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Old 08-26-2014, 07:46 PM
 
Location: SC
2,967 posts, read 3,961,982 times
Reputation: 6809

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-Don't overthink it and fall into the trap of buying all kinds of chemicals and pesticides that will poison yourself and your yard.

-Pull out weeds before they have a chance to go to seed, or else they will spread like the plague and become an ongoing issue.

-Don't cut too low and burn out the grass. Lawns can be kept lush and green if you mow according to the weather patterns, i.e.: Right before it rains, and never right before a week of extreme sun and heat.

-Unless you are in a drought area, you shouldn't have to water much, unless you have pots that will dry out.

-NEVER buy a plant, flower or shrub for your yard on impulse simply because it looks cool. Nurseries often sell plants that do not do well in your zone and most have specific shade, size, and heat tolerances. Research online before you shop, so you already have a correct spot in mind for exactly what you need.

-New planting often do best in spring or fall. Summer planting can become easily stressed and die before they have a chance to develop a healthy root system.

- Keep a ziplock bag, and each time you buy a new plant, stick the plastic plant info card into the bag and save them all. This is a lifesaver down the road, when you forget what you planted and need to go back and get more info on the care or variety of the plant.

- Look on Youtube for local gardeners in your state or growing zone and subscribe to them. They can be a wealth of information.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:59 PM
 
Location: SC
2,967 posts, read 3,961,982 times
Reputation: 6809
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post

BTW You will never find a more generous group of people than gardeners. We love to impress others with how much we know, give lots of advice, and most of all bring others over to Our Side of Life. We share divisions, cuttings, seeds and everything. A good group of gardening friends is so valuable.
This is true. Lots of communities also have gardening clubs that you can join.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 10,678,769 times
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Congratulations! You are going to be fine. There's a learning curve, but this isn't brain surgery. You can google just about anything yard related and get easy step by step instructions or you can always come here with any questions you have. Also get to know your neighbors because they will be a valuable resource for you.

I'd suggest getting a self-propelled lawn mower because it will make your life easier. When you see your neighbors mowing their grass mow yours. (Don't mow it too short because it will burn up. I try for 2.5 to 3 inches in height.)

When you see your neighbors water their grass water yours, but I don't think you'll have to water very often based on your location.

Find the best looking yard in the neighborhood and ask the owners how they got it to look so good. Most people are thrilled to be complimented on their yard, flowers, shrubs, etc. and will happily share their knowledge with you. Gardeners are very giving people.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,684,911 times
Reputation: 47015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmachina View Post
-
-NEVER buy a plant, flower or shrub for your yard on impulse simply because it looks cool. Nurseries often sell plants that do not do well in your zone and most have specific shade, size, and heat tolerances. Research online before you shop, so you already have a correct spot in mind for exactly what you need.
LOL Had to laugh at this. Some of my most wonderful surprises have been purchased on impulse.
"Wonder how this will do? Wonder where I will plant it? I better get 3 of them."

It's kind of like buying shoes. You know you don't need them. Not sure what you will wear them with and not sure when you will wear them. But you just love them and will find somehow to make them work.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:18 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 3,306,776 times
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Thank you everyone!! Some great tips here, I'm taking it all in, please keep it coming!

So - water once a week? For a few hours? It's hot right now and been dry for a while, and a patch of the grass is dry and brown, since our closing process took a while and the house was standing attended. Do I focus on watering that area?
Do I do anything else with the flower beds aside from water for now?

Thanks again!
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:32 AM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,065,428 times
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Where are you located?
Generally speaking and with very few exceptions: I wouldn't water anything. Let mother nature water. Whenever you get the urge to water- don't- count to 10 and then go pull some weeds! It doesn't hurt grass to be brown; there may be multiple reasons why that patch is brown. Established gardens and lawns shouldn't need to be watered if they have been properly cared for.
You will do far more harm to your garden plants and yard by watering superficially than by waiting until it rains again.
If I were you I would contact your local cooperative extension- they will have a master gardener who will be able to give you some good advice.
JMHO YMMV
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:04 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 7,189,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtinbender View Post
I usually go to the U of M (Maine) Cooperative Extension for basic knowledge and some expert advice on plants and gardening. Not sure what part of the Northwest you are at but here's one link: *WSU Extension

I try to stay away from chemical weed killers like Roundup. I use a gallon of vinegar with a 1/4 cup of dish soap (to make it stick) and it kills off the weeds and grass in my walkways. It usually takes more than one application to keep them down. Some folks use Epsom salts too I should try that and see if it works better. I suspect will be more helpful hints a-comin'. Don't worry too much and just try to enjoy learning and experimenting.
That was going to be my advice! Most Extensions offer free or very very inexpensive classes for homeowners and cover the basics extremely well.

And now I am going to disagree with you on the herbicide advice. Epsom salt will not not not kill weeds. It is magnesium sulphate -- a micronutrient. If it does kill any weeds, it will be because you have overapplied it, caused some magnesium toxicity, and also harmed your non-target plants.

Boiling water is good for walkways. Don't ever use it over areas where there are other plant roots or grass roots.

Glyphosate is fine. People will flame me for saying that, but go ahead and talk to Extension and you will hear the same thing: Used properly, it it just fine.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:38 AM
 
5,544 posts, read 4,396,599 times
Reputation: 10862
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilCookie View Post
Thank you everyone!! Some great tips here, I'm taking it all in, please keep it coming!

So - water once a week? For a few hours? It's hot right now and been dry for a while, and a patch of the grass is dry and brown, since our closing process took a while and the house was standing attended. Do I focus on watering that area?
Do I do anything else with the flower beds aside from water for now?

Thanks again!
Check on water restrictions for your area.

I would install a sprinkler system. Moving water sprinklers around all the time during the summer can be a pain.

Hire a lawn service for at least the first year you are there and just watch what they do.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,684,911 times
Reputation: 47015
If you think you must water remember never to let the sun set on wet plants. It causes fungus diseases. So water early in the morning so you don't lose too much too evaporation. Also if you water when it is very sunny and get water on leaves it can act as a magnifying glass and cause burn.

Water deep and thoroughly instead of often and shallow. This causes roots to grow towards the surface and dry out so it does more harm than good. a good installed sprinkler system is very valuable. You can set it for early a.m. and even decide which zones of your yard get watered.
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