Seeking advice from Dave Hall or anyone else who will listen

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by thinksnow, May 24, 2007.

  1. thinksnow

    thinksnow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I have 2 acres of lawn up in NJ. Deducting the house and drive way it's probably closer to 1.7 acres. My wife has declared that we will have a pesticide and herbacide free lawn. My back lawn is much healthier then my front lawn. The front is a bit ragged with some crab grass and lots of dandelions.:cry: The back is much thicker and healthier with a few dandelions and weeds here and there. The back is the majority ofthe property, it use to be a farm field which I guess would explain the thick rich grass. So that being said Im trying to figure out a plan of action. I priced out some organic fertilizer with the corn stuff?? for dandelion control. It was about $900 for a yard my size. On top of that it wouldn't help with the dandelions for this summer. It really won't take effect until next spring. I wanted to reseed the front yard but the soil seems a bit weak. I was going to put down some organic fert but was concerned it would just feed the weeds. What are the parameters for reseeding with organic fert. I have a large mulched playground area that is being over run by weeds. I used round up last year which my wife has since disposed of. I get these weeds in there that have sharp thorns that go right through my leather work gloves. Does the vinegar thing really work? I really feel like Im pissing in the wind here. I would appreceate any advice I can get.
    Thanks, Steve
  2. ThorVentures

    ThorVentures LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Sounds like it's already organic
  3. thinksnow

    thinksnow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    It was pretty nice last year and the year before. After I stopping treating it the weeds exploded with a vegance. The front needs fertilizer every year and it hasn't head any since last spring.
  4. Keegan

    Keegan LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 614

    first get your soil tested. I know Rutgers has a ag extension site in Freehold. NOt sure if there is one at their main campus.
    Crabgrass and dandilions LOVE grass that is cut short. raise your mower setting to at least 3 1/2" this gives the soil shade and prevents the seeds from germinating. this will take time but it does work.
    the corn gluten I don't think works like they say it does
  5. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    Might be easier to get a new wife?
    I have considered the organic route and any customers who have asked have ended up changing their mind about needing organic or have ended up saying just kill them but don't let my wife know you sprayed them.
  6. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,584

    If you have crappy soil, then organics is not the route to go. They work great if you already have good soil to work with, bercause organics feed the soil, which feed the plant. Synthetic feed the plant. As far as weeds go, you will need pesticides to get rid of them. I am still not sold on corn gluten. Tried it once with no control of my crabgras. Worked great as a fert, but was big $$ ($40 for 2500 square feet). Consider aerating the bad sections and top dressing with compost. This will probably take several tries before you build your junk soil into something good. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you can't grow a nice lawn on crappy soil, unless you're willing to dump alot of $ into it.
  7. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 757

    I would like to know how your wife "disposed" of the roundup. If she just threw it away, i would think that would be more irresponsible than spraying a little herbicide on your lawn.
  8. thinksnow

    thinksnow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    She actually dropped it off at the county recycling center.
  9. Nathan Robinson

    Nathan Robinson LawnSite Senior Member
    from 47712
    Messages: 317

    Corn Gluten works. Beware of good organic fertilizers that ultimately send your soil in the wrong direction. Vinegar works. Apple cider vinegar is the best. Corn gluten should be applied in fall and never Spring like so many people seem to do. Corn Gluten gives your lawn 4 pounds of N when applied at proper rates. This will be $7.00. I need the check by Wednesday...
  10. thinksnow

    thinksnow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I maied it last tuesday. you didn't get it yet? I found this Burn Out II vinegar based weed killer Im going to order for the playground, around the pool, etc.
    I'll let you know how it works. I found a local place the sells finished compost so I will hit the front lawn with that as soon as I get a chance. I guess I'll save the corn gluten for the fall based on you advice. I need to buy a towable spreader. I have a very large walk behind now but it becomes a bit cumbersome pushing it around my property.

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