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The Lawn Care/Home Improvement Thread


SaveByRichter35
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Thanks @SaveByRichter35 for the very detailed paint by numbers breakdown. I'm pretty sure a dethatching at my place would look worse than yours even so agreed - it'd probably be the way to go. The previous owners here didn't care much for lawn care I don't think (we've been here over 4 years now). Had things looking halfway decent and then had a contractor come in to do some work and they created a two track around the homestead. Got it mostly filled in an covered but figured now would be a good time to tackle things. Already own a 4' plug aerator so I'd have that covered.

What about the sand (raking) trick to fill/even things out? Either of you @SaveByRichter35 or @Naz (or anyone else for that matter) tackle that or something similar? With my stiff clay and slight unevenness it can be a bit rough here.

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10 hours ago, chile57 said:

Thanks @SaveByRichter35 for the very detailed paint by numbers breakdown. I'm pretty sure a dethatching at my place would look worse than yours even so agreed - it'd probably be the way to go. The previous owners here didn't care much for lawn care I don't think (we've been here over 4 years now). Had things looking halfway decent and then had a contractor come in to do some work and they created a two track around the homestead. Got it mostly filled in an covered but figured now would be a good time to tackle things. Already own a 4' plug aerator so I'd have that covered.

What about the sand (raking) trick to fill/even things out? Either of you @SaveByRichter35 or @Naz (or anyone else for that matter) tackle that or something similar? With my stiff clay and slight unevenness it can be a bit rough here.

Yes sand is great for leveling.  I don't like using only sand though, I like to add some organic matter into the mix too.  I make a little concoction for leveling.  50% sand, 30% topsoil, 15% Love Your Soil by Jonathan Green, and 5% Milorganite.  I mean its not exact percentages but you get what I mean lol.  It's awesome that you have your own aerator that's a huge help.  If I were you I would be poking holes all over the place and spreading around soil amendments that are high in carbon and humic.  Need to enrichen that clay soil.  I would recommend collecting those clay plugs to get it out of there and topdressing with good topsoil but that's going to be a lot of work.

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@SaveByRichter35 your lawn looks FANTASTIC!!  Most people would have been happy with the before pictures, but the dethatching after shot shows the true story.  Just because a lawn may be green, doesn't mean it is healthy.

chile57, like SaveByRichter says, definitely add soil into your levelling to take out the humps and bumps.  Also, once you do level it, make sure you use a roller to compact it depending on how deep the valleys are.  And to also echo what SBR says, remove the clay plugs after aerating, no point in re-introducing that material.  That can be a pain in the ass and very tedious to do, but worth the effort.

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1 hour ago, Naz said:

@SaveByRichter35 your lawn looks FANTASTIC!!  Most people would have been happy with the before pictures, but the dethatching after shot shows the true story.  Just because a lawn may be green, doesn't mean it is healthy.

chile57, like SaveByRichter says, definitely add soil into your levelling to take out the humps and bumps.  Also, once you do level it, make sure you use a roller to compact it depending on how deep the valleys are.  And to also echo what SBR says, remove the clay plugs after aerating, no point in re-introducing that material.  That can be a pain in the ass and very tedious to do, but worth the effort.

Agreed.  The more you aerate and remove the clay and introduce organic material then down the line you won't need to remove the plugs.  I only recommend removing them now so you aren't adding the clay back into the soil.

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That's almost like an 'slice seeder'. I use one for baseball and soccer fields in my parts. Although we have one that is tractor attached and has a huge seed hopper.

What's rad is that the seed will fall down to the soil and get mixed into the ground while the thatcher tines are spinning. If you just broadcast spread seed on top of the thatching, not all of it hits the mark.

When you use that machine, the seed gets into the roughed up soil and the thatching almost provides a cover for it to help with the moisture retainment. The slice seeder gives it a head start of getting roots in the earth.

We get great results on the fields. My town bought one machine and we use it through the year for each field. Football gets hit in the spring hard - but soccer and baseball are tougher as they play in the fall and spring. So we just seed anyway and hope for the best.

Edited by MTH
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On 9/9/2021 at 4:44 PM, Naz said:

Growing up, I was not allowed to play on the front lawn, that was the "show lawn".  I could play on one of the side lawns or the back lawn.  The funny thing, now my Dad doesn't really give a shit about his lawn, lets it go brown in the summer.

My house - we have a landscaped yard with the pool and all. So my boys do a lot in the front yard for playing. So I have painted football fields, lacrosse fields and other things in the front yard. Not to mention the dozens of pucks that are scattered and buried in all the mulched areas when my kids miss the net in the driveway. 50 years from now, whoever lives in my house will be puzzled why there were so many hockey pucks used in the gardens.

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2 hours ago, MTH said:

That's almost like an 'slice seeder'. I use one for baseball and soccer fields in my parts. Although we have one that is tractor attached and has a huge seed hopper.

What's rad is that the seed will fall down to the soil and get mixed into the ground while the thatcher tines are spinning. If you just broadcast spread seed on top of the thatching, not all of it hits the mark.

