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Soil and Composting: what do you use on your lawn?

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want2bee
cedar rapids, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 15, 2007
3:15 AM

Post #4083916

I would love to have a greener yard without all the store bought chemicals. Just wondering what different things you use on your lawns.? I hate to buy one of those books that tell what you can use out of your kitchen, when all the people on here are so smart and have tried different things, maybe this would give everyone some ideas to try also...
CapeCodGardener
Mid-Cape, MA
(Zone 7a)

October 15, 2007
11:11 PM

Post #4086815

I am NOT a lawn-maven, but one very simple thing is to leave the lawn clippings on your lawn after mowing--the nitrogen in grass clippings is good for the lawn.
Len123
Adrian, MO
(Zone 6a)

October 16, 2007
12:56 AM

Post #4087229

yes you definitely want nitrogen. bloodmeal is organic but a little pricey. nitrogen travels through the soil pretty quickly.
Jax4ever
Boxford, MA
(Zone 6a)

October 16, 2007
4:36 AM

Post #4088064

I'm not a lawn person at all, but I do have a large pond with a grassy slope down to it's edge, so I can't use anything too strong. Every March, I burn brush and seed the area right after; the ashes really make things green. Maybe scatter some ashes from your fireplace.
To keep up the grass, I always rake new grass seed into the exsisting grassy spots- I'll buy 2- 3lb bags each year. Also, I grow grass in flats during the growing season, and cut them into areas that are becoming weedy. I got a torch weeder this year that is great!!! You can zap the weedy areas and patch it right up with the grass from the flats!
Since I bought a rear-bagging mower (electric!), my grass has looked worse than with the old mulching mower, so I think I will rake in a bale or 2 of peat moss this fall. I'll bet watering with a mild fish fertilizer would be a good idea, as long as it's the high-nitrogen formula.
CapeCodGardener
Mid-Cape, MA
(Zone 7a)

October 16, 2007
12:06 PM

Post #4088499

Jax4ever, you could have fooled me that you're "not a lawn person at all!" Thanks for some really good tips.
Arias
Richmond, VA

October 16, 2007
12:35 PM

Post #4088634

Greener lawn? if you can only do one thing, then lime it. Dolomitic lime [pellitized] is better for the lawn than chemicals. Fish emulsion spray, maybe add some kelp liquid in the sprayer, or top dress in the fall with compost/top soil. I'm not a lawn person, but my lawn is green and healthy, so the same feeding program works for lawns as well as gardens. And a regular watering schedule helps too.
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

October 16, 2007
1:10 PM

Post #4088723

With the caveat that I, too, am not a lawn person >giggle< ... you might also want to think about what you have for a lawn. Unless you are in love with the grass you have, there are a lot of different types, some more resistant to drought, some do better in different soils, blah, blah, blah.

Me, I say kill your TV *and* your lawn! My favorite lawn additive is Round-up, heh! But I'm a party pooper, what can I say.

Jax, I'm so glad to hear that you are cognisant of the problems that fertilizers near water cause. I wish more folks were.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 16, 2007
3:16 PM

Post #4089110

ever seem like the best grass you have is right along the edge of your nice flower beds, where you have to dig it oit to edge / ? or is it just me? i figure it wants that nice soil i've been amending . if i have any 'spare' compost, i rake some into the grass. pH is important. we do very little for our grass, though. it's mostly there to keep our feet from getting muddy--back when it used to 'rain'
Jax4ever
Boxford, MA
(Zone 6a)

October 16, 2007
3:48 PM

Post #4089226

My favorite additive is that torch weeder!!! LOL!!! It is more fun when you can yell "Die! Die!!!" to the weeds!!! Sometimes, I dress up like Rambo... ;0)
want2bee
cedar rapids, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 16, 2007
5:16 PM

Post #4089474

I had thought maybe some of you had tried alfalfa tea or coffee or something like that...
I know lime is also good... I also do the over seeding in the spring and fall...I don't bag when I mow, i mow on the highest level to help it be stronger also..so I mow twice a week...

This message was edited Oct 16, 2007 12:19 PM
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

October 16, 2007
9:40 PM

Post #4090321

Ooo - Jax, I bet *that's* a Kodak moment.

Wow, want2bee - you must really like to mow!

Me, I let the ponies have at it. They love Bermuda more than I hate it, I think...
Jax4ever
Boxford, MA
(Zone 6a)

October 17, 2007
3:56 PM

Post #4093129

Pagan, it IS a sight, particularly b/c I'm a fairly petite female! I DO have a shirt on, but sometimes my bulging biceps rip it.

