Homeowner looking for pro advice... and a good lawn care company

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by pryker, May 8, 2004.

  1. pryker

    pryker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I am new to lawnsite. I have been reading the posts here for a month or so and I have learned a lot. I just purchased a home on 3.5 acres and I am what you might call a lawn fanatic... I love to have a green lawn free of weeds that is kept mowed and trimmed. I simply enjoy mowing. I have a wife and two kids and have a desk job so my only real excersize is taking care of the lawn. I love the smell of freshly cut grass, the outdoors and making pretty striping patterns on the lawns... Yes, I know... I am a bit overboard.

    My previous houses have all been on 1/2 acre or less and the lawns were fairly healthy. I core aerated once a year, fertilized with lesco 4 times a year and mowed regularly. Lawns always looked great.

    Now I have a much larger challenge on my hands and thought maybe I could ask you pros a question or two to help me get started. My questions are diverse and cover both turf maintenence and irrigation. Well, here goes...

    1. Most of my 3.5 acres is lawn. About 3/4 of it is flat and smooth. The flat and smooth area has about 25% weeds. The other 1/4 of the lawn was a field that the previous owner had the neighbor bush hog 4 times a year. It is rough (bumpy from the tractor wheels I think) and probably 65% weeds. I want to start "finish" mowing that area and bring it up to the standards of the rest of the lawn. So my question... As I do not want to redo that whole bumpy section and would rather slowly over several years return it to lush lawn again what would be a recommended plan of approach??

    2. I have a well and septic tank. Because of this I would not want to have to use my well water to "water" the lawn. Would it make sense for me to dig another well for irrigation purposes? Would it effect my water depth in my original well since I am drawing water from the same water table? What are the pros and cons? Initially I would not install a full sprinkler system, just use if for watering with the hose. Later I would upgrade to sprinkler system for all acerage. I know, it is a bit extreme, but I love this stuff!!

    3. I was told I should not fertilize over the top of the septic system as it will slow down the effectiveness of the system to process waste. How do you guys handle customers with septic systems?

    4. I use chemicle fertilizers and insect control. Will this eventually end up in my well water (I know this maybe a dumb question)? Would switching to orgnaics help? Do they really work as well?

    5. How can I tell what type of grass I currently have growing. I live in Harford County Maryland. Is there a local place I can go for this advice? In the past I have done PH samples of the soil but wonder if there are better more complex analysis I can get that will better help me determine a group fert program for my lawn?

    6. I also want to core aerate, fertilize and use a weed control product. What order should I do them in?

    7. I have a massive groud hog burrow under my shed. I was thinking about a havaheart trap but do not know how many are there and if they have babies... Would not want to seperate mama and baby. I have seen only one very large one so far. What is the best way to get rid of these guys?

    I know this is a lot to ask and that you guys make your money by solving these problems for home owners. I thought it would not hurt to try though... :) Lastly, Are there any good turf companies in the Harford County Maryland area that you guys can recommend? I am looking for someone who has been in the business for a while and knows how to get a lawn looking good. Someone that will give the homeownder advice. I am looking to use them for the core aeration, fertilizer, weed control and spring clean up. I will then be maintaining myself. So, it would be a one time thing. Also, if they have an arborist on staff that would be a huge plus as I have a lot of trees that look less than happy and need pruning.

    To give you an idea of what a lawn fanatic I am I have gone out and bought an Exmark Lazer Z 60" for cutting my lawn (really because it is sooo much faster). That is on top of the 48" tractor and push mower I already own. I have every other imaginable tool you could think of to do yard work, well, at least much more than a nomal home owner would have.

    Thanks in advance for the answers to my questions.
     
  2. mowhigh

    mowhigh LawnSite Member
    from Dallas
    Posts: 198

    Start out by contacting your County Extension Agent. He'll be familiar with local conditions/experts, including referral for a comprehensive soil analysis. The organic guru in this area, Howard Garrett, has an informative website (some variation of DrDirt or DirtDoctor(.com). It sometimes requires more time, but I'd rather be patient and sacrifice 10% greenness for 90% safer for my kids, pets and drinking water. Good luck...
     

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