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Old 11-25-2006, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Union County, NC
2,115 posts, read 6,740,698 times
Reputation: 1140

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Hello!

I've lived my life surrounded by concrete! Now we're in our new home, which sits on 1.2 acres, overlooking beautiful farmland. Unfortunately, I think the seller stopped tending to the grass as soon as she put the house on the market. It didn't look great when we went under contract, by the time we closed, it looked more like hay than grass.

When do we start working on the lawn? My DH keeps telling me that there's nothing for us to do before Spring. I feel like there is probably SOMETHING we should be doing right now to prep it before Spring. I want grass. I want green grass. I have no problem calling a professional out to guide us but, would it be a wasted effort? Would I be asking to be charged for unnecessary services?

So, what do we need to do to get the grass I've been dreaming about? Any suggestions on who to call out to help us (we're in Monroe)?

Thanks for any guidance!

SL
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Old 11-25-2006, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,519,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saralee View Post
Hello!

My life has been lived surrounded by concrete! Now we're in our new home, which sits on 1.2 acres, overlooking beautiful farmland. Unfortunately, I think the seller stopped tending to the grass as soon as she put the house on the market. It didn't look great when we went under contract, by the time we closed, it looked more like hay than antything else.

When do we start working on the lawn? My DH keeps telling me that there's nothing for us to do before Spring. I feel like there is probably SOMETHING we should be doing right now to prep it before Spring. I want grass. I want green grass. I have no problem calling a professional out to guide us but, would it be a wasted effort? Would I be asking to be charged for unnecessary services?

So, what do we need to do to get the grass I've been dreaming about? Any suggestions on who to call out to help us (we're in Monroe)?

Thanks for any guidance!

SL
Your husband makes a good point. What I would do is cut it by mowing it as it shouldn't grow anymore this winter, then fertilize it so that it has a headstart when Spring comes. My grass was in sorry shape with open patches too when I bought my home and that's over 3 acres of lawns alone. My neighbor taught me how to properly mow (always criss cross..one direction the first time, then 90 degree direction the next time to help get the lawns to fill in and it helps stop weeds from growing. Rain will take care of the rest. It will get beautiful with proper mowing come Spring and making sure it's tended to every two weeks or so!

The pic above was taken May 22 and the lawns by then looked pretty good, but they had been brown with bare spots only months before. It will work out, just be patient and keep up on the crisscross mowing and fertilizer!
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Old 11-25-2006, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Union County, NC
2,115 posts, read 6,740,698 times
Reputation: 1140
WOW! What gorgeous scenery. You have a lot to be proud of! And we have a lot of work to do! Thank you for sharing that photo.

Would you say it is necessary to do the following: CORE AERATION, FERTILIZATION & OVERSEED? I am seeing lots of ads advertising these services.

Thank you again for the reply.

Sincerely,

SL
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Old 11-25-2006, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,519,146 times
Reputation: 2000001451
Quote:
Originally Posted by saralee View Post
WOW! What gorgeous scenery. You have a lot to be proud of! And we have a lot of work to do! Thank you for sharing that photo.

Would you say it is necessary to do the following: CORE AERATION, FERTILIZATION & OVERSEED? I am seeing lots of ads advertising these services.

Thank you again for the reply.

Sincerely,

SL
well Saralee, I wouldn't say those, especially the first, are necessary, but fertilization and even reseeding where you see dead spots can't hurt. The fertilization will mean that your grass will grow quickly at first but it should give it the kick to get deeper roots and grow more thickly and tide it through drier weeks. We have had dry spells here this year and one thing I noticed is that if clouds of dust fly up when I roll my riding mower over the lawn, is to adjust the blades up a bit so it doesn't cut so short that time to help keep a bit of moisture close to the roots of the grass. One problem I have is leaves dropping that make grass get weak. Oak trees drop pretty acidic leaves and where they pile up, grass has a tough time. I have mostly Oak and Hickory trees with a few trees that I have no clue what they are. I make sure to vacuum them up and mulch them, then burn them to get them out of the way. The other thing if you have trees is to trim the lower branches from the ground to about 10' up to allow sunlight to reach the grass so it will grow. It's a lot of work the first time, but they never grow back after having been cut off (thank goodness!). Good luck! Again, whatever you do, mowing properly is the key and you'll be amazed just what good mowing practices will do to the lawn without using anything else!

Last edited by MoMark; 11-25-2006 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:38 PM
 
179 posts, read 552,757 times
Reputation: 69
saralee,
I just replied to you before I read this. When I read your response to my private EMAIL, i had no idea you were so close to farmland. That would be my dream location, overlooking farmland. Are the farms still operational ? Wow, what an ideal spot. I'm going to have to really research that area now. Anyway again the best of luck to you and your family there, it sounds like a beautiful location. And as far as your lawn. Although core aeration is not always necessary, it really depends on how hard your soil is where you're trying to grow new seed. Alot of places I looked at when we were down there last month seemed to contain alot of clay. If that were the case with your property, I would definitely do some type of aeration. You have to have the soil loose, or porous enough to absorb the fertilizers, otherwise they for the most part will just wash away, rather than be absorbed by the earth.

