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Old 07-20-2011, 11:32 AM   #1
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Greetings. We recently purchased a home and want to begin to tackle the front yard. I will attempt to attach pics. We have over 10 large pine trees in the front yard. Previous owners laid pine straw as a ground covering vs grass. As you can see from the picture, the flower beds are a mess and we want to clean them up with a nice border. Right now there's nothing to separate the pine straw & mulch so the pine straw overlaps into the flowerbeds. In the future we plan to remove the pine straw from this area & plant grass or sod once the tree stubs are removed. Any ideas or suggestions on how to create a line or border to separate the straw & mulch? Thanks

My lawn-img00664-20110713-0832.jpg

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Old 07-20-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
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Congrats on the house purchase. I can offer several tips. First of all it is is very difficult to establish or maintain turfgrass under severe shade and or competition from tree roots. There are some cool season grasses that will survive under trees but the amount of sunlight often dictates the variety that will survive. I'm not sure what zone you live in either. My first thought in your situation is the use of a groundcover such as vinca minor to cover some of these areas. You could also add some islands of other plantings to mix it up a little. In order to create borders I would suggest a inverted paint spray can from Home Depot to mark potential bed lines. You could also use a garden hose to lay out bed lines to get a feel for how the lines will flow. Another note is if you use a groundcover you could save some money by possibly not removing the tree stumps.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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Old 07-21-2011, 06:44 AM   #3
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Be sure and get the soil tested or at least test for Ph. Pine needles tend to wack the balance of things and you may have to adjust the soil to get much to grow.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:05 AM   #4
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Agreeing that it would look nice to have some distinction between the beds along the house and the area under the pine trees, I believe that I would consider something like a winding stone walkway that follows the beds along the house, and let the area under the pine trees be, perhaps enhancing it with some hostas or other durable plants. As previously mentioned, grass is going to take some very specific preparation, and even so, based on my experience, will remain quite sparse; a great area, with the soft bed of needles, for a small bench or two, a lawn swing, and maybe some manner of water feature.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:45 AM   #5
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Dexter has a good idea with a pathway. I am transitioning all of my beds to natural borders. I'll be digging smooth trenches, compacting the soil, and then spray roundup along the border. You could set up a bench for the pathway to go to so it has a purpose. You could also do a small dry creek bed. As far as the grass goes. There is a house in my neighborhood that has a front yard about like yours, with lots of Southern Pines. I've never seen sunlight in his yard and he his grass looks amazing. I'm pretty sure it is fescue. I do notice that his sprinkler systems seems to be on a lot.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:27 AM   #6
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I like both the ideas of a walkway and a dry creek bed to distinguish between the two. As others said you may a tough time trying to get grass to grow successfully. We have a huge Oak tree in our front yard and the grass directly under the tree struggles a bit becase the tree is so dense it's constantly in the shade. I have had some success with sun/shade grass seed mix though, made by Scotts.

You could try a creek bed, they're somewhat easy to maintain, just gotta watch out for weeds. You could also throw in some stone wall pavers and build up your flower bed along the house as well. Congrats on the new purchase!

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