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newbie at landscaping with landscape issues at home w/pics

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by rokinrandy, May 24, 2005.

  1. rokinrandy

    rokinrandy LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Messages: 37

    hi,i am new here and i have really enjoyed this forum the past couple of days i hope it is ok for a plumber that appreciates your trade and wants to learn to post here..and i hope maybe i can contribute one day..anyways i am no expert so go easy on me..i just bought a home last year and the yard is really ghetto :cool2: ..if you read the free chem lawn post you will see a part of my problem..anyways any book suggestions or pro advice will be awesome..apart from the lawn and all the other work i have i will just post a small project of mine w/pics..money is an issue for me right now so ,every thing i have i find growing wild and i collect stuff off of all these commercial projects i work on(but nothing stolen :blush: ) i have spotted some huge ferns where my buddy hunts..anyways look at the crazy pics i have for this project and let me have it ..thanks ..randy oh here is the link w/pics http://groups.msn.com/randyraudenbushandfamily/yardwork.msnw
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ok there are only a few things I can cover because my specialty is lawncare and mulch, and what follows is based on your pictures so here goes:

    You need a broad-cast spreader! If you do not have one, you will need to buy one or maybe you can borrow one from a neighbor.

    - To make the grass look good, run to Home Depot and buy:
    4 to 6 bags of pelletized Lime (they're about 3 bucks each, 40lb. bags).
    - The lime is in white-green bags and make sure you don't get the powdered cheap stuff because the powder SUX with the spreader.
    2 bags of Super 16-4-8 Fertilizer (33 lb. bags, about $5.49 each)
    - This comes in red + white bags, and is usually around the 10-10-10.
    One bottle of Ortho 'Lawn Weed Killer' with the garden-hose applicator.
    - Make SURE you do NOT get the 'Grass & Weed Killer' or you will kill your lawn! Read the fine print and make sure it says 'Kills the weeds and not the lawn.' Cost of this bottle is just under 10 bucks.
    If you have a sprayer, get some concentrated Round-up and mix it with water when you get back OR buy:
    The 1 gallon bottle with the hand-sprayer of Round-up (right about 15 bucks).
    Total cost so far: Like 50 bucks, I think (that's without a spreader).

    Now you need to watch the weather because you need to do this about 48 hours before any rain AND it would be best to do the Weed-killer AND the Round-up in bright sunlight (temperature is no issue, it is ok if it's cool outside but sunlight is a must or it is not as effective).

    With the spreader, spread the lime and the fertilizer ALL over the yard.
    Read the instructions and then select the appropriate setting.
    It does not matter which you do first (Lime or Fert) but do ONE then the Other, do not mix the two just do one first, the other last.
    The trick with the spreader is this:
    - No matter how fast you walk, the chemical will flow through the opening at the SAME rate. The faster you walk, the farther the chemical flies AND the more territory you can cover. Slower walk gets more concentration.
    - If you walk faster, you will get a wider and finer spread (less chemical over a larger area).
    - If you walk slower, you get less of a spread and MORE chemical per sq. foot.
    Start out with a normal walk, and kinda gauge as you go, increase / decrease your speed with the ultimate goal being that you run out of chemical at the same time you run out of yard (best of luck).
    A good setting for someone who is kinda new with a spreader is about 1/4 to 1/3 of an opening. If you are new, NEVER open more than 1/3'rd for it will flow out very fast and you may get skru'd, easy does it.
    With the spreader: Select the chute setting and open/close it a few times to see if you 'got it.' Then close the chute and empty your first bag into the spreader. Now:
    Open the chute AND start walking simultaneously BUT:
    Once you start walking, do NOT STOP until you run out! The reason is the chute may not close even if you hit the lever, the chemical can continue to run out and if you stop walking you will get a pile of chemical and it continues to drain all the while you are standing still, and a pile of fertilizer will kill that spot of lawn. Not only that, but it looks bad and does not help. So one more time: Once you start walking, do not stop until the spreader is empty.
    When the spreader is NEAR empty, it helps to jolt it back-and-forth to get the last bit through the hole and THEN: Stop the spreader and close the chute and Leave the spreader where you stopped! Do NOT take the spreader back to where you have the bags or you will not remember where you stopped!
    Instead, walk to where the bags are and grab the next bag and walk back to the spreader. Check to make sure you really did close the chute, and empty the next bag into the spreader.
    Repeat until done.
    Once the chem is spread, screw the Ortho Lawn Weed killer bottle applicator onto your garden hose and proceed to spray your entire lawn with this BUT:
    Remember the applicator produces a Horizontal spray, and even thou a Vertical spray would be nice, you will need to adjust your method and the easiest way to do it is up-and-down. A vertical spray would allow you to go side-to-side but since we do not have that option, up-and-down it is.
    The procedure with the sprayer is easy, basically cover your entire lawn and make sure it is nice and wet but do not 'water' the lawn, just make sure you cover everything and read the directions and do NOT spray on plants because it kills plants!

