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by Cashman on June 15, 2005 10:37 AM
Hello all!

This being my first post, I thought I'd tell a little bit about myself before launching into the thousands of questions that I have. You will understand why in a moment, if you don't get bored with my rambling on, that is...

I am that person probably all of you have dealt with at one time or another. The dreaded neighbor who doesn't take care of his lawn. I have been this person for quite some time, but since I ended up living next door to my in-laws and have a natural buffer surrounding all of my yard except for the road frontage, I think everyone has pretty much left me alone. (Although my father-in-law will make the occasional comment about the grass being a little high and stuff like that.)

Anyway, I grew up in trailer parks in the sandhills of NC where the only thing we ever really had for grass was something we call sandspurs. And I hated mowing those dreaded sandspurs, because inevitably, you would wind up with them on your clothes, and thus in the house whenever you were running around with your bare little feet.

But I digress, basically, I've never really done anything to "care" for my lawn outside of the occasional mowing. I am a computer programmer, and although I bad-mouthed my father most of my life for being a workaholic, I have recently realized that I'm a chip off the old block as I have been putting in 14-16 hour days for the past 6 months. But that too is another story.

Basically, last year I started noticing I have a nice little stand of dandelions in my yard. And I decided I'd better do something about them. So I took a little roundup and spritzed about a half dozen of them to see how that would work. It got rid of the 'lions, but of course left six nice little holes in my yard cause it also killed all the centipede around the 'lions.

That's about all I did last year other than take a rake and completely deeply rake all the thatch out of my yard so that "my grass could grow better, and I need to aerate it anyway". Of course, I had no idea what I was doing, and it appears that all I really accomplished was to create a perfect growing area for dandelions.

I just finished mowing my "lawn" and I must say, it was very pretty during the day with all the thousands and thousands of dandelions in the yard. Of course, my 7 year old daughter loves them, but I've recently begun to ask myself what the neighbors must think of someone who rarely is seen outside of the house and only sporadically mows their lawn, thus creating a large dandelion field to spread their insidious offspring into every lawn in the neighborhood.

As I said, I've recently come to my senses and decided to do something about my lawn, hence, I have found this site and hope to get some help here from those of you inclined to help. Anyone still reading this now?

The yard I have was once a wooded lot, as I think most were at one time or another, and when we cleared it and moved in, we never really seeded the yard with anything, just kind of let whatever was green and wanted to grow in the yard do so.

I have centipede in large areas of the yard, and something that looks like bermudagrass, along with crabgrass and what I think is fescue, but I'm not expert. A friend of mine who works on golf courses told me that's what it was.

Anyway, I can live with all that for now, but the dandelions are more than I can take. We have a rabbit, and he loves to munch on the leaves, so I've been pulling the plants up and giving them to him, but at the rate I'm going, it will be 3005 before I have them all up.

I did cut my grass today, although I saw some "wish blossoms" as I was doing so, but I think I stopped the little buggers from releasing millions of seeds...for now. I have no doubt that very soon there will be more yellow flowers all over my yard. Let's put it this way, if I didn't have dandelions in my yard, it would be more dirt than grass.

I have recently browsed several lawn care websites and determined that part of the problem is the fact that I was intent on scalping my lawn every time I mowed. This didn't provide much shading to stop the dandelion seeds from germinating, so my ignorance has in more ways than one contributed to my problem.

Here is the first of my questions:With the description I have given of my lawn, do any of you think this is a salvageable situation? I realize that dandelions are probably always going to be a problem to some extent, however, none of my other neighbors seem to have them and no one has them to the tune of my yard. I am the dandelion king in this neck of the woods.

Second question:
If this is a salvageable situation, what should I do in your opinion? I have read about solarizing the lawn, which I think I might could do in sections, however if I don't keep the dandelions from spreading into sections I have reseeded, I will probably have the same problem down the yard, so solarizing followed by a thick layer of mulch/topsoil followed by reseeding is what I'm thinking at the moment. I've got a little money to spend on this project, but I'm not a millionaire, so that comes in to play also.

Okay, if you've read this long and you didn't move on to a shorter thread muttering about the audacity of n00bs, then I appreaciate your tolerance. If you can provide any suggestions/advice in this area, I would greatly appreciate it.
by weezie13 on June 15, 2005 10:48 AM
Could you repeat that!!!

Ohhhhh, I am just kidding you!!!

