Welcome to rai_in_md's Member Page
I'm relatively new to GW (last fall 2003), but not to homeowning. I grew up with my Dad growing veggies in the backyard; and mowing our half acre with a push mower.
My first home was a townhouse, with almost no lawn to mow. I wasn't that inclined to get the grass growing either. Since it sat on red clay, I didn't have to worry too much.
My second was also on red clay, but I actually tried to grow grass and trees. The trees did great, but the grass always parched in the summer. The trees weren't big enough to provide much shade, and I wasn't devoted enough to invest the time and water to keep the grass alive.
Now, in my third home, I have lots of old trees (and leaves and twigs from the trees), too much shade and very little grass. The yard has suffered from 15 years (at least) of neglect (5 years on my watch); and I'm now trying to revive it. Overall, most of the yard soil is compacted, with much moss and some grass in some areas. Last fall I tilled and seeded the front yard, aerated and seeded everywhere else. I used starter fertilizer, peat (tilled in), milorganite, and lime. All the organic matter and nitrogen caused a fungal 'bloom' on my nearly bare grass seed bed soil. I had fuzzy white mold everywhere. That's when I sought out and discoverd Garden Web. After a couple weeks of fretting, the mold went away. The grass seed came in nicely but then much of the seedling grass seemed to 'vanish'.
About this time, the grass slowed down and the leaves from the trees came down. Reading in the lawn mower forum, I decided to try mulching all my fall leaves into the lawn. I have a twenty year old lawn mower that I'm waiting to die, so I bought a new fangled Gator Mulching Blade. It chopped up the leaves nicely. I spread alfalfa to provide some greens (nitrogen) for all the browns (carbon / leaves).
Later, I seeded again just prior to a snow in December.
As spring unfolded, the seed started to sprout. Most of the entire lawn was a lush dark green, but seemed stunted. As others were mowing their lawns, I was waiting for mine to start growing. Some areas (with more composted leaves) had light green grass. I decided that I had overdone the leaf composting and spread some left over starter fertilizer that I uncovered in my back room. A day or two later, the grass started to grow (ie. get taller), so I put down some 'slow release' alfalfa pellets. About a week later, I came home from a business trip to find my grass had 'kicked in' and was about 8 inches tall and thick almost everywhere.
I'm now mowing every few days just trying to keep up. The weeds are bad in some areas (low growing leafy stuff, which I don't recognize), so I just sprayed weed-b-gone on selected areas. There's also clover and a few dandelions and some other stuff that's already gone to seed. I'm surprised about the clover as some say that it's also indicative of nitrogen poor soil.
I also have bamboo and ivy which I'm continually battling. Roundup has been pretty effective, but I'm going to see how well just plain vinegar works.
I live in: United States
My zone is: 7
My Birthday is March 01 .
My favorite forum 1 is Lawn Care.
First registered on October 14,2003.