Lawn care schedule

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dalbright
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Lawn care schedule

Post by dalbright » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:30 am

For reference i'm located in Northern IL. I feel like i need a plan in advance for caring for/treating my lawn. I have two active dogs so its a bit rough to weed/treat/grow the lawn well. I tried bluegrass and thought it was going great and then boom crabgrass overtook and now i'm back to a nice bare middle 1/3 of my yard. We get dandelions pretty bad as well which i have tried spraying and manually pulling with a tool but we appear to live in a part of town that views dandelions as flowers...

Does anyone have good advice on when to seed/overseed/feed, then spray/pellet for crabgrass and (same or different time) dandelions, and so forth? i hate to put down seed and then kill it by being too close to spraying etc. Need to try and schedule in advance otherwise i'll miss the window this year! At least the crabgrass is tougher for the dogs to tear up but the mud spot every season is awful! I found a page by the univ of IL about the monthly timing roughly between april-sept but i would hate to wreck the seeds and spray to early/late etc. Any tips would be appreciated or products that worked well for you.

jebmke
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by jebmke » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:33 am

late summer/early fall seems to be the best time to seed in many areas.

I'm in mid-Atlantic so we typically don't put seed down until ~ October 1. When I lived in Wisconsin I over-seeded in late August/early September.
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renue74
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by renue74 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:37 am

In our state college network there is an "exchange" with various agriculture offices throughout the state.

I take soil samples to my exchange office and they give me suggestions on feeding, lime application, etc.

They also help with general how to for the season.

Maybe your state also has this?

If not, I know Scotts has a really good calendar system (that suggests the use of their products over the calendar).

We have friends who use TruGreen or other comparable services. Those guys come out every month and charge $80-$100. The nice thing is they get it done. I feel like they way over fertilize, but I will say, the neighbors grass looks better than ours. I simply don't care that much about a nice lawn. Neighbors hate me for it, I'm sure.

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lthenderson
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by lthenderson » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:14 pm

dalbright wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:30 am
Does anyone have good advice on when to seed/overseed/feed, then spray/pellet for crabgrass and (same or different time) dandelions, and so forth?
Our local chain nursery store here in the Midwest has a program where you can buy a year's worth of treatments for your lawn. They then give you a pamphlet showing appropriate times to apply each bag throughout the year and you can go pick up each bag as needed or get them all at once in the spring when you pay for the program. They give you a discount versus the cost of buying all the bags at different times throughout the year.

livesoft
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by livesoft » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:17 pm

I always post that your best bet is to find a neighbor's lawn that you like particularly well and ask them for advice. You cannot beat local local local advice. For best results make sure the admired lawn has the same sun exposure, slope, grass, dogs, etc.

Then in 5 years, maybe someone will ask you how you got your lawn looking so good.

BTW, people ask us routinely how we got our lawn looking so good. These people usually have a lawn service and TruGreen who seem to destroy their yards. What works for us won't work for you since we live in southeast Texas.
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tainted-meat
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by tainted-meat » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:18 pm

As mentioned Scott's has a program you can follow. I use a lawn service myself, then spot spray violets which are aggressive in my neighborhood.

If you follow the Scott's program make sure you follow the crabgrass application closely. There is a window of time in the Spring that you need to apply it otherwise you have to wait until next year (crabgrass is an annual grass).

Good luck !

sport
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by sport » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:35 pm

The problem with crabgrass is that most things that will kill it also kill the good grass. Since it is an annual, you can minimize it by spreading a pre-emergent seed killer in the spring. Since this stuff kills seeds, you need to wait 6 weeks, or so, after using it before trying to plant new grass seeds. For dandelions, you can spread a "weed and feed" product, or you can spot spray each weed with a 2-4D type of herbicide. Once you get rid of the crabgrass, the lawn will become thicker. This will help to minimize dandelions and other broad leaf weeds. With all these chemicals, follow the directions on the package.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:36 pm

I do all my lawncare myself and live in a similar midwestern climate as yours.

Use fertilizer with pre-emergent crabgrass preventer and apply it in the spring once the soil temperature reaches about 50 degrees. If you google "Illinois Soil Temperature Map", you should be able to find what the current soil temperature is, once we start thawing up. But, do NOT overseed once you've put down crabgrass preventer, because the pre-emergent herbicide will also prevent grass seeds from sprouting.

