Thursday, July 20, 2017

The grass is greener on the other side



It is greener on the other side

   You know that saying! dont you ???

It does hold some truth. Believe it or not but today during the heat wave we are having, I must have seen close to 50 people cutting there grass in the heat ,in the sun close to 90 to 95 degrees. And tomorrow its supposed to be 95 as the high and im sure I will see more people cutting there grass. I know its weird in a way.
You see the thing is cutting your grass in a heat wave or anything close to 90 degrees is the last thing youd want to do.

    Actually you would be doing more harm than good as it would be restricting the grass plants from being able to produce energy to grow.And would turn a  your lawn  a bit spotty and yellowish brown. So the best thing to do is to cut the lawn at night if rain is in the forecast the next day or just wait a week to 10 days until the heat wave is over.

My neighbors want that golf putting green look

I do not know what the fascination is with the putting green look but ,both of my neighbors love that putting green look below.
IMG by Jaques on 500px.com

And my other neighbor


IMG by Jaques on 500px.com

If you notice the neighbors lawn is in the foreground its a lighter green than mine because he keeps cutting it every few  days it never has time to develop and the same thing with my other neighbor you see my dark green lawn and his lawn again is a lighter shade of green.

    They must cut there lawn like 2 times a week sometimes three and even during the drought and heat wave. So dont let this be you.

   Me I prefer the soccer field look with that nice, lush,, dark green, dense, lawn that youd want to walk barefoot on opposed to a thin and fine textured putting green. I guess its up to you. They do say that beauty lies in the beholder so if a putting green floats your boat then hey go for it.

   Im more into the health of the grass rather than it looking manicured every 3 days so if you have one of these neighbors who cuts twice a week during the heat wave  youll have the last laugh cause his lawn will be a mess while yours will still be thick and lush and dark green. So if you want to keep your lawn looking nice during the hot dog days of summer,make sure to have a look at my month to month plan .

I just looked at the forecast and the heat wave is supposed to be over by Sunday 3 more days so I guess ill cut the lawn  Sunday night. I can put up with it being a bit long and messy as I know im doing the right thing by not cutting it ill post a new pic on Monday so you guys can see.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Grass Cutting

A few tips about what else cutting the grass

#1 Keep it high to get that nice lush lawn always remember to wait until your grass is four inch high before you mow your lawn.
so it will always be nice and lush like this 

this was actually taken yesterday.

I know its hard to wait until its four inches for some of us if you cant wait then the next trick is to cut twice a week in spring on the highest setting. Then in summer slow down the cutting to just cut once a week or every week and half if theres no rain.

*most lawn mowers have 6 or 5 settings if your lawn mower only has 5 settings then put it up one more notch so its at its highest setting so the blade is at its highest then either cut the lawn twice a week in spring during the growing season then when it slows down in summer cut it once a week or even less maybe every other week if no rain.



#2  Always Mulch the clippings back onto your lawn if any of the clippings come on your driveway or walkway just blow or sweep them back on your lawn. As the clippings are like free fertilizer and do a lot of wonders for your lawn. I know a lot of the lawn mower companies sell there lawn mowers as a bagger,a mulcher and a lawn mower and this and that . The truth is you do not need to bag your lawn ever unless you been on a trip to Italy for a month then you return and your grass is too long yes youd want to bag it as it would be too high to mulch your lawn.

#3Only cut the lawn when it needs to be cut
Cutting the lawn when its wet will invite weeds ,ruin your blade and do so many bad things,or cutting it a day after  it rains is bad to .As youd want to cut it a few hours or a day before it rains.


#4 Dont cut the lawn during drought
yes during hot summer months do not cut your lawn if there is no rain in the forecast for weeks.Let it go dormant if you have to it will come back in September

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Why wont my new grass grow from seed

Why wont my grass grow?


This is the one question  i get all the time. You did everything right. You did everything you were supposed to in my earlier post here .Then you end up with this after 3 weeks. This happens to the best of us if we dont pay attention to detail and we just do one thing wrong dont panic this can be  fixed and avoided.


Growing grass is one of those things that will not work if you do one thing wrong.Everything has to be perfect.So if you did not take notes you will not know what you did wrong.So maybe you added too much seed,maybe too little,maybe you used the wrong seed for the area,maybe you had too much heavy rain and you had run off,maybe you did not water enough and the seeds dried out,maybe its not the right tempature and the seed will grow when temps warm up.Maybe you put down some fertilizer that had some weed and feed in it by accident before you seeded by mistake,maybe you forgot you put down some crabgrass killer a few days before you seeded.Maybe you have a lawn care guy and he adds fertilizer to your lawn on a 4 or 6 step plan and he put down stuff that inhibits new growth.Maybe the birds at the seed because you did not mulch the area,maybe the soil is bad.

