I have decided that I am tired of having the worst lawn in the neighborhood. For the past several years I have only mowed my yard. What ever grows, grows. But that needs to change. I have decided that I would like to fix my lawn organically while I am at it.
This 1st picture shows a weed that is in a good portion of my back yard. I don't know what it is or how to get rid of it.
This 2nd picture is Plantain (I think). I am under the impression that if I add nitrogen to the soil, the grass will start to take over again and the plantain will go away on it's own. Please correct me if I am wrong.
This 3rd picture shows Black Medic (I think). Please correct me if I am wrong. A large portion of my front yard, especially the shady areas, is covered in this. I do not know how to get rid of it.
I have ordered a 25lb bag of Ringer Lawn Restore that should be here in about a week. Should I use it now or should I wait until early fall? I live in central Kentucky and the lawn was originally tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. I also have quite a bit of crabgrass and last spring I had an embarrassing amount of dandelions. All advice is welcome.
CamMan, as South Carolina has hinted, a uniform grass lawn is not especially popular around these forums! For example, I encourage violets (I think that's the first photo, do they have flowers?) I was thrilled when plantain arrived...
I understand. Can you point me to a forum where people can/will help me get my lawn to conform to the neighborhood standard but do it organically? There are plenty of forums that will help me do it chemically but I would like to avoid that if possible.
CamMan, I have never been able to stomach conforming to much of anything - however - I believe that if you go the the Gardenweb forums you will probably find some folks that can help you there.
P.S. I should add a few things - if you have violets and if you are considering St. Augustine then you probably have shade and are probably in the south somewhere.
Shade = no grass. In order to get grass to grow consistently you have to get rid of the shade.
Organics: Since growing a uniform grass lawn is a type of monocropping then you will have to expect the problems that come with monocropping - doing it organically with be difficult at best and will not yield consistent results.
someplace on one of these forums, there is a link to a place that sells several different mixes of seed to plant that should eliminate inputs. if i recall, it was a mix for washington state, so you may need to put your own together. there were 3+ plants in the mix.
something like white clover + a rye grass (or winter grass) + a perennial grass like St Augustine should serve you well there. I have done absolutely nothing to my lawn other than transplant some St Augustine. I have patches in the shade where drought allowed the trees to suck the moisture out too much, but some wood chips and charcoal might have helped that.
My yard is mostly St Augustine, creeping charley, white clover (low growing), dandelion, another nitrogen fixing weed in the harder compacted parts of the yard, a bit of nut grass and a few random annual grass and weeds. The part of the yard that has been driven on a bunch has turned into a compacted weedy mess of mostly wire grass, but other than that, it is pretty good 8 years, no water, fertilizer, weed control, seeding, etc.
Considering planting a self seeding annual grass to try and cut down on the non-nitrogen fixing weeds in the yard. One key to some grass is to cut it high and thatch it only when it needs it.