Then, I apply use the following application schedule to apply fertilizer: Memorial Day, Labor Day, and right before Halloween. Some people say you should also apply around Independence Day, but I never do, and my lawn is always looking good.

One more important thing: DON'T MOW YOUR GRASS TOO SHORT. Keep your grass around 2.5-3.5 inches in the heat of the summer and you can cut it a little shorter in the fall (2-2.5 inches). Cutting your grass too short allows weed seeds to germinate way more easily. Look at any of your neighbors lawns and you'll see that the shortest cut lawns are full of weeds and the people who keep their grass a little longer always have full, lush, green lawns.

If you have dandelion problems, I use a weed popper tool (https://www.amazon.com/Garden-Weasel-St ... B00B3RRSCW) to easily get full dandelion roots out of the ground, and dispose of them. If you don't get the whole root, they will come right back. I'll spot treat weeds in the summer as well, spraying any stubborn weeds with herbicide.

If you do use pre-emergent crabgrass preventer this spring, the best time to overseed is in the fall (September or early October). Once you overseed, you really need to be consistently lightly watering your lawn every day for about 3 weeks. I usually try to get my lawn aerated and/or de-thatched and THEN overseed immediately after, in September.

Murgatroyd
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Murgatroyd » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:26 pm

I am also outside of Chicago. I faithfully follow the Chicago Botanical garden recommendations found here https://www.chicagobotanic.org/plantinfo/checklist

Beach
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Beach » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:49 pm

http://www.thelawnforum.com

TONS of info here

conservativeinvestor
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by conservativeinvestor » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:56 pm

If you don't mind watching some youtube videos this channel has helped me a lot with my lawn. His new videos are in florida but a lot of the advice given is pretty universal. I've made a huge turn around on my transition zone lawn using some of the advice. Some of the older videos focused on the midwest so if you want more specific advice try searching some of the older content.

https://www.youtube.com/user/LawnCareMidwest

I also recently gave in and hired tru green to save time (not money) and have been happy with the results. I still do the overseeding myself in the fall.

Swansea
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Swansea » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:10 pm

dalbright wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:30 am
For reference i'm located in Northern IL. I feel like i need a plan in advance for caring for/treating my lawn. I have two active dogs so its a bit rough to weed/treat/grow the lawn well. I tried bluegrass and thought it was going great and then boom crabgrass overtook and now i'm back to a nice bare middle 1/3 of my yard. We get dandelions pretty bad as well which i have tried spraying and manually pulling with a tool but we appear to live in a part of town that views dandelions as flowers...

Does anyone have good advice on when to seed/overseed/feed, then spray/pellet for crabgrass and (same or different time) dandelions, and so forth? i hate to put down seed and then kill it by being too close to spraying etc. Need to try and schedule in advance otherwise i'll miss the window this year! At least the crabgrass is tougher for the dogs to tear up but the mud spot every season is awful! I found a page by the univ of IL about the monthly timing roughly between april-sept but i would hate to wreck the seeds and spray to early/late etc. Any tips would be appreciated or products that worked well for you.
Be sure to keep the dogs of any sprayed weed control for at least 24 hours.

HoosierJim
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by HoosierJim » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:24 pm

Swansea wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:10 pm
Be sure to keep the dogs of any sprayed weed control for at least 24 hours.
I would avoid chemicals on grasses or areas that your dogs use AND be more cautious if your children use that grass.

Exposure to herbicide-treated lawns has been associated with significantly higher bladder cancer risk in dogs.

megabad
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by megabad » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:19 pm

dalbright wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:30 am
For reference i'm located in Northern IL. I feel like i need a plan in advance for caring for/treating my lawn. I have two active dogs so its a bit rough to weed/treat/grow the lawn well. I tried bluegrass and thought it was going great and then boom crabgrass overtook and now i'm back to a nice bare middle 1/3 of my yard. We get dandelions pretty bad as well which i have tried spraying and manually pulling with a tool but we appear to live in a part of town that views dandelions as flowers...

