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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just a timeline to see if i can bring this dead yard back to life, without doing a overhaul. I sent a soil sample to a lab to get tested. The results will take a couple weeks to know if i need to add lime, potash, phosphorus, iron, etc. While im waiting, i plan to add seeds and starter fertilizer to get some grass growing. The other day, i pulled all the weeds out of the front and back yard. I would say, there was about a thousand weeds total. There were weeds under weeds with different roots going to more weeds. My body is feeling all that 7 hours of hard ass work.

Earlier this spring, I tried to reduce the germination of weeds, by mowing high and adding pre and post emergent. I didnt pull any weeds, since i didnt have grass seeds to fill in the holes. I just added fertilizer with weed and feed to help slow them down. We had a drought this summer and the grass went dormant. Now that the weather is cooling down, i plan to lay seeds and put top soil over it. I plan to use starter fertilizer to kick in the germination. Then a final application of winterizer until spring. Im getting ahead of myself here and let the pic speak of what i am working with.

I did the front before i started taking pics. This is the aftermath.
8/26/2015






The bin is full with just the front yard weeds and some sod from the garden strips

Had to borrow the neighbors bin to finish the back yard >:)

The backyard shows you how it was in the front. I ran out of light to take pics of the backyard after it was pulled. Refer to front yard pics.
All the green is weeds, not grass :grin:





 

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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Progress was at a halt, due to rain and a wind storm we had for the past week. Then the sky opened up and i took the chance to do more yard work prepping. Plus, the yard waste is being picked up this friday, so i want to fill the bins as full as i can get them.

The clouds leaving. Bye Bye
9/2/2015



After hand picking the branches off the ground.



Front Yard, and that is green grass. I didnt add any grass seeds yet, since the yard still needs a lot more prep. Im hoping to have seeds down by this weekend. According to the weather, its supposed to be in the mid 70s and dry.



HORRIBLE!! This is what you call a dead yard that weeds thrive on



After pulling Dandelions a week ago, they came back. UGH!!! :disagree:
I didnt bother pulling those out by hand. I plan to rent a power rake to remove thatch that has built up over decades. Im not ready to see what it will look like afterwards :flee:




Back Yard, and that green is actually weeds.



Close up of the weeds




I raked the yard to encourage the grass blades to reach up. Then my lawn mower will shake their hands bwahahaha
Before


After



I raked a lot of dead grass and moss. Yup, this lawn has that too :disagree: I couldve pulled most of the moss out, but i couldnt see myself breaking my back, when i am just going to use a power rake anyways ;)
After i started raking



I used a plastic rake, but a metal rake would be better for scarring the ground. I dont use metal rakes since i have this thatching rake. The thatching rakes are great, but wont do shit to this yard though. So, i must rent a tool that will be faster and easier, like a power rake :lol:



I ended up with a lot of deadness in multiple piles; 6 to be exact. Picked up more branches with the rake :approve:
Here are the 2 biggest piles. One from the back and one from the front.




My bin was already full from last week. I jumped in to try and crush it down.


Im only a buck fifty and this is all i was able to do :lol: Damn, gotta ask the neighbors again to use theirs :erm:


I left them some room though :grin:



I found my weed problem



Rain clouds started lurking overhead again. Didnt get a chance to mow the grass. Hopefully this weekend, if the weather holds up.



Enjoy the last time we see brown grass :grin:






Couldnt have a pic without Tenacious in it :p



Oh, almost forgot. Started a log book
 

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That's a lot of progress! Posts like this are awesome; I've been thinking about starting one for my attic reno, and I think I will now; thanks.

You sure seem like you know what you're doing. Got any pointers for this beast? I'm not sure how to even get started, or when is a good time. I think there's some sort of vine in there, plus the weeds, clover, walnuts, ... The growth on the fencing looks cool, but it's taking over!






 

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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #5
Whats your location?
 

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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #7
That's a lot of progress! Posts like this are awesome; I've been thinking about starting one for my attic reno, and I think I will now; thanks.

You sure seem like you know what you're doing. Got any pointers for this beast? I'm not sure how to even get started, or when is a good time. I think there's some sort of vine in there, plus the weeds, clover, walnuts, ... The growth on the fencing looks cool, but it's taking over!
Is that a shroom on the driveway/sidewalk? :lol:

Now would be a good time to start. Go outside and rake the lawn and mow high. I mow mine at 2.5"-3" during wet seasons, and 3"-4" during dry seasons. The higher your grass, the less weeds you will have. Scalping the lawn or mowing short will expose soil and you get weeds. Dense grass shadows the soil and prevents weeds from getting light.