MoMark, what a gorgeous place you have there, do you mind saying what town you live in ? Looks like you have some property, and a single level home, which is our preference.

Bill in Ct
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Union County, NC
2,115 posts, read 6,740,698 times
Reputation: 1140
Default We love it here

Hi Bill,

We've been here since November 1 and to say that we love Monroe would be an understatement. We are so pleased with our decision to move. The transition for all of us has been easier than I could have ever anticipated. Our community, our home, the children's schools -- all have exceeded my expectations.

We made the decision to move to the Charlotte area but decided on Union County after our first trip here. We fell in love with the rural feel. I am not sure why exactly but Monroe doesn't seem to get a lot of respect amongst transplants. From what I gather, it doesn't seem as "cool" to buy in Monroe, as opposed to somehwere like Waxhaw.

Our wish list was at least 3 beds, 2.5 bths, 2000 sq. ft, min. 1 acre and under $200K. Initially, I was dead set against subdivisions but then I revised that when I found out not all subdivisions have 30-page convenants and HOAs. I also couldn't fathom living in a "community" with 300 look alike homes and yards the size of postage stamps.

We moved into a 3-year-old ranch (there's a lot to be said for putting everything on one floor!) with a split floor plan, 2044 sq ft, 1.2 acres, 3 beds, 2.5 bths for $179,500. It's on a one-street subddivision with 12 homes, no two houses look alike. No HOA, no fees, no lengthy convenant and friendly neighbors with nice looking brick homes and manicured lawns (all except ours ... HA! But that will change). Behind our home is hundreds of acres of farmland. There is a bay window in our EIK and I love watching my boys run and play out back. They have also discovered lizards (or geckos ... I really don't know what they are) for the first time and Dad makes them empty their pockets before coming into the house.

We're "out in the county" with a Monroe address. We're in a rural setting but there are lots of city conveniences nearby. My DH's morning commute to Stallings is about 25 mins but, his evening commute, unfortunately, can drag to 45 mins to an hour on 74. He is making more money here than he was in Jersey, which means I don't have to rush back to work. And for the first time in three years, he won't be forced to work a second job. His former schedule was killing him, and our family life, despite us having a very modest lifestyle.

I like both of the boys schools, despite urging from people here to stay clear of Monroe schools. We had a choice of which schools to send the boys to and we actually chose the very schools that people told us to stay away from because we did our own research. We finally had an opportunity to speak to parents who actually had children in these schools, and not just people who had "heard" things from others. We met with the principals and our children's teachers and we were happy with what we found. We toured the schools and liked what we saw. I've dropped in on both sons classes, and was pleased each time as well as welcomed by their teachers.

My oldest boy actually has special needs and so far, Union County has accomodated us in multiple areas, whereas I spent almost two years in court proceeedings (and much heartache and lots of money) trying to get our NJ district to acknowledge that my son's needs were not being met in his educational setting.

We love having a family membership to the Monroe Aquatics & Fitness Center (love this facility, back in Jersey the "Y" was out of our reach financially), and we enjoy Family Video (which has tons of $1 movie rentals and kids movies and educational movies are FREE). My youngest is finally taking swimming lessons!

We have neighbors who are natives of North Carolina and transplants. Six families introduced themselves to us within our first week here. The others who didn't introduce themselves make sure to wave when they see us outside. My biggest adjustment is the boys' year round school calendar. I haven't yet figured out a child care arrangement that works with that type of schedule (someone want to lead me in the right direction?).

Before moving to Monroe I worried that everything I needed would be in Charlotte. Nonsense. All of our needs are obtained locally. I have even found a hair stylist for myself (got rid of 8-inches of hair days after our arrival ) and a barber for DH and the boys. There are multiple food markets to choose from, all within a short drive and there is shopping galore (pretty much all of the same stores we had in Jersey). I will say here that I find food prices, overall, to be a bit higher than Jersey. And, I haven't a clue where to buy fresh seafood (any options nearby?) or beef bacon!

We've selected Southern Piedmonth Primary Care as our medical providers, and because of my son's extensive medical needs, we're already acquainted with a pharamacist, whom went above and beyond when there was an "issue" with a vital script for my son.

In case you guys haven't noticed, we're happy.

And I sincerely appreciate the guidance and support received from this list.

