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Old 06-19-2019, 01:49 AM   #16
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


NJ also. Those tall stalks look like mine. They pull out very easily. If you spent just 10 minutes each day, you probably will clear out the yard in a week. They also go under the mower easily enough. You can buy a mower and keep it raised above the ground and tarped until you get a shed. I recommend toro and drain the gas and run until it dies for the winter storage. Change the oil and I've had no problem for nearly 7-8 yrs. It's now harder to start in spring though. I know next to nothing about small engines and such.

BTW, while weeding, wear gloves and be aware that there may be ground dwelling small bees (or wasp, they sting).
I don't believe in pristine green lawn. I can do better things with the money spent on chemicals and water. Mow the lawn and live with it a while.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:38 AM   #17
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


If you don't have any lawn tools, now is the time to buy good ones.
As Carpy recommended, Toro is a great lawn mover. They even have one that folds up and takes up less space. Just keep the blade sharp. I have 2 blades, as soon as I take one off the mower, I have it sharpened waiting to be put back on. The one I put on is already sharpened.

For gas powered lawn and garden machines.

Always use fresh gas and put fuel stabilizer in it. (Sta-Bil is one, there are others) Or use Tru-Fuel, which is an ethanol free fuel that is more stable than regular gas. And change the oil at the end of the season. Change the spark plug as well at least every other season. Buy a good plug as recommended by the owners manual.

For 2 cycle engines, Tru-fuel comes with oil mixed in for different ratios (32:1, 50:1, etc) or you can buy 2 cycle oil that comes with fuel stabilizer already in it.

For electric units, you have 2 choices, plugged in and unplugged (Battery).
For plug in units, buy a good quality extension cord. You want something that says 12 gauge or 12/3 on it. Buy a cord just long enough to get your work done. If 75 feet is what you need, then get a 75' cord or as close to it as you can.

For battery powered units, if you have battery powered tools, try and stick with the same brand as your tools. you might be able to use the same battery packs. Or, if the battery packs are larger, then you might be able to get a new tools. If you don't have any tools, or don't want to get the same brand as your tools, then find lawn tools that share batteries.

For example, Buy a lawn mower that shares batteries with a weed whacker, blower and even a snow thrower.

Keep the lawn and garden tools clean. Clean out underneath the lawn mower. Spray the chute and back area of the snow blower with spray car wax and butt it clean. Same for clippers, hedge trimmers, etc.

When preparing for the off-season there are two different points of view. run it dry of gas or don't run it dry of gas. I am in the latter group. I make sure it has about a half-tank of gas, either with sta-bil or tru-fuel, and I run it until it I am sure it is in the carbs. Then I shut it off, let it cool down, take out the plug, and then spray some engine fog into the spark plug hole, turn over the engine a couple of times, and then put the plug back in and put it away.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:55 PM   #18
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


For lawn and garden tools you will need the following, if you don't have them already:
Rakes: You will need a Bow Rake. This is useful for leveling soil, getting rid of dead grass and thatch, but not much else.
Another rake you will need is a spring steel rake. This is used for leaf removal, but also used for bare ground work as well. It can remove buried junk in the lawn, including thatch, as well as dead grass, and weeds, etc..
The final Rake you need is a Leaf Rake. This is usually plastic and has a broad head to rake up the leaves.

You will also need some shovels. Digging, scooping and transplanting.
Round Point shovels are meant for digging holes and turning over soil.
Square Point shovels are meant for moving material.
Spades are meant for cutting and digging.
Scoops are meant for moving large quantities of material.
These are just some of the types of shovels. They are the 4 basic types. You can get long or short handled. There are D-handled, T-handled, or no-handles other than the long handle.
There are a lot of variations as well. Drain spades, Trench shovels, etc...

There are a lot of other long/short handle tools you may need over time, weeders, pickers, hoes, edgers, etc.. but not necessarily right away.

As for short handled tools, get a garden tool set that fits your hands well.

I chose Razorback for long tools as I think they are well built and last a long time. Keep them sharp and they will do the work for you.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:59 PM   #19
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


For a good description of how to restore a lawn, read what @DoomsDave and I wrote in another post.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:04 PM   #20
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ktownskier View Post
For a good description of how to restore a lawn, read what @DoomsDave and I wrote in another post.
Thanks! Always nice to get a little praise!
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:29 AM   #21
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


Your use of "squishy" suggests a high water table rather than derp thatch. Before I'd go any further I'd nail down just what your seeing in the lawn.
Worst case you may benefit by first having all that sod turned over and leveled. By hand or with a rototiller. Be sure to locate pipes or cable lines or conduits first! And you will probably find all the junk and garbage that the building crew buried .
Then seed and water consistently. Might even consider ($$$) getting it green sprayed.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:51 AM   #22
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


Why ...."squishy" is important. Does a neighbor's lawn/landscaped area slope towards you ? Does your area have a low spot ? Think it rains in NJ in the afternoon most days....was last in Perth Amboy in summer of 1979.

Get some gardeners/landscapers out and pump them for their thoughts/solutions. Ask for written proposals to fix your problem. Do not sign anything. Just thanks, I'll think about this. You will learn a lot.
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:10 AM   #23
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


Today I was pulling out some of the largest weeds (mostly horseweed) by hand, wearing gloves, of course. They actually are quite easy to pull out by the roots, but I did only a small part of my lawn and stopped because my garbage bag got so heavy! In my town, it's the owner's responsibility to sign up for a curbside trash pickup service, which I do not plan on doing until the house is ready, so for now I need to haul my trash in my car and to my parents' house to throw out. I'm going to have several bags of weeds.
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:20 PM   #24
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Re: Dethatching or trimming grass first?


I know a few of you have had different suggestions on how to handle my yard. Well, yesterday I spent hours pulling weeds and found that even though we recently had many days of heavy rain, the ground wasn't so squishy on most areas. From what I found, I think the "squish" was caused by dead plant matter that new weeds were growing in. These were particularly hard to remove because the roots were stuck in what appeared to be a web of dead weeds! In some areas, particularly where dead leaves tend to collect, the soil was more reddish-brown rather than dark brown.

I'm not done yet but it's at least walkable. I filled up 7-8 garbage bags of plant waste! I kept that cute little chamomile flower-looking one near the house.


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