I heard on the news tonight that one drugstore chain hires high school
children as assistants to dispense prescription drugs.
They showed one person who was crippled and couldn't talk and had a
contorted face after taking the wrong prescription. The drugstore
said that the teenager put in pills with ten times as much dosage, and
the pharmacist, who reviewed*** what the kid had done, missed the
***They said he reviewed it anyhow.
They had another example also, who maybe died.
The drugstore said that there were only a couple cases out of millions
of prescriptions properly filled. But who knows how many mistakes
there really were, including those didn't cure like they should have,
but didn't have noticeable side effects. Etc.
Scott's is a pesticide and synthetic fertilizer company so I would be
very weary of any advice they give to you. Having said that, you need
to water if you want a lawn, period. Each year I remove more and more
turf and replace it with perennial and annual plants which are native
or adapted to my area in Austin, TX.
You no longer have what I'd call a "lawn." If you want a "lawn" you
will have to remove all the turf and lay new sod and you must water it
every day, several times a day till it is established. After that,
St. Augustine can work well with one inch of water per week.
Everyone in Texas eventually gets chinch bugs, which can be regulated
using beneficial nematodes, but you must water to keep those alive.
Nematodes are un-segmented organisms which are microscopic and you can
get much more information about that online.
If it were my home, I'd remove most of that lawn and put in beds and
plant ground cover or have some interesting islands of companion
plants of differing color.
I didn't see an abundance of St. Augustine there- 90% of what you have are
IMO the fastest way to get it into top shape would be to kill/remove all the
weeds and resod with a new and improved St. Augustine variety. Then maintain
it with good food and proper watering- not a buttload of chemical
applications from a service needing to justify monthly charges.
You could of course use selective herbicides to kill the weeds and just
nurture along what little St. Augustine you have, but that is in no way fast
and you'll have lots of mud in the interim. St. Augustine is fast, but I
still see it taking at least two years if you do it this way.
Don't take this the wrong way, but considering your knowledge level, I think
you should hire a pro to install the sod. It will be done in a day. Specify
NO CHEMICAL WEED KILLERS. You'll remove all 19 of your weed clumps by hand,
if the sod installer wants you to. Make sure his contract says that you are
responsible for watering the new sod perfectly, and that he's not to blame
if you don't take care of it nicely.
It can be done in much less than a year- if you do the prep work properly,
lay the sod correctly, and stay super vigilant about your watering schedule
while it is getting established.
If you screw up with any of those three it is a waste of money.
If you're going to do it now, get cracking. The worst of the heat isn't here
yet, but it will be soon, and sod wihtout established roots dries out very
quickly. If you are hand watering (no irrigation system) I would go as far
as having the install done on a vacation week or two so you will be
available to keep to the watering schedule on those first crucial weeks.
First understand that people who say they feed your lawn or your trees
flunked photosynthesis. Most of them are product pushers trying to push
their products trying to make you believe they are feeding your plants. If
we could feed your lawn we would put the sun out of business. Think about
it. Sure we can apply essential elements, but we don't feed. Most people
who claim to "feed" your lawn or trees are pushing nitrogen which goes right
into your drinking water. What about the other 16 essential elements? They
are the same people who claim the tree had feeder roots and root flairs.
They probably also push wound dressing. (Link on wound dressing -
Ref: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/T/index.html see "TREE FOOD".
If your lawn care or tree care person claims to be feeding its time to look
for a better qualified person. Try to avoid product pushers. Qustions to
as to select a professional. http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/quiz.html and
http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/quiz-ma100.html If you need help with any of
the questions, I did not write the, I will help you.
Top dress with composted leaves and help feed the soil. We can feed the
soil carbohydate based substances. Try to keep your lawn away from yourt
trees. See proper mulching before acting.
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology.
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.
To winterize or
not to winterize lawn
"Winterize your lawn", the big sign outside the garden store commanded. I've
fed it, watered it, mowed it, raked it and watched a lot of it die away. Now
I'm supposed to winterize it? I hope it's too late. Grass lawns have to be
the stupidest thing we've come up with outside of a thong swimsuits! We
constantly battle dandelions, Queen's lace, thistle, violets, chicory and
clover that thrive naturally, so we can grow grass that must be nursed
through an annual four-step chemical dependency.
Imagine the conversation The Creator might have with St. Francis about this:
"Frank you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on
down there in the Midwest? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle
and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan.
Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with
abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracted butterflies,
honeybees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors
by now. But all I see are these green rectangles."
" It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites.
They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great extent to kill
them and replace them with grass".
" Grass? But its so boring. Its not colorful. It doesn't attract
butterflies, birds and bees, Only grubs and sod worms. Its' temperamental
with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that green grass
" Apparently so, Lord, They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green.
They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poising any other plant that
crops up in the lawn".
" The spring rains and cool weather probably make grass grow really fast.
That must make the Suburbanites happy".
" Not exactly, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes
twice a week".
" They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?"
" Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags."
" They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?"
" No, sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away".
" Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And
when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?"
" Yes, sir."
" These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the
rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot
" You aren't going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so
fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can
continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it."
" What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer
stroke of genius,
if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty
an d shade in the summer . In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a
to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they
rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of
" You better sit down, Lord. The suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As
soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and have them
" No! What do they do to protect the shrub and the tree roots in the winter
and keep the soil moist and loose?"
" After throwing away your leaves, they go out and buy something they call
mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in the place of leaves."
" and where do they get this mulch?"
" They cut down trees and grind them up."
"Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. Saint Catherine, you're
in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?"
" Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It's a real stupid movie about.
" Never mind I think I just heard the whole story."
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