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Old 03-19-2014, 06:51 PM
specialk9991 specialk9991 is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: North Ridgeville, OH
Posts: 1
It's time to start asking...

Hi there! My name is John, and I've been lurking on here since I bought my first home (on 5 acres) in August. Since then, I've learned quite a bit about lawn maintenance, but for the most part, it was just maintenance. I basically kept up with my yard and grass, and kept everything looking acceptable through the end of the season. NOW, spring is coming, and it's finally time to start asking questions and really making an impact on my new home!

First off, let me thank you all in advance for your help, I'm sure I'll ask a bunch of bonehead questions coming up shortly, and I really appreciate the professional help! So, here goes:

Like I said, my new house is on five acres, so I thought that the commercial guys might be the right place to start asking questions. First off, let me laythe scene for you, so you have enough information! The lot itself is almost a perfect square, and is almost perfectly flat. There are drainage ditches (typical distance off the street) running along the front of the property line, and another drainage ditch running along the back of the property line about 15 feet inside of the line. Running perpendicular to these open ditches are what I assume to be buried drain tiles (probably about 6 lines) that run the entire depth of the property from front to back. I say that I assume these are there because you can see the straight lines running just ever so slightly below grade, I'm guessing they were installed incorrectly and sank over time. There's also a mound-type septic system along the side of the house with it's assorted hardware about 15 feet away. The house is about dead in the middle of the property and there is also a 60X40 pole barn in the back. The soil itself is predominately clay (like most of Northeast Ohio) and doesn't absorb much water. The grass breed seems to be pretty much Fescue (sp?) with a ton of weeds thrown in. I'm currently mowing about once a week with a 2013 Scag Cheetah 61". I hope that's a good enough synopsis to start, PLEASE don't hesitate to let me know if you need more information about the yard itself.

What I intend to tackle this year:
I need to clear out the weeds. The grass in the back is so choked with clover and crabgrass that it's almost nonexistent! What would be the best way to tackle this? I was hoping that I would be able to really take care of this chemically without having to re-seed the entire 5 acres! Are there any particular chemicals/fertilizers that you all prefer? What would be the best method to spread something like this over such a large area? Is it possible to liquify and spray these (I do have a Stihl backpack sprayer), or are they all granular like the stuff at Home Depot?

The previous owners of my home at one point had an above-ground pool which has been removed. My problem is it looks like they just took the pool out and did absolutely nothing after that. There is very little grass in the obvious ring where the pool used to be, and it fills to almost a perfect circle whenever it rains very hard. How to I rectify this? Kill everything off, level with topsoil and re-seed? Would there be a better way to do that without completely starting over?

I'm going to be building a pretty big deck off the back of the house as soon as the weather is completely broken, so DECK EXPERTS START HERE!! (). The back of the house has four sliding doors into the backyard, and I plan to tie them all together onto one large deck. One of the doors is about 8" lower than the other three, so the deck itself is going to have to be two levels anyways, no problem. My first question about the deck is the framework... These doors I'm talking about are only about 20" off the ground at most, and the lower one is only about a foot above grade. Will I need to excavate down in order to make room for the deck framing, or is there another way to build it that may be a little more compact? Another question I have is in this situation, does you all think it would be better to anchor this to the house, or build it freestanding? Lastly, as I build this, it's (partially) going to cover up a small concrete patio in one corner of the house. Can I build directly on top of this patio (obviously punching through it in case a footer is needed in it's footprint), or would I be better off removing it completely?

I also would like to lay out and plan a set of landscape lights in the front of the house. I understand electricity, but am simply not familiar with landscape lighting. Are there any brands/models that you experts would recommend for fixtures, timers, controllers, etc? I am only interested in the latest LED types for efficiency and ease of maintenance. What would you all recommend if I wanted to simply flood a few trees and the front tower of the home with only one or two pathway-type (I know I'm using the wrong terminology here!) lights?

I know this is probably the longest first post ever, but I really am looking forward to having such a friendly panel of experts to help! I can't wait to have your insight and knowledge to guide me through what appears like it's going to be quite the back-breaking summer! OH- I hear my wife calling... looks like there's something else for me to get to! Thanks again guys!
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