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 Post subject: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:55 am 
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Elite
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:17 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Farmington Hills
Is now the time to weed kill and fertilizer the lawn? I have the house on the street that is covered in dandelions and weeds every spring. What would you recommend as a good weed killer / fertilizer that is safe for kids?
Is thatching a lawn a good idea?
I need lawn care for dummies 101


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:05 am 
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Master

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:04 am
Posts: 299
Location: Farmington Hills, MI
The main issue on the timing is to wait until the lawn is no longer soft and mushy, with the rains earlier this week I would think you might want to let it dry out a bit. I use the Scotts products...weed and feed first application (early-mid April), feed around Memorial Day, feed mid-July, weed and feed around Labor Day, and a late season feed about the time you stop mowing. You will find that once you get the weeds under control it is most effective to spot treat weeds as soon as they appear with a product like Weed-b-Gone.

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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:13 am 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6702
Location: Monroe
I think our service does it mid April the first time, but it depends on the weather.

BTW, service (not the big national chain) is a pretty good deal. I think the pre-pay for the year was about $300. They fertilize, spray for weeds, and do a grub preventer. I asked a couple neighbors who's lawns looked good who they used and went with that company.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:26 pm 
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Elite
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:17 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Farmington Hills
My daughter found a grub last year and keep it as a pet for a few days. I have used Scott's in the past to get read of the weeds. Will try early April and see if it prevents the weeds. Hope we get some dry weather.

The services around our neighbor hood have already started.
Thanks, Jacob


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:30 pm 
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Master

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 182
Location: Ann Arbor
I too use the Scotts products. You can get them on sale at the big box stores in the spring. Costco also carries them. I usually use the yellow bagged Weed and Feed. The Blue bag has the crabgrass preventer but it also prevents any new grass to grow. My loawn has been on life support for a few seasons so I tend to overseed to get it thicker. if I use the blue bag the seeds will not sprout.
It is all in the timing though. The grass (weeds) need to be damp, either from sprinkler, rain or dew. This will allow the weed killer to stick to the weeds. One other thing to consider is the future weather. If you get a decent rain in the few days after application most of it will be washed off.

Dethatching a lawn can do more damage than good sometimes. I aerate once a season which helps to loosen the soil, let the grass breathe and also dethatches a bit.

Good Luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:40 pm 
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Elite

Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:04 pm
Posts: 1344
Location: Ann Arbor
I have about 1.5 acres of lawn so not only do I not cut it myself but I have a service do the weed, fertilizer and insecticide. This is our first full year in this house and the back yard looks like El Chapo escaped through it. We have moles that are on the Most Wanted list, they look like ground hogs, not only that the back is so shady it's covered with moss. But I did the math and frankly it's not that much more to have someone else do it than it is to buy the materials retail and then spread it around. Even harder if you're doing liquid broadleaf control.

I also figured out I'd need a $4,000 mower to cut the grass in less than 8 hours. At $42 a cutting it's kind of hard to justify investing in a mower and then still cut it yourself.

Of course the bigger the yard the cheaper it is per square foot so to speak.

Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:48 pm 
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Master

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 182
Location: Ann Arbor
I really want that $4000 mower to help speed up my 3/4 acre but my better half has vetoed that. She tells me that it is good exercise for me to push my 21" around. It is good exercise I just wish it didn't take 2.5 hrs to do the lawn!


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:51 pm 
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Elite

Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:04 pm
Posts: 1344
Location: Ann Arbor
Well...let's see. 3/4 acre is about 32,000 sf. A 21" mower would swipe 1.75 square feet per foot of travel. So 32,000/1.75 is 18,285 feet. If it takes you 2 1/2 hours to walk 18,285 you're only walking at 1.4 mph....way slow. You must be stopping for a beer more than once.

Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:17 am 
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Master

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 182
Location: Ann Arbor
The beer is a possibility...There is the fact that I overlap the passes by about 1/4 so I am really only getting about 16" in a swipe. Don't forget string trimming and various other types of work to drag out a task and try to make a case for a bigger mower!


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:49 am 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6702
Location: Monroe
I only have about 1/3 acre now but bought a 36" commercial walk behind. I mow, trim, blow and shower over lunch. Its awesome. Also cuts way better than the 21" mower.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:14 pm 
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Master

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 182
Location: Ann Arbor
Matt Meiser wrote:
I only have about 1/3 acre now but bought a 36" commercial walk behind. I mow, trim, blow and shower over lunch. Its awesome. Also cuts way better than the 21" mower.


What mower did you get and what was the ballpark of cost?
As long as I am walking I am "allowed" to get a bigger mower...was looking at the cub cadet 30" but a 36 would be even better.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6702
Location: Monroe
I got an Exmark Metro 36. Looks like they are around $3700 now. I bought a new, previous year model and got a really good deal 2 years ago and I think I paid maybe in the $2800 range. Compared to a $2000 lawn tractor, mine will hold its value much, much better.

