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Why does my lawn look like crap???



 
 
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  #1  
Old 18-05-2003, 11:44 AM
Fleemo
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

Despite all the hard work I spend on my lawn, this spring it looks
like CRAP! We've had an unusally wet winter, and all my neighbors'
lawns look lush and green. But mine looks all yellow and just plain
crappy. (See a photo of this disaster at
http://www.inhouzemusic.com/q/lawn.html)

Where am I going wrong? My back yard, which I redid two seasons ago,
is lush and green and beautiful. My front yard, which I hope to redo
someday soon, is just plain ugly. Despite fertilizing and regular
mowing, it's pretty sad. Even areas where I put in new sod look
yellowish and pathetic. Could it be lack of aeration? Bad soil? How
can I make it lush and green, short of tearing it out and starting
over? HELP!
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  #2  
Old 18-05-2003, 12:56 PM
Tom Randy
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

On Sun, 18 May 2003 05:40:50 -0400, Fleemo wrote:

Despite all the hard work I spend on my lawn, this spring it looks like
CRAP! We've had an unusally wet winter, and all my neighbors' lawns look
lush and green. But mine looks all yellow and just plain crappy. (See a
photo of this disaster at http://www.inhouzemusic.com/q/lawn.html)

Where am I going wrong? My back yard, which I redid two seasons ago, is
lush and green and beautiful. My front yard, which I hope to redo
someday soon, is just plain ugly. Despite fertilizing and regular
mowing, it's pretty sad. Even areas where I put in new sod look
yellowish and pathetic. Could it be lack of aeration? Bad soil? How
can I make it lush and green, short of tearing it out and starting over?
HELP!



How's the soil PH? I'd check that out. Take some soil from different spots
in the yard and mix it together then have a PH test done on it.
  #3  
Old 18-05-2003, 01:44 PM
Frank Logullo
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???


"Fleemo" wrote in message
om...
Despite all the hard work I spend on my lawn, this spring it looks
like CRAP! We've had an unusally wet winter, and all my neighbors'
lawns look lush and green. But mine looks all yellow and just plain
crappy. (See a photo of this disaster at
http://www.inhouzemusic.com/q/lawn.html)

Where am I going wrong? My back yard, which I redid two seasons ago,
is lush and green and beautiful. My front yard, which I hope to redo
someday soon, is just plain ugly. Despite fertilizing and regular
mowing, it's pretty sad. Even areas where I put in new sod look
yellowish and pathetic. Could it be lack of aeration? Bad soil? How
can I make it lush and green, short of tearing it out and starting
over? HELP!


Offhand, I would say the presence of large trees is the problem.
Frank


  #4  
Old 18-05-2003, 03:20 PM
Mceezee
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

Offhand, I would say the presence of large trees is the problem.

Yes, when grass doesn't get sufficient amount of sunlight (I have the same
problem) it doesn't do well.
  #5  
Old 18-05-2003, 03:44 PM
Alice Boyce
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???


"Fleemo" wrote in message
om...
Despite all the hard work I spend on my lawn, this spring it looks
like CRAP! We've had an unusally wet winter, and all my neighbors'
lawns look lush and green. But mine looks all yellow and just plain
crappy. (See a photo of this disaster at
http://www.inhouzemusic.com/q/lawn.html)

Where am I going wrong? My back yard, which I redid two seasons ago,
is lush and green and beautiful. My front yard, which I hope to redo
someday soon, is just plain ugly. Despite fertilizing and regular
mowing, it's pretty sad. Even areas where I put in new sod look
yellowish and pathetic. Could it be lack of aeration? Bad soil? How
can I make it lush and green, short of tearing it out and starting
over? HELP!


