Clippings by mistermango

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RE: Caution about Honda lawnmowers (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: bsmith717 on 10.18.2012 at 07:32 pm in Lawn Mowers Forum

They all use the same or maybe a very slightly different carb. Also you never mentioned leaking gas...

If you follow these tips I can assure you that there will be no problems with your carb.

Use stabil or a comparable fuel stabilizer.

When finished mowing turn the fuel shutoff valve off and let the carb run dry.

Fill the gas tank as full as possible when done mowing to keep the air space as small as possible between mows.

Store your mower completely out of fuel in the off season.

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clipped on: 09.22.2013 at 08:23 am    last updated on: 09.22.2013 at 08:24 am

RE: newbie need help in renovating lawn (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kimmsr on 10.01.2010 at 06:46 am in Organic Lawn Care Forum

The only way to know if that soil might need to be fed is to have a good, reliable soil test done. You can also dig in with these simple soil tests,
1) Structure. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. For example, a good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains� too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer your soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.
which can help guide you in what more needs to be done.
Most likely what the soil needs is lots of organic matter.

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clipped on: 08.14.2013 at 01:01 pm    last updated on: 08.14.2013 at 01:01 pm

RE: The order of rehabing a fescue lawn (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: tiemco on 08.20.2012 at 09:56 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Well I seem to do a write up every year regarding this, so here goes. When you kill everything and start fresh it's called a renovation. To do it correctly, one usually starts with a soil test in the spring to give you enough time to add amendments to bring your deficient macro and micro nutrients up to a good level. You said you are adding lime. Is this due to a low pH, or is it just something you generally do? Are you using calcitic or dolomitic? Anyway, lime should be added either way before or way after seeding, say a month at the least. It will take a while for lime to dissolve, and if you apply it at seeding you can get interactions with starter fertilizer and the very top layer of soil can have a much higher pH than you want. So if you are going to lime, either do it now, or wait till a month or two after you seed. For Round-Up to work its best, the grass and weeds need to be actively growing. Watering a few times a week prior to applying Round-up and after applying will make it more effective. Once you notice the grass starting to die, usually in 4-7 days, you will want to mow it as low as you can before it lays down. Once it's down, it's a lot harder to mow. Many people allow a period of fallowing at this point, applying water to get any dormant grass to reanimate, and any rogue weed seeds to germinate. If you aren't going to fallow, that's fine, it's optional. So now you have a brown lawn, and the soil should be fairly moist from the waterings. The next step that I like to do is power rake, especially if you have thatch, or the soil is obscurred by dead grass. TTTF seeds are pretty big, and they can have trouble getting to the soil if thatch is an issue or you have a lot of dead grass matted down. You can skip this step if you want, it's optional, but I like to do it. It also loosens up the top inch or so of soil. After a power raking, either rake up all the loose dead stuff, or use your mower with the bag to remove it. Now you are ready to seed. I like to do all the prep work the day before, and the seeding the next day early. A light watering the night before seeding is also a good idea. So now you're ready to seed. Use a broadcast or drop spreader, whatever you feel more comfortable with. Apply the correct amount of seed, more is not better. If it says 8-10 lbs per 1000 square feet, shoot for 9. Make multiple passes in different directions to make sure you have even coverage. If you do this, be sure you lower the setting on the seeder so you don't put down too much on the first pass. Once all the seed is down you have a few options. One is do nothing. Some people like to roll the seed with a water filled roller. Some people like to top dress the seed. Some people like to do both. If I could only do one, I would topdress. Another thing some people do is apply Tenacity herbicide at the time of seeding. If you have a lot of weeds, or anticipate a lot of weeds it can really help reduce them at seeding. Now that the seed is down, and you rolled the seed and or topdressed, an application of starter fertilizer is a good idea. I like to use a half app at this time, the other half after the first mowing. You can use a full app if you want, but with all the watering you do I feel that you lose a lot of that full app due to leaching. Now it's time to water. Watering is probably the single biggest factor in success. The seeds need to be moist continually until they have all germinated. This generally means three light waterings per day. If you have a sprinkler system, then you are golden. If not, you need to set up hoses with timers. You can do this when you water prior to rounding up. Make sure the whole lawn gets adequate coverage. You are watering to keep the seed moist, so no puddling. Generally this means 5-15 minute watering cycles depending on your water pressure and coverage. Three times a day is generally enough. Then all you have to do is worry about your seeds, and the weather, and everything else that can go wrong. Once all the seed is up, and you see the green fuzz, you can start to cut back on the waterings to twice a day for about a week, then once a day for a week, then every other day, etc. Your first mowing should take place about a month after seeding, or when the new grass is 3 inches tall. Mow it down to 2. I'm sure I forgot some things, so please ask questions, and this isn't the only way to go, but it has worked for me very well.