When you use that machine, the seed gets into the roughed up soil and the thatching almost provides a cover for it to help with the moisture retainment. The slice seeder gives it a head start of getting roots in the earth.

We get great results on the fields. My town bought one machine and we use it through the year for each field. Football gets hit in the spring hard - but soccer and baseball are tougher as they play in the fall and spring. So we just seed anyway and hope for the best.

Thanks @MTH 

It was definitely the "drops the seed then scuffs ground" part that caught my eye. Would save my back from a lot of hard raking I was thinking. My only trepidation with either is the fact they are basically push mowers and I've got a whole acre to cover. We'll see. Currently trying to get the basement electrical squared away before I tackle anything else. Trying to keep to one project at a time. 😊

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8 hours ago, MTH said:

It's way easier to work on a postage stamp size yard (like what we have here in NJ) than a whole acre. 

Yea my area is about 6700sqft and its a pain in the ass doing just that.  If I had an acre I think I would just designate the areas that I want to deem the "living space" and care for them and leave the rest.  Thank goodness I am losing some lawn space with the construction we're doing.  If we get a pool in the next two years as we plan, most of my back/side yard will be gone.  Then I'll just have to care for the 3ksqft in the front and whatever is leftover in the back.

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Amen. At this point I'm definitely leaning toward doing it in stages at least. For the record - the whole lot is an acre minus the house, poured patio, garden, shed, circle drive and the tree lines on three sides. Still - seems daunting to try approaching the whole lot. At this point its just all driving me nuts to look at though. Guess that's the keeper in us with our sweet sense of style. 

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Someday I'm just getting field turf. I work for the state of Pennsylvania. I'm continuously pushing for the state to let me just install turf in medians and around the highways that are never maintained enough. Believe it or not, we actually include very detailed landscape plans in our highway projects. People design what is planted and where. It's really nice on paper and when they first install it (and we pay).

Two years later - head high weeds everywhere. It's a joke.

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4 hours ago, MTH said:

Someday I'm just getting field turf. I work for the state of Pennsylvania. I'm continuously pushing for the state to let me just install turf in medians and around the highways that are never maintained enough. Believe it or not, we actually include very detailed landscape plans in our highway projects. People design what is planted and where. It's really nice on paper and when they first install it (and we pay).

Two years later - head high weeds everywhere. It's a joke.

My neighbor behind me did that lol

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So yesterday they FINALLY started our paver job.  Booked in mid May, quoted 3-6 weeks EL OH EL.  Back patio is just about done.  Some finishing touches to do on the edges, poly sand, and have to build up the fire pit.  Pending weather, tomorrow they start the front stoop demolition while a few guys finish the patio.  Can't wait until this is all done so I can get seed.  I'm going to be close to a month later than I wanted to seed.  They still have to do the driveway after the stoop and then the sprinklers need to be rerouted as well.  Ohhhhhh boy its going to be close.  I hope this grass grows enough to survive the winter, I am really being forced to play with fire here.

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Edited by SaveByRichter35
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Seed is cheaper than sod usually. Doesn't want to dirty up his white truck transporting sod? And/or maybe sod atop whatever finished grade they give him would be too tall (?). Marrying sod to existing might mean digging/leveling. I'm just spitballing.

44 minutes ago, MTH said:

Pics don't work.

Why sweat seed taking? Just sod it.

 

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Truth - more than one way to skin a cat (which is honestly a pretty morbid saying - I don't want to skin any cats). 

What has me more verklempt is that only like a handful of us here seem to care about our lawns to the degree that we do. 😥

1 hour ago, MTH said:

Valid points...

but, instant lawn.

Just mowin'

 

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19 minutes ago, MTH said:

I seeded a few spots yesterday. Huge thunderstorm now and it washed away the seed. Hopefully wherever it goes, it is enjoyed.

HA - same. Did a test run on a small section - cut it low, hand hard raked it to dethatch and seeded. Last two days hasn't stopped raining. Rain gauge is overflowing.

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On 9/22/2021 at 10:08 AM, MTH said:

Pics don't work.

Why sweat seed taking? Just sod it.

They really don't work?  Weird, they show for me.  I'll have to go back and do it straight from my phone.

Anyway, seed because I can't afford to add sod on top of what we are already paying for the rest of the job.  Plus @chile57makes a valid point.  As it is I would love to shave a little more dirt off the top of a few areas just to make everything more even. 

They've made a lot of progress this week.  I have a lot more pictures to share.

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On 9/22/2021 at 2:23 PM, chile57 said:

Truth - more than one way to skin a cat (which is honestly a pretty morbid saying - I don't want to skin any cats). 

What has me more verklempt is that only like a handful of us here seem to care about our lawns to the degree that we do. 😥

Agreed.  I thought this thread would get a lot more traffic.  Kinda disappointed.  Oh well, is what it is.

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  • SaveByRichter35 changed the title to The Lawn Care/Home Improvement Thread

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