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Forums > Active Threads > Home and Garden > Garden and Landscape

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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bobhope
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 6
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2017-04-24          196567


I have been doing NO lawn treatments for about 10 years now. No Lime, no Fertilizer, no herbicides, no insecticide.

The pluses have been no Expenses! And I do not have those heavy green up then yellow out as the Nitrogen based fertilizers suck the PH out of the soil.

The down side is that I have to admit the deer and my dogs poop is just is not that great a developing a thick turf. By July I am at least 50 % weeds and and some areas 100% weeds.

And this year I can see the grass is clumpy from my lack of interest.

I am wondering with the 10 years of nothing and a fairly balanced PH. Would I be better off with a low Nitrogen Organic like Milorganite or root instensive 10 6 4 or hell go with a high nitrogen fix ?

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2017-04-24          196571


Have soil sample done and run with that. Others wise you are mostly guessing. But for my dime do not put out all the fertilizer at one time but at least in two if not three or four applications. Helps prevent up and down in the lawn. ....

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2017-04-25          196577


As Kenny stated, get a soil sample done first.

The best way to prevent weeds is NOT chemicals, it's a thick healthy lawn. It will choke out weeds and leave no room for new ones to creep in.

If your lawn is so desperate for nutrients that it yellows off regularly the problem is the soil, or lack of it. Repeated light topdressing, or a full on makeover may be in order.


Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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bobhope
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 6
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2017-04-25          196578


That idea of a top dressing sounds interesting. I have lots of potholes, that I bump along on my tractor, that I have neglected and seem to be multiplying. I think some buried smalls stumps must have finally rotted out after 20 years.

Have a loader and back blade as tools. How successful would those be for top dressing? What topdressing material to use? How much material per acre? ....

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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greyhorse
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 51
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2017-04-25          196582


I like your original approach, do nothing and keep up the good no work. I am sooo lazy, apply yourself to other pursuits. Even if you get the lawn all prettied up some blight or drought is bound to come your way to spoil it anyhow.

Just think $500 per truck load of dressing per acre at least, hours and hours spreading the !#$^%^ stuff, seed fertilizer..... probably thousands of bucks... Then you will need to go to the Chiropractor for the back ..

Minds me of a friend that upon seeing my shiny and newly waxed truck remarked that washing and waxing a quickly aging depreciating vehicle that you will soon replace with another one is a foolish waste of effort, time, and money.

Hell you should just go do it anyway, what else do you have on you plate? ....

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2017-04-25          196587


Bob, without even knowing what area you live in, let alone what your soil conditions are like, any advice on what or how much to use would not even qualify as a guess.

But as a VERY general rule, a decent lawn needs an absolute minimum of 4" of quality topsoil, 6" is the accepted minimum for creating a quality stretch of turf.

As to how, if you're not talking multiples of acres, a strong young lad with a spade can dig and fling topsoil or triple-mix directly out of a FEL bucket around waist level. This method requires the minimum amount of physical effort.

If you give me a few more details, I can offer more specific advice.



Best of luck. ....

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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bobhope
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 6
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2017-04-26          196601


I live in Connecticut. My property is on the side of a hill that was a poor farmers pasture 100 years ago then turned to black birch saplings and trees less than 6 inch diameter or less then cleared 25 years ago. I have 10 acres surrounded by large farmers rubble stone pile walls. The section that was cleared for lawn is just under 4 acres and had all trees removed.

The soil is the soil that was scraped up during the clearing process, it is TOP Soil but probably not the top soil you speak of. It has lots of small stone making very hard to dig, have to pick axe first to remove anything.

I do not have the funds to buy 4" of topsoil to cover the 4 acres. Looking to make the best of a bad situation, or a least hold my ground (ha ha ha). If it cannot be automated using my existing tools these old bones are not doing it...
....

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2017-04-26          196602


It doesn't have to be expensive, or even particularly expensive, but it will take some time. It can certainly be done with a little Yankee ingenuity and basic stuff readily available in your area.

For instance, if you have, or can get or borrow an old manure spreader you can very effectively if not crudely topdress a lot of land fairly quickly. With 10 acres I'm guessing you have some place where you can create your own topsoil by getting some aged manure from local farmers, some excess soil from construction sites where they've stripped the topsoil for building, maybe some wood chips or sawdust from local tree companies and all the leaves you can gather every fall. Blend it all together with the loader and let it brew for a year or two.

We 'make' several thousand cubic yards of topsoil every year by doing this.

Just don't forget to get it tested before you spread it to be sure it's reasonably well balanced.

If you spread it in repeated thin layers the grass will grow right up through it and give you a much improved lawn.



Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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bobhope
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 6
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2017-04-27          196604


Thanks for that tip on the manure spreader, never dawned on me how similar it is to a top dresser.

Probably buy some triple mix for now and get going, but like the composting idea long term.

Been looking to see if I could rent a millcreek 3200 top dresser and a core aerator. Wonder if my B7100 is big enough to pull it around loaded up on the slopes?

....

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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bobhope
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 6
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2017-04-27          196605


Millcreek 3200 Top dresser ....

Picture Link

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2017-04-27          196606


Look around for a used topdresser from Jacobson, Ransomes, Toro or Cushman. like the one below.

http://www.agdealer.com/list/view_image.cfm?Cushman-Top-Dresser-743010&SearchID=205205376&startrow=1&Act=EQUIPVIEW&listpage=index.cfm&ID=743010

They are very easy to mount on a cheap single axle trailer, use the 'fat boy' snowmobile trailer tires as flotation tires.

BTW if you're going to pick up a politician, be sure to get a PTO powered one, not ground-driven. With PTO drive you can creep real slow or speed up to vary application rates.

I think your tractor is a little light for that unit, unless you only (very) partly load it at a time.




Best of luck. ....

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2017-05-07          196671


Murf you owe me a keyboard! "Pick up a politician" Had just taken a big sip of coffee.

That is good! ....

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The Plus and Minus of Ignoring Your Lawn

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2017-05-07          196673


Should have added I cut at about 3-3.5". I spread some 10-10-10 every, 4-6 years. Probably lime would not hurt.

But I have a yard not a lawn. If it's green whether grass or weeds it's green. Close enough. ....

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