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crazylegs
04-26-2012, 01:39 PM
My girlfriend and I bought our first house last year. It comes with a nice little garden with a patch of grass in the back garden (a lawn might be a bit of an exaggeration though).

It wasn't in the best condition last year but we had to concentrate on the house - dealing with the appalling state of the DIY that the last owners had managed to conduct in the 4 years that they had had the house from new.

So I start this year to try to tackle the lawn a little.

It's chock full of weeds and doesn't appear to to be a shade resistant variety of grass (which is important seeing as said grass is in shade for at least 50% of the day). So I've been dealing with the weeds with feed/weed/mosskiller and a weed busting widget I bought at the local DIY store.

What I've now discovered are chafer grubs & leatherjackets are in the lawn too. Only I can't use the normal pesticides because of the pond (don't ask). This leaves me with one option. Biological warfare (http://www.garden4less.co.uk/bug-killer.asp) :devil: - admittdly not cheap but I'm damned if I'm going to be beaten by a inch long grey bit of gloop!

Crossbow
04-26-2012, 01:48 PM
Ouch. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you.

Biggest issue we have is weeds, specifically dandelions (big surprise) and thistles. Oh and the Morning Glory from hell.

Ok, second biggest. Biggest is my wife is allergic to fresh cut grass and I don't seem to give a damn... ;)

crazylegs
04-26-2012, 01:56 PM
This http://eng-uk.fiskars.com/Products/Lawn-Care/Weeders/139910-Weed-Puller works rather well - takes out the entire tap root too. Unfortunately the dandelions in my lawn are so big they've left huge bare patches...

Crossbow
04-26-2012, 02:40 PM
I love that thing. It's been fantastic at getting rid of the short thistles. When they hit 3 feet tall, mobile, and have figured out how to fire their spines, however....

Yes, I DO have a rather aggressive lawn. Why do you ask? :D

LillFilly
04-26-2012, 04:23 PM
Dig it all up and grow clover. Problem solved!

AccountingDrone
04-26-2012, 05:36 PM
Rob's maternal grandfather [the one that was a high scaler (http://www.arizona-leisure.com/hoover-dam-high-scalers.html) at Hoover Dam, among others] paved his yard and painted it green.

To be honest, I have never really cared for one of the golf course like green lawns. To me, a large expanse of land without a garden for food or a building on it is somewhere to graze my animals ... I would be just as happy paving my yard in flagstones or brick.

crazylegs
04-26-2012, 06:28 PM
I think it's just because it's there, so now I have to beat them.

To that end I've ordered some biological death from the internet (can't really put that as my facebook status!) so that should even the score slightly.

I'm looking forward to taking these bugs down.

Der Cute
04-26-2012, 10:07 PM
Personally, I'd nuke that fucker (take it alllll out), add some fill dirt to your scale /pitch you want, and lay down sod. Make sure there's not much raw dirt spots for the dandelions to take hold.

you have too much to fix with one person's effort. If you pull out the damn thing, think about making a section for veggie garden or raised bed garden (2 birds with one stone) . Yank the bad grass out, measure the garden area, build your edges, add that fill dirt in with your order.

The grass you have isn't the right grass, first of all, and your weeds like you so much they've settled in and called their family to live there too. My grampa used to sit and just GET the dandelions out by hand. He used a tool like a screwdriver except a long shaft, and it had a pronged edge on it. Shove it down in the dirt, pry the bastards out, get as much taproot out and (if you want) put some chemical on it to kill the rest of it. http://www.gardeningri.com/tools___equipment.html down towards end. Dandelion Tool (great name)
Bugs, hell, I dunno.

crazylegs
04-26-2012, 10:14 PM
If you pull out the damn thing, think about making a section for veggie garden or raised bed garden (2 birds with one stone) .

We've already got raised beds/veggie patch - they actually do quite well!

Marmalady
04-26-2012, 10:37 PM
I'm looking forward to taking these bugs down.

I take it that shouting 'Get off my lawn!' didn't help, then?

Kittish
04-27-2012, 02:56 AM
How about ripping out all the grass (and weeds and such) and putting in something unusual like a chamomile lawn? I used to know what varieties were hardy enough to stand up to being walked on, it's not hard to find on the net. Bonuses- the lawn smells WONDERFUL, and you can harvest the flowers for tea and other cooking.

Even if you decide you want to stay with grass, it does sound like tearing it all out and starting from scratch might be your best bet. If your grass isn't doing well because it's not the right sort for the spot, then you're going to keep having weed problems. Get some shade tolerant sort that will make a nice, thick sod to help keep weeds down.

Rapscallion
04-27-2012, 07:02 AM
I take it that shouting 'Get off my lawn!' didn't help, then?

I don't think he's old enough to pull that off. However, I can be rented out at reasonable rates and travel expenses.

Rapscallion

Marmalady
04-27-2012, 07:10 AM
I can be rented out at reasonable rates

So the rumours are true, then? :devil:

Rapscallion
04-27-2012, 07:39 AM
Must be. I made them up myself.

Rapscallion

Marmalady
04-27-2012, 07:41 AM
Must be. I made them up myself.

You too, then?

crazylegs
04-27-2012, 02:00 PM
Unfortunately I don't have the time/money to start from scratch. Up until recently I've been patching it at it was only a few days ago I found the wee beesties. Prior to that I re-seeded with a shade resistant variety of grass.

Once the biological death arrives that'll be all I can do until I'm in work again (I'm at University at the moment and won't qualify until I'm 30!)

protege
04-29-2012, 01:16 AM
Personally, I'd nuke that fucker (take it alllll out), add some fill dirt to your scale /pitch you want, and lay down sod. Make sure there's not much raw dirt spots for the dandelions to take hold.

