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Thread: tips for lawn

  1. #1
    Just MiMi is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    tips for lawn

    While I was in Iraq I had the person who looked after my lawn use weed & feed. However, there is no longer any grass....just weeds.

    What are your suggestions for planting grass and getting a beautiful lawn again. I have some ground cover that is doing well in the front yard. I'm hoping it spreads down the rocky slope.

    I've some mature trees that prevent grass from growning. What about English Ivy? I hired a landscaping company to plant grass; but I don't think it took. They are no longer is business.

    Thanks for any help! MiMi

  2. #2
    truckman Guest
    English ivy is a vampire plant - it sucks so much water out of the ground it chokes everything near it - including really big trees. I have a lot of it on my property and it's killed most everything, and I eventually ripped it out and shrubs, trees and plants that were surrounded by English ivy have mostly come back.

    If your lawn is a total wreck, tilling and seeding is best. You want to turn over the soil and loosen it so it's not so compacted. This is the time of year to do it - before april showers - so the grass has a chance too root a bit before it gets washed away, but also early enough in the season that it can get very wet and also root well before it gets baked by the summer.

    What I do is still the area I'm going to seed, then seed and cover with the plethora of shredded leaves I collect in bins, then a couple of months later when it's long enough to mow, I mow over it all sucking the shredded leaves away revealing very nice happy grass.

    I do a section every year. I don't have the time or energy to till and seed a 1/2 acre. So, I do 20'x20' to 30'x30' areas, one per year. Two such areas if I "feel like it".

  3. #3
    Just MiMi is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    I knew you would come through Truckman!!!

  4. #4
    truckman Guest
    My biggest problem here is the soil is mostly clay, and very compacted. So the grass that was growing here grew on the surface of the lawn rather than in the lawn. That was "okay" except when there's heavy rain, the lawn turns into a shallow pond, and drowns the grass because the soil is so compacted that very little water gets below the surface.

    I tried "pull behind" aerators and various other things, then finally gave up with all the toys and bought a small tiller, and I till areas, mixing in mulched leaves, miracle grow, and some play sand.

    Instead of raking leaves and bagging them in the fall like all my neighbors do, I just mow over them with the riding mower and I fangled a chute that collects out of the mower deck and has an elbow on top which dumps it all in the trailer I tow behind. When that fills up, I dump it towards the perimeter of the yard. Then come spring, I have mulch to mix into the areas I till.

    Most of it goes into the gardens each year - flower and veggie - and that's part of why I till smallish areas of the lawn - partly because of time/effort/laziness, and partly because I always run out of leaf mulch even though I produce so much of it.

  5. #5
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Truckman, your clay soil reminds me of Panama soil. In my former mountain cabin (lost in the tornado of my divorce) we had serious problems of having a "lake" when it would rain heavily. We solved it through drainage. Would you consider digging drainage ditches, filling them with gravel and rock, and topping it with soil and lawn.

  6. #6
    kittylane's Avatar
    kittylane is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Our dirt is sandlike, only St Augustine grows here. Its tough pinchy grass. It looks so funny to me to see the red clay dirt as we go north. St Augustine is sold in pallets. Like tiles of grass. Municipal water is very expensive here so unless you live by a pond or lake, watering can be costly.

    We do not lay down seeds. We have a rainy season in the summer that usually helps but that is unpredictable.

    I love plants and flowers.....planted some recently and they look awesome. Doing a little at a time actually made a difference for me.

    A little goes a long way sometimes....

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