lawn maintenance?

Hi All,
I not sure if this is the correct group to put this in, but let me give this a try an see what you folks think.
It now takes about $30 in gas to fill up my mower. That does not even take into account maintenance and labor. I was musing that if some safe chemical could be sprayed on the grounds that would retard grass growth either partially or completely, it would be worth significant dollars in savings.
Is anyone currently doing this or is anything like this in the pipeline?
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My lawn is not big enough to make that a concern, but if it was, it would not longer be lawn as we know it. There are plants that can be used to give a nice even looking filed of green but does not grow much more than 6" or so. It will not only save gas, but you labor if you converted a portion to some natural plantings, clover, etc. We put too much emphasis on having that large perfectly manicured lawn as a status symbol.
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I agree, but when you live in a subdivision, even a rural one like mine, what are your alternatives? Even assuming you can get past the cranky neighbors and nanny code officers, anything 'weird' is likely to bite you in the butt come resale time. Unless it is in a clearly defined planting bed, anything other than grass is cosidered a weed. Most of my neigbors are retired, with too much spare time, and really like driving their toy tractors around. Me, as long as it is green and holds the dirt down, I'm happy. My neighbors don't talk to me much anymore......
(And of course, if you are in an HOA neighborhood, well, we all know what they think about individuality....)
I bought this place 2.5 years ago, when interest rates were at a 40-year low. My broker told me they were about to go up, so I settled. What I <really> wanted was a place rural enough where I could just mow a fire break around the house, and let the rest of the land do whatever it wanted to. But short of hitting the lotto, unlikely I'll ever be high up enough on food chain to afford that. (Much less waterfront land, but that is a lost dream for another time...)
aem sends....
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on 10/6/2007 7:51 AM Edwin Pawlowski said the following:

I would like to have a perfect lawn, but not as a status symbol. I don't care if anyone sees it, as long as I do. It's an aesthetic thing, like keeping your house clean and neat. You might as well say that having a perfect flower garden is a status symbol. Besides, there's nothing better than walking barefoot in a well manicured lawn.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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So you need 10 acres of lawn to walk on barefoot? IMO, if you have that much you have a status symbol if only to please one person, you. Third of an acre is plenty to walk on. While I agree that having a well groomed and neat lawn around the house looks nice, there are alternatives that can looks just a nice, maybe even more at some times of the year. There is no valid reason, other than you want to, for dumping chemicals and thousands of gallons of water just to make it green.
I used to fertilize and water, but then I came to my senses and realized how silly it was. In the spring I use some fertilizer with weed control on some of my lawn once a year. The rest is all natural with wild flowers, trees, ferns, etc. Lovely to look at and watch the wild life that thrives in it.
If you want a nice green lawn, Epsom salts works wonders for a lot less money than commercial fertilizer. Check the ingredients.
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on 10/6/2007 3:23 PM Edwin Pawlowski said the following:

OK, reading my message over again, I don't see all the between-the-lines text that you seem to have seen. First, I don't have 10 acres. My plot size is 1 acre. Excluding the footprints of my 60' x 30' house, 400 sq ft sunroom, 90' long double wide driveway, brick paver walks, 2-12' x 16' outbuildings (one a tool shed, the other a pool cabana), and an 18' x 36' in-ground pool with concrete walkways and gravel surround that has about the same size footprint of my house, I figure that I may have 2/3 of an acre left to grow grass. Secondly, I didn't say anything about using fertilizer or chemicals. Thirdly, I don't water my lawn at all, unless I plant new grass seed, or plant a tree or flowers, and some of the water spills over onto the grass. I only use Epsom salts to soak my feet, so I can walk barefoot on the nice lawn I wished I had. Geez, Ed. We've been around these parts for a while. Having a bad day?
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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get a smaller lawnmower which does'nt take as much walk it will do you good short of that Roundup
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on 10/6/2007 10:26 PM jim said the following:

Are my posts getting mixed up with others? I didn't mention the words lawnmowers or roundup, and that's about the only sense I could make of your cryptic message. Are your punctuation keys all broken?
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Hide quoted text -

No matter how I try and interpret what he wrote, it's meaningless. And, I'm good at word puzzles. :-)
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But we were talking about the guy with the $30 fill-up for his lawn tractor. His circumstances are much different than yours but you did not make any reference to a difference. Why else would you post that you like grass unless you think he should maintain his large plot? I'm in favor of modest lawn, but I think huge grass plots are ridiculous.
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wrote in message

This is a theory I can't prove, but I think that many people with 30 acre lawns really belong in city dwellings. I know three people with more than 10 acres. Two of them say they have to keep them looking like golf courses because otherwise "all sorts of things might live in the (groundcover, underbrush, other alternative)". Things. All sorts of things. What the hell did they expect would cohabitate on all that land? Espresso machines?
The third person has 120 acres which used to be farmland. For the 2 acres around the house, he planted lawn. For the rest, he planted what a neighboring farmer suggested and he pays someone to mow it down from four feet high down to a few inches, 2-3 times per year. (I don't recall what he planted, but I'm curious and I'll be seeing him tomorrow and I'll ask).
"Things" live in this guy's tall grass. His dogs run off the coyotes. The other "things" are interesting.
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on 10/6/2007 11:22 PM Edwin Pawlowski said the following:

My liking to have a nice lawn has nothing to do with what the OP wants, does, or should do, with his lawn or property, and I never said anything to the OP other than a joke about self-mowing grass. My comment that started this was in response to your comment about a perfectly manicured lawn being a status symbol. I don't play golf, and I think that clearing acres of woodlands and fields so that a few can knock little balls into little holes is a waste of time and gas, but it's not my place to tell them what to do, or not do.
.--
Bill In Hamptonburgh, NY To email, remove the double zeroes after @
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nobody wrote:

Well, Monsanto has several products that are quite effective in stopping growth completely... :)
Less watering is the first controlling factor.
Varietal selection would be next. Not knowing where you are makes specific recommendations impossible but in an area with hot summers and reasonably sandy soil (red clay is out), buffalo grass makes an almost ideal lawn with the possible exception that, like Bermuda, it goes dormant and doesn't stay green over the winter. Unlike Bermuda, while it spreads similarly to Bermuda, it isn't nearly as agressive in taking over where it isn't wanted.
--
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on 10/6/2007 4:06 AM nobody said the following:

There is a special grass that grows up to 3" in height. If it grows any taller, the top falls off at the 3" height. It must be true, I saw it on the internet. :-)
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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If you wanted to save money, you wouldn't have bought a house. A house is just incrementally better than a boat, in terms of eating money.
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Astroturf.
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Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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As most of the others have posted, your best bet is to switch to a different grass type. Ongoing chemical treatment won't be cheap.
How big is the lawn area?
Depending on where you live you might get a lot of hassle over any "non traditional" lawn.
I have a friend who rented a hose with 1.5 acre lawn (typical for the neighborhood & spent $$$'s per month watering having it mowed, just to landfill the clippings) They wanted to go to pasture or local wildflower or natives but the owner & the neighbors would have gone nuts.
Maybe this grass could do the job for you
http://www.wildflowerfarm.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=1&Category_Code=E
cheers Bob
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