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Confused by lawncare  RSS feed

 
Abby Williams
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So I am new to owning a home and new to even taking care of a plant so let me tell you though I want to be organic. (I have a lot of pressure to "spray") I live in suburbia and I read your articlae on how organic lawn care for the cheap and lazy..yay. short on cash and time so this works well for me. Anywho, here's my question(s)...

1.) Do all the grasses you buy for your lawn have GMOs or is there another option? I'm a little confused by this..

2.) When I find out the ph level in the soil, what do I do in order (aerate, ph balancer, seed, cornmeal...?) in the beginning of summer --or should I just wait till fall and pick weeds? sooo far away!

3.) I know clover is good for my lawn buuut, I've left it their for a while and I was wondering the best way to dig it up so that I can plant grass?

4.) Can you just aerate put down seed and soil with out pulling the weeds? (and still come out with good grass)

5.) I live in Delaware ohio if you could just tell me what brand of seed to buy that would be great. Thankyou!
 
Roy Clarke
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IMO lawns are green deserts and don't have much value for wildlife. You can turn any patch into a lawn just by repeated mowing. The weeds will gradually lose out with getting their heads repeatedly chopped off. You can go round and pull out the most "unsightly" weeds that are left. If you don't spray anything then the things that live in the soil will probably provide enough aeration.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I'm with Roy. If you just consistently mow to the same height you will always have a green carpet. As a matter of fact, during a drought your 'lawn' will probably be greener than everyone elses.

Back when I thought that I wanted my front yard to be a grass lawn I didn't have money for all the seeding, spraying herbicides and so forth. I just did what Roy said and the yard always looked great but with a lot less money and effort than everyone else was putting into it.

 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Welcome to permies Abby
You're unlikely to get much "just do X and your grass will look great" type help: permies generally have a pretty...relaxed...attitude to 'weeds'.
You'll find lots and lots of really useful info though.
I pull out grass and encourage clover, so be prepared!
 
Kylie Harper
Posts: 28
Location: Zone 6, Kentucky, high water table
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I'm pretty new to lawn care myself, so I can't answer all of your questions, but in regards to clover, I think the idea is to grow it with grass, not to let it grow and then pull it out. You'll get loads of benefits that way, such as increased water retention, nutrient cycling (because clover's roots are much longer than grass' and clover can fix gaseous nitrogen), and clover will out-compete other weeds. Plus, all bee species love clover and bees need the pollen and we need the bees.

The only reason we have this idea of a monoculture lawn now is because the advent of broadleaf herbicides made it impossible to grow a clover/grass mix if you applied the herbicides. The clover would die, leaving the grass. Before then, a clover/grass mix lawn was all the rage. Just something to think about.

 
Abby Williams
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Thank You so much for all the responses! I've been pondering and reading them over.. It's hard to have clover and not perfect grass when that seems to be going on with most lawns in the neighborhood. I think clover is wonderful, but I don't want it to creep into my neighbors yard who sees it as bad. It's amazing how i feel sort of brain washed by how you are suppose to take care of your lawn.. I was super excited to see This Old House have an artilcle about organic lawn care, but it still seems so hidden. I've gotten help with lawncare from all of my neighbors which I totally appreciate, but I know it's not safe (for anyone). It truly is nice looking. I want a pretty yard, but I'm on a mission to change the status quo. As cheesy as this may sound, I really appreciate your support.
So my goal, have a nice lawn, respect and love my neighbors, but change it organically that they would see "beautiful" and "manageable" doesn't have to be sprayed.

One question: I live in Delaware Ohio whatever zone that is. What brand and type of grass should I get for reseeding because their are some pretty bare spots when I dig up weeds? (There was a link on Wheaton's article but it did not work.)
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Pat Hill is a neighbor of my mother in Elgin Illinois. When she first decided to create something beneficial out of her small urban lot she was NOT a popular person. She faced ridicule, fines, harassment, and so on and so forth.
Now many years later her home and ‘lawn’ have been the subject of many TV documentaries, magazine and newspaper articles, and regular stop for tourist and garden tours.

Even in winter her corner lot is fantasy world of wildflower seed heads wearing poofy snowcaps. I visited my mother a couple of years ago at Christmas and jogged past Pat’s house every morning. I always had to stop at her house and just enjoy all of the different textures and patterns in the snow.

It’s hard to be a Pat Hill. But I admire her tenacity and her book has done very well – good on her! Here is a link to her blog: http://naturalmidwestgarden.com/about
 
Allan Babb
Posts: 63
Location: Greater New Orleans, LA, USA
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Abby Williams wrote:One question: I live in Delaware Ohio whatever zone that is. What brand and type of grass should I get for reseeding because their are some pretty bare spots when I dig up weeds? (There was a link on Wheaton's article but it did not work.)


Go visit the Ohio University extension website(or call your county agent..this is what they get paid to do). They should have a detailed list of what grasses do well(along with veggies and other plants) for your area including cultural practices(there should be something for the organic people). When picking out a grass, make sure you find out at what height the grass should be cut(most people do NOT cut their grass at the right height and that leads to all sorts of problems, especially weeds). While you're at it, print out the important information so you can throw it in your neighbors' faces when they try to tell you how to grow grass.

Also do a search on reasons not to use biocides, there are many reasons(caring for the earth, spraying chemicals just leads to spraying more chemicals since nature isn't allowed to take care of real issues, chemical resistant organisms leading to having to spray more dangerous chemicals, saving money by not having to spray anything, people do get sick from some of these biocides, and I can't think of any biocide that is safe, etc.).

To be more pragmatic, spraying chemicals is a waste of money, this includes fertilizer.
 
R.D. O'Brien
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People exasperate me. I see them mowing every other day, removing the clippings, and then dumping fertilizer on to replace the lost nutrients. It's like running on a treadmill while drinking soda and eating chocolate bars. You're making extra work for yourself and in the end, you're not going to look good, especially after the heart attack. But the desire to conform is very powerful in a suburban environment. Companies like Monsanto and Dow know this, and they're quite skilled at selling us on outrageous notions such as: pesticides are safe, flowers are weeds, GM crops are the future.
 
Permaculture isn't that hard to understand. Sometimes a little bump helps: richsoil.com/cards
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