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Cdash
04-15-2002, 11:51 AM
Is there a site with basic lawn care information for beginners anywhere out there?

I have a newer lawn (2 years old) and am looking to get it nice looking. It was seeded with a mixture of Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye and Fescule. The shaded areas do extremely well and the full sun areas do not (no sprinklers yet). Soil consists of clay. We had a lawn service last year, but with poor service and not much done other than spraying once a year and the rest was granular, I decided I could probably provide the same for much less (cost and aggravation). I am not sure what needs to be done. I read a bunch of stuff here and decided I need a soil sample done if I can figure out where to take it around here. After that, what do I do? Should I aeriate and overseed to get the not-so-good areas to fill in? How often should I aeriate and whats best, spikes or cores? And how do I figure out how often to fertilize and what to use (soil test?)?

As you can see, I have a ton of questions and a lot of learning to do. If anyone could point me to a website that has information (lawn 101) that I can study up on I would greatly appreciate it!! I would prefer to study up and figure this out, then come back to bother you with more specific questions once I figure out what I am doing.

Thanks,

Craig

lawnstudent
04-15-2002, 03:12 PM
Should you aerate? A new lawn only two years old should not have thatch. So you don't need to aerate for thatch control. If you did, aerate in spring. Heavy clay soil and new home. You could be severly comapcted from contruction crews. The shaded areas are under threes and probably did not receive heavy traffic. Full sun areas are out away from trees and may have received a lot of heavy equipment or truck activity; maybe while soils were wet & muddy. Good possibility you need to aerate to relieve compaction. Can you push a screw driver into the ground in the open full sun areas not growing grass? Is is hard to push that srew driver into soil? Now try in area with no known compaction. Does the screw driver push in much easier? If the screw driver test tells you that you have compacted soil then aerate this spring. I think fall is a better time to aerate for compacted soils in the upper midwest, but you can't wait for the ideal time.

Spikers only create more compaction. Stay away from spikers.

jim

CTLGM
04-17-2002, 10:05 AM
Cdash....... A free and easy way to get information on Lawn 101, is as easy as calling your local county extension service. They represent your state agriculture dept. and can give you an abundance of information and pamplets to help educate you. Or feel free to search for "Turfgrass Management" as a general topic on the web. To recommend one site is futal, because there are so many to choose from. A lot of universities have great websites for informative and research information, but I can't recommend just one.
As far as your situation and your "clay" soil, well let me start of by saying I am from Tennessee and lived in Georgia several years, so I have seen nothing BUT clay!! :blush: Aeration is good for allowing air circulation and breaking up the compacted soil. The benefit is that you can seed immediately after you use a core aerater. You can do this any time and as often as you wish. Golf courses do it monthly in some instances. Fescue is in demand here, too hot for KY Bluegrass(though I have seen it in a completely shaded yard & be thicker than everything else).
You might try a Home Depot, Lowe's, Manard's or some other BIG BLOCK chain store for free information by Scott's or Lesco about their products and recommendations for your region, BUT I would recommend the AG. Extension Agent first.
GOOD LUCK!!