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The Home Ownership Thread

zalb916

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With regard to lawn care, how often is everyone aerating/dethatching/top dressing/overseeding/etc (separate from standard fertilizer treatments)?
The simple answer is once per year. However, it can be a bit more complex, particularly depending on whether you have warm season or cool season grass and the particular needs of your yard.

I am in a transitional zone and have a cool season grass. For cool season, overseeding should be done in either the fall or spring. You also want to be using pre-emergent on your lawn, but can't overseed and use pre-emergent at the same time. So, I overseed in the fall and use pre-emergent in the spring. That strategy could flip from year to year, depending on the type of weeds that I'm observing and the overall health of lawn. However, cool season grass tends to struggle after the summer, which is a reason why fall is a good time for me to overseed.

Fall is also the right time to aerate for cool season grass. Overseeding after aerating is a good strategy, which is another reason why I prefer to overseed in the fall, as opposed to the spring. Top dressing may or may not be necessary before overseeding. Depends on the needs of your individual lawn. Aerating is also a good way of addressing thatch, so I don't dethatch on top of aerating. Dethatching is often not as necessary as people think and can do damage. If you do need to dethatch, I would avoid the temptation to do it during the spring for cool season grass. What people often think is dead grass or excessive thatch is really just dormant grass that needs to wake up.

The above is all for cool season grass. If you have a warm season grass, the strategy can be quite different. I am big fan of the Lawn Care Nut for lawn tips and strategies. I highly recommend looking into his warm or cool season guides for a yearly plan. For fertilizer, he loves Milorganite. I've been using it for a bit. It's awesome.
 

Lizard23

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The simple answer is once per year. However, it can be a bit more complex, particularly depending on whether you have warm season or cool season grass and the particular needs of your yard.

I am in a transitional zone and have a cool season grass. For cool season, overseeding should be done in either the fall or spring. You also want to be using pre-emergent on your lawn, but can't overseed and use pre-emergent at the same time. So, I overseed in the fall and use pre-emergent in the spring. That strategy could flip from year to year, depending on the type of weeds that I'm observing and the overall health of lawn. However, cool season grass tends to struggle after the summer, which is a reason why fall is a good time for me to overseed.

Fall is also the right time to aerate for cool season grass. Overseeding after aerating is a good strategy, which is another reason why I prefer to overseed in the fall, as opposed to the spring. Top dressing may or may not be necessary before overseeding. Depends on the needs of your individual lawn. Aerating is also a good way of addressing thatch, so I don't dethatch on top of aerating. Dethatching is often not as necessary as people think and can do damage. If you do need to dethatch, I would avoid the temptation to do it during the spring for cool season grass. What people often think is dead grass or excessive thatch is really just dormant grass that needs to wake up.

The above is all for cool season grass. If you have a warm season grass, the strategy can be quite different. I am big fan of the Lawn Care Nut for lawn tips and strategies. I highly recommend looking into his warm or cool season guides for a yearly plan. For fertilizer, he loves Milorganite. I've been using it for a bit. It's awesome.
Wow - this might be the first time ever where I have asked a question on the internet and the answer received is literally the exact same thing I am currently doing - right down to the Milorganite. I apply it 5x per year although the first application is done concurrently with scott’s crab grass preventer.

Right now i have a little clover as well that I will spot treat in the spring since I overseed in the fall.
 

zalb916

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I live in Capitol Hill in D.C., which is a neighborhood of row homes, which don't typically have yards. We are on a corner lot, so we actually have a yard along the side of our house. It's a bit of a rarity in this neighborhood, which is great for us. But since it's a bit of a rarity, lawn service is really limited and really shitty for the cost. After paying a guy for a couple of years and having poor results, I decided to try it on my own.

Totally agree with @Lizard23. I'm a mess when it comes to doing shit around the house, but I feel like I can tackle lawn care and gardening. It's genuinely became a fun hobby for me and is a great excuse to get outside of the house when, you know, you need to get outside of the house.
 

Piobaire

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I loathe yard work. The likely reason is I spent years as a youngster doing it for money. I can remember one summer I had so many yards to do it was a six day a week job. I even did the local church grounds for a few years and that was a two day job.
 

Lizard23

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I loathe yard work. The likely reason is I spent years as a youngster doing it for money. I can remember one summer I had so many yards to do it was a six day a week job. I even did the local church grounds for a few years and that was a two day job.
Funny you say this as I also worked for a landscaper in my youth. We did 30 houses a day 4x per week. No hours. We started at 8am and when we were done we were done. I loved that job.
 

Van Veen

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I loathe yard work. The likely reason is I spent years as a youngster doing it for money. I can remember one summer I had so many yards to do it was a six day a week job. I even did the local church grounds for a few years and that was a two day job.
It’s too damned hot and humid in the summer here for it to be enjoyable. I sweat more mowing my lawn than I do at the gym.
 

ellsbebc

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I’m in a transitional zone with zoysia maintained at 2” with no irrigation. My plan in early spring to to scalp to 1”, aerate, and level with sand. Will upgrade from my 21” walk behind to a riding mower next season because it takes 2+ hours to mow the 20k square feet. During the growing season, I should probably be mowing every 4-5 days but I only mow every weekend since it takes so long with the self propelled and the heat/humidity is miserable.

If you have Bermuda, you can be extremely aggressive. Round Up doesn’t even kill that shit. It’s the alpha grass.
 
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Numbernine

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I have @ 500 sq ft of Bermuda that I water with grey water. I use it to raise gophers I feed dog shit.
 

Gibonius

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If you have Bermuda, you can be extremely aggressive. Round Up doesn’t even kill that shit. It’s the alpha grass.
I have Bermuda invading my yard from my neighbors. It's slowly taking over. Every summer it replaces a little more of the fescue. I've been waffling on just giving up and going full Bermuda, but I hate how it invades plant beds.

Roundup will kill it in early spring, when the other grass is growing but the Bermuda isn't yet.
 

ellsbebc

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I have Bermuda invading my yard from my neighbors. It's slowly taking over. Every summer it replaces a little more of the fescue. I've been waffling on just giving up and going full Bermuda, but I hate how it invades plant beds.

Roundup will kill it in early spring, when the other grass is growing but the Bermuda isn't yet.
You may be able to choke up the Bermuda if your fescue is thick enough and cut tall. Otherwise, you are screwed. I don’t know of any selective herbicides that will successfully nuke Bermuda.

My experience has been Roundup will only kill the Bermuda top growth and rhizome system will still invade again. Zoysia does the same, but nearly as fast growth as Bermuda, with invading plant beds. Going to try to better define my beds next year to see if it inhibits the invasion.
 

Lizard23

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I have a blend of fescue, kbg, and rye so not sure if this would apply, but once i started edging my beds deeper, around 4 inches straight down with a 45 degree slope into the bed, grass has stopped taking over and I havent ever had to redefine them. When i was less aggresive, i was edging them every year. Turns out grass cant grow into a border of air.
 

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