A novice lawn question!

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Keith Elliott, May 2, 2021.

  1. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    That is amazing, over here the slightest twig movement will see them scamper off. Obviously no predators in your area.
    Your dropping patrol takes me back to clearing my horses paddock each day. A tedious job, but it has to be done.
     
    Keith Elliott likes this.
  2. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Yes indeed. I have reluctantly learned my limitations lately. Right up until my mid '70's I could work 8 or more hours every day without a hitch. But sadly, over the last couple of years - after I took a tumble on a gravel covered slope and injured a hip - I'm not quite so spry. But as long as I don't get too carried away, I should be OK for a few more days!
     
    Acerholic likes this.
  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    I sincerely hope so. Good talking to you Keith. Look forward to the photos of your new lawn in a few weeks.
     
  4. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    The only predators that I am aware of here, other than speeding cars, would be the coyotes. We hear them frequently when they all start howling together. There are black bears here as well, but I don't think any self respecting deer would ever let a bear catch it. This one wandered through our yard a few years ago. Since then we have had a mother bear and two cubs go up a tree right here, and have seen a few more or less every year here.

    IMG_5799.JPG
     
    Acerholic likes this.
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    Not something to take lightly Keith. So unpredictable with cubs. Even today in the news this awful story emerged of just how dangerous they are.
    Human remains found in two bears following fatal attack on woman in Colorado
     
  6. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Here is the rake in question. Those springy metal tines are very flexible and seem to work quite well. Plus it is wide enough and light enough that it does a decent job. It looks as though I am going to have to mow that grass today, it's getting longer than I realized. Last year I mowed it once and left the cut grass as a mulch. But especially on the top lawn, which was turf, I don't believe that I should have done that. Subsequent mowings were done with the grass catcher in place, and we were quite surprised at how much grass we caught. That went into the compost right away.

    IMG_4457.JPG

    Once we get that netting up around the lawn, and as soon as we are done all the transplanting we need to do today, I will get on to doing something about that damage. I think the first thing will be to give the damaged areas a good soaking. That should make it easier to dig into.
     
  7. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    Good afternoon Keith, that looks perfect. It will give you quite a workout, so do take it easy. Those tummy muscles will feel it the next day, lol.
    Glad to hear you are going to net the seeded area, birds will feast on new grass seed.
    Regarding mowing with the collector on or off. I keep it on through non drought times, but leave it off when everything is so very dry. It does act as a protection for the near surface roots.
    Re composting the grass cuttings, if you do use a weed and feed fertiliser on your lawn, any subsequent cuttings for around two weeks after, I would dispose of rather than having chemicals in your compost bin. Just a thought!!!
    Good luck Keith and please come back and ask any more questions to the forum if you need to. If I can help I certainly will.
     
  8. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Good morning again! I was outside before 6:30 am here, and I just took some pictures of the upper grass area. For some time now I have noticed what seems to be two different grasses. I think the pictures will explain better than I can.

    IMG_4467.JPG IMG_4468.JPG

    Those raised parts are a darker green than the rest, and they always grow taller. Now, this was done with turf. I don't know if they use different seeds or not, but I will note that these areas are always small, let's say not over about two square feet. But they sure are thick and look very healthy. I was always curious as to what or why that may be.

    No, we do not use chemicals on the lawns. Except that Val did use lime on them a few weeks ago. Will that cause any trouble with the compost? And please allow me to give you a huge Thank You for all your help.
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    This is an occurrence that happens more often than you might think Keith.
    You will find that turf companies fertilise their fields to get the greenest turfs they can to sell. Often they give high Nitrogen feeds that stays in the soil for some considerable time, causing lush dark green growth. But do not worry as this will break down and become the same as the rest of your lawn. It doesn't look a different seed that was used for the turf from your photos. But that can be difficult to ID.
    Regarding lime, that is fine. Nice to hear you don't use chemicals.
    And you are welcome, if I can help I surely will.
     
  10. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    My goodness, you are fast to answer. Yet again, please accept my thanks.