And it is not good for those trees to keep mowing their roots. The trees are
taking the nutrients and the water and the sun from the grass so why grow
grass there? Plant something else between the roots like pachysandra but do
not bury the roots or the trees will die. Why do you need to grow grass when
other things will do much better?

alice


  #6  
Old 18-05-2003, 08:20 PM
Warren
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

Fleemo wrote:
Despite all the hard work I spend on my lawn, this spring it looks
like CRAP! We've had an unusally wet winter, and all my neighbors'
lawns look lush and green. But mine looks all yellow and just plain
crappy. (See a photo of this disaster at
http://www.inhouzemusic.com/q/lawn.html)

Where am I going wrong? My back yard, which I redid two seasons ago,
is lush and green and beautiful. My front yard, which I hope to redo
someday soon, is just plain ugly. Despite fertilizing and regular
mowing, it's pretty sad. Even areas where I put in new sod look
yellowish and pathetic. Could it be lack of aeration? Bad soil? How
can I make it lush and green, short of tearing it out and starting
over? HELP!



It's hard to tell in the picture, but it looks like the grass is too
short. My neighbor cuts his lawn too short, and bags the clippings, and
can't figure out why his lawn looks so crappy.

As others have mentioned, the trees could be a problem, although their
shade effect doesn't become an issue until they leaf-out. When the heat
of summer comes, my shady areas usually stay lush while the sunny areas
go dormant. But those roots would concern me. Not just how they may be
damaged while mowing, but are they sucking all the water for the tree,
leaving little for the lawn.

Speaking of watering, shallow watering is generally bad, even if Mother
Nature is doing it. Long, deep watering is best for a lawn, especially
with those trees there. If the roots of the lawn are too shallow, mowing
the lawn too short will be even worse.

And you mentioned fertilizer. Was it the correct fertilizer, and did you
follow directions? In general, the amount specified in the directions is
the maximum so they can sell more fertilizer. Half the maximum is
usually all you need. (More is not always better!) And if you're leaving
the clippings on the lawn, you may not even need that much.

If you haven't run a core aerator on the lawn for a couple of seasons,
you should put that on your to-do list for fall. Fall is better than
spring for this, but you don't want to do it during summer. You'll want
to be very careful when you get near those tree roots. (BTW... Stay away
from those spikes they sell as aerators. They just compress the soil
around the area that they penetrate, and they don't penetrate far
enough, either. A core aerator pulls out a plug of soil allowing easy
access into the soil that can be filled with organic material, or simply
left to allow deeper water penetration.

For this summer, I'd say do a lot of watering, and don't mow too short.
The life-cycle of a lawn begins in fall, and a good plan for fall that
includes core aeration (something I would do annually) is where to
start. Don't try to "fix" things during the summer. Just do your best to
not slide backwards before fall comes.

--
Warren H.

==========
Disclaimer: My views reflect those of myself, and not my
employer, my friends, nor (as she often tells me) my wife.
Any resemblance to the views of anybody living or dead is
coincidental. No animals were hurt in the writing of this
response -- unless you count my dog who desperately wants
to go outside now.



  #7  
Old 18-05-2003, 08:56 PM
Phisherman
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

Fleemo wrote:
Despite all the hard work I spend on my lawn, this spring it looks
like CRAP! We've had an unusally wet winter, and all my neighbors'
lawns look lush and green. But mine looks all yellow and just plain
crappy. (See a photo of this disaster at
http://www.inhouzemusic.com/q/lawn.html)


It looks like the trees are sucking all the moisture out of the
ground! Put your mower on the highest setting, mow often, and
preferably use a mulching mower. If it does not rain at least 1" in a
week, give your lawn a good watering early in the morning. Fall lawn
work is usually the most important. A lawn will greatly benefit from
at least one feeding of organic fertilizer per year. I use
Milorganite (processed sewage) or pellitized chicken manure. Do a
soil test to find out what you need !
  #8  
Old 18-05-2003, 09:20 PM
Tom Jaszewski
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

On Sun, 18 May 2003 18:55:35 GMT, Phisherman wrote:

A lawn will greatly benefit from
at least one feeding of organic fertilizer per year. I use
Milorganite (processed sewage) or pellitized chicken manure. Do a
soil test to find out what you need !



neither of which are organic!


