Lawn; Thinking of starting from scratch

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I live in southern New Jersey. My lawn is just awful, bare spots, crabgrass, uneven ground, hard ground, black and red ants. I've spent the last 2 years trying to improve it by fertilizing, seeding, weed and feed, Scott's lawn soil. It seems the more I try, the worse it gets. The crab grass halter I put down in the spring didn't do anything. I'm thinking of borrowing my father's Rototiller and diggin the whole thing up and overseeding it. Anybody agree? I would think that this is a good time to do it. Please advise.
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(Seymour)

This post was created by someone who obviously knows nothing at all about turf management. Follow his advice at your peril. Anyone who states that " Halty ( healthy ) soils and turf will outcompete weeds" knows nothing about turf management. I suspect the poster has an " agenda" and it has little to do with turf management.
Peter H
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Your lawn may not need aeration, unless it is compacted. Do a pH test and add lime if needed at least the rate of 500 lbs per acre. Wait two weeks, mow low, and distribute quality seed and starter fertilizer. The starter fertilizer is important; it feeds the young seedlings without burn. If you don't apply the starter, your grass will get a weak start. Put some extra seed down in the bare spots. Lightly rake the seeds into the lawn so that the seed touches the soil. If you can see seed on the soil, cover with a thin layer of straw (not hay!) to keep it moist and deter birds from eating the seed. This is the BEST(!) time of year to lay down seed. You don't need Scott's products--the grass does not "know" brands. For lawns, the secret is knowing what to apply and when.
On Sun, 07 Sep 2003 08:01:16 -0700, Tom Jaszewski

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wrote:

Any lawn where inorganic fertilizers and weed and feed products are used is likely sufering from some level of compaction. If a quality compost is used and the home gardenr learns to use soil biology to his benefit his lawn will likey take far less work, look better, and be healthier than any lawn you'll ever grow with your techniques.
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I radar in on the "hard ground". Sounds like the whole thing is a torture chamber for plants.
I agree with rototilling. As deep as possible. Rake out any stones and roots. Add a lot of peat-moss. It's a great slow-release fertilizer and moisture retainer. Chemical fertilizers may burn the young plants.
Wouldn't hurt to hit the weeds with Roundup before you rototill. Wait a few hours after you spray before tilling.
Use good quality seed suited to your situation (sunny/shady, wet/dry etc). Use lots of it. Roll lightly to get it level (optional but useful). Cover with straw or other biodegradable mulch. Water regularly.
This IS the best time. Start yesterday, day before that if possible.
Next spring, sharpen your lawnmower blade really well (dull blades can damage tender grass). DON'T use weed or crabgrass killer next spring. It may not kill the new grass, but it will sure slow it down.
Good luck.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmailnospam.com wrote:

Your alzheimers problem is hardly evidence that Tom's PRESENT knowledge is stinko! Even so, it's nice to imagine that touchy advocates of "better gardening through toxicity" require a lot of brain cells to have already vanished as utterly as a clean earth.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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snipped-for-privacy@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat) wrote:

Your crotch smells like limburger cheese.
--
GO #40

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On 08 Sep 2003 00:54:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmailnospam.com wrote:

Now Steve, you'll be alright...
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So long as I stay away from ratgirl-rottencrotch.. ;-P
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GO #40

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmailnospam.com wrote:

top posting blowhard..? ratgirl..? limburger cheese crotch..? ratgirl-rottencrotch..?
hmmmm.. And I thought small children only played on lawns but weren't actually able to own and care for said lawns..
paul
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (paghat) wrote:

Maybe it's the rat poison, I love watching those little bastards croak slowly from strychnine or some such sweetness. 8-0
--
GO #40

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On 08 Sep 2003 00:54:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmailnospam.com wrote:

If I were you I'd keep my nose out of her crotch.
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It may be based on realworld experience but it is wrong none the less. If you don't know what you are talking about you should refrain from posting.
Peter H
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On Mon, 08 Sep 2003 10:55:27 GMT, "Peter H"
And you call this good advise? You no talent putz! there are lots of us who can manage lawns without ANY herbicides!
http://www.cedar-grove.com/solutions/manage_turf/default.htm http://www.growingsolutions.com /
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=sustainable+turf+management