Does anyone have good advice on when to seed/overseed/feed, then spray/pellet for crabgrass and (same or different time) dandelions, and so forth? i hate to put down seed and then kill it by being too close to spraying etc. Need to try and schedule in advance otherwise i'll miss the window this year! At least the crabgrass is tougher for the dogs to tear up but the mud spot every season is awful! I found a page by the univ of IL about the monthly timing roughly between april-sept but i would hate to wreck the seeds and spray to early/late etc. Any tips would be appreciated or products that worked well for you.
I used to be in "lawn care" when i was younger. I would always ask people, "how do you want your yard to look?". If you want 100% green grass with no weeds, than I would sigh and than get ready for a big job. If you want a movie screen perfect lawn, we had to kill everything in the yard, till/aerate the whole yard, dump a bunch of nitro and fertilizer down and then seed the whole yard with a "weed" grass and then dump a pre-emergent on top.

A "weed" grass for us was something like a zoysia or bermuda or any variant that grows so thick and aggressively that it chokes at every other plant. We would then cover for a few weeks with bird screen and setup our own timed sprinkler to water the heck out of it. The first time we came back (a few days later) we would hit it with a broad spectrum herbicide. The next times (over a couple weeks) we would just spot check. Usually we had five star golf course grass in a couple weeks with almost zero weeds. Then we could just come by once a month and do a quick spot spray and be fine. I always hated that we couldn't use pregrown sod, but we weren't allowed to (because you could see the lines apparently). The shop I worked for mainly worked on golf courses but some nice homes (usually adjacent to the golf course :D ).

However, if you want a mostly green lawn (not perfect), I would just make sure you get a good mix of local grasses and overseed every year (whenever the season is, I don't know IL) and than spot treat as necessary for really bad weed clumps. If you need to worry about more than spot treatment, you probably need to kill everything and start over as above. The difference between the two options was thousands of dollars when I was in the business. My lawn has a bunch of weeds but I just only kill anything with color (like dandelions). From a distance my lawn looks perfect and I don't care more than that. The neighbors are just going to spread their weeds to my yard anyway, so i wouldn't make it through a season even with doing more work. Keeping my dogs inside for ages while I sprayed the yard would be far more hassle than its worth to me.

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Kenkat
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Kenkat » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:23 pm

Here’s a general schedule I use that works pretty well for midwest climates:

Early/Mid April - Crabgrass Preventer plus Fertilizer
Around Memorial Day: Fertilizer - Weed and Feed if needed *
Around Labor Day: Fertilizer, Overseed as needed
Around Nov. 1: Fertilizer

* once I got weeds controlled I now just spot treat with WeedBGone in a spray bottle rather than a whole lawn treatment, so the Memorial Day treatment is fertilizer only

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GMCZ71
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by GMCZ71 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:39 pm

Mowing height and frequency for each type of grass is #1 rule and will make the biggest change.
Go to youtube
the lawncare nut ---his early vids are in the north like you
gci turf service-- pete is great, he likes northern grass in N Carolina
lawn ginja-- Utah area but knows the grass problems
John

ellsbebc
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by ellsbebc » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:53 pm

GMCZ71 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:39 pm
Mowing height and frequency for each type of grass is #1 rule and will make the biggest change.
Go to youtube
the lawncare nut ---his early vids are in the north like you
gci turf service-- pete is great, he likes northern grass in N Carolina
lawn ginja-- Utah area but knows the grass problems
Lawn Care Nut moved to Florida a few years back. His original videos were in northern Indiana. His Indiana neighbor, Jake the Lawn Kid, also has his own YouTube channel.

Highly recommend all three of these channels if you want to increase your lawn care knowledge.

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TheAccountant
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by TheAccountant » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:28 pm

Scotts has an app that uses your location to develop a lawn care plan. You don't have to use their products necessarily, although I always did and had a green, lush, relatively weed-free lawn.
Making cents out of every dollar.

MrPickles
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Handy Crabgrass Calendar

Post by MrPickles » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:38 pm

Here is a very handy tracker from Michigan State University. I've had great luck applying crab grass preventer according to this calendar. It is based on "Growing Degree Days" and is based on real temp data for your zip code for this year. (Note that is only for Great Lakes region.) For zip 60601 (downtown Chicago) it's way too early to put anything down. But if you flashback to last year, you'll see that Spring came earlier.

http://gddtracker.net/?model=7&offset=6&zip=60601

Teague
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Teague » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:29 pm

Glockenspiel wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:36 pm
One more important thing: DON'T MOW YOUR GRASS TOO SHORT.
Agree absolutely. The best lawn advice I ever got was to focus mostly on growing your grass, rather than on killing your weeds.
Semper Augustus

Valdeselad
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Valdeselad » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:35 pm

I care about a nice looking lawn and garden, but the amount of chemicals people will throw on their lawns without a second thought is staggering to me.

