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Old 03-01-2012, 10:11 AM   #1
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4-step lawn fertilizing systems


Are these 4-step fertilizer systems worth while? Ex. Scotts.

My lawn is pretty shabby and I don't want to spend the money on this 4 step plan if I'm not going to notice any difference.

Anyone have any first hand experience?

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Old 03-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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4-step lawn fertilizing systems


Yeah they work. And, if you want to save a few bucks, you can use other brands. I use a brands the Menards carries and it has been fine. Don't expect great results right away, but after a few years of using this religiously, I have a very different yard.

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Old 03-01-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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4-step lawn fertilizing systems


In my 3 years of using the 4 step, I have had the best results with Scotts. Yes, you will need to give it a year or two of proper fertilization for really good results.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #4
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4-step lawn fertilizing systems


As a former turfgrass manager and consultant I might counsel you toward less expensive approaches. But odds are, you might not listen to me or you might forget.

The Scotts approach is expensive but almost foolproof. Just match the glorious picture on the bag to the season of your turf and you are good to go. It is a generic approach to turf management though.

Start with the Scotts plan but you must have a park or golf course turf manager near you? I was flattered when people stopped by to chat. My grass was always greener than that of those asking from the other side. I was happy to share what I knew. Stop by the shed and talk to the people who do turfgrass for a living? They might actually know stuff and even pour you a cup of coffee. My staff would even offer to sharpen and balance your lawn mower blade for free. Just guessing, you have not done so since you bought the mower right? You have a wacked, not cut, split-ends looking lawn after you mow?

Of course you know you invite problems to turf if you water late in the day? Water early in the morning, just pre sun up if you can. There is seldom so much as a breeze anywhere on the planet near land at 4 in the morning. Old sailor complaining about this. Invest in even garden hose end timers if you do not have an irrigation system.

Last edited by user1007; 03-01-2012 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:53 AM   #5
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4-step lawn fertilizing systems


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
As a former turfgrass manager and consultant I might counsel you toward less expensive approaches. But odds are, you might not listen to me or you might forget.

The Scotts approach is expensive but almost foolproof. Just match the glorious picture on the bag to the season of your turf and you are good to go. It is a generic approach to turf management though.

Start with the Scotts plan but you must have a park or golf course turf manager near you? I was flattered when people stopped by to chat. My grass was always greener than that of those asking from the other side. I was happy to share what I knew. Stop by the shed and talk to the people who do turfgrass for a living? They might actually know stuff and even pour you a cup of coffee. My staff would even offer to sharpen and balance your lawn mower blade for free. Just guessing, you have not done so since you bought the mower right? You have a wacked, not cut, split-ends looking lawn after you mow?

Of course you know you invite problems to turf if you water late in the day? Water early in the morning, just pre sun up if you can. There is seldom so much as a breeze anywhere on the planet near land at 4 in the morning. Old sailor complaining about this. Invest in even garden hose end timers if you do not have an irrigation system.
Are you coming to Pennsylvania anytime soon? I'll buy you a beer.

We do have golf courses around. I suppose I could try and track a turf manager down and ask but I think you maybe an exception. I'd feel intimidated going to someone that doesn't normally give advice unless I already knew they were okay with it.

With that said, I'm all for a less expensive approach. However, after you talk about all of that watering, I may not be down for a lush green lawn. I don't think I'd be able to give a lawn that much attention. I've already learned that you shouldn't water in the evening with my vegetable garden last summer. And I wouldn't have the time to water the lawn in the mornings unless it was only required on the weekends. Plus, I don't really want to have to water the entire lawn. I'm guessing the 4-step programs are pretty water dependent?

What is your less expensive approach? I have a 10,000 square foot lot. I'm guessing whatever I do, I should probably get a soil test done? Any advice you give, I'll really appreciate. I'm not a drive by poster.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:47 AM   #6
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4-step lawn fertilizing systems


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Originally Posted by no1hustler View Post
Are you coming to Pennsylvania anytime soon? I'll buy you a beer.
What is your less expensive approach? I have a 10,000 square foot lot. I'm guessing whatever I do, I should probably get a soil test done? Any advice you give, I'll really appreciate. I'm not a drive by poster.
Almost bought a dream home sort of space in Olde City Philadelphia once. Architect was on board. Nonsense about new loaded walls for a rooftop addition I wanted made me walk away.

I could be had for a beer in Pennsylvania but have not had reason to be be back there in ages.

A soil test is a great idea and well worth the money. The lab guys will tell you how to pull the samples and will tell you exactly how to ammend things based on the results. University ag extension offices used to do them for free but they are not expensive.

As for cheaper alternatives than Scotts? I would suggest buying the fertilizers and weed killers in bulk. You won't get pretty pictures on a plain brown sack you stick in a Rubbermaid but you can always download one.

As for turf as a landscape design element? Just remember that next to something like a swimming pool, a lawn is the highest cost landscape element in terms of upkeep. Think about how much turf you really want or need. Sure it is fun to think about a full football field or a lawn tennis court but how often would you or the kids actually play on it? And at what cost to keep it up?

If you are looking for lush and green, ground covers may fill in a lot of the space you have nicely and with much more reduced maintenance costs. Carefully selected, groundcovers will look nice where you are with berries and things even in winter. Nice green textures all year long too. Stick with those native to your environment or adapted to it and you will be good to go.

In short, definitely plant some lawn. Turf is an American status symbol and you need some. Just do not go over board and think of alternatives you will not be swearing at. You do not have to mow groundcovers on Saturday morning, for example.

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