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RE: Help me with ideas to screen neighboring yard? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: pinusresinosa on 08.13.2011 at 02:56 pm in Landscape Design Forum

Hemlocks can tolerate full shade and can be pruned to form a nice hedge. Consider cultivars. Monler may not get tall enough for the screen you want (tops out around ten feet) but has good screening foliage. Pendula gets a little larger.

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clipped on: 08.29.2011 at 01:18 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2011 at 01:20 pm

RE: topdressing mixture for lawns (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: philes21 on 03.25.2008 at 04:25 pm in Lawn Care Forum

If you're in zone 5, you should not topdress with sand. Golf courses top dress the GREENS with sand. But not the fairways. But that's because the greens have bentgrass. You don't. You probably have a KBG, Rye, Fescue lawn. In addition, adding sand to clay doesn't improve things.

So here you are. Not sand. In fact, you want to topdress with regular, garden variety, topsoil. That topsoil will, because it's spread loosely, fall into the valleys, and tend to make the valleys a little less deep. Very nice. Not enough to kill the grass there, just a tad less deep. Which is, of course, better than making those valleys a tad more deep. So topdressing, with topsoil, tends to even things out.

You can help that process along, by core-aerating. The plugs are pulled from the lawn, and the plugs lay around on the surface, and decompose. Sure enough, the now-loose soil tends to fill in the valleys. Sure enough, the core being pulled tends to round off, or make less tall, the mountains in that lawn. Everything, in some small, but relentless degree, is moved toward the middle, presumably, 'optimal' grade.

Now lets talk about topdressing with compost. That adds organic material to the lawn, which is good for lawns that are short of organic material. For lawns that are not actually short of organic material, it's generally a waste of time compared to the effort, but yes, "it's always good to add organic material"....for the most part, that's true.

But organic material will rot away. And be gone. So if you're doing some more or less permanent 'leveling' of the lawn, use topsoil for topdress. If you want to add 'good stuff' to the lawn, topdress with compost.

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clipped on: 04.28.2008 at 12:15 am    last updated on: 04.28.2008 at 12:15 am

RE: Sew grass without tilling? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 03.29.2008 at 10:48 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Wait until fall when the heat of summer first breaks. Then scalp the grass as low as you can to expose the soil. Rake up what you can to expose more soil. Moisten the soil, scatter the seed, and roll it down with a water fillable roller (rented) to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Then keep it moist. Water every day for 10-15 minutes, three times a day, for 2 weeks. Mow the grass when the new grass gets tall enough to mow at your mower's highest setting. Then weld or glue your mower at that height for the best looking results. The only reason you need to mow at a lower height than the highest is to reseed. You can rent a mower for that.

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clipped on: 04.28.2008 at 12:06 am    last updated on: 04.28.2008 at 12:06 am

RE: I don't know what to do first! (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: billl on 04.16.2008 at 09:54 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Congrats on the new house!

I bet you have plenty of house projects on your plate, so I would take the slow and steady approach to revamping the lawn. It will improve substantially if you just start caring for it properly. That means using a preemergent and fertilizer this spring, mowing regularly, watering deeply but infrequently, and fertilizing 2-3 times in fall. Address weeds by pulling or spot treat with something like weed-b-gon.

For the lumpiness, the slow and steady way is to just buy a bunch of bags of topsoil. Every 2 weeks or so, sprinkle a thin layer (about 1/4") on the problem areas and then use a broom to knock it down into the low spots. The existing grass will be able to handle that and grow through the new soil. Over the season, you should be able to fix most of the bumps without a major rehab. Of course, if you have completely bare spots, go ahead and level and reseed those now. Remember not to put the herbicide on those areas though.

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clipped on: 04.27.2008 at 02:35 am    last updated on: 04.27.2008 at 02:35 am

RE: I don't know what to do first! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bestlawn on 04.16.2008 at 08:08 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Get a soil test. Contact your nearest cooperative extension service for submission information and a test kit. In case you are not sure, you can have them identify your grass type (and any weeds) while you're there. You likely have Kentucky Bluegrass or a mixture of bluegrass and others, but it's best to be sure. If you need help interpreting the test results, feel free to ask here on the forum.

Core aerating, which you likely need to do anyway, will level surface some. After that you can fertilize, spread Halts to help prevent more crabgrass, and spread Portrait (scroll down) to help prevent more broadleaf weeds like dandelions, clover, etc. If they haven't come up already, they soon will, and Portrait should minimize the outbreak. Because it's a little late for both Halts and Portrait, you will likely get weeds but probably not as many as not applying the pre-emergent herbicides.

You will find a yearly maintenance schedule in this thread. Pay particular attention to the paragraphs on watering and mowing. If you want to plant grass seeds, the best time to do it is between mid August and mid September.

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clipped on: 04.27.2008 at 02:34 am    last updated on: 04.27.2008 at 02:35 am