I dont know how your soil is or what kind of grass your lawn has. Those would be the first thing you should test for. This will get you a baseline on what fertilizer to get. You dont want to throw fertilizer at it, hoping grass will be lushes and no weeds. It doesnt work that way :lol:

I sent my soil test to a conservation in my area. This took me a while to find it online. I kept googling and calling numbers until i found one. I had to drive an hour north of where i live. You can also mail it, if you prefer or if they have that as an option. Most state universities will be able to do it as well.

Now, for the easy part. Buy round up and squirt at every plant that you dont want. Like your driveway, that bush by the house, etc. Read the instructions and dont spray it on your lawn, it will kill it. I have read roundup is good if you want to get rid of old grass. Wait for it to start turning brown and then re-seed with preferred grass of your liking.

Im using Scotts NW grass seeds. It has fescue and ryegrass. Ryegrass grows faster and will will die in heat and drought. Fescue will come in later, since its a slower growing grass. But can withstand drought better as long its cut high. Next fall, i will be planting tall fescue seeds to replace the dead ryegrass. I think tall fescue will be a good choice for your lawn.

Thats all i got for now. Dont forget to do a soil test and identify the grass type you have. Cant wait to see your attic reno :approve:
 

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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #8

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The weather is promising for this weekend. Dry for the most part and temp is perfect for cool season grass seeds to germinate. The temp should be no higher than 75* during the day, and no lower than 55* at night for seeds to grow. WATER WATER WATER, twice a day to keep the soil moist. Dry soil kills the seeds from germinating.

Nothing major for today. All i did was mow the grass, to have it ready for tomorrow. Just want to bring more knowledge of setting the mower to the proper height, according to the season, and never scalp your lawn. Mowing more than 1/3 of grass at a time shocks the grass, which can cause lawn disease and brown tips. If you must, mow twice to cut down to preferred height. This is where most people dont enjoy mowing, but I love it ;)

First, i want to show you guys that i use a regular push mower. Nothing special and no magic to my trick. Its rear wheel drive and helps me on certain parts where i cant push it from behind.
9/4/2015



This is where the mower should always be set at. This mower is set one notch below the highest settings. Each mower is different and always measure. 3.5" during hot and drought season. Nothing lower, unless its the rainy season, then you can cut it no shorter than 2.5". The rain will promote growth, so its ok to mow this low. Use a hard flat surface to do the measuring. Never measure on grass, since it wont give you an accurate reading.



This is going to contradict my previous statement. I never mow this low and the only reason why, because i am power raking and aerating the lawn, and will be planting grass seeds. This helps bring light to the soil and helps germinate the seeds. If the grass is tall, it will shade the seeds and you will not get the results you should. Once i was done cutting the grass, i brought the mower back to 3.5", so its ready for the next time i cut ;)



The yard waste was picked up today, but already filled it up 3/4's full of grass. Ugh, im going to get another yard waste bin from the city, so i dont keep borrowing my neighbors :erm:



This is why you should never mow your grass lower than 2.5". If you are scalping your yard, STOP!!! Hire a landscaper or raise your lawn mower so it doesnt do this. Scalping promotes weed growth and you will never win, unless you like weeds. Then continue scalping...
The yard is bumpy and has a couple small humps/hills that i caught the ground with the blade.



Its hard to tell, but this is where the blade caught the ground and pulled up the grass.




After this weekend, i will have more updates and pics.
 

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Is that a shroom on the driveway/sidewalk? :lol:
You mean these?


Those are walnuts from my black walnut trees.


Apparently, black walnut trees create a chemical which is toxic to many plants, and sometimes used as an herbicide; maybe I can use it to kill these weeds. Some plants aren't affected, and apparently kentucky bluegrass (a common grass around here) is known to thrive near walnut trees. The grass seems to be doing okay, but the yard is all sorts of lumpy.

Thanks for the tips; I'm going to confirm the type of grass after I mow the lawn.

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I tried my best to identify the grass in my lawn, but it's not exactly straight-forward. Best I could tell, I think I can confirm there is tall fescue and fine fescue. I didn't identify anything that looked like blue-grass, though some of the what I think is tall fescue could be; hard to tell. I think I may let it flower and see what that tells me. I cut about 3 inches off today, and it's still 3 - 3.5 inches tall, so I'm not sure how long I'll hurry up and wait for it to flower.
 

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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #11
Those are walnuts from my black walnut trees.
Thats a nice tree you have there :grin:

reklipz said:
Apparently, black walnut trees create a chemical which is toxic to many plants, and sometimes used as an herbicide; maybe I can use it to kill these weeds. Some plants aren't affected, and apparently kentucky bluegrass (a common grass around here) is known to thrive near walnut trees. The grass seems to be doing okay, but the yard is all sorts of lumpy.