I’ll suggest an alternative that goes a surprisingly long way toward achieving a nice yard: mow your grass high and keep the mower blades sharp. This, by itself, will promote a healthier, thicker turf which will act as a natural weed defense.

Use fertilizers and other products responsibly - consider the potential impacts of runoff and remember that everything flows downstream.

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dalbright
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by dalbright » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:28 am

Thanks everyone for the tips! I put out some contractor blend seed yesterday as it was warming up a bit finally and the yard was rather mucky so hoping some of the seeds would grab in nicely between that and the upcoming rain in the forecast. Not the ideal time but hoping i can beat the crabgrass a bit as it looks like i have to start preventing that shortly and overseed better this fall. I hate using anything and have been pulling the weeds for so long but i would fill up a 5gal bucket with dandelions every few days and made minimal progress. The dogs are always bummed since we choose to keep them off the grass for an extended period following any sort of treatment. I will keep a close eye on the ground temp as noted so that i can get the crab grass preventer at the ideal time and I think that should help tremendously. I think every year i get excited that "grass" is growing only to later realize its the crabgrass coming back ha! At least with the dogs i never worry about aeration or dethatching...I do mow regularly as i have a zero turn mower i fixed up that makes mowing quite fun! The holiday schedule seems quite easy to remember as well.

Also for those with pets and pest issues, we tried roundup lawn bug destroyer granules around the perimeter and common hiding spots for tick issues and it seemed to help a lot as one of our dogs is allergic to the preventive medications so we do our best to keep the critters away.

Thanks again!

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GMCZ71
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by GMCZ71 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:43 am

ellsbebc wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:53 pm
GMCZ71 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:39 pm
Mowing height and frequency for each type of grass is #1 rule and will make the biggest change.
Go to youtube
the lawncare nut ---his early vids are in the north like you
gci turf service-- pete is great, he likes northern grass in N Carolina
lawn ginja-- Utah area but knows the grass problems
Lawn Care Nut moved to Florida a few years back. His original videos were in northern Indiana. His Indiana neighbor, Jake the Lawn Kid, also has his own YouTube channel.

Highly recommend all three of these channels if you want to increase your lawn care knowledge.
Jake is great too and I forgot about Ryan Knorr lawn care he is in the north.
John

strafe
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by strafe » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:52 am

Proper mowing is by far the most important thing. It's been mentioned a few times above but cannot be emphasized enough.

For a northern lawn, that means using the HIGHEST SETTING ON YOUR MOWER. That will be somewhere around 3.5" or (ideally) 4".

A taller lawn also has a side benefit of not needing to be mowed as often. Longer grass will choke out the weeds and won't need as many chemicals or fertilizer. It will look great once all the grass reaches a uniform length.

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dalbright
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by dalbright » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:58 am

I keep my mower deck in the 3.5"-4" range so at least that is helping it looks like!

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GMCZ71
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by GMCZ71 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:18 am

strafe wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:52 am
Proper mowing is by far the most important thing. It's been mentioned a few times above but cannot be emphasized enough.


A taller lawn also has a side benefit of not needing to be mowed as often. Longer grass will choke out the weeds and won't need as many chemicals or fertilizer.
+100
True and follow the 1/3 rule, don't cut more then 1/3 of blade length.
John

hershey102d
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by hershey102d » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:19 am

A good rule of thumb is to apply crabgrass preventer while forsythia is in bloom.

fru-gal
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by fru-gal » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:59 am

renue74 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:37 am
We have friends who use TruGreen or other comparable services. Those guys come out every month and charge $80-$100. The nice thing is they get it done. I feel like they way over fertilize, but I will say, the neighbors grass looks better than ours. I simply don't care that much about a nice lawn. Neighbors hate me for it, I'm sure.
My neighbors fertilize and water their lawns. Mine looks better almost all of the year except in high summer, but it comes right back once it starts raining.

ND Fan 1
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by ND Fan 1 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:44 am

I'm no expert, but I buy the bags of fertilizer at Menards, labled, 1-4. Timline is early spring, late spring/early summer, mid/late summer, late summer/early fall. Seems to do a pretty good job, keeping the weeds away. My kids play in the yard all summer so it does the job.

