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The Home Improvement Thread. Successes and Failures

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  • Swansong
    replied
    This surprised no one more than me, but I've really enjoyed yardwork since moving out of condo life and into a single family home. My yard is small - the whole lot (plus house, garage, driveway, patio, deck, walkway, sidewalk) is like 1/6th of an acre so it's not like there's a ton to do.

    But I've found it super rewarding to see an immaculate lawn.

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  • FadeToBlack&Gold
    replied
    Lawns are dumb. I mow every couple of weeks so it doesn't get white trashy, and I occasionally hit the front with selective broadleaf killer to deal with dandelions so that we don't get in trouble with the city code enforcement busybody. Otherwise IDGAF and I'd just as soon turn my front lawn into something ultra low-maintenance. We do have to keep the back as long as we have a dog, but we're planning on eventually paving over part of it, installing some borders and planting beds, and transforming it into the bare minimum amount of grass needed for a dog run.

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  • Swansong
    replied
    I do fertilize spring and fall (and the occasional augmenting, like I'll do this week) and then overseed spring and fall as well. This summer has been especially dry here so I want to make sure no area bakes too much so I've been mowing higher than normal. My mower has a perfectly adequate mulch function so I just use that. It gets de-thatched in the fall when I rake up the leaves... ha


    That said, I just reached out to a lawn care company for aeration quote and tips. Most of what I know about lawncare I've learned via youtube videos... or the hard way.

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  • Slap Shot
    replied
    I'd also recommend at least an occasional mulching and as such then at least every other year a de-thatching.

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  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Originally posted by Swansong View Post
    I have... but haven't been able to convince the ol' lady that it's worth the cost. Yet.
    I think there are two things worth doing every year
    1. Fall application of fertilizer (Get the generic brands. I use Menard's and it works great.)
    2. Hiring out core aeration in the fall (this is a new one for me since my lawn has become so compacted w/ clay. If you don't have a severely compacted yard, you can probably make this an activity performed every other year or less).

    This is my favorite resource for lawns:
    https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-g...-care-calendar

    YMMV, but I suspect Rutgers' and/or Penn State's extension program is an excellent resource for the northeast. I have read articles from both over the years and they seem to match a lot of the guidance Minnesota's Extension program does, save for a few details that are specific to each region. I'd generally recommend any of the Big Ten's Extension programs. They're all major research institutions and do a hell of a lot of cooperative work on these topics.

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  • Swansong
    replied
    I have... but haven't been able to convince the ol' lady that it's worth the cost. Yet.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deutsche Gopher Fan
    replied
    Yeah I just have someone do it for me as I have no interest in doing that

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  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Have you considered hiring it out?

    Leave a comment:


  • Swansong
    replied
    I have a small yard. I haven't aerated it yet (tough to justify the money on a machine) and I'm a bit nervous to use one anyway with the installed irrigation system. Although I could just put flags up and avoid them. Perhaps this fall.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deutsche Gopher Fan
    replied
    Originally posted by Swansong View Post
    You can't kill it with herbicides? This summer has been brutal on my yard. It rained all of april and may and then hasn't really rained since. My irrigation system is the only thing keeping it remotely green.

    I have to spray it with herbicide about once a month as well, just to clear the stupid broadleaf garbage (the field violets, various garbage grasses, and the bamboo that some wretched ****bag introduced many years ago). This weekend I'm going to put down some weed n feed, as I sprayed last week and don't need to do that again. It's so frustrating because I actually sprayed a pre-emergent this spring (some expensive one that everyone says is the best).
    Not sure how big your yard is, but honestly, if you aerate and overseed well, that will help discourage weeds and lead to less poison needed. Takes some time but I’ve seen a huge difference in 3 years in my yard

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  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post

    Just what we need, more Roundup spread around so we can have 100% of the folks in the US with traces of Round up in their urine instead of just 80%
    Citation needed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Swansong
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post

    Just what we need, more Roundup spread around so we can have 100% of the folks in the US with traces of Round up in their urine instead of just 80%
    In for a penny, in for a pound?

    Leave a comment:


  • walrus
    replied
    Originally posted by Swansong View Post
    You can't kill it with herbicides? This summer has been brutal on my yard. It rained all of april and may and then hasn't really rained since. My irrigation system is the only thing keeping it remotely green.

    I have to spray it with herbicide about once a month as well, just to clear the stupid broadleaf garbage (the field violets, various garbage grasses, and the bamboo that some wretched ****bag introduced many years ago). This weekend I'm going to put down some weed n feed, as I sprayed last week and don't need to do that again. It's so frustrating because I actually sprayed a pre-emergent this spring (some expensive one that everyone says is the best).
    Just what we need, more Roundup spread around so we can have 100% of the folks in the US with traces of Round up in their urine instead of just 80%

    Leave a comment:


  • RaceBoarder
    replied
    Originally posted by unofan View Post

    Depends on Minnesota's law. In Iowa you wouldn't have to because normal gardening activities are exempt. But that's not true everywhere.

    It's a free service, though, so if in doubt it's never a bad idea to call.
    That's how the Utility Marking stuff works here in the Chicago area... It's no cost and they openly push you to call any time you dig.

    Leave a comment:


  • unofan
    replied
    Originally posted by Deutsche Gopher Fan View Post
    ****ing quack grass. I don’t want to use round up so I need to dig it all out. 12 inches out from any, and six inches deep needs to be removed.

    I don’t need to call 811 for that depth, do I? What would be buried less than 6 inches? Cable and telecom are above ground because that’s just the dumb ****ing way this part of Edina is
    Depends on Minnesota's law. In Iowa you wouldn't have to because normal gardening activities are exempt. But that's not true everywhere.

    It's a free service, though, so if in doubt it's never a bad idea to call.

    Leave a comment:

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