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Introducing My Lawn: 1st Year Trying

1150 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  g-man
Hello everyone! I'm so excited to share my lawn with you in my first post. I have an 8k, mostly shaded fine fescue lawn.

First off, all the yards in my neighborhood (actually, the whole town really) have pretty favorable conditions for great lawns. Almost everyone has a good looking lawn from the street. We're near the Canadian boarder in ND. Established deciduous trees provide ample shade for dense, fine fescue turf. I have about 10" of rich, black topsoil over my whole property.

This is my 3rd year in my first home(1954) and the 1st year actively trying to do more than a spring/fall application of generic lawn food and hose-end broad leaf herbicide.

I started this year with a memorial day application of Milo and a preM. June 1st I put down grub control (although, I found one just today digging up a new hosta bed). There is a little bit of crabgrass in the yard but my biggest problem is wild violet. With a combination of 24D and triclopyr I can make it look sick, but not kill it.

I bought a wired, electric blade edger and I couldn't be happier with it. I probably gained back a whole foot of driveway with the sod I cut away. The sidewalks are looking crisp and it'll be much easier in the winter to run my snowblower without riding up on the lawn. I also used it to outline around the house for edging pavers in my new hosta beds.

Looking at the two week forecast we're expecting highs around 90°F (33°C) with no rain in sight. I put 0.3-0.5" with a fan sprinkler over the whole lawn today and if we don't get any rain I'll continue that once a week (my work schedule is ridiculous).

I upped my HOC to 4" over the spring and until it rains or I water the lawn again I'm not going to touch it. I also had a soil test done by the University of Minnesota. I was pleased with the results in that I wont have to apply lime and I know I can avoid potassium rich soil additives. I'll probably put down some bone meal when I can find it cheap in bulk.

There was some damage around the driveway and sidewalks were I salted last winter. I raked out the dead grass and watered in some peletized gypsum to absorb the salt (I'm looking for salt alternatives for ice melting). I seeded some fescue with peat moss and everything is growing in fantastically.

I did my July 4th Milo application a couple weeks early. Mostly because I had underestimated the size of my yard in my original application (original est. 5k, actual 8.5k), and a good portion of my lawn had turned lime green in recent weeks instead of the dark green I had seen from the first application.

I intend to gradually lower the HOC, dethatch, plug aerate, and overseed the lawn (especially in some very sparse areas) as we transition into fall (September).

Thanks for reading the intro to my lawn, below are some pictures I took along the way this year. I wasn't intending to post these so it's not very comprehensive but I hope you find them acceptable. You can kind of see how my salt damage reseeding improved the edges.

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Welcome to TLF.

Another option for salt is fertilizer (urea). It is not as effective, but it also works.

From your test, you need phosphorous. Milo has some, but I suggest adding some synthetic too. Since you have a high pH, Ammonium Sulfate (AS) will be a better choice for nitrogen since it works better in high pH soil. Also, your lawn will need iron that works with high pH. Milo is again a great option, depending on your budget. Another one will be FAS.
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