1. Is Crabgreass Preventer
2. Weed and Feed
3. Lawn Food
4. Fall Lawn Food

https://www.menards.com/main/garden-cen ... -10038.htm

Topic Author
dalbright
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by dalbright » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:28 am

ND Fan 1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:44 am
I'm no expert, but I buy the bags of fertilizer at Menards, labled, 1-4. Timline is early spring, late spring/early summer, mid/late summer, late summer/early fall. Seems to do a pretty good job, keeping the weeds away. My kids play in the yard all summer so it does the job.

1. Is Crabgreass Preventer
2. Weed and Feed
3. Lawn Food
4. Fall Lawn Food

https://www.menards.com/main/garden-cen ... -10038.htm
I go to menards at least weekly and i've never seen this "plan" before ha! How do you feel about the pellets vs the sprays. I think along the lines that the spray coats the weeds better and dries up faster thus its safer quicker for my pets (or kids) but I could be wrong...

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Kenkat
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Kenkat » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:57 am

If you have a lot of weeds, the spray works better for the weeding part, but granular is far better for the fertilizer portion. If you use granular weed and feed, apply when the grass is wet with dew - the weed killer needs to stick to the leaves of the weeds to be effective. Or put down just granular fertilizer and then treat separately with just a weed killer spray application.

The Menard’s 1-4 basically matches what I do although I use a different brand.

RobLyons
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by RobLyons » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:19 pm

I've been a lawn care fan for a while and the bulk of my learning came from

Lawn Care nut - Youtube


Pre emergents
seed and water (fall best time to seed, spring 2nd best)
milorganite
sun

These are the main keys to success

I've completely replaced my backyard, i've had weeds, patches, issues with dog urine, etc. You won't ever have a perfect lawn with dogs or kids but it can still look great
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

OldBallCoach
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by OldBallCoach » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:12 pm

Get a book call Jerry Bakers Green Grass Magic....my office is 120 yards of green grass and our groundskeeper turned me on to this years ago...he mixes up some of the some crazy things you will ever see including coke, beer, sugar, ammonia, ect...but the stuff works. I have about 3 acres at home and I hire a guy to do mine and my wife is the house general and she tells this poor guy what to do, what to mix, ect...but the thing is it works...dont ask me how, I have never read the book...but when the grass looks as good as our grass does, I dont need to read the book..Its kinda like sausage, you like to eat it you just don't want to know how it's made...

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pennstater2005
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by pennstater2005 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:15 pm

Beach wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:49 pm
http://www.thelawnforum.com

TONS of info here
Yep!
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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serbeer
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by serbeer » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:24 pm

RobLyons wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:19 pm
I've been a lawn care fan for a while and the bulk of my learning came from

Lawn Care nut - Youtube


Pre emergents
seed and water (fall best time to seed, spring 2nd best)
milorganite
sun

These are the main keys to success

I've completely replaced my backyard, i've had weeds, patches, issues with dog urine, etc. You won't ever have a perfect lawn with dogs or kids but it can still look great
I am curious about yours (or other knowlegeble BHs') opinion regarding importance of Core Aeration for the lawn. I am offered one in my lawn care package for several hundred dollars (big lawn) and not sure whether it is worth splurging on. If it is indeed a good idea, how frequently does it have to be done, every year or not necessarily?
Thanks!

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GMCZ71
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by GMCZ71 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:33 pm

serbeer wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:24 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:19 pm
I've been a lawn care fan for a while and the bulk of my learning came from

Lawn Care nut - Youtube


I am curious about yours (or other knowlegeble BHs') opinion regarding importance of Core Aeration for the lawn. I am offered one in my lawn care package for several hundred dollars (big lawn) and not sure whether it is worth splurging on. If it is indeed a good idea, how frequently does it have to be done, every year or not necessarily?
Thanks!
Depends, you need to learn what to look at in your lawn. All the youtube channels in this thread will help you decide if the service is upselling or correctly fixing your problem. I have not core aerated in 18 yrs at this house but have done stuff to remedy other problems.
John

strafe
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by strafe » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:55 pm

dalbright wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:28 am
Thanks everyone for the tips! I put out some contractor blend seed yesterday as it was warming up a bit finally and the yard was rather mucky so hoping some of the seeds would grab in nicely between that and the upcoming rain in the forecast. Not the ideal time but hoping i can beat the crabgrass a bit as it looks like i have to start preventing that shortly and overseed better this fall. I hate using anything and have been pulling the weeds for so long but i would fill up a 5gal bucket with dandelions every few days and made minimal progress. The dogs are always bummed since we choose to keep them off the grass for an extended period following any sort of treatment. I will keep a close eye on the ground temp as noted so that i can get the crab grass preventer at the ideal time and I think that should help tremendously. I think every year i get excited that "grass" is growing only to later realize its the crabgrass coming back ha! At least with the dogs i never worry about aeration or dethatching...I do mow regularly as i have a zero turn mower i fixed up that makes mowing quite fun! The holiday schedule seems quite easy to remember as well.