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Where does it show how to control weeds such as spurge, oxalis, ground ivy, speedwell, nut-sedge, crabgrass etc?
Where does it show how to control insects such as chinch bug, webworm, cutworm, billbug larve or grubs?
Where does it show how to control lawn disease's such as red thread, dollar spot, leaf spot, rust, brown patch etc?
Lastly, do you sell that snake oil with a straight face?
--
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This is starting to smell like cross posted flame bait, so I treat it as such.
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Go buy one of those weed poppers from Ron Popeil, and STFU!
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If you read people's posts with any care you would not make such a fool out of yourself. I Deliberately recommended AGAINST chemical fertilizers (suggesting peat-moss instead) and AGAINST using weed or crabgrass killer on the new lawn next spring (suggesting generous use of grass seed instead).
Some people have balanced informed views on gardening. Others are eco-fanatics who really care nothing about any living creatures, only about their egos and agendas.
Why not go to a church or temple of your choice and find a real religion?
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paghat wrote:

I understand the point you are making and I think it is more a matter of semantics rather a difference of opinion. The term "fertilizer" is typically used to refer to an outside source of plant nutrient requirements - other than those found naturally occurring in the soil - and usually one which offers a ready supply of one of the big 3. As I understand your interpretation, peat, while it has virtually no remaining nitrogen content, would qualify as a fertilizer because it certainly makes the environment more hospitable to those organisms which generate nitrogen as a byproduct of their existence and thus provide this necessary plant nutrient.
One can reasonably argue that all organic soil amendments can be looked at in this fashion - all offer some, typically very limited nutrient value. Their true value is in their ability to improve soil fertility and tilth by providing organic matter and thus hosting increased populations of soil organisms, increasing pore space and improving drainage. While peat may have no significant nutrient value - less than 1% nitrogen, no phosphorus and minimal potassium - the same can be said of composted hog, cow, poultry or steer manure. Christopher Starbuck was right on in his statement that peat is equally as good as steer manure for soil enrichment, but neither one does much in the way of providing supplemental nutrients, specially the nitrogen which most turf soils lack. Personally, I'd find peat less efficient than composted manure as an organic lawn topdressing because of its difficulty in rewetting once it has dried out, the slowness with which it further decomposes and its tendency to decrease soil pH, something which further defeats the purpose of growing a healthy lawn.

Thank you. pam - gardengal
--------------1B7EA2361F31923679DF8A84 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en"> <html> &nbsp; <p>paghat wrote:
<p>> Dave Gower wrote: <br>> <br>> > Some people have balanced informed views on gardening. Others are <br>> > eco-fanatics who really care nothing about any living creatures, only about <br>> > their egos and agendas. <br>> <br>> Balanced, perhaps - informed, not very. The suggestion to use peat moss as an <br>> organic fertilizer is indicative of a serious lack of information. The <br>nutrient <br>> value of peat moss is nil. <p>As my understanding of the process comes much more from reading gardening <br>literature than by a deeper understanding of molecular science, I could <br>well have some of it wrong. But I'm fairly certain that even an "inert" <br>organic enrichment such as peat, by encouraging the healthful organisms <br>that produce nitrogen, ARE in fact adequate "fertilizers" in organically <br>balanced lawns, because the issue is not how well it functions as a <br>fertilizer, but how well it functions encouraging microorganisms that <br>produce nutrients of varioius kinds, bacterial release of nitrogen, <br>symboitoc fungal release of other plant-accessible nutrients, &amp; so on.</blockquote> I understand the point you are making and I think it is more a matter of semantics rather a difference of opinion. The term "fertilizer" is typically used to refer to an outside source of plant nutrient requirements - other than those found naturally occurring in the soil - and usually one which offers a ready supply of one of the big 3.&nbsp; As I understand your interpretation, peat, while it has virtually no remaining nitrogen content, would qualify as a fertilizer because it certainly makes the environment more hospitable to those organisms which generate nitrogen as a byproduct of their existence and thus provide this necessary plant nutrient. <p>One can reasonably argue that all organic soil amendments can be looked at in this fashion - all offer some, typically very limited nutrient value. Their true value is in their ability to improve soil fertility and tilth by providing organic matter and thus hosting&nbsp; increased populations of soil organisms, increasing pore space and improving drainage. While peat may have no significant nutrient value - less than 1% nitrogen, no phosphorus and minimal potassium - the same can be said of composted hog, cow, poultry or steer manure. Christopher Starbuck was right on in his statement that peat is equally as good as steer manure for <i>soil enrichment</i>, but neither one does much in the way of providing supplemental nutrients, specially the nitrogen which most turf soils lack. Personally, I'd find peat less efficient than composted manure as an organic lawn topdressing because of its difficulty in rewetting once it has dried out,&nbsp; the slowness with which it further decomposes and its tendency to decrease soil pH, something which further defeats the purpose of growing a healthy lawn. <blockquote TYPE=CITE>&nbsp; <p>Your commentary below I quite admired. <p>-paghat the ratgirl</blockquote> Thank you. <br>pam - gardengal</html>
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OK group hug.... :>) (or would we be accused of being religious zealot greenies?)
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