Lawn Care Advice (merged thread)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ron Alcasid, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought my first home. The house had been vacant for about three weeks and the grass is now brown and dry. Is it possible to bring it back to life? I am a total newbie when it comes to lawn care.
     
  2. Chris Lanni

    Chris Lanni Stunt Coordinator

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    Basically Ron your grass is in hybernation. With all of the heat and lack of rain we have had your grass has dried out. The only thing that I know of is to get yourself a decent water sprinkler and let loose all over the lawn. Make sure you move it around the lawn so as to get maximum coverage. Whatever you do don't put any fertilizer on the lawn, your likely to burn the grass even worse.

    Chris
     
  3. Chris Lanni

    Chris Lanni Stunt Coordinator

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    Congrats on your first house. I also just purchased my first home July 1st. I will have a wife to go with it come Saturday.

    Chris
     
  4. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Leave it lie and let it die! [​IMG]
    Personally, I very much enjoy the lawn turning brown, since it eliminates mowing. If only the dandelions would take a hint and follow suit!
    Chris is correct, the lawn simply needs watering. It doesn't take much water (not hours and hours), but a good soak once a week should revive it. Check with your local district about watering restrictions though, some will fine you if you are caught watering when you aren't supposed to.
     
  5. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    Ron, what part of the world are you located? If you live around my parts its going to take a lot more water than once a week. If you get a lot of natural rainfall then that is a different story.
     
  6. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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    Make sure you mow different differient directions each week. If you went up and down last week, then you should go down and up. Don't overwater. Step on the grass a couple times, it massages the grass. These are things I heard from my parents and did it.
     
  7. Anders Englund

    Anders Englund Second Unit

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    I've got one word for you: Concrete. It'll eliminate all but the basic needs for maintenance. just hose it off once a week. [​IMG]
    --Anders
     
  8. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I live in the US Midwest and July is typically the hotest and dryest month. I've been watering the lawn every other day for the past week. I move the sprinkler every 20 minutes and water the lawn before sundown when things start to cool off. The lot size is about .20 acres. The grass is just starting to revive but I wondered if there was a way to make it go faster.
    I don't like mowing either. I was thinking of replacing the some areas with ground cover and short plants but that's a project for the future.
    I don't have a wife to go with the new house but I consider that a plus. I'm going to put a stack of SVSubs in the living room [​IMG]
     
  9. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Ron,
    Congrats on your first home. It's pretty exciting and a little overwhelming at the same time, isn't it?

    AFA lawn care, sounds like you are doing the right things already. Keep it up and you should have a nicely recovered lawn as soon as this fall.

    Good Luck,
    Brian
     
  10. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Ron, Do you have Bermuda or St Augustine or ?
    Trees (shade or no shade or mixed)?
     
  11. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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    Mary, are you refering to what type of grass I have? I'm not sure. How do I tell the difference? As for trees I have a couple in the back but they are not mature and offer little shade.
     
  12. ChadM

    ChadM Stunt Coordinator

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    Typically you should water in the AM not the PM. Watering in the PM fosters disease. Also, water in the early AM when it is still cool. You should have some sort of idea how much watering you need to do. You can over-water, which is a waste. Remember the ground will only take so much before the water starts running off and at that point you are just running up your bill. Consult a lawn care professional, however if the grass is green you are doing a good job.

    Aerate and overseed once per year (normally in the fall). This is also a good time to lime if the soil needs it (may only be appropriate in the red clay lands of NC).

    Fertilize - personally, I follow the Scott's plan, they have it down to a science. Do not over-fertilize! You should be able to quickly calculate the square footage of your lawn rather easily. On a .2 acre lot you are probably talking less than 2,000 square feet.

    Mow - The longer the grass the better, typically. Once again this depends on the type of grass. As already stated mow a different pattern each time if allowable.

    When you finish mowing you should trim with a weed-eater and blow any clippings. Do not forget the street, leaving clippings in the street is annoying for the rest of us and makes your neighborhood look bad.

    Sorry, I am passionate about my lawn.
     
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    A visionary did try astroturfing his lawn
    Apparently the a$$hole neighbors screamed "property values" and took him to court. He had to pay for the removal and new sod

    They should try it. Mowing is one of the most futile things ever
     
  14. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, I realize that California isn't the best place to have a very green Lawn. I've been to other states and the grass are beautiful.

    I live in Vallejo, about 25 mi north of Berkeley CA where the weather isn't too hot and the winter isn't all that cold. The weather is pretty much very dry and humidity is low.

    I moved into our new home with a new lawn two years ago and slowly, most of my neighbors' lawns begin to look superior to mine (all the homes here are new with new lawns). It's not that I don't take care of it. I mow, I water, and I fertilize (in the spring when it's growing). Now it's August and the grass all around the neighborhood aren't very happy. It's turning brownish but less so with my neighbors. They're doing something right that I'm not and I can't figure it out.

    Here in California, we don't get much rain and it hasn't rain all summer for probably 4 months now. However, I've water it plenty and was kind of afraid to overwater it also.