Also for those with pets and pest issues, we tried roundup lawn bug destroyer granules around the perimeter and common hiding spots for tick issues and it seemed to help a lot as one of our dogs is allergic to the preventive medications so we do our best to keep the critters away.

Thanks again!

"Contractor" seed is usually annual ryegrass. It germinates quickly to fill in bare areas. But it lasts only one season and will die in the summer. In the fall (September), you should core aerate and overseed with the desired permanent grass (either turf type tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass would work well in your region). The aeration holes provide cover for the seed to grow. Going forward you should always overseed in the fall, not the spring.

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dalbright
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by dalbright » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:20 pm

strafe wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:55 pm
dalbright wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:28 am
Thanks everyone for the tips! I put out some contractor blend seed yesterday as it was warming up a bit finally and the yard was rather mucky so hoping some of the seeds would grab in nicely between that and the upcoming rain in the forecast. Not the ideal time but hoping i can beat the crabgrass a bit as it looks like i have to start preventing that shortly and overseed better this fall. I hate using anything and have been pulling the weeds for so long but i would fill up a 5gal bucket with dandelions every few days and made minimal progress. The dogs are always bummed since we choose to keep them off the grass for an extended period following any sort of treatment. I will keep a close eye on the ground temp as noted so that i can get the crab grass preventer at the ideal time and I think that should help tremendously. I think every year i get excited that "grass" is growing only to later realize its the crabgrass coming back ha! At least with the dogs i never worry about aeration or dethatching...I do mow regularly as i have a zero turn mower i fixed up that makes mowing quite fun! The holiday schedule seems quite easy to remember as well.

Also for those with pets and pest issues, we tried roundup lawn bug destroyer granules around the perimeter and common hiding spots for tick issues and it seemed to help a lot as one of our dogs is allergic to the preventive medications so we do our best to keep the critters away.

Thanks again!

"Contractor" seed is usually annual ryegrass. It germinates quickly to fill in bare areas. But it lasts only one season and will die in the summer. In the fall (September), you should core aerate and overseed with the desired permanent grass (either turf type tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass would work well in your region). The aeration holes provide cover for the seed to grow. Going forward you should always overseed in the fall, not the spring.
I tried planting bluegrass last year in the spring and overseeded with it last fall. I think it may have gotten messed up somehow as i only got a few small patches that grew last spring (and then the crabgrass takeover), and am not optimistic as a result for the overseed. Will go for an alternative option like you suggested for the fall overseeding. Thanks all for the tips!

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Fletch
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Fletch » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:32 am

Don't forget to check for grubs and apply the appropriate preventative/curative. I had to reseed almost an entire lawn about 10 years ago when I forgot about the grubs. :oops: See the Scotts website or just use "DuckDuckGo" to search (I try to stay away from Google products. :D ).
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dalbright
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by dalbright » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:34 am

Fletch wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:32 am
Don't forget to check for grubs and apply the appropriate preventative/curative. I had to reseed almost an entire lawn about 10 years ago when I forgot about the grubs. :oops: See the Scotts website or just use "DuckDuckGo" to search (I try to stay away from Google products. :D ).
Grubs were definitely on the list of things i never thought I would be worried about with home ownership! Ha how things have changed over the years...There really should be a mandatory class on the true costs of home ownership but that would probably tank the economy.

Yooper16
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Yooper16 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:12 am

Illinois is home to one of the premier ag schools in the country--- I would follow their advise. Most people trying to grow grass forget a couple of important points---blues/rye/fescues(not tall) are called cool season grasses for a reason. That there are some parts of your yard that are better off being planted in something other than residential style grasses.

A suggestion for the back yard at least--- blend of blue/rye or whatever and min-clover. Mini clover grows lower to the ground, does not clump like white clover and much less flower. It takes over in the heat and withdraws in times of moisture and cooler temps. Do not fertilize much/if at all as the decaying clover is a natural nitrogen fixture.

