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I Need help getting lawns looking really nice

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by recycledsole, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    Hey guys,
    I think something that is really holding me back is getting my lawns looking really nice. Since I refuse to use any non organic chemicals I am very limited. I have milorganite organic fertilizer, but that is it. Are there any organic post selective herbicides? I would really appreciate any help.
    thanks so much
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I've heard of no organic strategy that is worth the time and trouble involved... Salespeople talk a big game ,,, but in the real world it was a waste of time and money... If I'm wrong there will surely be some great Testimonials coming forth from those who love the stuff,,, and when those testimonials are shown to be truthful with good answers to the definitive questions, then I will apologize... :)

    I spot spray so as to not saturate the ground with broadleaf herbicides... that's as organic as my "bridge"program gets...
     
  3. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    Here is a picture of the lawn
    its on a steep hill, in the city, with a lot of shade

    20121120_125200.jpg
     
  4. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    I know if my lawns looked like this some other clients would be more interested.

    Turf.jpg
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Looks like it is dried out... organic can't replace water... Does water even soak in on that slope???
     
  6. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    well im going to install 2 sprinklers in the front there tomorrow. hope that works. slope is a pain..
     
  7. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,051

    Slope? That lawn is flat compared to 99.9% of the city lots here.

    Hardly any of them have nice, green lawns because of the mature trees, so I'll be interested to see if there are any helpful tips posted here that would help me as well.
     
  8. BlazersandWildcats2009

    BlazersandWildcats2009 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 197

    First of all, I learned a lot from this website. There are many people here with valuable, valuable information that can get you started in the right direction. I can give you some good hope and tell you that our lawn looked as bad or if not worse than yours. We had everything you can think of, way too much shade, compacted soil, root issues, bug issues, no free-air movement because of our new fencing, and many other problems to list. If you take the tie and dedication you can defiantly make the lawn look like the second picture above, but it will take some work. Grass isn't just going to grow, I would first send a soil sample off, and see what your looking like then people can give you much better advice. If your soil is bad, changing and improving the soil structure will most likely be one of your first steps. Also, there are certain grasses that will grow in shade, ours is Pallisides Zoysia, which is suppose to grow well in the shade. But I can tell you, all grass grown on the farm is grown in sun. Next to soil structure improvement, you would most likely benefit a lot from clearing out any and as much as shade as possible. Some suggest any tree limbs 8 foot from the ground, we took ours up to about 15 feet. Don't let money be your down fall, because I used a $30.00 pole saw from Home Depot, and a hand saw and climbed the tree and did it by hand. Here's some before and after of ours, but as I said I did a lot of work to the soil structure, tree's, etc. and did it by hand without renting rollers, machines, tractors, box blades, or anything of that manner. I used a shovel, hole, wheel barrow, good soil, compost, rakes, and days of sweating and work. Took a few weeks to go from this

    [​IMG]

    to this...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Hours of research would tell you everything you need to know. Look at some of my post, and research and read some of the advice that Agrostics offered us through our entire process. Our entire lawn was a mess, never taken care of, infested in weeds, and worse the soil was so compacted nothing would grow, with the exception of crab grass and weeds.
     
  9. BlazersandWildcats2009

    BlazersandWildcats2009 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 197

    I can tell you, if you decide to reconstruct the whole lawn. One mistake I'll tell you from the beginning, don't cheap yourself out on the soil. For example, if you decide to level it out, you could get a truck full of soil delivered. Loam is $20.00 a yard, but delivery fee for us was 60.00 a load. So delivery cost more than the soil it's self. So get all the soil you need delivered at one time. If I were in your shoes, I would haul in lots of top soil, level it off, and build some kind of concrete structuring around the edge. That would take care of a lot of your drainage issues. Then I would improve the soil, condition the soil, test the ph, get everything right. Along with killing the weeds. Add a top dressing of compost, then have some sod brought in. Do a little bit at a time, it can get expensive, but if you do most of the work yourself it will cost you little to nothing besides paying for sod, dirt, and a high water bill for a month.
     
  10. BlazersandWildcats2009

    BlazersandWildcats2009 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 197

    Also as someone mentioned above, you may have trouble getting that lawn looking like the second picture with a strictly organic program. I suppose it's possible, but if I was to take a guess it would take years. And just a thought, you might want to do a little ore research on Milogranite. I did research on it months ago, and from my understanding it contains toxic metals, which I would not consider to be organic. If you want to go the organic route, composting a lawn is one of the best things you can do for it. Figure out your square footage of the lawn, do the math how much compost you would need to cover the entire lawn .25 inch to .50 of an inch., but I would say before doing that you need to first and foremost find out what the soil structure your working with now looks like.
     

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