Thanks for the tips; I'm going to confirm the type of grass after I mow the lawn.
Yeah, i would try it too. Home grown herbicide :lol:

Oh, i like KBG. However, my climate is too cold for it and it would die off in the winter. This type of grass is a warm season and grows best during summer, but needs a lot of maintenance. Loves nitrogen and grows fast, equals more mowing. KBG can be mowed to 2.5" during the summer, fall, winter and spring. I was suggesting Tall Fescue, because it grows slow and is some what drought resistance. However, no grass can handle high heat and drought at the same time. They go into dormant, but doesnt mean its dead. Miss conception of brown = dead and that is wrong. Still need to water if possible.

reklipz said:
I tried my best to identify the grass in my lawn, but it's not exactly straight-forward. Best I could tell, I think I can confirm there is tall fescue and fine fescue. I didn't identify anything that looked like blue-grass, though some of the what I think is tall fescue could be; hard to tell. I think I may let it flower and see what that tells me. I cut about 3 inches off today, and it's still 3 - 3.5 inches tall, so I'm not sure how long I'll hurry up and wait for it to flower.
I would take it into a landscape company and ask them. They are more knowledgeable about the type of grass you have in the lawn. Maybe a nursery as well, just no big supply chain like Lowes. If it is KBG, then you wont have to wait long for it the grow back to 6 inches. I just looked and there is an Annual Bluegrass, and that is considered a Weed. Kill it :lol: After you find out what type of grass you have first

I forgot to mention, and i will edit my post above. Mowing more than 1/3 of grass at a time shocks the grass, which can cause lawn disease and brown tips. If you must, mow twice to cut down to preferred height. This is where most people dont enjoy mowing, but I love it ;) Your grass is tall enough, which i doubt it did any major damage.
 

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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I would like to solute to the group of grass that are survivors. These guys are troopers to come out of hibernation :lol:
Before the overhaul
9/5/2015



This was much more work than i anticipated and im glad the prep work is over. Now for the relaxation of kicking back and drinking my Henry's, while i water the grass seeds
Now for the prep work. Saturday morning at 8am, went to home depot and rented a power rake. The lawn has almost an inch of thatch, if not more. And the thatching rake would take me forever to do. $60 seems more feasible for 4 hours, than a long back breaking weekend of raking. I wouldnt have come close to a machine doing the work in 1 hour :grin:




After power raking, i raked up most of the dead moss and grass, which was 90% in the backyard. I really wasnt expecting this after power raking :surprise: You can see where the ground would water log. TBH, i never looked really hard to see how much moss was actually in the ground. If i knew, i wouldve used moss killer. Since i already started, i decided to cover it up.



The front yard wasnt much better.



The top part of the pic area has thin coverage. Gravel has embedded themselves into the soil. You can see how compact that area is. I am skeptical that grass will grow there. We will see, as i still have hope.



Returned the power rake and rented the aerator. I wasnt sure if i could do both within the 4 hour limit, so i just rented one at a time. I can say, the aerator was a bitch to move around. I had to man handle a 300lb contraption vertically and horizontally through the lawn. There is a lever that made it a workout out as well. The lever lowers the wheels to the ground, so i could turn it. You can see it in the pic, the lever and wheels are used to lift the machine up and tines are off the ground. Both levers and trying to control it in a straight line was zero fun and i was worn out. Glad i had a break while returning the aerator to go pick up compost. It was the only part of the job i hated. I would rather rake than run this machine again :lol: I mustve been that worn out that i didnt take any pics of what the aerator looks like :(




Here are the results of aerating in the front yard. Aerating is a good start, but i need the soil test results, to know what i need to add to the soil. Well, thats what happens when you turn in the soil test, a week before doing the renovation.




Picked up 2 yards of compost.



While i was waiting for a wheelbarrow to arrive, i did some hand shoveling. It was more work and didnt get the results i was looking for. A shovel and garden rake is all i used.




Shovel method and a lot of work to get that much on the ground.



I use the back of the garden rake to spread the dirt around. You can see some bare spots by the bricks.



Not to long after taking the pics, the wheelbarrow showed up. Now to make mounds and get the job done faster.




That was the end of Saturday. I ended up short on compost and i didnt plan to use so much. Here comes sunday morning at 10am. Picked another yard of compost to finish the yard and raise the corners where the downspouts are. It ended up being 2pm when it was finally done.


Now, its time to lay down some grass seeds. Isnt this the whole point of prepping...>:) I used Scotts Pacific NW grass seed mix with 2x less watering. The mix has two types of Perennial Ryegrass and two types of Annual Fescue for my region. I should see some growth by this weekend.
9/6/2015




Reading the label, 7lbs is 2,300 sq ft for overseeding, which i was doing. If i combine the front and back yard, its just under 2000 sq ft.



