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Old 03-25-2013, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
1,413 posts, read 1,208,385 times
Reputation: 1241
Default Lets talk about DIY lawncare...

I figured I would post this here since my interest is for region-specific discussion/information...

Up north, my grass just grew with little help from me. All of my life, I had to do little more than mow it.

At my old house, I stepped it up and treated every season with the appropriate Scotts Turfbuilder stuff. The end result was a nice green lawn, almost good enough to be in a TV commercial. Since moving here, things are now complicated by the existence of an irrigation system, new kinds of grass, more/new kinds of bugs, etc.

Now that the lawn is waking up and is mostly green now, I've mowed it twice and am getting ready to mow it again. I've not been using the irrigation because I am getting the leaks taken care of (only one left now). With all the rain lately, I don't need it anyway right now. I treated back in January with some insect killer granules because I had alot of ants all over the place. They're all long gone now.

A few weeks ago I bought a couple bags of Scotts Bonus-S MAX Southern Weed & Feed and Fire Ant Killer. I used one bag in my spreader on the recommended setting and was able to cover my entire lawn.

So, what else should I do? How's everyone else making out, what issues do you have?
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill FL
552 posts, read 289,373 times
Reputation: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by HWTechGuy View Post
I figured I would post this here since my interest is for region-specific discussion/information...

Up north, my grass just grew with little help from me. All of my life, I had to do little more than mow it.

At my old house, I stepped it up and treated every season with the appropriate Scotts Turfbuilder stuff. The end result was a nice green lawn, almost good enough to be in a TV commercial. Since moving here, things are now complicated by the existence of an irrigation system, new kinds of grass, more/new kinds of bugs, etc.

Now that the lawn is waking up and is mostly green now, I've mowed it twice and am getting ready to mow it again. I've not been using the irrigation because I am getting the leaks taken care of (only one left now). With all the rain lately, I don't need it anyway right now. I treated back in January with some insect killer granules because I had alot of ants all over the place. They're all long gone now.

A few weeks ago I bought a couple bags of Scotts Bonus-S MAX Southern Weed & Feed and Fire Ant Killer. I used one bag in my spreader on the recommended setting and was able to cover my entire lawn.

So, what else should I do? How's everyone else making out, what issues do you have?
Make sure you fix your irrigation system and water every week during winter. Not watering and lots of freezing nights a few years ago ruined my grass. If it starts looking patchy get inspected for sinkhole activity, thats a telltale sign.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
1,413 posts, read 1,208,385 times
Reputation: 1241
Thanks for the reply. I've got the irrigation system all fixed except for one broken pop-up sprinkler head I have to dig out of the front yard near the driveway. I think someone drove over it when we were moving in.

Patchy? Do you mean patchy as in spots that are dead, or patchy as in spots that are growing better than others? Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:26 PM
 
19 posts, read 21,231 times
Reputation: 18
Another fellow Spring Hillian in the same boat as you. Been working on the sprinklers and yard for the past 7 months on and off. Still getting nowhere with the grass. I was spending a small fortunes on pre. And post emergent weed killers, Celsius WP by Bayer was effective but expensive. Bonus S didn't do much, i read they changed the formula for the worst. I eventually gave up hired Massey in December to maintain my shrubs and lawn, verdict still unsure about them. I told myself I'll try them for a year to see if I get any improvement so far I'm getting more weeds than when I used to do the work ! We shall see.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:30 AM
 
Location: says MA on my license but can be found wandering the beaches of RI
1,432 posts, read 654,622 times
Reputation: 853
Although I'm a renter, and will be once I move, I've always been of the mindset to take care of the place I'm renting as if it were my own and that includes the lawn. Yes, some landlords do the mowing but I'd like to know more about the upkeep of lawns down there. So, good thread.

One question I have is, do you find that you sometimes have a water restriction placed on your neighborhood?

And HWTech, are ants the only bugs you need to treat for?
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:02 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 1,126,779 times
Reputation: 2029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshinecc View Post
Although I'm a renter, and will be once I move, I've always been of the mindset to take care of the place I'm renting as if it were my own and that includes the lawn. Yes, some landlords do the mowing but I'd like to know more about the upkeep of lawns down there. So, good thread.

