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Old 07-07-2014, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
2,025 posts, read 4,998,296 times
Reputation: 1498

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I'm in the NE and the weather here has been pretty dry w/ temp in the upper 80's. Except for the much needed rain from Storm Arthur last Thur/Fri, it has been bone dry before. This week and next seems to be back to the hot/dry spell.

I'm wondering if I should tell our landscaping guy to skip mowing this week. We are on a biweekly schedule currently, but the grass is still pretty short and a bit brown right now. I'm afraid mowing will make it stress out even more.

Our landscaping (lawnmowing) guy is a 1-man show (not one of those big companies). Just wondering if asking to skip our mowing is an acceptable thing to do... afterall, that means he earns less money without the work. But at the same time, our grass don't need the mowing and we sure would like to save that money for ourselves.

Your thoughts?
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:32 PM
 
Location: NC
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Could you substitute some other landscape task? Mowing is not a good idea when it is dry unless the weeds are growing while the grass is dormant.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Mass
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I say skip if you're in full sun. We went something like 12 or 14 days without rain before Arthur. They were saying showers this week on Tuesday and Thursday... Who knows if the rain will show.

If you do want him to do some work, you could ask him to lightly aerate the lawn if it's looking compacted and you're seeing run-off if hand watering.

The more shade and clippings on the root system, the happier the grass will be (outside of rain, that is!)
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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Thanks guys... so quick to get responses!

Full Sun ... YES - most of the lawn is indeed in full sun. Backyard is much more shaded but front lawn is full sun all day. I'm afraid front lawn will get thinner and thinner the more stress there is on it.

You know, I don't think this guy owns anything other equip than a truck and his lawnmower. Aerating is such a good idea and we need it badly - but I doubt he has that equipment and I'm afraid to ask how much he wants for that job....

We used to pay him to trim the shrubs (this was before I started managing the landscaping work for our small 3-unit condo recently). But I did it myself last season and it took < 1hr to do the trimming for 10 little bitty plants (the trimming was 15 min, cleaning up the clippings took longer). This landscaping guy wanted $200!!
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Mass
974 posts, read 1,263,016 times
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Hmmmm... Sometimes its an apple to oranges comparison, other times it can be Cortland apples to Empires. He might have had something else in mind when quoting the $200... Or not!

If you have a small lawn, they make a little 2-3 pronger that you can crab step over your lawn with. It will take a while, but you can get a good work out at the same time. You can target problem areas.
Amazon.com : Professional 3 Prong Lawn Aerator : Hand Operated Aerators : Patio, Lawn & Garden

I say hold off then... It has been cooler than last year, but the sun and wind still dries out the first couple of inches of soil.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
2,025 posts, read 4,998,296 times
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Flowbe - Never thought about getting these hand-operated aerators... seems like a good idea! Probably not the one that cost $150+ but the $30 ones sound ok. I might just do a little area at a time later on and with our small yard, it shouldn't take more than a dozen sessions.

Great - I've just send a text to the landscaper to hold off the mowing. Also asked him for quotes to do other things (including aerating). If the price is crazy high, we can always say 'no thanks'.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:56 PM
 
Location: NC
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You might be better off waiting until September to aerate, because you could overseed at the same time. As far as your lawn looking thinner, droughted leaves tend to roll up, so it looks thinner, but it is not. Just do your best to avoid walking on the grass, cross your fingers for luck, and leave it alone until it rains. Whatever you do -- NO fertilizer.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
2,025 posts, read 4,998,296 times
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Thanks Luv4horses! Great tips. I didn't think about no walking on the grass - Not that I do a lot but will keep that in mind for sure!
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:34 PM
 
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It's really hot here too. I am skiping, but it's getting all yellowish and I don't know why. The entire neighborhood is getting like that.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Mass
974 posts, read 1,263,016 times
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Aeration was for turf/soil compaction and if they were experiencing run-off when watering/ irrigating. It was not for reseeding. Two different purposes.

OP was experiencing some brown patches.

If compacted, water is not penetrating to the roots, causing more stress. If there is run off when it rains or waters, its because the soil is so dry.

Aerating will allow what little rain we're getting in Mass to penetrate to the roots instead of rolling off.
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