SL
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:01 PM
 
421 posts, read 300,760 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
Your husband makes a good point. What I would do is cut it by mowing it as it shouldn't grow anymore this winter, then fertilize it so that it has a headstart when Spring comes. My grass was in sorry shape with open patches too when I bought my home and that's over 3 acres of lawns alone. My neighbor taught me how to properly mow (always criss cross..one direction the first time, then 90 degree direction the next time to help get the lawns to fill in and it helps stop weeds from growing. Rain will take care of the rest. It will get beautiful with proper mowing come Spring and making sure it's tended to every two weeks or so!

The pic above was taken May 22 and the lawns by then looked pretty good, but they had been brown with bare spots only months before. It will work out, just be patient and keep up on the crisscross mowing and fertilizer!


Wow!!! I just about lost my breathe when I pulled that up. That is beautiful!!
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:19 PM
 
179 posts, read 552,757 times
Reputation: 69
WOW, saralee, what a happy bubbly letter. It's so encouraging for others considering a move like that to hear how happy and satisfied you ended up. Especially after all the ups and downs you had along the way. I'm not real sure either why some areas are touted so much more than others. I know I've bounced around all over after reading so many posts here. Seems like every time something sounds promising, someone else has a horror story for the same place. We have definitely settled on the Charlotte area (it does help being NASCAR fans), and believe me, that single level home will be even more appreciated when you get older. Don't get me wrong we're still healthy, active and all, but we've been saying our next home (and last I hope) will be a single level ranch, no more stairs. I've already been on a web site since your message before, searching Monroe homes, and you're absolutely right, beautiful homes with land, not right on top of each other. We probably won't get down again until after the first of the year, but we'll be actively pursuing that area. I know you haven't been there long, but have you gotten any feel for future development of the farm lands around you ? Hopefully the town will try and control the developing a little, and they will remain farms. BTW, what kind of farms are they ? I guess the only kind of farms I've associated with the Carolinas is tobacco, but than that's from an ignorant (to the south at least) northerner, LOL. Well I better get browsing, next spring isn't that far away. Again all the best to you and your family, and thank you for sharing all of your happiness with the rest of us.

Bill
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,519,146 times
Reputation: 2000001451
Quote:
Originally Posted by billjr View Post
saralee,

MoMark, what a gorgeous place you have there, do you mind saying what town you live in ? Looks like you have some property, and a single level home, which is our preference.

Bill in Ct
I live in a township called Pleasant Hope, Missouri billjr. I'm actually 5 miles or so south of the actual village of Pleasant Hope, and they're in Polk County whereas I'm in Greene County about 7 miles north of Springfield, Missouri. I don't know how come this area I'm in is considered a Pleasant Hope address as the public schools are in the Springfield School District! But it is! I'm in the country and on 4.3 acres. The part in front you see of the property is clearly lawns and scattered trees and the driveway is pretty long to the farm road, but behind my house are 2 acres or so of forest which are fenced low so deer can jump them, and then I'm surrounded here and there by large cattle operations and hay fields with intermittent forest patches and neighbors each on 3-20 acre parcels. The house is single level at 2301 sq. ft, solid brick, built in 93 with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, water is well supplied and sewer is septic. My electric bill was $42.17 last month and my heating is propane. I'm on an electric cooperative which is FANTASTIC if we don't have an ice storm! If we get one of those, I'm screwed as it can take weeks to restore power out here. Taxes are VERY low. I just got my property tax bill in the mail and it was $1479.79 which I paid yesterday, due on Dec. 31st. Thanks so much for the kind words (thank you too Sweattea!! ). I'm like SaraLee... I dreamt of land in the country with a secluded, but not isolated country home, great neighbors (mine are the BEST neighbors on the planet!!!!), inexpensive cost of living, etc. I found it here. I know so many people want to move to North Carolina and it's great to read a happy story like SaraLee's where all the dreams came true. They did for me here in Missouri too
July shot with flowers finally growing and the lawn freshly mowed.

Back deck looking to woods...a doe is in the middle of the photo

Northwest view of property from front acreage.

Fall Foilage picture taken from the entrance to the driveway in Oct. 2006.

I just think people should follow their dreams, wherever that leads them if they get the opportunity and not fret or worry about what might be, but do it! Like Saralee has said about the house she bought, mine was very inexpensive as well, under $230K. I came from Las Vegas where prices were like Connecticut and other Northeastern states...outrageous! If you are wanting to move to North Carolina or somewhere else you've researched and really feel you'd love living there....I say.. DO IT!
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:54 PM
 
179 posts, read 552,757 times
Reputation: 69
MoMark,
That really does look like a piece of heaven. And it sounds like you have the perfect surroundings as far as never being boxed in. Hope we can find something even close to that. BTW, very fitting name for the township... Pleasant Hope.


Bill

$1479 for taxes huh, about the same as we pay here....every 2 months that is !!
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