I used the back of my leaf rake to mix the seeds with the compost to get the seed to soil contact. Most important in seed germination.



After taking this pic, i realized that this yard needs a new lawn seeding. 7lbs for 1150 sq ft according to the label.



I went out and bought another bag. This is a better bunch of seeds. Yes, that is a weed and you will get them at the beginning. Lots of watering will encourage them to grow. Leave them there and wait til after the 2nd mowing to start pulling them. Doing it now will disturb the germination and can cause delay in growth or death.



I then watered the seeds and finished off the day with yellow tape.



Couldnt forget the little island of grass :bigSmile:



Well, this Labor day morning, i was able to sleep in. Rain was in the forecast this morning and watered the lawn for me. Before the mid day watering, i added starter fertilizer to help give nutrients to the soil, to help promote growth.
9/7/2015



Now, there is a couple of ways to determine how much fert to add to a lawn. Whether it be weed and feed, starter fert or just regular lawn food. To determine how much to add, we will be using the numbers on the bag. If you dont like math, then i will try to make it as simple as possible :lol:

We will use the Sta-Green starter fert from Lowes. On the bottom left of the bag, you can see 18lbs and it covers 5000 sq ft. On the right side, you see three numbers. 18-24-6, which indicates, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium(Potash); aka NPK. I dont look at anything but Nitrogen, since that can cause lawn burn if to much is applied. Rule of thumb is, 1lb of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft per application. No more, or browning of the lawn will occur. By using this method, you want to convert the number 18 into a decimal, which is .18. And 1000 sq ft is 1. Divide 1 by .18, which equals 5.55lbs per 1000 sq ft. This indicates that using 5.55lbs of this fertilizer will include 1lb of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft. This is the max you want to use per application. Use this math for all other Nitrogen numbers.
18-24-6 resembles the percent of NPK. 18%-24%-6% is what contains in this bag of fert. Then you convert it into decimal to get the lbs. If it was 25 for Nitrogen, then it would be an easy answer of 4lbs per 1000 sq ft.



Now lets go back to the 18lbs and 5000 sq ft numbers on the left. This math is easier :lol: Divide 18 by 5, which equals 3.6lbs per 1000 sq ft. This is far below the Nitrogen level that the lawn needs. Thats it, you now know 2 ways to figure out how much fertilizer to add to a lawn, according to the numbers on the bag. Hope this helps understand more about the numbers on the bag.

When i use fert, i try to stay under the 1lb of Nitrogen per 1000 sq ft, to prevent burning. I do plan to put another application in a month, once the grass starts getting taller and before the first mow. I divided the 18lbs by 4, which equals 4.5lbs that i applied per 1000 sq ft. This is still under the 1lb of Nitrogen needed for the lawn. Im good and so will you :approve:

And the finale pic of the labor day. Thanks for reading. Will have more updates as the weeks go on.
 

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I love those threads. Thanks for sharing! I'm surprised TobiasSing didn't show up yet, I know he likes landscaping stuff.

But man.. Your shit looked like a desert!! (as the rest of the neighborhood too!)

Oh what is the car under the car cover in the back yard?

Good job, what we wouldn't do for our parents!
 

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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, no one here waters their lawns. We just let the rain, water the weeds. They just let the grass go dormant during the summer. Then they die off, because its been 3 months since they had water. This is how they all look every year. There are a few people on the street that takes care of their lawn. But nothing that is worth acknowledging.

My parents are not lawn people. Better yet, they dont have any knowledge about landscaping. Now, if it was my yard, i wouldve brought in a backhoe and removed a foot of the top layer. This area is nothing but rocks in the ground and they are sized from a soft ball to a basketball. Then i would bring in some dirt and regrade to an 8 degree pitch. Right now, its just stupid rough and my dad doesnt want to fix it. SMH. I will post pics of it when i get a chance.

I think its a '52 or '53 Chevy. I know its the early 50s. He told me a long time ago, but i forget. Its been sitting for so long, it became a lawn ornament that no one talks about :lol: Its supposedly a "retirement project" that will probably never get started on.
 

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SEAHAWKS!!
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Discussion Starter #16
haha, I haven't commented because there's no green grass yet XD But I really love the last post of progress. The yellow tape is the most important step. LOL
I wouldnt have to do it, if people would stop walking across the lawn. Especially the neighbor kids. And here is a little taste of green :grin:

This is day 4 of watering and we have growth...This is Perennial Ryegrass you see and in another week, we should see Fine Fescue growing up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now the results are in on the soil test.
Yeah, i dont understand it either. However, i understand the Soil Fertility Guidelines :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Day 10...
 
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