Sounds like what I had to do when I first moved in. The previous homeowner had kept the grass cut...but that was about it. For whatever reason, they'd installed rocks from the curb to about 3 feet back. Looked like shit, and was heaven for weeds. Sick of dealing with this, I ripped all that shit out, and put down grass. That took most of an entire summer, not helped because the utility companies (gas & water) decided to rip most of it up to replace the damn lines! Bastards. But, once the new grass came up, it was thick enough that weeds no longer grow there. Once grass takes hold and gets thick enough, you'll no longer have to deal with pulling weeds. Throw down some weed killer with a spreader, and the dandelions won't be a problem either.

wolfie
05-05-2012, 03:47 PM
My family's old recipe for dealing with dandelions (with more places banning cosmetic use of pesticides, they're getting to be a bigger problem) is to get a rapid-release high-nitrogen fertilizer (Don't get Ammonium Sulphate - sulphates are very bad for concrete, and you don't want to destroy your sidewalk). Put a couple teaspoons in the middle of the rosette of leaves (a small one can be dealt with using one teaspoon, might need 3 or 4 for a big one that's well-established). After a couple days, you'll see why slow-release fertilizers are so popular now - the dandelion will be dying from fertilizer burn.

crazylegs
05-09-2012, 01:04 PM
The death I'd ordered arrived on Friday so I applied it rather quickly (my GF wouldn't have been all that thrilled about it hanging about in the fridge).

I took out the concrete base from the previous owners rotary washing line yesterday and found several dead grubs so it appears to be working.

The concrete base was a lot easier to remove than I though it was going to be - 2x6x6 inches of concrete and two bricks, hardly substantial.

Rapscallion
05-09-2012, 01:35 PM
That Fiskars tool isn't bad, though it doesn't get everything of everything sad to say. May be down to me missing slightly, but it still gets rid of loads in a very effective fashion.

Rapscallion

Der Cute
05-10-2012, 04:27 AM
Lawn stuff: Vinegar - but only for spots I don't mind killing. I mean RENDERED DEAD. those little cracks in the sidewalk with grass coming up..50/50 water and vinegar.

If you can, create compost stuff in a compost unit. Get your dandelions and little ebil weeds out, don't forget to aerate it. Probably after you've done the weed work. That will help perk the lawn up. You can aerate by using spiked shoes or a aerate plug machine (pulls tater tot sized plugs from the sod) Personally, I'd go for weed control first, if you're not going to nuke the lawn.

crazylegs
05-10-2012, 09:54 AM
That Fiskars tool isn't bad, though it doesn't get everything of everything sad to say. May be down to me missing slightly, but it still gets rid of loads in a very effective fashion.

Rapscallion

It got everything out in my lawn, might be your aim - or even your soil type, here's a sandy clay mix (very odd I'll admit). I would imagine in a heavy clay soil it might not be as effective, but that's just my hypothesis.

Lawn stuff: Vinegar - but only for spots I don't mind killing. I mean RENDERED DEAD. those little cracks in the sidewalk with grass coming up..50/50 water and vinegar.

If you can, create compost stuff in a compost unit. Get your dandelions and little ebil weeds out, don't forget to aerate it. Probably after you've done the weed work. That will help perk the lawn up. You can aerate by using spiked shoes or a aerate plug machine (pulls tater tot sized plugs from the sod) Personally, I'd go for weed control first, if you're not going to nuke the lawn.

I'll have a crack at that with the front drive - it's a bit of a mess.

I've aerated the lawn already - I had to use a garden fork though which was fairly hard work and the compost bin is 'clean' of any weeds, dandelions and other unpleasantries go to the councils garden waste facility.

Der Cute
05-10-2012, 10:34 AM
When I used the vinegar stuff, what I did was try to weed out the stupid weeds in the cracks. Wound them, make 'em raw, pretty much. Then pour the vinegar over/on it, let it sit for a day or so. If you need, repeat it. I just made sure the weeds had open wounds :).
I used a pitcher, for easy pouring. It has taken one application for across a sidewalk, and 2 for the crack between the sidewalk edge and the driveway side.
Do remember this means stuff won't be growing back for a bit; don't let this bleed into a garden bed.

For compost (home use), you can do it yourself. Build your own unit or use a barrel with a crank handle. Grass, food scraps etc in there. Something else to look at would be horse or steer manure. For the food garden.

And tbh, you've got the wrong grass...it's kind of weird to me that you're working to fix a lawn that can't be used much...Idea. Can that grass be used somewhere else? Would it cost too much effort or cost too much $ to yank/cut sod and put new stuff that fits you better? *just a thought*

crazylegs
05-10-2012, 10:57 AM
And tbh, you've got the wrong grass...it's kind of weird to me that you're working to fix a lawn that can't be used much...Idea. Can that grass be used somewhere else? Would it cost too much effort or cost too much $ to yank/cut sod and put new stuff that fits you better? *just a thought*

At the moment I'm a student - I don't have the time/money to spend on re turfing the lawn, maybe once I qualify I might do this but at the moment all I can do is make the best of a bad job.

Time is the biggest problem here really, although as of Monday all my assignments will be handed in I'll still be on placement shifts (I'm studying for my degree in Paramedic Science and to complete the degree I need over 700 hours a year placement shifts - timings of which I have no control).

I'm guesstimating that it would take me a full two days to remove the old grass, prep the ground and then re turf properly.