Lawn care education?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by ghost69, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. ghost69

    ghost69 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I have to admit, I'm not a not a lawn care pro. I just call myself more of a hobbist. I was looking through the forums and there was a post in the irrigation part that I thought I'd ask here. I am interested in gaining knowlegde. What books/literature would you recommend as a must read for any pro or homeowner that is serious into lawn care? I want to learn as much as possible (that's why and how I ended up here). I've scoured our local county extension office and have searched several other state's extension offices. I found several useful articles. I want to redo my lawn. I have 5 acres (wooded). The house sits on 1 and the rest is behind so I plan on mostly trying to reclaim the front acre from nature. I have to sit down and come up with a plan so once I do, I'll post it for comments.

    Thanks

    Ghost
     
  2. Green Feet Lawn

    Green Feet Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    What area of the country are you in? Can you post some pics? You can get some great insight from the pros on this site.

    As far as education, check your local community colleges for a turf course. Do a search for turf management in your area.
     
  3. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    ghost,
    There is a basic irrigation booklet from Scott's that can be checked out at your local library. If not, look at Books a million or Barnes and Noble for this literature. The book is waterproof, so it won't be hard to find.......it is bound by a black spiral band. This book describes the basics of hydraulics, pressures, and general systems functions. You can also get a basic booklet from the Toro Corporation at Lowe's. Rainbird and Hunter Corporations offer extensive courses through work shops in most areas. Suppliers of these products can lead you to education as with state regulations and city ordinances. Some states will require you to be anti-siphon or backflow preventer certified for water contamination control. Extension services may or may not know of simple irrigation as they are often useful in shallow well, center pivot and agriculture related issues. The knowledge you seek needs to be sought in the private sector given by the companies of the products you will purchase from. The main thing to look for is your state and local laws and codes first.
     
  4. sodfather24D

    sodfather24D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    If you are in the oklahoma, west arkansas area there is a book by steve dobbs called the oklahoma lawn. My wife gave it to me this christmas, it had a lot of good information for homeowner/hobbyist types. It covered everything from turf selection, irrigation and mowing tips.
     
  5. ghost69

    ghost69 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I live in central KY. I need to do a soil test but it also has alot of rock in it. I'm thinking about trying to find a harley rake to run it over and get ride of the rock. Then do a soil test. Probably add some compost if I can find a good place to get it.

    Ghost
     
  6. sodfather24D

    sodfather24D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    The thing that sux about rocks in lawns is that rocks have a specific gravity less than soil. Meaning they constantly will be rising to the top.
     
  7. ghost69

    ghost69 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I was thinking that if I can set the rake 6-8" deep, that should help.

    Ghost
     
  8. sodfather24D

    sodfather24D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    That will definitely help, and once your turf is established that will help as well. There Is a simple diy test for soil makeup you can do at home. It is not a soil test but a composition test used to determine if your soil is sand, loam, or clay. Fill a quart jar 2/3 full of water, add one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent to separate soil particles. Add soil till the jar is near full. Allow space to shake it. Remove all the rocks and roots. Then shake and stir vigorously. When the water and soil are mixed shake it for a couple minutes, and set it on a level surface. In 30-40 second the sand will settle to the bottom. Mark the sand with a marker. In about four hours the silt will settle, mark the level. Then in 24hours the clay, mark it again. If all three levels are equal your soil is loamy, if the top layer is largest you have clay, and if your bottom is greatest your sandy. Loamy is the best for growing, then sandy, ans third clay. Sandy is okay it just requires more water more often, and your nutrients tend to flow through the substrate.
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    No offense intended, but you are a bit off on your soil stuff. A clay loam will typically be your best soil, and as your sand content increases the quality of your soil decreases. A clay soil is far better than a sandy soil with respect to fertility. Also for your reference.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. sodfather24D

    sodfather24D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    Kiril,
    I'm very familiar with the chart thank you. You must have read wrong. I said a loamy type soil is the best (clay LOAM is a type) and that sandy soils require more nutrients. A soil that is 100 percent clay is often times riddled with compaction issues. Also all that said, sandy soil is not necessarily a "bad" soil type just different. Most of the best sportfields in the world are on sand bases. I once worked with a top notch ncaa cusa soccer field that is built on a sand base with zero crown. I would say my soil statement was spot on. No offense intended.
     

Share This Page