U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-27-2010, 07:50 AM
 
1,644 posts, read 4,170,895 times
Reputation: 443

Advertisements

We live in NC, nr Charlotte.
Am aware that our soil more likely to be acidic and have been reading about adding lime to the lawn.This proved a little confusing!
We have fescue grass (where we have any) and have an acre lot, but only a third is lawn.
Was not in good condition as we weren't living here permanently until last Spring, so had limited chance to work with it.

Main problems

1. Bare patches, ranging from large to small
2. Lots of wild strawberry
3. Lots of Chickweed
4. Some other weed that I haven't identified

Lots of trees, although we had the only huge one that sat in the middle of the lawn removed 2 years ago, plus we had 9 stupid 40ft fir trees removed from along a third of the rear boundary line in February this year, allowing a lot more light to a large part of the lawn which also had some of the highest concentration of chickweed/strawberry.

Lawn doesn't look as though it's really responded to the fertilisation about 3 weeks ago (used Milorganite), although it is growing and covering some patches, just not very green or healthy looking.

Weeds (partic' chickweed) don't seem to have been killed by the round up I have applied twice.First about 4-5 weeks ago and then again 1 week ago.

Question is , do I need to add some lime and is the only way to tell this by having pH tested or can we fairly safely assume that if we are in NC with clay soil, have pine and oak and weed infestation we can add some lime? Do I need to re-fertilise?

Grass is getting cut every 4 or 5 days on a fairly high setting to leave 3-4 inches.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-27-2010, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Newport, NC
956 posts, read 3,663,018 times
Reputation: 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by susan42 View Post
We live in NC, nr Charlotte.
Am aware that our soil more likely to be acidic and have been reading about adding lime to the lawn.This proved a little confusing!
We have fescue grass (where we have any) and have an acre lot, but only a third is lawn.
Was not in good condition as we weren't living here permanently until last Spring, so had limited chance to work with it.

Main problems

1. Bare patches, ranging from large to small
2. Lots of wild strawberry
3. Lots of Chickweed
4. Some other weed that I haven't identified

Lots of trees, although we had the only huge one that sat in the middle of the lawn removed 2 years ago, plus we had 9 stupid 40ft fir trees removed from along a third of the rear boundary line in February this year, allowing a lot more light to a large part of the lawn which also had some of the highest concentration of chickweed/strawberry.

Lawn doesn't look as though it's really responded to the fertilisation about 3 weeks ago (used Milorganite), although it is growing and covering some patches, just not very green or healthy looking.

Weeds (partic' chickweed) don't seem to have been killed by the round up I have applied twice.First about 4-5 weeks ago and then again 1 week ago.

Question is , do I need to add some lime and is the only way to tell this by having pH tested or can we fairly safely assume that if we are in NC with clay soil, have pine and oak and weed infestation we can add some lime? Do I need to re-fertilise?

Grass is getting cut every 4 or 5 days on a fairly high setting to leave 3-4 inches.

Thanks!
There could be a whole bunch of things going on here. Your first step should be a soil test, that will help you make some decisions. I doubt very much that soil PH is your only problem. Among other things, clay soil tends to become very compacted so I would suggest aeration as one positive move. Roundup kills green things, so if you're using it in your lawn, you are killing grass along with the weeds. There are many products that will kill weeds but not harm grass if they are used properly. Stop in at a local nursery or garden shop and pick their brains for some other suggestions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2010, 02:18 PM
 
1,644 posts, read 4,170,895 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtom45 View Post
There could be a whole bunch of things going on here. Your first step should be a soil test, that will help you make some decisions. I doubt very much that soil PH is your only problem. Among other things, clay soil tends to become very compacted so I would suggest aeration as one positive move. Roundup kills green things, so if you're using it in your lawn, you are killing grass along with the weeds. There are many products that will kill weeds but not harm grass if they are used properly. Stop in at a local nursery or garden shop and pick their brains for some other suggestions.
It was the weed killer made by roundup that's for lawns. Not that stupid
Problem is it hasn't killed the weeds!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2010, 02:20 PM
Status: "chickpea soup" (set 27 days ago)
 
18,764 posts, read 56,506,947 times
Reputation: 33173
Rough and ready way to tell if you need lime - mix some soil in DISTILLED water. Let it settle. Add some baking soda. If it fizzes, you have something acid in the soil that is breaking the baking soda into carbon dioxide and washing soda. If you don't have fizzing, you probably don't need lime. Some areas may be more acid than others.