"Nature, left alone, is in perfect balance.
Harmful insects and plant diseases are always present,
but do not occur in nature to an extent which requires the use of poisonous chemicals.
The sensible approach to disease and insect control is to grow sturdy crops in a healthy environment."

Masanobu Fukuoka, One Straw Revolution--1978
  #9  
Old 20-05-2003, 03:44 AM
pelirojaroja
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

It seems to be mown extremely short. How low do you mow it?

You also seem to have a lot of shade in this area. What grass blend is
planted there now? Is it compatible with shade?
--
-- pelirojaroja


"Fleemo" wrote in message
om...
Despite all the hard work I spend on my lawn, this spring it looks
like CRAP! We've had an unusally wet winter, and all my neighbors'
lawns look lush and green. But mine looks all yellow and just plain
crappy. (See a photo of this disaster at
http://www.inhouzemusic.com/q/lawn.html)

Where am I going wrong? My back yard, which I redid two seasons ago,
is lush and green and beautiful. My front yard, which I hope to redo
someday soon, is just plain ugly. Despite fertilizing and regular
mowing, it's pretty sad. Even areas where I put in new sod look
yellowish and pathetic. Could it be lack of aeration? Bad soil? How
can I make it lush and green, short of tearing it out and starting
over? HELP!



  #10  
Old 20-05-2003, 10:44 AM
Fleemo
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

Thanks for all the input here folks.

Yes, the tree roots are a problem, but the grass has never looked this
bad before. And it's rained and rained and rained this season, so I'd
think it'd start the season off well. The lawn does manage to get
several hours of afternoon sun, so I don't think it's a lack of
sunlight. Plus, usually when the grass is water-stressed, it tends to
look grayish. The lawn is very yellow. Including areas of tall
fescue, the same sod that I grow in my back yard which is very very
shady, yet grows well.

I have a lawn service mow my lawn, so I guess I need to tell them to
start cutting it longer.

The PH test, aeration, and the rest of your tips will be taken to
heart, especially this fall. Thanks for your advice.

-Fleemo
  #11  
Old 22-05-2003, 08:56 PM
Doug Kanter
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

"Mceezee" wrote in message
...
Offhand, I would say the presence of large trees is the problem.


Yes, when grass doesn't get sufficient amount of sunlight (I have the same
problem) it doesn't do well.


Couple that with the fact that he's mowed it WAY too low for shade grass.
He's removed the extra leaf surface area that grass needs to collect more
light in the shade. Wait till the weather heats up. Then he'll REALLY be
singing the blues.


  #12  
Old 22-05-2003, 08:56 PM
Doug Kanter
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

"Warren" wrote in message
news:GgQxa.926941$S_4.939715@rwcrnsc53...

It's hard to tell in the picture, but it looks like the grass is too
short. My neighbor cuts his lawn too short, and bags the clippings, and
can't figure out why his lawn looks so crappy.


ROFL! I have a neighbor like that. He cuts his lawn putting-green short all
season, and shorter in the summer. Then, he calls Chem Lawn to come and
"fix" it. They give it a shot of nitrogen to green it up, and 2 weeks later,
it looks worse than before. He comes over to my yard constantly to ask "Hey!
Whattya put on yours?" I've done nothing but fertilize every 3 years or so,
and keep an eye on the pH. He thinks I sneak out at night with some sort of
secret spray. :-)

This has been going on for 20 years, and the guy just never learns.


  #13  
Old 22-05-2003, 08:56 PM
Doug Kanter
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Default Why does my lawn look like crap???

"Fleemo" wrote in message
om...

I have a lawn service mow my lawn, so I guess I need to tell them to
start cutting it longer.


Yeah. A LOT longer. As in "not at all", until September. 3" is a good length
for shade, assuming this patch of yours survives the summer.


 




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