I haven't done the above, but it had crossed my mind at our previous address--warmer to hotter and drier location that where we are now. Had five energetic large dogs so the back yard (approx. 2/3 on acre was pretty well trashed. Getting ready to try it at this address, as a test, on the 4 ft long strip of grassy area between the side walk and the curb. Suffers from soil compactness, road salt and heat from surrounding concrete.

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dalbright
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by dalbright » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:56 am

It looks like menards has some "premium crabgrass preventer" on sale this week so this may be what i use for the crabgrass portion this season unless anyone has strong views against it. In watching the forums and videos that others have posted i have a bit more to learn before ordering my own liquid mixes before this round of crabgrass!

Small Law Survivor
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Small Law Survivor » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:00 pm

I have serious crab grass/dandelion problems here outside of Boston. And, I've never used any kind of chemical or herbicide on our lawn since we have a dog and well water (and a child, although she's grown up now, and doesn't play on the lawn).

I'm planning to use corn gluten this year. The mantra for this is to put it down "when the forsythia blooms," which is probably mid-April, or thereabouts.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried corn gluten for annual weeds.
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ND Fan 1
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by ND Fan 1 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:10 pm

dalbright wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:28 am
ND Fan 1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:44 am
I'm no expert, but I buy the bags of fertilizer at Menards, labled, 1-4. Timline is early spring, late spring/early summer, mid/late summer, late summer/early fall. Seems to do a pretty good job, keeping the weeds away. My kids play in the yard all summer so it does the job.

1. Is Crabgreass Preventer
2. Weed and Feed
3. Lawn Food
4. Fall Lawn Food

https://www.menards.com/main/garden-cen ... -10038.htm
I go to menards at least weekly and i've never seen this "plan" before ha! How do you feel about the pellets vs the sprays. I think along the lines that the spray coats the weeds better and dries up faster thus its safer quicker for my pets (or kids) but I could be wrong...
You apply it when the grass is wet, lots of dew, after a rain, or watering yourself. It absorbs pretty fast. I usually keep the kids off of it for about 24-36 hrs or so. Its in the outdoor section, usually by all the soil and fertilizer

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Kenkat
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Kenkat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:01 pm

ND Fan 1 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:10 pm
dalbright wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:28 am
ND Fan 1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:44 am
I'm no expert, but I buy the bags of fertilizer at Menards, labled, 1-4. Timline is early spring, late spring/early summer, mid/late summer, late summer/early fall. Seems to do a pretty good job, keeping the weeds away. My kids play in the yard all summer so it does the job.

1. Is Crabgreass Preventer
2. Weed and Feed
3. Lawn Food
4. Fall Lawn Food

https://www.menards.com/main/garden-cen ... -10038.htm
I go to menards at least weekly and i've never seen this "plan" before ha! How do you feel about the pellets vs the sprays. I think along the lines that the spray coats the weeds better and dries up faster thus its safer quicker for my pets (or kids) but I could be wrong...
You apply it when the grass is wet, lots of dew, after a rain, or watering yourself. It absorbs pretty fast. I usually keep the kids off of it for about 24-36 hrs or so. Its in the outdoor section, usually by all the soil and fertilizer
That is true of weed and feed but not crabgrass preventer. Weed and feed won’t kill crabgrass; the crabgrass preventer forms a soil barrier and prevents seed from germinating, so best to apply and water in or allow spring rains to do so. Note also if you put down grass seed, it needs to have sprouted and become established before you put down most crabgrass preventers as they will also prevent grass seed from germinating.

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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by abuss368 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:23 pm

I have used Scotts Four Step program and added the Grub X over the years. If you stay disciplined and use it over time, my experience has been that it works very well. The trick is to time it right and stay consistent.
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Yooper16
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Yooper16 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:48 pm

Halts product, Step 1 uses a chemical called Pendimethalin.
1. it is a ground layer preventor that needs to be put on after you have raked you yard for the spring Hard raking can/may/will bust up the barrier if done after the application and reduce the length of effectiveness. General rule of thumb was about April 1-14 for SE Mi, depending on a lot of things. Good for about 8 weeks of coverage. Takes care of the spring flush but doesn't affect seeds for the mid to late summer spurt.

