My lawn looks better than it ever has.

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A couple of years ago I posted here with pictures of a horrible lawn. It now looks great, and I'm sure it will get better.
The advice I got here that helped was:
1. Don't mow it so short. 2. Mulch, don't bag 3. Give it more feedings throughout the season, instead of just a springtime feeding. 4. Long, deep waterings instead of daily shallow waterings (I bought one of those little traveling sprinklers).
I mow it now at about 3"-4" (we've had alot of rain, so I couldn't mow as often as I liked), and I edge the driveway and sidewalk.
I also got lucky: a guy from my church owns a landscape/lawn care business. He's doing each of my fertilizer treatments for $85. I have 2 acres, so I paid more than that just to buy the fertilizer myself.
Anyway, I know alot of people come here with "My lawn sucks...what can I do" questions. So I wanted to give them some hope. :-) After only two seasons after educating myself a little bit about lawns, the change is incredible.
It will be better next year, because I plan to overseed the backyard this fall.
Thanks, everyone!
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Mitch I was glad to see your post. Thought I had subscribed to the wrong newsgroup. You said you mow your yard 3"-4" . Can you tell me how you know the height? Is the adjustment by the wheels set for 1", 2", 3" etc? I have been setting mine on the 2nd or 3rd notch, would that make it cut 2 or 3 inches? I hope my question is not confusing. Thanks, Donna J.

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DJ wrote:

Take your mower, set it on a level surface, ie garage floor, sidewalk, etc, and measure from the bottom of the deck to the ground. That's your height. That's assuming, of course, that all four wheels are set at the same height.
--
Yard and Garden Handyman

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"GFRfan", Yes, the wheels are all set at the same level. Thanks, Donna J.

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I'm a dork...I take a ruler and measure the height of the grass after I mow it! :)
I know that the third notch from the top is 3", and it looks like each notch is a 1/4" change.
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No, I don't think you're a "Dork". I probably would have done that too. :-) I have a Murphy and measured it from the deck, as recommended and it is almost 3" from the bottom of the deck, on the highest setting. It has 7 notches and if I were to put it on the lowest, the deck is touching the sidewalk. Is there a way to re-adjust it so that there is at least 1/2 " space between the deck and cement? Not that I would mow a yard on that setting, but seems it's not correctly set. Is this normal?
Thanks, Donna J.

know
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My new neighbor does. He took a beautiful lawn, and in one season managed to turn it into clover, dandelions, and dirt.
He mows 2-3 times per week, and keeps the "grass" at about 1/2".
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Then if he asks you how come your lawn is so lush, you can give him advice and he can ignore you, stating that, "That's too much trouble." Mowing once a week at 2 1/2" as opposed to 2-3 times per week at about 1/2". I've got a couple like that. Go figure. I even had one neighbor who accused me of running the rest of the neighborhood down by making their lawns look bad. By the way, I live in a very old neighborhood that has gone downhill lately.
--
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My neighbor across the street would rather golf, so when his lawn gets to be about 6" high, he hacks it down to 1". That way he only has to mow every other week. :-)
No matter how hard I work on mine, though, it pales in comparison to my nextdoor neighbor's. He has irrigation, and he pays lots of money to have a landscape company keep everything perfect. It's the greenest, thickest lawn in the neighborhood.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

The worms have flat top haircuts. :)
--
I won't retire, but I might retread.

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That's cute, never thought of that. I can actually picture that. Donna J.
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I can't take credit..it's an old golfing joke after you make a nasty divot. <funny visual tho> :)
--
http://www.allpar.com/mopar.html

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DJ Here's something you can try. Get larger diameter wheels for your mower. Buy 4 to replace yours now and you will raise evenly. If your wheels are 5" now, get 6" and you will gain your 1/2". You better check to see that you have clearance around the wheels first. Also, make sure you get the same shaft diameter. Take one wheel off and take it in to your local hardware store, they should be able to help you out. Keegan

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Keegan Hi, thanks for the tip. I had made a mistake on the brand name, it is a Murray, not Murphy. I looked it up online and it says that the tires are 8". Also says that it has a 7 Position Height Adjustment from 1" to 3.8". When I measured I got 0" to almost 3 inches, so maybe the store put it together wrong. Doesn't it sound strange, that the lowest setting would literally "scrape" my yard? Donna J.

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DJ Yes, it sounds as though it may be together wrong. In my neck of the woods, 3 1/2" is the lowest I would go unless I was going to overseed very soon, and then only in the fall. Good luck. With 8" wheels you would be better off with a small adapter toraise them, but it sounds as though you should be ok with 3.8" Keegan

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Newbie question - Does this mean you're just going to add seed to an existing lawn? I was planning on doing this to my lawn, but does the seed need to be watered to germinate? Everywhere I read says you need to water, but it isn't feasible for me to do with my lawn. Would it be a waste to overseed an existing lawn but not water it? The evil crabgrass seeds can sit in my lawn for a long time and be treated like dirt but they still germinate. Thanks.
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You might want to consider renting a slice seeder this late summer/early fall.(depending on where you live) They do a nice job of introducing the seed into the soil by slicing a groove thru the existing grass/thatch and soil.
Ryan makes a decent one you can rent at most rental places, it's called the mataway overseeder. Use at least 4 and up to 10 lbs of seed per 1000 sq ft.
Be sure to use a good starter fertilizer at exactly the label rate, when you seed.
If you do it in the Fall, the crabgrass won't compete with your seedlings, and it will require -much less- watering or rainfall.
Late August is a great time to do it here in N Ohio..your timing may vary, depending on where you live.
hth
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Thanks for the tips. I live in northwestern Illinois, very similar climate to NE Ohio (where I grew up).
I was told that if I plug aerate immediately before overseeding, when the plugs "melt" the soil will help cover the new seed, plus some seed will go into the holes. Do you agree with this?
And while we're on the subject, when should I dethatch? When I'm done mowing for the year?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

We core aerate, then slice seed over the plugs..it helps increase the seed/soil contact. Been doing it for years with great results.

Late fall or early spring is the only time you should de-thatch..don't do it over your new seedlings tho.
--
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Yes. I have two acres. The front and sides are great, but the back is very sparse. My fault for not dethatching before the pre-emergent was put down.
Because of how huge my backyard is, it's not feasible for me to put topsoil down over the seed, so I'm still looking into the best way to overseed.
Hopefully someone with more knowledgable will chime in here, but I'm not sure if the seed germinates in the fall, or if it lays dormant until spring.
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