You see it can literally be like 100 things you did wrong as like i have said growing grass is like a science everything has to be right and done to perfection.

So if you have this happen to you theres one thing you can do that will make the grass grow in again. Wait until the 7th day of August and get a garbage can and dig up that soil all that bare spots that did not fill in go around and just dig up that soil and throw it out. Maybe you have a forest in your backyard,just get rid of it.The last thing you want to do is use that same soil.Chances are you added seed then added more seed at 7 days then more at 14 days etc so the fact is if you have this problem you can pretty much pinpoint the problem to the soil as being the culprit. So go out by some premium soil not the kind you can get for 2 dollars spend a little more money and get some nice soil for your barespots then fill in and level them to where your grass was prior. Then get some better grass seed youd want to spend like $50 dollars for 25 pounds or $125 for like 50 pounds spend some good money on the seed and soil then follow my steps  as i outlined above ,then you should be fine in 7 days in (august) it will germinate (and im not talking about ryegrass im talking about hard or tall fescue! If you done everything right you should see the grass germinate in 6  days then in 21 days should all be filled in.So take my advice if you run into this problem.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

How to sow seed for cool season grass

How to plant grass seed


I get this question all the time so i figured id share my expertise on this .The bottom line is nothing will happen unless you prepare the seed bed. I see a lot of people throw seed on the ground and nothing happens and they wonder why! Or they prepare the seed bed then dont cover the seed with soil or add fertilizer or mulch the area you have to do all the steps or else your lawn will look like this after 2 weeks.
Notice how only 60% of the grass seed germinated here? its because someone did not prepare the seed bed correctly so always prepare the seed bed so you wont have to water the grass for another 2 weeks then run out and order more grass seed.

#1 Prepare the seedbed - Remove any debris-leaves-twigs-weeds-bring in top soil if you need it. Work in some peatmoss and or top soil to your soil with garden rake.Aerate.Throw down some starter fertilizer. it really does not matter if you put the seed down first or starter fertilizer as long as you have the fertilizer is all that counts
#2 with hoe or garden rake or -garden weisel make furlows up and down  the soil then criss cross so you have some where for the seed to fall into and take root
#3 using your hand apply only the right amount of seed per sq feet as it says on the package(make sure you have seed to seed contact-do not put seed on top of grass that does not need seed) not over crowding the area cause the seed will end up dying off or drying out as it will be fighting for its own place. So only plant the necessary amount. The key is to just put a little bit of seed down so you can see the soil beneath it.Remember seed spreads when it grows so once it grows it will fill in large areas .Do dont try and fill in an area like had it been a crayon and you were trying to color in the whole area or if you had a salt shaker dont pour the whole salt shaker into one bare spot. You get the picture.
#4 after youve got the seed down on where you want it to grow use the garden rake and turn it upside down and roll some soil on top of it to protect it and speed up germination.
#5 Mulch the area i prefer  to use greenview seed accelarator instead of using hay as hay can have some weeds in it. They both will stay damp and change color when its dry and wet. Its really up to you. 
#6 then water right away then water only in mornings for next 7 days then every other day for five days.
then let mother nature do its rest .The fact is too much water is not a good thing as over watering could wash your seeds away and bring in more weeds.
So just water in morning before 5am for like 8 minutes once a week or twice a week 5 minutes each watering.  Then after like 7 days just water it in morning for like 5 minutes every other day for 5 days at the fifth day stop watering it. At the end of that fifth day you should see grass starting to come in if you followed what i outlined .
WI cannot stress enough how important the watering stage is

I see a lot of people do it wrong by over watering but,the fact is the key is to water less. What do i mean by that you dont want it soggy! You dont want any puddles you dont want any run off. Your main goal should be to just water it enough so it stays moist during the seedling stage. Using the mist setting or one close to it on your sprinkler is handy as you wont dislodge the seeds or anything. The key is to keep them moist so they will get t he germination started then sprout in a few weeks.

One thing is a must you must not do is! Do not confuse watering grass that has been established on your lawn for years with ,watering grass seed. They are not the same ,you should not treat them the same and they should not be watered the same.

Grass that returns each year in the spring that is established should not be watered until the end of  May when the grass is thirsty. And when it gets warm in summer and so forth say an inch of water a week. Watering grass that is established you would want to use a different sprinkler also mostly an oscillating sprinkler you would use.For reseeding and starting new lawns or bare spots you would use an impact sprinkler as it is better for new seed while the oscillating one is more for established grass. So in a few months when your grass is looking nice and all filled in when it gets warm outside by then the impact sprinkler should be in your garage until your next seeding project.