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clipped on: 05.02.2013 at 01:24 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2013 at 01:25 pm

RE: tttf vs tttf (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: tiemco on 08.13.2012 at 07:34 am in Lawn Care Forum

I have bought most of my seeds from The Hogan Company in Tennessee. Generally they charge about $1.50-1.70 per pound of TTTF. Seeds, like anything else, are a commodity. Some places charge way too much, like the Seed Superstore, which they can do if they want, it's a free country, but it's like charging way to much for say corn or wheat. Also, the more you buy, the less it will be, and since most seed comes in 50 lb. sacks, that is one of the most economical sizes to buy. The Bullseye, Magellan, Hemi blend is a good blend, at a good price as long as the tag on the bag says there are no noxious weeds, and the seed percentage is high. Sod quality would be ideal, but not everyone carries that.

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clipped on: 05.02.2013 at 01:13 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2013 at 01:13 pm

Newbie Lawn Renovation

posted by: AStaheli on 04.18.2012 at 12:22 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Hello garden pros,

I'm Andrew, 24, from Brighton, TN. My wife and I purchased a house about a year ago and I have been fighting the lawn ever since. Now, I am a new home owner and the only thing I have ever done to any lawn is MOW it. So, I have been doing research lately and what to do about starting over, but I wanted to come to you folks first before I did anything else.

The only thing I have done is use weed/grass killer on the lawn. I have uploaded photos of my lawn and of the products I have used to help you see my dilemma.

http://photobucket.com/NastyGrass

I am open to tilling, dethatching, aerating, fertilizing, and seeding. I just need some guidance on what steps to take and how I should take them. Any help at all is appreciated, thank you.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Nasty Grass

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clipped on: 05.01.2013 at 01:54 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2013 at 02:08 pm

RE: Is it possible to have a luscious lawn with partial sunlight? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: tiemco on 03.31.2012 at 08:26 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Brilliant was the top rated cultivar in the 2000 NTEP shade trials for KBG (there was no 2005 shade trial). These trials are no joke, they are in deep shade. I contacted the professor, Dr. Ken Diesburg, who did these trials, here is what the trial site is like in his words:

"My shade trials are completely shaded, normally. The big wind of May
8, 2009, felled a few trees in the tall fescue shade trial. So two
patches of sunlight are making their way across the trial as the
canopy heals, adding error to the trial. Even so, larger LSDs should
reflect the increase in error. The typical irradiance intensity in
my trials is 300 to 400 micro-moles per meter-squared-second, which
is at the lower irradiance threshold for complete photosynthesis by
cool-season grasses such as tall fescue. In a nut-shell, the shade is strong.
I mow at a 3-inch clip; fertilize 2 to 3 lb N/1000 sq
ft/year; irrigate only to prevent summer dormancy. A post-emergent
herbicide is applied only in the case where broadleaf weeds might
threaten to ruin the data. The tall fescue trial received two
applications over the past four years."

Those felled trees were not an issue for the 2000 shade trials. Now the problem is that Brilliant was pulled off the market about a year ago due to low seed yields. Unfortunately if a great cultivar can't produce a lot of seeds it's phased out. The only Brilliant left on the market is old stock, and the germination rate (tested this year) is 70%. Now there are others that did well, but not as well as Brilliant. Now if your shady area gets no sun, then I suggest don't even bother trying grass. But if you get 3-4 hours in the morning, most of the top performers should be OK. Tall fescue is more shade tolerant than KBG, and if you decide to go that route, then I suggest your reference the 2005 NTEP's for tall fescue before selecting a cultivar as some TF doesn't do as well in deep shade.

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clipped on: 05.01.2013 at 02:01 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2013 at 02:08 pm

RE: Is it possible to have a luscious lawn with partial sunlight? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: garycinchicago on 03.31.2012 at 03:18 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Here is a beautiful example of using the right tool for the job.

This is a shade tolerant KBG cultivar (Brilliant) and a fine fescue mix called "Bonnie Dunes" under the canopy of trees.