    Once that is done, get the Round-up and cover all those weeds or grass in the rock-beds. Be careful not to get it on the plants or the lawn, it is a TOTAL vegetation killer and is very powerful and doesn't care. Cover the weeds and grass nice and good, stems and leaves.

    Well, that's for starters...
    Now if you got some money and a pick-up truck, run out and get a cubic yard of mulch, here's the skinny:
    Double-shredded fiber is the most cost-effective mulch out and costs a LOT less than Premium double-shredded hardwood and is just as good, basically.
    But if you want some mulch that lasts more than a few weeks, buy a yard of designer mulch - You can get Red / Auburn, black, or Chestnut brown (this last is the closest color to real mulch). Yes, it costs about twice as much as the fiber and maybe 20% more than the Premium.
    However, designer mulch lasts at least a year or two before it needs to be re-applied.
    By the way, spread the mulch THIN or you will run out, a yard is just enough and not extra. If you want to be sure, get 2 yards. Basically if you get the reddest mulch you can get, it will look somewhat like the xp pic.
    If you do NOT have a way to get the mulch to your house and since you only need a yard or two, the following options apply:
    1) Order the mulch BUT a lot of places have minimum orders AND there is usually a 35-dollar delivery fee AND you have to spread it.
    2) Call a lawncare company that delivers AND spreads small amounts like that. If you were to call me, I'd charge you around 110 dollars/2 yards, and I'd likely get it done with 1 yard but 1 yard does cost 60 dollars.
    3) Buy the bags of mulch at Home Depot, they come in 2 cu. ft./bag and cost several bucks each or so, I'd say 10-15 bags should do. To play it safe, get 8 bags and be ready to go back for more but with 8 bags spread you will have a better idea how much you need to finish OR buy all 15 the first time and if you have too much, just spread the left-over on top of the existing mulch for a thicker cover.

    Hope is help,
  3. rokinrandy

    rokinrandy LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Messages: 37

    pascal , you are d man :cool: i will be more than happy to give you plumbing , guitar,or any building advice for all that info,,thanks alot,randy
  4. Cleanmaxx Brian

    Cleanmaxx Brian LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    WOW!!! Pascal, what a great reply! This is how you help us newbies!!!
  5. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    I wouldn't apply anything without a soil analysis:


    Don't forget to get the info that explains the test results:


    It sounds silly that these are separate, until you think about it. Even as a homeowner, you might have soil analysis done many times over the years, but you only need one booklet.

    My personal favorite general purpose application is Medina HastGro Lawn. It's available in a quart-sized bottle with built-in applicator:


    or a gallon bottle:


    One quart covers 4000 square feet.

    Personally, I think the best weed control is a healthy, vigorous lawn. The way to a healthy, vigorous lawn, IMO, is soil management and proper mowing.
  6. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    Pascal is the man......give us more info....we need that brain picked.... :)
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

  8. rokinrandy

    rokinrandy LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Messages: 37

  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I would plant six birchs in center front about 25'out from house,loose the rocks.
    bring the front flowerbed way out and set a bench in the middle facing out to hide the hose,
    then I would install a pathway (meandering )from drvway thru yard in front of the bench with a little foot landing then continued over to the side gate.
    and plant larger shrub and plants around the bench and pathway.
    then put nice metal trellis with curly design center windows and plant a flowering vine there.and
    a few plants around the outside birch area but faceing bench only.
    What your doing is creating an area thet you can sit out and enjoy without being fully exposed to the public,
    plus your breaking up the huge expanse of lawn that is out of proportion with the house,plus softening the harsh edges of the brick home.
  10. rokinrandy

    rokinrandy LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Messages: 37

    that sounds good,real good ms. shovel..i am glad you noticed the yard is really out of proportion to the house.. this is one of the factors i did not consider when i bought the home..and it is making it hard on a newbie like me..these 2 windows with the hose is actually what you see at the road i am at the corner of the culdisac ..so if i sat out there my neighbors would see me point blank getting drunk scratchin my butt and all that other stuff so...butt i have like an old coca cola decorative bench i can fix up and try that and i can build a trellace there..my only problem is loose the rocks..i have lots and lots and lots of these things :help: ..they are all in the back yard most of them..about 7 f-150 loads of them.i could pile these back with them.what is wierd with my house is the front of my house is the side and the side of my house is facing the road like it is the front..if that makes any sense..thanks for this beautifull idea..i pictured it in my mind word for word,randy

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