Growing grass without watering it


This may sound silly at first but,it is a handy way to grow grass when you want to conserve water as water bills can be high.

I actually am doing this project myself right now just forgot to take some before pictures.
Anyhow its pretty simple to do in spring or any other month when its cool with occasional light rain and lots of morning  dews.

So when you know this will happen when you will have lots of cloudy days,occasional rain and morning dews,and of course a few warm days mixed in then you basically let mother nature take course.

Just sow the seed like you normally would lightly mulch it with hay or green-view seed accelerator
so it gets enough light and irrigation. Then just water it that first day slightly then observe the area say 14 days later and youll be surprised as to how well it comes in with no water actually it got its water on its own you just did not have to pay for it. Just one thing do not try this before heavy rain as it will wash the seeds away.
You want a week where it barely rains like one day 20% then the next 40% then next 30% precipitation dont want five days of 100% precipitation so hopefully you took my advice id love to see your pictures i will post mine too.



Remember if temperature  is not right the grass will wait

Lets say you sow some seed and you did all the steps ,you prepared the seedbed and everything youve watered daily.
Now 2 weeks have went by and still nothing .Then you look at the weather forecast for the month and the past 2 weeks then you realize its been
50 to 64 degrees in that span.Dont panic.As soon as the temperature  warms up to 75 the soil will be in the 60s and your grass will germinate and start to grow.Its already germinated  its been a few weeks it just needs the right temperature  to emerge and sprout. 
So you could do 2 things next time wait until its in the 80s to plant new grass .It will germinate  fast like 7 days.
Or put the seed down ìn late spring  let the seed get established  water it daily until temperatures warm up.
Either way your waiting your waiting for fall early  august or your waiting for it to get warm in the spring or waiting for your grass seed to germinate  in early spring.So pick your poison.

This is proof below

This picture was taken a month ago around April 16th 

I watered for 3 weeks

then we were stuck in 50 degree weather for thata span it was in the 80s maybe once or twice then as soon as it warmed up i got this last week

Then the magic happened 

like over night when it got so warm all the sudden

This is what im talking about as you see the grass is filling in at a rapid rate as soon as the temps warm up so if you follow my plan and you water for 2 and half weeks and the temps dont warm up yet.Do not worry the grass will fill in like gain busters as soon as the weather comes back.










Thursday, April 27, 2017

Do your own lawnmower tune up

Always do your own tuneup for your lawnmower. Do not be fooled by the power shops telling you it cost like 150 or 200 to do a tuneup when it will cost 12 dollars or less to do it yourself. All you need is either buy the parts yourself  at a automobile  shop or purchase  a tune up kit for  your lawnmower.
A tuneup just consists of changing oil,spark plug,air filter,add some new oil,add some gas treatment  and sharpen  your mower blade.
You could  get a kit for like 12 dollars then sharpen  your mower blade òn your work bench. Make sure to brink your dirty engine oil to your local dept of public works location they will get rid of it for you for free .You just need to have approved  transport  container.
I just did my tune up now as its supposed to be in the 80s this weekend  and i need to make sure i keep up with the Joneses.
So yeah do your own tune up and youll have the last laugh at these power shops.You know what  im getting at you pull in there with  your lawn mower the guy comes from  the back of shop and makes believe  he is busy and was actually  doing  something. Then you say i need this tuned up. Then hes like well '  i cant  get to it today i cant promise  you when but, it will be done for sure in the next 3 weeks. ???
Your saying to yourself 3 weeks i need this thing tomorrow.
So dont be fooled i just did mine tonight it took me like 15 minutes. So when they say i should have it done in a few weeks there lying.
So stay away from these power shops and do it yourselves  its very rewarding!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Crabgrass

Dealing with crabgrass in your lawn is really simple. The fact is that to have that pristine lawn like everyone else you have to do one of 4 things it does not matter right now that your lawn does not have any crabgrass yet thats the secret!

Just because ,you may have a nice lawn and your saying to yourself my lawn is fine think again.

The people with the nice looking  lawn all year...  they do a lot of work in March ,April and May and the rest of the year as you saw in my month to month plan.

So you will  have to do one of these things depends on your threshold.