Enjoy Billhill's picture!

Photobucket

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clipped on: 05.01.2013 at 02:08 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2013 at 02:08 pm

RE: Advice needed on best TTTF Cultivars and Spring vs Fall overs (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tiemco on 03.11.2012 at 04:47 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Well to start off, overseeding a perennial rye lawn can be a fools errand. Perennial rye releases plant chemicals that inhibit other turfgrasses from germinating, it's called allelopathy. It might not be too much of an issue as your PR is pretty young, but there is one study that basically showed it was impossible to overseed a PR fairway with KBG, so be forewarned. Now I would urge you to do any seeding in the late summer/early fall, as that is the ideal time to grow cool season grasses. If you decide to go that route, then now would be a great time for a soil test unless you did one last year. All grasses need water in the summer, but it sounds like yours required more than most, which might be a soil issue.
Now about overseeding. Personally I don't like the look of a PR/KGB/TF lawn, especially now that your bare areas will not have any perennial rye in it. Those areas will have different textures and colors, as well as growth rates. Of course I am a bit of a lawn nut, so if you just want a green lawn, it might not bother you. Here are your options:
1. Overseed this spring with PR. PR germinates and grows so fast that in the spring you can get away with it. It will also fill in your bare areas. 2. Overseed this spring with TF and KBG. Not a good idea due to allelopathy and longer establishment times for TF and KBG. Summer heat and humidity isn't kind to young grass, and you might lose some due to disease and stress. 3. Do nothing but improve your soil till late summer, then reassess you lawn to determine your next plan of action which may include a renovation. Personally I would get a soil test now. Overseed with PR. Treat the lawn as I am going to keep it, but kill it all in summer and renovate with a KBG/TF mix or just straight TF or KBG.
Regarding TTTF. Some of the newer cultivars are very fine, as fine as KBG. All TTTF has spreading ability, but it is extremely slow, and only really starts when the grass is a few years old. Most of the spreading TTTF hype is just that, hype. You won't find TTTF with a pronounce midrib like KBG or PR, it doesn't have a midrib. The newer cultivars are not just mini K-31. I have a TTTF lawn that is darker green, and fine bladed, nothing like K-31. Here is a thread with some pictures from last year: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lawns/msg0621330425292.html?1 2
Regarding KBG. Some cultivars have better heat and traffic tolerance. Certain KBG cultivars blend better with TTTF than others as well. In order to determine which ones are best (both KBG and TTTF), you will need to consult the NTEP trials (www.ntep.org). Also it would help if we knew where you lived.

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clipped on: 05.01.2013 at 02:06 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2013 at 02:06 pm

RE: quick 'which seed?' thread (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tiemco on 08.20.2011 at 06:58 pm in Lawn Care Forum

No, Midnight or Midnight II are not a good choices for shade tolerance, not sure where you read that. The most shade tolerant in decending order according to the 2005 NTEP natural shade trial are: Voyager II, Showcase, Ascot, Baroness, Dynamo, Serene, Apollo, Barnique, Casablanca, Fairfax, Unique, Durham, Avalanche, Bluemax, and Skye. Now according to people's experience, and also the seed companies, these cultivars have shade tolerance: America, Nuglade, Liberator, Bewitched, Moonlight SLT, Beyond, and a few others. Again, 4 hours min. would be a guideline for these cultivars, but the natural shade trials were in very dense shade, so you might be able to get away with less for those.

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clipped on: 05.01.2013 at 02:03 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2013 at 02:03 pm

Is there a 'proper' way to use a 3-bin composting system?

posted by: shpigford on 08.23.2011 at 10:39 pm in Soil Forum

We've been using a dinky little tumblr compost bin for a couple of years, but after we moved into our new house with a lot more land (and now, yard waste) I decided we needed to step it up.

So this weekend I built a 3-bin compost system (each bin is 3 feet x 3 feet).

I keep finding different method of using the system, though. So I'm curious what's the "best" or "typical" way of using a 3-bin system.

At this very moment we've got a massive amount of yard waste (grass clippings, leaves from last fall, old branches, etc etc). Way more than would fit in all three bins.

We also generate a pretty good bit of food waste every day.

So how should I run my system?

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Compost - Three bin process
clipped on: 06.08.2012 at 10:12 am    last updated on: 06.08.2012 at 10:12 am