    I've tried setting the sprinkler system the following ways:

    3 times/day : 5min each
    2 times/day: 7 min each (current).

    I've experimented various ways of watering with no success. I don't think the lawn is not getting enough water. I check the soil and it's never dried.

    Fertilizing:

    Lawn fertilizer maybe twice this year so far. Spring and early summer. I haven't done anymore fertilizing because I read that you shouldn't fertilize lawn when it's not growing like during this time of the year and also you'll burn the grass by overdoing it. Maybe I'm under doing it and my neighbor is doing enough?

    Mowing:

    Well, back in the spring, I was mowing about every 10 days. During my first year, I mowed once every 2-3 wks. Then I saw how well my neighbor's lawn look and he mowed every week. I've also read that the mowing will stimulate thick lawn and lesser mowing will give deep roots. My neighbor's lawn is much thicker than ours. I don't mow deep at all, just pretty much chip off the tip as recommended.

    These days when it's very hot and the grass is less green and more brown, I'm mowing like once every 3 wks. I like to mow more but they're not really growing. However my neighbor still find sometime to mow every 1.5wk.

    So what the heck am I doing wrong and my neighbor is doing right? I see my neighbor sitting in his grass with a scissor doing all sort of loving care. He's trimming? He mows every week and he water twice a day for a similar length of time as me.

    Now the weird thing is that the grass around the mailbox and the trees are full and beautiful. What's up with that? I also live in a cornor house that receive probably more sun than my neighbor but I'm not sure if that's the problem. If it is, wouldn't the watering take care of too much heat and sun? I always drove around the block and look at other homes that receive sunshine all day and they look pretty good.

    Any thougths from you experts out there? I'm just scratching my head.
     
  15. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  16. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I'd go door to door and ask my neighbors what they do. [​IMG]
     
  17. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  18. Chris Knox

    Chris Knox Stunt Coordinator

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    First you need to know what kind of grass you have. I'd guess by what you said regarding the grass being greener around the mailbox and around the trees indicates to me that those areas are shaded and do not get the full hammer of the sun. Thus they aren't burning up, the grass in your yard that is browning could be the result of drying out because of not getting enough water.

    A good way to verify this is to look at your total lawn. Is it consistently brown throughout the whole yard where it gets direct sunlight? If the answer is yes, then I'd say your lawn is dying of thirst, and all the fertilizer in the world isn't going to make a bit of difference (except to burn it up faster).

    If your browning lawn is only in patches here and there and there is some green, healthy grass in direct sunlit areas, then bugs are more than likely your problem. With my grass (centipede) the main baddies are chinch bugs and mole crickets. In order to determine which you have simply step on your burned grass patch with bare feet and if the ground is unusually soft beneath the surface then you likely have a mole cricket problem. If not then Chinch bugs are to blame.

    I'd recommend Scott's Max Guard (depending on your grass) because not only will it kill those suckers, it will also fertilize your lawn in a special way that heat doesn't activate it and make it kill your lawn. It has turf builder in it, but very slow release. Max Guard is great in the height of summer when other fertilizers burn up your lawn, and the bugs will be gone.

    If it is simply a lack of water, (and I suspect it is) then the solution is to water LONGER, not more frequently. If you water your lawn and the sun is out on the grass then you are actually watering the sun more than the lawn. I would go so far as to suggest that you run the sprinkler for 45 minutes to an hour three times a week in especially hot areas (again, depending on your lawn and region) and do it in the morning, before the sun has a chance to get good and hot. spend less time on areas that are shaded. The reason you don't want to water at night is because you are setting up a breeding ground for molds and fungus.

    Scott's website has a great little program that will take your location (region) and what type of grass you have and calculate an accurate formula for treating your lawn, and will even send you email reminders when it is time to apply their products!

    Your neighbor will be so envious...

    Hope this helps,

    Chris
     
  19. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Chris Knox

    Chris Knox Stunt Coordinator

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    Just so you didn't misunderstand me, I meant to water 3 times a week for 45 minutes or more, not twice a day.
    Now, if your lawn is wet during the day it could be because you are watering it during the day and it isn't evaporating but isn't being absorbed by the grass either. Water longer only 3 times a week and see what that does. 5 minute waterings will only mist your yard and cover the leaves. You need to soak the ground a little.
    It could also be that your soil needs a boost, maybe the nutrients are gone from the soil. I have a homemade recipe for some pretty good stuff that has baby shampoo and a little whiskey (cheap) in it that really gets the soil going. I'll look it up and let you know about it.
    It is important to find out what type of grass you have. I'd look at a few websites about grass and see if you find something that matches your lawn. You may have several diferent types so be careful that you identify everything.
    Just to let you know what fanatical means, I have a neighbor that burns his lawn early spring of every year and by summer it is absolutely stunning how thick and lush it is and how fast it comes back. This guy trims his lawn to pricision and his yard makes most golf courses look ugly, but that's all he does. He's retired.
    The Scott's website:
    http://www.scotts.com
    If I can be of any further help...
    Chris
     

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