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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone!

I just happened to stumble upon this site tonight and man have I been missing out! I've been using the "other forum" since earlier this spring (<25 posts), and while I haven't had a negative experience, I've already found this forum is much more active amongst the warm-season crowd and better suits my day-to-day needs. I'm starting this thread to introduce myself, as well as begin my 2017 documentation.

My name is Blaine and I live 45 minutes north east of Atlanta. I am a full time worship/student pastor at a local church here in northern Gwinnett County. Brand new first-time homeowner of a new construction in NE Metro Atlanta. Graduated from Georgia State University in May '16, bought a house in October, got married in November, and now that it's spring I'm ready to make my yard all it can be. From what I've gathered, a great lawn is a years-long process marked by patience and diligence. I don't have a dog and 2.5 kids yet, but since a great lawn is a marathon, why not start now? A little bit about my yard:

I'm working with about 1,800 sq ft (around 800 in the back, 700 in the front, and another 300 on a strip along the side). Not a lot, but the perfect first lawn size for me to learn and grow as an enthusiast. Also friendly on the wallet. Like I said, new construction; the builder did a pretty poor job of leveling the soil so a lot of the surface is uneven/bumpy (especially the side yard). They laid the Bermuda sod in early October of '16. Whether they took proper care of it before we moved in, I have no clue. My guess is probably not. Here is my soil test results, taken in April.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_q96EzEpU59dmpJVE0wcTAyejJrM1FrRXdnbkMwZGNXRjBv

I've got a long way to go! Since receiving my recommendations I've been hitting it hard with fertilizer and other nutrient amendments, as well as staying on top of cultural practices. Right now I'm using a rotary and mowing every third day at the lowest setting (1.75"). I'm hoping to buy a McLane 10 blade push reel mower at some point this summer. I've got a plan scheduled and am following right along! My main goal for this season is to sink some serious roots down and establish this new lawn as much as possible before dormancy. Long term - an organic approach that will build a nutrient-rich and lively soil that feeds a healthy lawn.

I'm thankful for the leadership of this site, whom have already begun to create a culture of encouragement and positive feedback. I have much to learn, so thank you in advance for you wisdom and guidance!

Finally, Some pictures! These were taken last week, and since then we've had close to 5" of rain







 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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I'm really glad you found us! I wish we could take more credit for what's going on here at TLF, but really all we're doing is providing the venue. It's all the great members here that make it what it is. We launched back in late January, and I couldn't be more pleased with how things are going. :thumbup:

I wouldn't worry too much about how the lawn was treated before you moved in. Bermuda is very forgiving, and you can have it whipped into shape in no time. It looks like you're off to a really great start already. There are some distinct advantages to having a smaller lawn - you won't be dealing with volumes of anything that might become cost-prohibitive on a larger lawn, so your options are really wide open. You also have the benefit of directing all your lawn care energy into fewer square feet. :D

I think you're on the right track in considering a reel mower. It's a game changer for a bermuda lawn.

Again, welcome to TLF! Make yourself at home, and feel free to ask any questions you may have! :thumbup:
 

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Wow for just starting out that lawn looks great!

Mine was a complete disaster when our home was built. I was so depressed I was going to rip up the sod and restart the process. Thankfully I stuck with it and things have improved tremendously. Welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've just begun my first ever experience owning a reel mower! Found a great deal on Craigslist last night and pulled the trigger today. 20" 10 Blade Self-Propelled McLane with a front roller:





The seller said he had the blades sharpened last year, which I'm assuming is the last time the oil and filter were changed. I'm going to take it in to the shop next week to get it checked out and evaluated for any other maintenance. This is a totally new thing for me, so I'm looking forward to taking on this learning curve this summer. Any tips you wish you would've known when you started mowing with a reel?

Also, I've been maintaining at 1.75" but my goal is to maintain at .87" this summer. Would you all recommend taking it down incrementally over several mowings or would you recommend ripping the proverbial band-aid off and just scalping and then maintain at at .87"?
 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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ATLawn said:
....Also, I've been maintaining at 1.75" but my goal is to maintain at .87" this summer. Would you all recommend taking it down incrementally over several mowings or would you recommend ripping the proverbial band-aid off and just scalping and then maintain at at .87"?
I agree with Redtenchu. Scalp to some height lower than you are wanting to maintain. It won't look great, but it's the fastest route to where you ultimately want to be.

You will likely have to take it down incrementally over several mowings, but I would do all those on the same day, and try to remove all the clippings you can (via rake or rotary mower bagger). You will have a lot of clippings, but I think you're going to be very pleased with the results.
 

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ATLawn said:
I've just begun my first ever experience owning a reel mower! Found a great deal on Craigslist last night and pulled the trigger today. 20" 10 Blade Self-Propelled McLane with a front roller
Congrats, I like the looks of that one much more than the one you posted before. It already has a roller too. Your going to love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay.... so just scalped, it's looking rough. After scalping are you supposed to keep irrigating regularly or is it better to water more? Also, Do I still keep mowing how often I was before at the new height, or should I wait until a certain point? I know this may seem like common sense to most but I'm brand new to all of this and just want to make sure I'm doing it right.
 

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+1 SG311, don't want to over water with the humidity ATL is known for having.

Some areas may recover quicker than others, when the best looking/growing area is a 1" start cutting the entire lawn again at 0.87
 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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I agree with these guys. The only thing I would add is maybe don't arbitrarily lock yourself into the 0.87". I may have missed what your scalp height was, but I wouldn't rule out attempting to maintain somewhere in the 5/8-3/4 range. You may like how it looks, and you can always raise the height later if you need to. As you now know, it's much more difficult to lower the HOC than raise it. Just something to consider. :thumbup:
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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Ware said:
I agree with these guys. The only thing I would add is maybe don't arbitrarily lock yourself into the 0.87". I may have missed what your scalp height was, but I wouldn't rule out attempting to maintain somewhere in the 5/8-3/4 range. You may like how it looks, and you can always raise the height later if you need to. As you now know, it's much more difficult to lower the HOC than raise it. Just something to consider. :thumbup:
+1

I'd like to add that you shouldn't be "married" to a certain HOC as it will only cause frustration now and later down the road. Since you are new to the whole world of reel cutting just do what looks best for the lawn now and then reevaluate in the off season.

You are very lucky to be that close to Peachtree Mowers :thumbup:
 
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