Don't have much of an answer, I'm one of those
neighbors that lets their lawn grow and grow and grow, just to see allllllllll the pretty flowers in it!!!
I have grass in the side 40 that's as high as my kids... *I am not exaggerating* and I have a huge
"WEED/FLOWER" patch in the middle of my yard,
I let go fallow to see all those flowers...

But I wanted to say hi!!!
We love long winded posts, and you'll fit in here
nicely!!!
There's lot's do to.. jump right on in and
have some fun!!!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Cashman on June 15, 2005 11:10 AM
Thanks for your reply, at least there's someone here who thinks I'll fit in. LOL
by melcon6 on June 15, 2005 05:29 PM
I'm also a "bad lawn" person. Besides the dandelions I've got indian paintbrush in yellow and orange, crabgrass, clover, plantain, little blue things, and daisies(which I mow around and those have spread so nicely I might just let them take over and then I'll never have to mow again! The indian paintbrush are so resourceful that when I mow them and they're tall , they start to flower when short and then I have to mow them more and more frequently. Last year I pulled a bunch out but left huge holes in my lawn and now the mower wheels keep falling into these craters and I'm worried the kids might fall in and never be seen again! I try to be organic (except when it comes to my pink ladyslippers which have had a little green worm eating them up so I dusted them with a little chemical something) so what is this solarizing ?? I'm thinking maybe this is like what I did with one of my gardens last year that had a lot of clover and vetch growing in it that I couldn't keep up with? I took everything I wanted to keep out of it and then covered the whole section with heavy black plastic and have left it on there for 8 months now and I'm thinking about taking it off now and replanting that garden? Do you think everythings gone? For the lawn I could try that and then maybe the kids could slip 'n slide on it??

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDY!!!!!!!
by weezie13 on June 15, 2005 08:03 PM
Cashman,
I don't think we've found a gardener yet,
that hasn't fit in somewhere's here!!!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Dixie Angel on June 15, 2005 09:31 PM
Cashman, welcome to the forum! I reared two children in the sandhills of NC before I moved to SC in 2001. They still live there. [tears] One lives in Troy, the other in Albemarle.

By chance, do you live in Candor? My grandmother lived in Candor for a few years and you just described the yard that she had. [Big Grin] Sorry, but I can't help you figure out what to do to your yard to help turn it into a lawn, but I just wanted to say "hello" and add my welcome. [grin]

Dianna

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by tkhooper on June 15, 2005 09:42 PM
Fit in!!!! I think he might be going for my blabber mouth title lol. Hi there how you doing? Just kidding you alittle. I love long posts. When I could still see I used to read books. 5 to 7 a week, got to be a joke at the local diner where I had breakfast. But I was not the only person reading while they ate breakfast.

On to the subject of weeds and grass and neighbors. Do you just want a lawn? No flower beds, no water features, no humming bird feeders? Just think of how much your daughter would enjoy those things. Ok just a lawn. They have those heat thingy-ma-jigs that kill weeds. Shrivel them right up root and all from what I understand. Or there is that weed and seed stuff which is probably what your neighbors are spending a fortune on lol. Sod is for millionaires lol seed will get the job done it just takes longer, and I can tell your patient so go the cheaper route. The weeds aren't going to get any more established than they already are.

Have a great day and post more and more and more.

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by Cashman on June 16, 2005 01:22 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies. The funniest thing I think is that I live about 30-45 mins from Dixie Angel's kids. I was in Troy today as a matter of fact. And I have a buddy that lives in albemarle whom I talked to on my mobile HAM radio just this morning. Small world, huh?

Anyway, from what I understand of solarizing, that is exactly what you do, only the last info I saw on it said to leave it for 10 days, not 8 months! ROFL.

I think maybe anything green that was under that plastic is no longer green at this point.

I will take all of the information presented here and use it to come up with a solution for this problem. I really wish I had taken pictures of this lawn before I headed the dandelions off at the pass yesterday by mowing the lawn. Perhaps I will get some before the next mowing, and chronicle the improvement as I go along.

I have a digital camera, so I'm all about takin lots of pics to share on the web. Just none of myself. hehehe
by weezie13 on June 16, 2005 07:21 PM
Solarizing is when you take that black heavy plastic and leave it on *I'd say more than 8 days
myself, but I am no expert...* in the sunshine and the sun does a couple of things, it heats up the soil so high that is supposed to kill off the grubs and bugs and weeds in your lawn, the way it kills the weeds is, from the top really, by a form of "cooking" off it's greenery.... to really kill the weed, it should be left on for quite sometime, cause the roots will still live under the dirt... the weed needs to be deprived of sunlight to regenerate and build up more energy to grow again and water essential to the growth process...8 days is almost nothing in the course of a dandelion without water.....their tap roots are so far down in some case's they could almost withstand a whole summer...
So, that's why you need a combo of too hot, no light and no water....for many~many days......

quote:
I talked to on my mobile HAM radio just this morning. Small world, huh?

