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Lawn no longer has grass need help Pics inside

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:18 pm
by Crappyday
So we seem to have nice big pathes of clover like weeds and some of the tall Stalky weeds and im sure more inbetween found out roommate was mowing the lawn with no bag so i was always told that is just helping the weeds spread. So wanted to know a good course of action. We were gonna cut and bag it all then lay down some weed killer and water and repeat a few days later then probably seed once we feel weeds are gone. Anny suggestions on weed products or a type a seed that will do good in south texas.


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Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:21 am
by greenstubbs
I am by no means a weed/lawn expert, but will at least give you this. Find out what the weeds are and go from there. If I had your lawn I would get something like "Scotts weed & feed and apply as directed to kill weeds and give what grass you have a healthy shot of good. Then either go out there with a weed puller tool in hand and help get rid of the rest of the crap you got. I know it sucks, but for a good lookin lawn you have to do it! 10-30 mins a day diggin weeds to get them all. As the weeds die/or as pulled, get a good starter seed or whatever to filll the voids. Lawns like at leasdt a inch of H2O a week, adjust as the rain falls from above. Not really knowing how sweet a lawn you want will take at least 2 yaers with this method if follow semi strictly. Hit the weeds hard early and late in the season when they like to grow.

Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:37 am
by applestar
Before you apply anything, I would recommend that you think about whether you intend this entire area to be lawn -- i.e. Grass-- only or if you might want to plant flowers or EDIBLES -- i.e. Vegetables and fruits.

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:29 am
by The Helpful Gardener
Applestar has a very good point; lawn is about as useless an ecotype as there is. Other than a place to lay on or play a sport on, it's function is about nil, and as habitat/food/shelter for other wildlife it IS nil...

That said, if lawn is what you want, then there are ways to do it without the responsibility of polluting water and soil with pesticides. Anyone telling you you need to do ecological damage to have a decent lawn is not in command of the facts; they have simply bought in to the company line and I think we all know what company that is...

First of all, weeds are purposed plants in the natural scheme (more than I can say for monocultural turf, so think about other choices.) IN your case the weed of note is Geranium carolinianum or [url=https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GECA5]Carolina geranium[/url]. Found just about everywhere in the U.S. and southern Canada. And it only grows in certain conditions. It likes a low nitrogen, low calcium soil with higher phosphorus and potassium, highly compacted and nearly devoid of life.

And the best you guys come up with is to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides? How do you think this soil got so depleted in the first place?

These will further compact the soil, add more potassium and phosphorus (oh, wait, suddenly after fifty years the Scotts Company has admitted that all the phosphorus is bad and they are going to take it out! ALL of it! From bad to stupider, but that's how they have always rolled. And THIS is the company you guys want to trust?) and just make darned sure the biological balance of the soil remains entirely screwed-up.

I see some clumps of barnyard grass in there as well, another indicator of low calcium and low soil biology. I think this steers us to a logical conclusion. This soil was likely under chemical culture for some time, being ferted and mowed, and then some one took away the binky and it collapsed like the junkie it was.

See, chemical lawns can't take care of themselves; they need constant intervention and application, which is why the Big S has talked everyone into lawn care practices that encourage weeds and sissy turf, like thatching, mowing at two inches, and using the same crap you guys are ready to pour on here...

Spring is the WORST time to tackle a new lawn; that's why the Big S always wants everyone to think about new lawn in spring. You NEED the chems in spring man! You GOTTA have them because the turf is not yet well established when all the weeds come hard with hot weather (which comes earlier now... :roll: ). But if you do lawn in fall, when turf is happier with cool temps and weeds are dying there is no issue with weeds and turf estblishes without the competition, and we can't have that, can we?

At least Stubby had enough sense to tell you to hand pull the weeds; he got that much right. But instead of poisons and water pollutants, how about we try solarizing with black or clear plastic (dig in the sides to hold it down and hold in the heat) for a couple of weeks, maybe three? That should kill everything; plants and seeds...

Then a good core aerating (you can rent the machine), and spreading as good a compost as you can afford, say a half inch? Then seed with a mix of tall turf type fescues (drought resistant and low feeding) and water. Think about mixing in some white clover to help with that nitrogen problem; it's free plant food from the air.

And once the grass is up we can fertilize with a corn gluten or a blood or feather meal; these will add nitrogen without the oher crap in the Scott's bag...

Returning clippings is usually okay, but in a weedy mix bagging the seeds is best. I bag and compost and return compost to the lawn later to avoid these issues. Once you get decent lawn, roomie's bag free is fine and actually returns humus and nutrients to the lawn (which chemicals do not EVER do, which is how the lawn got so DELETED in the first place...

Know what Nature you are dealing with and it will help you find the best answers. Try to work around Nature and you will have a bigger mess than you started with...

HG