eating the grubs, worms, insect larvae in the soil, they don't actually damage the grass, but do make the lawn unsightly! Get rid of their food supply and they'll go away! The bug larvae is most likely what is causing the damage! Fertilize the grass and get rid of the pest! Long road won't happen in a single season!
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#14

Post by Texas_Blaze » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:57 am

1. Keep blades sharp and use mulching blades
2. Cut lawn twice a week & keep the mower on highest wheel setting. Never cut grass short.
3. Water twice per week max in the early morning. Never in the heat of the day nor at night.
4. Fertilize in the spring before weeds start
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Re: Lawn care suggestions...

#15

Post by Daddio-on-patio » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:07 am

I follow Neil Sperry's recommendations with regard to landscape. His new book, available through his website, has a monthly calendar that details everything that needs to be done within that time frame. Enormously helpful! I live in the same area as you. Our dirt normally calls for nitrogen only fertilizer. I use a product packaged and sold by Russell Feed. Doesn't hurt that they call it "Piss of Your Neighbor."
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