One question I have is, do you find that you sometimes have a water restriction placed on your neighborhood?

And HWTech, are ants the only bugs you need to treat for?

Yes there are water restrictions. You'll have to check with your county. It is a good idea to have a sensor installed so your sprinklers don't start when its raining too wasting water.

The other thing to be very much aware off is that there are a LOT of places here where there is no reclaimed water hooked for your sprinklers, and so when watering your lawn you are using the same water as your sinks and showers in your home. That can make your water bill VERY expensive.

We did not run the sprinklers all summer because it rained...so no need. We did not need to water here yet either except for one time so far, grass looks great! Too much watering will kill your lawn, just like cutting it too often. We hired a company a few years ago, and they cut it very short weekly completely killing it. Cut it every two weeks or so, and not too short, or it will die.

If your yard becomes that patchy, might as well replace the sad all together; we had to do that once.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:47 AM
 
Location: says MA on my license but can be found wandering the beaches of RI
1,432 posts, read 654,622 times
Reputation: 853
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoProIP View Post
Yes there are water restrictions. You'll have to check with your county. It is a good idea to have a sensor installed so your sprinklers don't start when its raining too wasting water.

The other thing to be very much aware off is that there are a LOT of places here where there is no reclaimed water hooked for your sprinklers, and so when watering your lawn you are using the same water as your sinks and showers in your home. That can make your water bill VERY expensive.

We did not run the sprinklers all summer because it rained...so no need. We did not need to water here yet either except for one time so far, grass looks great! Too much watering will kill your lawn, just like cutting it too often. We hired a company a few years ago, and they cut it very short weekly completely killing it. Cut it every two weeks or so, and not too short, or it will die.

If your yard becomes that patchy, might as well replace the sad all together; we had to do that once.
I've seen various mentions on here about reclaimed water. I assume you'd contact your local utility/dpw (not sure what it is referred to in the area) dept. to find that out?
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:03 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 1,126,779 times
Reputation: 2029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshinecc View Post
I've seen various mentions on here about reclaimed water. I assume you'd contact your local utility/dpw (not sure what it is referred to in the area) dept. to find that out?
Once you pick a property to rent, ask the realtor/landlord/management company if it has reclaimed water already installed. This is NOT A DIY project. A community either has it or not.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Spring Hill FL
552 posts, read 289,373 times
Reputation: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by HWTechGuy View Post
Thanks for the reply. I've got the irrigation system all fixed except for one broken pop-up sprinkler head I have to dig out of the front yard near the driveway. I think someone drove over it when we were moving in.

Patchy? Do you mean patchy as in spots that are dead, or patchy as in spots that are growing better than others? Thanks.
Well Im no expert on this but Ive always assumed spots that are dead.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:43 AM
 
2,083 posts, read 1,928,332 times
Reputation: 1436
Here is what I wrote some time ago on DIY stuff...

Quote:
Here is another example: when we bought our house I did all the outside maintenace (mowing, triming and all the chemical applications) myself and I kept tab on it. After months of doing it, I found out it actually costs me more to do the lawn treatment myself than hiring a company (I have a huge lawn and chemical cost that I buy are actually more expensive than what one of these companies buy in bulk), not to mention that I have to dress up like emergency workers and had to separatley clean my working clothes each time I do this. Just a hassel! So, I outsourced the job and kept only mowing and trimming duty as part of my excercise while saving money. But I am glad that I spent enough time to learn and did it so I now know what it takes to do the job. If we move to a house with small lawn, I could do it myself but currently doesn't make any financial sense.
I will add that when I was doing it myself, I just followed the plan from a local nursery at the begining, who would send me email every month what I should be doing to protect the lawn. I could also go and ask them, if I had question. You could try to find that in your area too.

Like I said, given the fact that we have a big lawn didn't make sense for me to keep doing the lawn treatment myself and all the hassel.

Good luck!
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