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Old 08-30-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
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Grass questions

I have been battling my front yard for the past few years. Every year I reseed and it germinates and does well for a while but it never seems to live a full year (we had a two week stretch of over 100 and it seemed to kill the yard no matter what I did). Some parts of the yard are doing much better, but I am determined to make it work this year.

I have some crabgrass as you can see. Do I have to pull it all out? I started doing that, but at this rate it will take me at least 12 hours. I also have some moss and other random things as well. I planned on raking out all the moss and dead grass. Then use a garden tiller to loosen up the soil. The grass is mainly in the shade and I have been using Scott's shade blend with mixed results. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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#1 get the soil tested. No way to know what a lawn needs without doing it.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:50 AM   #3
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sd will be along with the appropriate thesis
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:22 AM   #4
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Not sure your front yard situation differs much from your backyard. No dog urine in front I guess. As many mentioned in your backyard thread, given all you are fighting, I suggest you scale your yard on to paper, locate all the shade trees on the plan, and make a decision as to how much turf you really want or need. Then be honest about how much time you can commit to it.

One thing that would concern me if you were a client (back in the days when I did this stuff for a living) is that the tasks required to properly care for lots of turf seems beyond the time you can commit to them? You were fairly honest in your last post about the backyard. I remind you again that turf requires the most regular maintenance of any landscape element (with possible exception of a swimming pool) and I think you would be doing yourself a great favor scaling back in favor of groundcovers, hardscape elements and things easier to care for and with less time. Things like the Scotts program (or a program designed with less expensive products) help but turf is not a "set it and forget it" proposition. There is a good reason turfgrass managers are usually not out of work!

Joe posts the suggestion in front of most every lawn question---along with requests for photos for his personal album---but this is one instance where he is correct. In your case, I really think a soil test mandatory before going too far forward. They are not expensive and in your case I think a comprehensive soil testing of your entire yard will save you oodles in the long run. Ag or university extension may do them for free in your state if it has any budget.

As for the weeds? Most of the annuals will be finishing their season soon. If you are planning on tilling and starting a lawn from scratch you should Round-up them now when you can see them, let them wither, and then till the soil. The problem is without a soil test you don't know what to fold in with the process?

I wouldn't try to pluck the crabgrass out because you are just going to shake seed off the plants. And why bother if you are just going to fold them under when you till anyhow. Easier to pull the clumps out of the tilled soil.

If your planted grass seed is dying every year it suggests to me Ph, just to start, is way wacked in places; other chemistry is off; you are not compensating for shade in your turf planting and management; you have an inherent disease problem in the soil; you have a turf fungus or insect infestation; or some combination.

You have a near year round growing season with regard to turf so you do not have to race too much here. Fall and Spring are the best times to plant though. In spring, weeds will want a chance of their own again. At this time grass plants send most of their energy into developing roots. See the seasonal development tab on this chart.

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