There are a lot of lawn service guys buying new equipment or deciding not to operate this time of year and there are a lot of them available used if you know how to check them out.

https://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/grd/6054318447.html
https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/grd/6063148603.html


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Master

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 182
Location: Ann Arbor
Matt
Thanks for the info. I will definitely look into this model.
How is the cut on it? Does it leave a nice finish? How does it mulch? Or do you just shoot out the side?


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:25 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6702
Location: Monroe
There is a mulching kit available but I don't have it. I just shoot it out the side which works fine for me unless I let it get too long. For those times (usually only 1-2 times a year), I either recut real quick the other direction, or if that's not chopping it up fine enough to disappear, I bought a 3rd party grass catcher that hooks on the side and compost it. I also bought a operator controlled discharge chute kit from a 3rd party that I use in tight spots to keep from throwing grass in the landscaping and such. I really like it and am glad I bought this over a small lawn tractor like many in my area have.

I use Oregon Gator blades on mine and they leave a nice cut. I try to keep them sharp, either by having them resharpened or replacing when they get bad enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:41 pm 
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Elite
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:18 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Waterloo Twp
Right now is the time to do the initial fertilization and spread a crab grass preventive such as Scott's with Halts. Around Memorial Day you should use a weed and feed.

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Ed Swaner
Waterloo Twp.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:20 pm 
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Newbie

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:47 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Pittsfield Township (at intersection of US 23 and I-94 near Ann Arbor)
Moles have infested several yards in our neighborhood, including mine. This is a first for me, and I'm amazed at how energetic they can be, and how they can turn what used to be concrete-like clay into a a lawn more like a sponge.

I did some reading on the internet and asked friends. It appears the only effective way to rid the lawn of these critters is death by poison, or trapping (which is way out of my patience quotient).

Anyone have better ideas than those "gummy" worms offered at the big box stores?

jay


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:16 pm 
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Elite

Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:04 pm
Posts: 1344
Location: Ann Arbor
Actually I think the only real way is to get rid of their food source which are grubs. So you have to use an insecticide to kill the grubs which is what moles eat. If you just trap and kill them, your neighbor will thank you because they'll move from his yard to yours where there's less competition for food!

Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:45 pm 
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Elite

Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:53 pm
Posts: 779
Location: South Lyon
actually the gummy worms from the borg work extremely well. One can even break them into quarters and quadruple your investment.

And yes the moles are rampant everywhere!

d


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:50 am 
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Elite
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:18 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Waterloo Twp
Jay is correct on this one. If you get rid of the grubs, they will move elsewhere. That's the only way I have defeated them at my house. What's even worse than the mole trails and holes is the damage done by my dogs trying to dig them up and catch them. Get some Grub-ex and your mole problem will go away.

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Ed Swaner
Waterloo Twp.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:24 am 
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Obsessed
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:39 pm
Posts: 5904
Location: Livonia
ecs5298 wrote:
What's even worse than the mole trails and holes is the damage done by my dogs trying to dig them up and catch them.


Oh no...my dog would have a field day. He likes to dig holes as it is, and he has an on-going war with the squirrels, chipmunks and birds that dare to stray into or near our yard. He'd be in hog heaven, and our yard would look like no-man's-land.

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>>--Steve Sawyer->>
A bad day working with tools is better than a good day doing most of the other things I have to do.
blog: http://www.stephensawyer.com


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:18 pm 
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Elite

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:14 am
Posts: 1358
I had a bad mole infestation 2 years ago. I used a repellent made with castor oil. Now they are my neighbor's problem.
I didn't want to use poison because we have a dog. My nephew was in the critter control business and I asked him about the grubs. He said yes moles like grubs but they also eat worms and just about any other meaty bugs.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:28 pm 
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Master

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 182
Location: Ann Arbor
Last season we had a minor mole issue. Tried the worms and other styles of bait/repellent. Didn't work....so I used the following mole trap. Problem was solved with in a few days!

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Tomcat-Mole- ... /206427634


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:03 pm 
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Elite
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:16 am
Posts: 491
Location: Milford, MI
ecs5298 wrote:
Right now is the time to do the initial fertilization and spread a crab grass preventive such as Scott's with Halts. Around Memorial Day you should use a weed and feed.

Agree 100% with what Ed recommended.
Put crabgrass preventer down this week or next week. Usually about the time the forsythia starts to bloom yellow.

Dandelions bloom on plants that were growing last fall. Soooooo. if you put down a weed and feed in say Early to Mid September, you will have killed the dandelion plants and there won't be many, if any at all to bloom come spring.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:24 am 
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Elite
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:17 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Farmington Hills
Pick up a yellow bag of Scotts weed killer and applied it Sunday. Think my timing was good with weather we will see what happens.
Thanks, for everyone suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6702
Location: Monroe
Probably. The little flags saying that lawns have been treated are just starting to pop up around our neighborhood.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:24 pm 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6702
Location: Monroe
Our service did ours today. I mowed for the first time on Monday.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawn Care
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Elite
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:17 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Farmington Hills
I think it's working only had a few dandelions in the yard, sprayed them with a dandelion killer. I will See what happens after I cut the lawn this weekend.


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