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Lawn maintenance

GrouchoMGrouchoM Houston, TexasPosts: 302 ✭✭✭
Hi all,

I just wanted to ask a yard maintenance question. I live in Houston, Tx and with the change of season, my grass is starting to grow slowly. I decided I wanted to put something down to help stimulate growth to have a healthier yard and provide some nutrients to the topsoil. My grass is green and I've seen little new growth, but there are a feel hard patches. I don't have a underground watering system, it's just me and a garden hose. Sorry, I didn't include pictures, but I didn't think it was necessary, since I only want to add some more actual care to the lawn soil itself (also having issues uploading any photos due to apparently using up my 50mb of allowed memory on the site).

I went to home depot but when I asked for fertilizer they directed me to the garden department and I found bags of mulch, garden soil, compost, hummus and manure, weed and feed, fill dirt and topsoil.

So, before you say google it. I'd rather ask here because Google doesn't provide years of trial and error (experience) on this topic. My goal is again to do more than the lawn mowing, trimming hedges, and watering. I'd like to actually attend to the grass and soil, but nothing that requires a lot of maintenance, but more than that's been done over the years. So, any suggestions on what to purchase to put down would be appreciated?

Also, if you have any additional lawn maintenance and landscaping tips I'd love to hear those. I'm a one man crew, so I need practical, simple and efficient ideas. I don't want to be that neighbor with brown grass with patches of dirt, ant mounds and weeds.

Also, never saw a bag at home depot that said just plain old "fertilizer". I'm just curious that they still make it and I just didn't see it.


Thanks in advance

-Groucho
The secret word is cigars! 

Comments

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,719 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Round up, then green paint.
    Around here, it grows 5" in a week, so we hate grass.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 8,747 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nice lawns are over-rated.
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • onestrangeoneonestrangeone Austin, TxPosts: 2,444 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The actual fertilizer at depot is on the other side of the garden center from the stuff you looked at, it will be on or around the first aisle out the door and under a solid roof.   
  • dirtdudedirtdude Green ValleyPosts: 5,102 ✭✭✭✭✭
    around here grass is a weed, a yard is for rocks
    A little dirt never hurt
  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    I generally use what's referred to as 'triple 16'. It works pretty well in my area. Here's a bit of info I copied:

      When you buy fertilizer, you'll see three numbers on the label. These numbers show the percentage of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, respectively, which are the primary nutrients needed to feed your lawn. So a 20-5-10 bag will have 20 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphate, and 10 percent potassium.And there are various brands available - probably will vary depending on your area. Scott's brand is usually good but others will work, too. Just go by the numbers...
  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,543 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I usually go to the local hardware store. I would need to go dig out my bags to give you a brand but I'm up in Wisconsin so I hit it in the spring with a weed and feed to help prevent weeds for the year and simulate early growth. Then from then on I'm using a standard fertillizer which is step 2 i believe and then in the fall it gets a last treatment of something that helps the grass survive the harsh winters.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • WaterNerdWaterNerd Southern CaliforniaPosts: 2,602 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So here’s my 2 cents. I live here in So. California and dealing with a drought and keeping your yard nice and green without going over your water budget is a challenge. Now all of my neighbors have let their grass die and the neighborhood looks like crud, my yard is nice and green and still way under my water budget.

    So what I use is Scotts Lawn care products 3x per year. I buy the lawn fertilizer (Turf Builder) when it goes on sale and I get enough for the year (normally just 2 bags) This lawn fertilizer has Crab Grass killer in it which is great since I struggle with it in my yard. I normally apply the fertilizer in March, June and September. There are a lot of lawn fertilizers on the market and it is difficult to understand which one you should buy. The main thing to look for are the 3 numbers that are normally on the front of the bag.  These three numbers represent the primary nutrients (nitrogen(N) - phosphorus(P) - potassium(K)). This label, known as the fertilizer grade, is a national standard. A bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer contains 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate and 10 percent potash.

    If you want to green up your lawn use a fertilizer high in Nitrogen(N). The fertilizer I use is 30-0-4 and it works for me. Organic fertilizers have number that are very low and don’t work as fast but still do a great job. I found a great article on-line that you should take a look at. Lots of info about lawn care.

    https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-get-lush-green-lawn-your-neighbors-will-envy.htm




    Don't find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain
    — Henry Ford
  • WaterNerdWaterNerd Southern CaliforniaPosts: 2,602 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    Another thing to buy is a water meter that goes on your hose bib. That way you can keep track of how much water your using to help keep within your water budget (if you have one) :)
    Don't find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain
    — Henry Ford
  • kswildcatkswildcat Posts: 1,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    No help here. Never bought pesticides, herbicides or fertilizer in my life. I've always grabbed a couple empty soda bottles and swung by the liquor store for a 12pack on the way to a farmer friends that has a sprayer. Or go to the coop and spend $10.. 

    20oz doesn't make a dent in their 480gal tote. If I'm home and country cruisin and happen across them fencing in a circle I usually stop, grab my hammer and start pounding posts. That and I don't call them if they have cattle out.  I put the cattle back in and fix the fence.. Just how it's done round there.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,719 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Water budget. Now there is an alien concept in the Northwest.
    We should be piping it to California.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • YaksterYakster I'm on a Buying Freeze / I sent the Coffee Filters!Posts: 13,532 ✭✭✭✭✭
    0patience said:
    Water budget. Now there is an alien concept in the Northwest.
    We should be piping it to California.
    Yes, please.  My front lawn is dead, pending xeriscaping. 
    I'll gladly bomb you Tuesday for an Opus today.

                  Join us on the New Zoom vHerf (Meeting # 2619860114 Password vHerf2020 )
  • The3StogiesThe3Stogies MainePosts: 2,653 ✭✭✭✭
    Fertilizer, I just do the Scott's 1, 2, 3 steps stuff.  For seed, I get the park mix, up here called turnpike grass.  Get the fancy stuff and it's more care, less time for cigars.  Mow your lawn high and you'll have to water less, and up here less weeds.  Fertilizer and lime will make it green.  If you can get a free estimate from a lawn care company as to what they would do and take it from there yourself.  If it's really hard packed you may need to agitate/aerate the soil first.


  • PastorJayPastorJay Posts: 72 ✭✭
    Call your County Extension office. You're probably a lot like us here in Florida and it's easy to grow burrs, but grass is a commodity. Fertilizer at the wrong time of year can kill off grass better than Roundup. The Extension Office will have great advice.
  • AlbinfkAlbinfk Pittstown,NYPosts: 1,944 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I just saw my lawn today after the the snow melted from the last 6" storm Monday.  Used to dread having to cut it. I mow about 2.5 acres and takes almost 2 hours to cut without peeing. Now after starting my cigar career this past year I can't wait to mow. Any suggestions on a 2 hour cigar?
  • kswildcatkswildcat Posts: 1,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Albinfk. Just of the top of my head  for a budget stick (yard gar) the 601 steel spike comes to mind. Smoked 1 and although it wasn't very memorable I do remember thinking it would make a decent stick for working around the yard or fiddlin in the garage. 

    Personally I'd keep good stock on 5 Vegas A, AAA, tatueja tattoo and flor de Los Antilles  for such tasks and just smoke 2 robusto size. All very good in my book and can often get them on the cheap..
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