I fired the one lawn crew DH once hired b/c they scalped the grass by mowing on the lowest setting. What a mess they made! Bare spots everywhere. I always cut on the highest setting. It's healthier, and I encourage snakes. Tall grass makes it easier for the little guys to make it down to the pond to go froggin'. Snakes are our friends!!! Granted, we up north don't have anything that's dangerous. (Supposedly there's a type of timber rattler, but not around where humans are. Snakes don't want to bite us- it's a last resort.)
Pagancat
(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

October 18, 2007
2:22 AM

Post #4095497

LMBO!
Len123
Adrian, MO
(Zone 6a)

October 18, 2007
2:52 AM

Post #4095607

snakes? I used to think they were my friend till an owl moved in. the owls eat the mice and snakes. i even mowed the grass so he can see them both better! lol
Jax4ever
Boxford, MA
(Zone 6a)

October 18, 2007
3:47 PM

Post #4097018

Cool! Owls!!! I guess I'm just a critter nut. I find that if I don't poison my lawn and garden (same thing, really) I have animals aplenty that are entertaining to me and Jax. Deer sometimes munch my hostas if I don't put repellant on them, but I do enjoy watching birds, frogs, snakes and squirrels chase each other around.
rouge21

(Zone 5b)

November 28, 2011
4:07 AM

Post #8908607

For the past month or so I have been spreading a mixture of top soil and tea leaves on my lawn. I have access to 'spent' tea leaves from a tea shop and so I have been mixing a mass of these soaked leaves it with top soil and spreading it directly on the lawn. This time of year (fall) there is lots of rain and then it will be winter with snow and then rain again in the spring. So I am guessing that by May 1st all this 'tea leaf soil' will have been broken down and absorbed into the lawn. My hope is that I will see much less winter kill this spring and a much more vigorous lawn.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 28, 2011
6:19 AM

Post #8908727

Sounds great!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 8, 2011
5:22 PM

Post #8921990

Coffee grounds raked in, or just scattered thinly before rains couldn't hurt

- nitrogen
- organic matter
- attracts worms
- holds a little water
rouge21

(Zone 5b)

December 9, 2011
3:43 AM

Post #8922332

With frozen ground now the norm I have now begun to add "rock dust" to my supply of wet tea leaves. Of course the 'dust' sticks nicely to the leaves and then I distribute it around the garden and lawn. (With the dust now wet and sticking to the organic matter it eliminates the problem losing some of the dry rock dust in the wind).

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 9, 2011
5:29 AM

Post #8922375

Both those sound good.
tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

December 10, 2011
7:13 PM

Post #8924483

i use local made fertilizer..made for soils here in utah..i also spray my lawn
with soluable kelp in late spring..early summer spray with beer..which helps with
thatch build up..
ive thrown coffee grounds on my lawns for yrs.. really increases the worm population
and you end up with slightly bumpiness...but i figure all those worms.and their castings
have to be good for the lawn..

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 14, 2011
8:59 PM

Post #8930100

>> early summer spray with beer..

I want to attend the early summer beer festival in your yard! I bet worms and slugs and bachelors come from miles around to have beer sprayed on them.

(I'm picturing something like kids dancing around a lawn sprinkler, except college-age guys with their mouths wide open and a joyous light in their eyes.)

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 15, 2011
5:28 AM

Post #8930332

lol RC

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 15, 2011
8:22 PM

Post #8931394

Beer, glorious beer!

Ben Franklin proeved himself to be the wisest of all philosophers & theologians with this proverb:

"Beer is certain proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy."

tropicalnut777
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

December 16, 2011
3:50 PM

Post #8932474

LOL..yea.. rick..beer..:) here in utah..ive always wondered if some neighbors wondered
of a smell from the lawn after i spray with beer>>>?? LOL :)
i hear using molasses in hose end sprayer is good for lawns too..
i might try it in my hose end sprayer next summer..
real reason i spray with beer is to get the slugs drunk..easier to find them just
layin around the lawn.. LOL :)

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 16, 2011
5:09 PM

Post #8932542

!

What's that I smell coming from that yard with all the gardens?!?

I've also heard people propose molasses ("agricultural molasses") for jump-starting xompost heaps and "straw-bale gardens". High nitrogen and sugar, I guess, and the agro-version is both cheaper and has more "good stuff for plants".

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 22, 2011
9:17 AM

Post #8939291

Epsom Salts...greens it up like you wouldn't believe...fast, too...

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

February 16, 2012
1:54 PM

Post #9009064

BUMP!

So, what're ya'll about to dump on the lawns?
rouge21

(Zone 5b)

February 17, 2012
3:21 AM

Post #9009555

[quote="Gymgirl"]Epsom Salts...greens it up like you wouldn't believe...fast, too...[/quote]

I need details! I assume you first dissolve it in water? How much?

And then how do you most easily apply it to the lawn? And what time(s) of the year do you do it?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

February 17, 2012
12:08 PM

Post #9010055

Rouge21,
I just sprinkle a pound of plain old $ Store Epsom Salts on the lawn periodically when I apply fertilizer. Maybe 3-4 times in the year... I use the Scots hand crank sprinkler... and walk around...
rouge21

(Zone 5b)

February 17, 2012
4:16 PM

Post #9010394

Thanks for that "Gymgirl".

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 17, 2012
5:44 PM

Post #9010468

>> hand crank sprinkler

My hand spreader jams and is generally annoying. Now I put anything granular into a big plastic jar with a 1/2" or 3/4" hole in the lid, and 'spray' the contents around in a wide swath. Like the large-size jar of Metamucil.

It's not as uniform as the spreader/sprinkler, but it doesn't jam and grind at me.

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