Milorganite is IMO, a pretty poor and overpriced "fertilizer." Consider something with a little more potency, but spring for a soil test before buying anything else.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2010, 02:52 PM
 
1,644 posts, read 4,170,895 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Rough and ready way to tell if you need lime - mix some soil in DISTILLED water. Let it settle. Add some baking soda. If it fizzes, you have something acid in the soil that is breaking the baking soda into carbon dioxide and washing soda. If you don't have fizzing, you probably don't need lime. Some areas may be more acid than others.

Milorganite is IMO, a pretty poor and overpriced "fertilizer." Consider something with a little more potency, but spring for a soil test before buying anything else.
What other fertiliser would you suggest?
Something like Scotts, or another organic one.

I was concerned when I read that nitrogen fertilisers produce acids?

Will try the trick with bicarb of soda.
Thanks
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2010, 05:17 PM
Status: "chickpea soup" (set 27 days ago)
 
18,764 posts, read 56,506,947 times
Reputation: 33173
So much will depend on how your soil test comes back. You can go organic or not. Over the long run, building to organic has advantages. Composted chicken litter is high in nitrogen, cow manure has been a staple soil amendment for centuries, wood ash can supply one of the other big three, and so on. Yeah, nitrogen can create acid, that gets corrected with the lime, crushed limestone, or other base.

However... unless you pour on lots of the organic stuff and are willing to wait and let the soil re-stabilize, you might want to start out with the commercial fertilizers to get things on the right track a little faster. When you get your soil test back, it should have a specific recommendation of the amounts of various fertilizers and amendments. I'm not going to try to second guess the agricultural colleges on those, that is one of the things they do better than just about anyone. They also usually have a lot of good free literature, and your county extension agent may have free access for you to a master gardener.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-28-2010, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Newport, NC
956 posts, read 3,663,018 times
Reputation: 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by susan42 View Post
It was the weed killer made by roundup that's for lawns. Not that stupid
Problem is it hasn't killed the weeds!
susan42
Not trying to start an arguement here, but roundup is the product name for the active ingredient glyphosate. Glyphosate is a non selective herbicide meaning it will kill anything it is applied to that is green, including grass.
If there is a product with the roundup name that is formulated for weed control in lawns, please let me know. I'm always willing to learn.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-28-2010, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Mayberry
32,441 posts, read 13,428,382 times
Reputation: 68680
I live in Mt Airy and we do lime, lime, lime to lawn, and plants outside. My Dad, who lives next door handles the lawn as far as fertilizer, weed and feed and lime. We have about 8 acres of lawn, I mow about an acre. Out lawn is pretty darn good. But I know he stresses lime.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-28-2010, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Oregon
1,458 posts, read 5,379,850 times
Reputation: 1411
If you aerate, go over it twice.

You can punch a hole with a stick to test for time. Make a hole and step on it. If it squashes half shut, like I showed someone during consultation for drainage yesterday. wait for the soil to dry some, but not become dry. Otherwise you aerate, and mowing and walking closes the holes.

If your test shows that you need lime, it will not only help the pH, but will chemically aggregated the soil. Like chemical aeration. Slow, but it works. That's why you don't want to skip lime, if you can use lime.

Compost can do similar for soil with complex sugars and a substance called glomalin.

Glomalin is easier googled for you, than for me to try to explain here.

I want to experiment more with having compost blown onto lawns in thin layers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-29-2010, 10:03 AM
 
1,644 posts, read 4,170,895 times
Reputation: 443
Thanks for all the help.

I will check out the weed killer we used, maybe I was mistaken and it is weed be gone, rather than round up.Have bought stuff to kill brush and poison ivy and that may be the round up. Apologies.
Whatever it was it was def' for lawn use.

Can we aerate now or is it better to wait until next Spring?

Have bitten the bullet and put lime on a small area of the lawn. I guess we won't see any change (good or bad) for some time anyway.

Will consider some other fertiliser and getting a soil test done, plus contact our local extension too.

I had read a little about composting your lawn, but it would be expensive unless you had your own compost. We have just started a compost heap and we do have a wood burning stove that we had on non-stop from December to March this year. Were going to use that for the veggie garden.

We had used chicken manure on beds in the UK, but never thought of it for a lawn. Makes house plants grow like stink (pardon the pun) if you can put up with the pong for a while!

Thanks again
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top