#1 put down pre emergents in march

 before the crabgrass starts to sprout/or grow on your beautiful lawn that has no crabgrass on it at the moment then apply more in July before it emerges again then again in September

#2Wait to see if you have any crabgrass first

 and if you have any just spot treat it in May and late April and June  with either selective or Post emergent
Post- emergents are what they say they are they only selective treat crabgrass leaving the grass intact then getting rid of Crabgrass after it has sprouted opposed to in the spring when you would use a pre emergent.
Also be aware if you have not put nothing down then its June or May then your lawn is filled with Crabgrass putting down a pre emergent after you seen crabgrass is not going to do anything for you.
Remember crabgrass germinates when the soil temps are in the 60s so when the daytime reaches 70 Fahrenheit   for 3 consecutive days thats is the time you should have applied the pre emergent 5 days ago from that point in time.

#3 do nothing just  cut it down with lawn mower

This is what i prefer to do as i have a tiny amount of it and the average person rarely sees it.
So what i do is cut the grass regualry twice a week always cutting just a third off the top. Never letting the crabgrass spread or grow,in some cases if you have just a small amount of it and you cut regulary the crabgrass will first blend in with your turf ,then eventually the grass clippings will get rid of the crabgrass if you  mulch the lawn. So dont bag the clippings .  Have a purpose when you mow the lawn ! Do not just mow the lawn cause your Wife wants you too or your bored or you just need something to do! Always mow with a purpose.

Maybe you see some other weeds and you dont want them to sprout go over them with the bag and bag them. Maybe you were on vacation for 12 days and you did not mow the lawn for 12 days so bring the mower blade to its highest point go over the lawn in one pass. Then lower it one notch then go over the lawn again this way you will be avoiding to have clumps of clippings which you can ruin your lawn. Maybe last time you mowed north and south now this time do a checkorboard pattern or a diamond so you have that nice manicured look as if a landscapper  did your lawn so you should always mow with a purpose! You will be glad you did.

#4 Put down Dimension in November and Spring

another option is to kill off the Crabgrass in the fall so it wont sprout in the spring. Then do some more killing in the Spring too so you know its gone . A good way to do this is to use Dimension It really works just  make sure  you read the instructions  and you follow  them,as if you dont water it in well enough  or you do not apply it evenly and get too much of it on a section of your lawn.If you make just a minor  mistake with it it will burn your lawn.This is not the look you want in early spring when everyone else grass is green but, yours half of it is burnt.Who wants to wait weeks for it to be green again when it finally disappears.
We all been there we start putting down fertilizer or a pre emergent then we are in a rush to watch the game or go out drinking then we dont even read the directions then we just throw a whole bunch of pre emergent on the ground without reading the directions ultimately ruining your lawn so dont let it be you!


#5 Spot Treat the Crabgrass  instead

If by some chance you only have a small amount of crabgrass in your lawn then forget the dimension as dimension is for lawns that are fully affected ,if you only have say 3 or small minor spots in your lawn then just spot treat with  Spectracide. Spectracide is very effective as i have used this in the past for small areas. No matter how great your lawn is you still will need to spot treat things here and there even while your lawn does not have any crabgrass. Unless you dont kill it all off in the fall. So here is a before picture i took the other day when i put it down,
So the crabgrass is gone so now  you can see how effective this is. so go out and get yourself some spetracide it does work.
i took a wider shot to show you  that all the crabgrass is gone the first picture i took a few weeks ago was a close up so i zoomed out to take a wider picture to show you that it was not a fake picture at all and all the crabgrass is really gone so spectracide trully is an amazing product.

The only issue now is with the weather in the 90s you would not  use any crabgrass treatment so id wait until the fall or  next spring.

If you use something else for spot treating crabgrass share your thoughts in the comments below if youd recommend something else id love to hear your ideas.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

theres a correct way to dormant seed dont let this be you

Dont let this be you 


Make sure when you dormant seed in the fall  either december or Febuary make sure the number one thing is you make sure you prepare the seed bed right first and cover it with salt hay or peat moss or else you will have a mess like this picture


Another thing i see a lot of  errors people make is they dont mulch it with anything when you dormant seed. When you do that it  just creates food for the birds ,the stormy weather washes and blows it away then your left with a mess like this in April when everyone elses lawn is thriving so dont let this be you make sure you sow the seed correctly and prepare the seed bed first before you sow the seed.
Soon i will be adding my methods on how to sow seed the correct way. Im sure you all have your methods
maybe your a landscaper and you do things your way or you have something handed down through  generations . I get all of that. Tell me the reason why you would want 30 different ways of doing something or just one way to do it right? Its like if you searched for a cheesecake recipe do you really need 400,000 cheesecake recipes? Or just the one that works. So think about that. Also my methods are actually mine they are not methods i stole or rehashed scrapped or spun  from the web i will be updating my blog with info and pictures so you can see for yourself. Just make sure you subscribe so you know when i add some more useful info for that lawn envy of yours.