Also we have a couple of people that have those here, Tom R, from NY has his own website... I'll find the info when I get back from school this morning.

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by weezie13 on June 16, 2005 07:23 PM
Oh, and lot's of pictures.... [thumb]
We [Cool] love [Love] pictures here, of befores' and afters'...
[gabby] That's how we learn [teacher] ..
Good [angel] or bad [devil] of what your out come is [critic] !!!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Dixie Angel on June 16, 2005 07:45 PM
Cashman, my new hubby is a HAM operator. He talks mobile right now, but soon we are hoping to get his antenna back in the air so he can set up his equipment in the house. He has talked about building a new building dedicated to the HAM stuff, but so far we have too much else going on for him to get started with it. His web-site is here if you would like to visit it.

Dianna

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by 4Ruddy on June 17, 2005 02:12 AM
Hey Mel...are you sure you werent' talking about MY lawn???? [Big Grin] It is identical to what you explained...I have been threatening to til it up and plant mint....just have a mint yard....at least it would SMELL really good when you mow! [dunno]

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
***  - ***
by melcon6 on June 17, 2005 03:14 AM
LOL, OMG I LOVE that idea! [thumb]

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDY!!!!!!!
by momma on June 17, 2005 09:36 AM
I tore down my back fence 2 years to be able to use the rest of my yard, but first I had to get rid of all the brush and weeds.

Unless you are willing to start from scratch, it could be a rather long process. But for now go buy weed and feed granules for your yard. It will help boost the grass and knock down the weeds a bit if you water it in good. You could get away with doing this twice in the growing season. When winter time comes, buy a winterizer. The in early spring, get a pre-emerge granule. This will make a huge difference next year.

there are products out there that you can use to kill the 'lions now without killing the grass, but they will come back with a vengence next year.
by Cashman on June 17, 2005 10:29 AM
Tonight I am kinda disgusted. I mowed the lawn two nights ago with the express purpose of killing all those little yellow flowers before they turned into wish blossoms. Today, I was looking at my lawn, and there are THOUSANDS of wishblossoms, all at ground level. The freakin heads that I cut off with the lawnmower two days ago turned into blossoms AFTER they were cut. I never imagined that would happen.

Oh well. That pre-emergent will get em next year, I guess.

I didn't get any pics today, but I'll try to get some tomorrow. I also notice a secion of my centipede is looking threadbare like a carpet with too much traffic on it. It's not really brow, but it's not as green as the rest, and it looks "worn". Of course, I read a lot about chinch bug the other day, so that's the first thing that comes to mind, but I have never seen that so I don't know if that's what that is.

Also, I noticed a couple of BROWN patches that have cropped up since I cut the grass day before yesterday. I don't understand that all all. Will get pics of that as well. It looks like someone has sprayed it with roundup.

Anyway, that's the update for tonight. Pictures hopefully tomorrow. Thanks for all the comments.
by weezie13 on June 17, 2005 10:48 AM
Grubs in your lawn will sometimes do that...
They eat the roots of the grass or whatever
before they emerge..
*Japanese Beetles* are famous for that!!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by momma on June 18, 2005 03:53 AM
Chinch bugs and grubs can kill large parts of your grass overnight. Bayer Advanced makes a great grub control that kills chinch bugs as well.

Aren't southern lawns great?
by Cashman on June 18, 2005 01:16 PM
Pics you asked for, pics I got. Taken today. The first is a compostie panoramic view of my front yard that I assembled myself:

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next is my ditch bank, this is what my entire yard looked like before I mowed it the other day:
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And to prevent the things from getting even worse, I mowed the lawn with the express purpose of keeping the wishblossoms from forming. Like I said in my previous post, they formed anyway. here's the proof. notice how they are all very close to the ground? That's because they have been severed from the original plant and blossomed on the ground. I've never called myself a hater of any plant except sandspurs, but I am beginning to hate these things.
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by Cashman on June 18, 2005 01:18 PM
Apparently there is a limit to the number of pics per post, so I am breaking these up into two posts. I hope this doesn't violate some rule, but if it does, feel free to chastise me.