2. Dimension is the next level up. Will give some additional coverage time. Dwells on the ground. Still needs to be applied after the hard raking yard cleanup et or else you risk busting up the protective layer. Might give you coverage into the beginning of the mid summer flush.

These both need to be watered in for effectiveness.

The best out there as of a few years ago contained a product called Prodiamin(sp). It can go on after you do the hard yard work, it should be waterded in but not as necessary as the others. It can go on in cooler temps--mid march in SE MI and is a barrier that emanates from the soil rather that sitting on the soil so it has a longer residual effect. Should reasonably get 16 weeks out of it which will more likely get you covered for the 2nd round of crabgrass that hits in the hot part of the summer.

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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Yooper16 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:01 pm

Broadleaf weed killers need to be put down when the weed is actively growing and preferable when it is in flower. Has very very little of a residual kill.

Spring and late summer early fall are general considered the best times. If using a granual-- apply to damp vegetation. And no rain for 24 hours or so, as it gets absorbed into the plant structure for effectiveness. I would exclusively use liquids as why spread a weed/feed when doing the 2nd step when you will be spreading a weedkiller in areas that may not have any weeds. Don't forget most weed/feeds have no residual value. There are a couple of items out there that have the residual, but the names elude me.

Instead of going to a big box store, do yourself a favor and go to and indendent retailor.

As always more is not better, just wasteful and environmentally not healthy.
As a final FYI. the bulk of L/G chemicals are transported on a Chloride molecule. Chloride Salts of any kind are known to affect soil activity and vitality. Repeated applications can/will perpetuate the need for continuous fertilizer, killers etc.

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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by jimmo » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:49 pm

Some basics...

Things to Do
1) Mow high...higher than you think is normal. This might be the most important tenet of lawn care, and definitely the easiest. In the heat of summer, I set mower height at 3.5-4 inches. 3 inches in spring and fall. The taller your grass is, the more it shades the soil achieving two key goals - moisture retention and keeping weed seed from germinating (seed needs sunlight to germinate)

2) Apply nitrogen fertilizer in the fall (not the spring). Applying in the spring really feeds the weeds. Applying in the fall benefits grass root development and helps with early spring green-up without feeding new weeds. I've found that organic fertilizers like Milorganite work best. Menards has something similar called Ideal EQ.

3) On watering...either accept that your lawn will go dormant (turn brown) in late summer or be prepared to water. But if you do irrigate, follow the rule of 0.7 - 1.0 inch of water a week ALL at once. This is deep watering that promotes your grass to grow deep roots. Do not water multiple times a day or every day of the week, you're just promoting shallow roots that become dependent on regular watering. I've stopped watering...seems silly and wasteful. By mid-September it greens back up and looks just fine.

What NOT to do:

1) Bag clippings. That's free nitrogen your taking off your lawn if you bag them up and throw them out. Not sure when this trend started, but it makes no sense. You'll need an extra nitrogen application to make up for it. I guess it works well for TruGreen and the like. I also mulch almost all of the fall leaves right into my yard. Adds great organic matter to the soil. And by mulching, I just spread out the leaves if they are piled up, then run the mower over them a couple times which shreds them nicely and before long they compost nicely in the soil beneath the grass.

2) Weed n Feed products. Do not use them. Not only is it bad for your pets and kids using yard, it's also bad for your soil. It's a blanket herbicide that kills pretty much everything in the soil and your grass becomes more and more dependent on chemicals and synthetic fertilizers to stay green. Soil health is important, as are the earthworms and good bacteria to keeping a healthy yard. If you have a weed problem, spot spray the problem areas with a liquid application. TruGreen over-applies herbicides and then has to way over-apply fertilizer to save the grass...it's a vicious cycle, not to mention terrible for the environment.

This is the general strategy I've learned from reading around from the experts and it's worked pretty well for me. Sure I still get some weeds here and there, but that's fine. We don't all need golf course lawns.

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Kenkat
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Re: Lawn care schedule

Post by Kenkat » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:50 am

Many key points above by jimmo on fertilizing, watering, mowing, etc.

I haven’t applied a weed and feed in many years. My neighbors probably get a chuckle when I go on weed patrol, with a spray bottle of Roundup in one hand (for non grass areas) and Weed-B-Gon in the other (I mix from concentrate). Gets the job done with less overall impact. No insecticides either unless there’s a specific issue you want or need to treat.

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