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Getting the nicest lawn - grass fertilization tips please!

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Getting the nicest lawn - grass fertilization tips please!

Postby VEFF on Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:48 pm

Since I am new to home ownership, I am looking for tips on how to get the nicest looking lawn I would appreciate it.

I live in northern NJ (in case that matters - I know Scotts mentions different lawn types - I am not sure how to tell which "type" I have).

I was thinking of trying/doing it myself or should I go with the pros?
A ChemLawn rep knocked on the door the other day.
He mentioned that they have a "special" plan of about $44 per application and 6 applications per year (He said there is no contract and pay as you go - I assume that means I can ask for 2 applications per year at the intervals I want [just as an example].

1) If I just get one application now will this help for most of the summer?
Is there an optimal number? (i.e. are six needed? Is getting three enough? Two enough?

2) If I do it myself, what should I do and when?
For example:
Which brand of fertilizer would you recommend?
When is the optimal time to spread / apply it?


Thanks for any tips!
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Postby burninfool on Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:45 pm

I do it myself by using Scotts Weed & Feed and a spreader.
I fertilize every two months from April-October and wait a couple of days to water,since you get snow(northern lawn) you might have a different schedule:
www.scotts.com/
www.askashton.com/
BTW..if you don't know what kind of grass you have DON'T use Weed & Feed(use Feed only) because it could kill certain grasses.
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Postby MediumRare on Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:39 pm

I don't have any advice for you, VEFF (I'm an apartment dweller) but want to comment on the quality of information that surfaces here in the forum. =D>

There are tips on BMW tires, roofing, electrical appliances and whatever. As far as I can tell, this is top-notch advice, and I'm sure you'll find qualified help for this question too!

Kudos top all the helpful souls here!

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Postby CowboySlim on Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:25 pm

Take a chunk doen to a nursery or Lowes and ask them what kind you have. Also ask them if you can use Scott's fertilizer with Halts on that grass. I always use that as the Halts is a pre-emergence herbicide. That is it kills seeds in the lawn before they germinate so that it prevents things like crabgrass, dandylions and other noxius grasses and weeds. It does not harm most common ornamental lawn grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass.

10-4?

Over and out.
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Postby redk9258 on Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:51 pm

CowboySlim wrote:Take a chunk doen to a nursery or Lowes and ask them what kind you have. Also ask them if you can use Scott's fertilizer with Halts on that grass. I always use that as the Halts is a pre-emergence herbicide. That is it kills seeds in the lawn before they germinate so that it prevents things like crabgrass, dandylions and other noxius grasses and weeds. It does not harm most common ornamental lawn grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass.

10-4?

Over and out.


If it were not for the crabgrass, clover and dandelions I would would have mostly dirt for my yard - LOL.
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Postby Ian on Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:09 pm

If it was my choice, I'd rip out our grass, put concrete down and paint it green. Of course, my wife said hell no to that so we pay Trugreen to come and spray their junk on our lawn. The funny thing is, we don't do anything but this and the grass looks better than the guy next door, who seems to water 24/7.
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Postby VEFF on Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:11 am

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback so far!
I will post a proper reply and thank everyone tomorrow: it is 1:07 AM local time and I have to get to bed (was out all day and upon arriving home watched a little TV, then installed 2nd Plexy and here we are 1:09 AM already...

Yes, Mediumrare, I agree!
The members here are very helpful AND friendly - great combination.
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Postby LoneWolf on Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:48 am

Ian wrote:If it was my choice, I'd rip out our grass, put concrete down and paint it green. Of course, my wife said hell no to that so we pay Trugreen to come and spray their junk on our lawn. The funny thing is, we don't do anything but this and the grass looks better than the guy next door, who seems to water 24/7.


My family finds it funny/absurd when I keep insisting that when we find a house we want to live in, I'm peeling up the lawn and replacing it with Astroturf.

Go figure. :D
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Postby Jim on Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:26 pm

I just read an article over the weekend on this very topic. It suggested starting to fertilize when the ground temperature (different from ambient) reached 55 degrees. This is around mid-April in the midwest (Michigan). It suggested that you use a fertilizer with a crab grass pre-emergent to kill the grab grass seeds before they germinate. Crab grass starts to grow around mid-May. Since it isn't a weed it is hard to kill without killing normal grass at this point, so best to hit it with pre-emergent.

Fertilizer is given numbers based upon nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium content. The article had a quote from a crop management educator at Michigan State University who recommened a 10-3-10 fertilizer for the first application. Some of the commerical landscaping companies recommended 10-10-10. I plan on following the Michigan State's 10-3-10 recommendation this year.

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Postby Spazmogen on Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:21 pm

I use Scotts Turf Builder With Halts (Crabgrass Preventer) its a 30-3-4.

But I also savage my lawn once a year with a thatching blade on my mower. Savaging the lawn is the best description, because it looks like hell for 3 weeks. But by early May, I've usually got the best lawn on the street.

The downside is that I have to cut it more often than my neighbours.

I spent 4 hours thatching & raking the lawn today.
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Postby VEFF on Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:32 am

Ian wrote:If it was my choice, I'd rip out our grass, put concrete down and paint it green. Of course, my wife said hell no to that so we pay Trugreen to come and spray their junk on our lawn. The funny thing is, we don't do anything but this and the grass looks better than the guy next door, who seems to water 24/7.


Ian,

How many times a year do they (TruGreen) come?
The rep who came to my house mentioned six visits per year.

If I can cut it to four (such as perhaps elminate one or two of the three anti-weed application visits and the winterization visit), it would make sense to go with them, since the fertilizer alone would cost about half of what they charge per visit (only $42 + tax per visit).

Thanks!
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