Here is the bare patch I was speaking about earlier, and there is also a dead brown spot in there that just appeared yesterday out of the blue. There are two of them in the yard, and I have no idea where they came from. As far as I know, there have been no vehicles parked in that area, nor any chems sprayed there. Weird, huh?
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Here's a closeup of it:
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And here's a couple of shots of the brown patches:
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Anyway, except for the bare/brown spot, I think the yard looks pretty good right now, (oh and that ditch bank, but I'll be fixin that tomorrow).

So what do you think, does that spot look like chinch bugs or something else?
by weezie13 on June 18, 2005 11:37 PM
Man, them are some BIG PICTURES!!
Holey Cheet!!!
I'm scrollin' for minutes to see those puppies..

I am by far a lawn expert...
There are a few that are here...
so give them a wee~bit of time to come thru...

The only thing I could ask for the answer is
What number do you use to mow at for you lawn?

Nice big lawn though..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Cashman on June 19, 2005 03:53 AM
All the time I've had this yard, I have mowed it as close to the ground as I could. I have only just realized that this could be contributing to my problem.

The last time I cut the lawn, a couple of days or so ago, I didn't even set the blades down, I just left them up as high as they would go.

I made a little trip to the FCX this afternoon, got some centipede/st. augustine weed and feed, and some centi-seed centipeded seed for the little strip of land at the front of my house, and some roundup for my gravel drive.

I sprayed the roundup in the driveway, and seeded the little strip of land between my house and my drive, since it was mostly weeds.

I haven't put out the weed & feed yet, cause I don't have a watering system set up yet, but my father-in-law is going to let me borrow some of his equipment to soak it in good once I broadcast it.

Anyone think this an unwise course of action?
by 4Ruddy on June 20, 2005 12:07 PM
Okay...I am certainly no lawn expert...Rememberme, the one who is tilling up to replace the grass with MINT!!!!
Well, I only stuck my head in here because I had a brown spot come up like that last year...I sorely accused hubby of spilling "something" on the spot. WELL...come to find out...it is a weed growing kind of underneath the grass...it turns kind of a reddish purple color first...then dies a quick death...last year I had the one spot...this year I have 100 + 1 spots! i got some weed-be-gone (for starters) and then started attempting to pull the "dead" looking stuff up........I haven't a clue if did the right thing...but it certainly helped a lot!

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
***  - ***
by RugbyHukr on June 29, 2005 12:51 PM
WOW !!! Where to start???

You, my freind, have got some problems.

#1 warm season grasses can be mowed short, if done so from the beginning. If they get too long, they develop higher stomata (the whitish parts of warm weather grass). Then, if you mow too short, you damage the grass, cutting into the white parts. This damage invites infection & weeds.

#2 I don't prefer chemicals, but I am required to use them at my job (groundskeeper @ SoCal University). For targeting weeds w/o harming your lawn, I suggest "Bayer Advance Lawn All-In-One-Weed Killer". It will kill your weeds, over the course of a few weeks. Repeat treatments to get germinated seeds is required. Maybe use a pre-emergent, also.

#3 reseed over any bare spots (cover the seed with 1/2 topsoil-1/2 manure mix). A thick healthy lawn is the best preventative.

#4 Also, brown spots are caused by 2 factors. 1st is bad irrigation coverage. (ie. sprinkler head is bad, valve not working, bad design-bad coverage, not enough minutes of water for summer)
2nd is fungus. You may need to treat for fungus.

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I love the sweet scents wafting in the breeze. I stop to admire the vibrant colors of all living things. And people think me odd. Then ODD I am!!!

http://community.webshots.com/user/flugnash
by Cashman on July 05, 2005 11:09 AM
'Preciate the reply, and I guess I'll go back to mowing my grass like I was to begin with. My father-in-law next door mows his like that, and he has no problems with dandelions.

I have been on vacation for a week, and didn't have much time for the 'net the week prior due to getting things lined up for me being off. Just dropping a quick note.

BTW, I noticed a patch of brown grass like the ones above while down at the beach this past week. I put two and two together and realized I must have parked my car in those two places at some time or other, cause I have a radiator leak, and that's what caused the BROWN patches. Doesn't account for the bare patch though.

I did put some weed & feed down last week, and it's dark now, so I can't tell, but you can bet I'll be looking at my lawn tomorrow while it's daylight.

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