    Well, the turf farm that we went to was about a two hour drive south of us. I did look at the new grass that they had growing - several acres of it - and I didn't notice anything quite like this. No doubt that was because their new turf was just that - new.

    We do have one bigger spot on the lower lawn with that taller grass - the one we are having all the trouble with - but I'm not aware that we may have added any sort of nitrogen fixer. I do plan on mowing the grass today, so maybe I can get more photos. That was all seeded by us and no turf got used there. The topsoil we got was all from one source, I think we got two 12 yard truckloads all together.

    We did get another 5 yard supply of topsoil several weeks ago, from a different source, but that is all going for the raised beds. Of course, I might need to pirate some to help fix that damaged lawn.
     
  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    Are the deer droppings constantly in that area? You will also find that animal urine can cause this deep colouring and fast growth.
    My horse had a favourite place in his paddock to relieve himself and that patch was always dark green.
     
    Georgia Strait and Keith Elliott like this.
  12. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Well, at least your horse provided you with some valuable manure!

    Now, as for the deer nuggets, they tend to be toward the west end of that grassy area, but spread over at least a 50 foot area, which also is their favourite area to rest. I will specifically pay attention in future, although I am hoping that by the end of the day we will have that area fenced off to the deer.

    And speaking of those little darlings, there are indeed three varieties of deer here in B.C., and without realizing it, we have seen all three here. Mule deer, whitetail deer and blacktail deer. There appears to be some inter-relationship between all three going back for millennia. The ones we chased away yesterday were whitetail.
     
    Acerholic likes this.
  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK

    Thanks for that info Keith, I do enjoy hearing about wildlife on the forum from all over the world. It was something I was 'very' involved with during the last 10 years of my career. So to hear about your native deer is very interesting. There is another thread that you might be interested in, especially with the bears and deer. I have copied the link for you, just in case you fancy taking a look and possibly posting a few photos.
    Take a walk on the wild side.....
     
    Keith Elliott likes this.
  14. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    I looked up the electric scarifier, and Home Depot has such a beast and it appears also to have a dethatcher attachment as well. It looks as though you unbolt one and then bolt the other one on. The dethatcher part appears to have many short springs on it attached to a drum. The scarifier part has a rod with what appears to be 9 double blades attached. Does anyone here either have one of these, or have you used one before? How did it work?

    I will say that the reviews were, for the most part, all very positive. The only gripe seemed to be that the bag was too small. Everyone had their own solution for that problem. So I don't think that in the end that would be any sort of an issue. It's not cordless, and I'm not a very enthusiastic fan of dragging a cord around, but the lawns are both well within the range of a 100' 12 gauge cord. And I understand that you don't need to do this terribly often. So, given the saving in time and effort, I think I will be getting one.
     
  15. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Couple of things here...firstly, I managed to get a better picture of the scarifier on that machine, and it appears that there are 10 double sided blades, rather than 9. Hey, you can't win 'em all!

    Second, I did get the grass mowed today and got a few more photos. Now it is really clear where the darker and lighter colours of grass are. And as an extra bonus, there were no fresh nuggets on the lawn this morning. Possibly because we had left a number of tools out there and four garden hoses.

    IMG_4474.JPG IMG_4475.JPG

    What with all the transplanting that had to be done today and mowing both lawns I only managed to get just over 100' of netting up. It was too dark when I had to quit, and I only got part of the netting threaded with some bright coloured wool. Don't want these deer to have any excuse for running into the netting. I should be able to get it finished tomorrow...provided the Sergeant doesn't have another long list of Honey-do's. Then again, perhaps I can con her into helping. I think the two sections which go down the rock retaining wall will require our combined talent, mine alone certainly won't do it.
     
  16. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    Good morning Keith, yes I did and it saved me so much time and effort. It made having to carry out this task very easy indeed. It also lifted so much more thatch than with a wire rake.
    Afterwards though the lawn does look very beat up. But it recovers so very well after removing all that dead grass.
     
    Keith Elliott likes this.
  17. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Thank you again! After I mowed that grass today, I paid attention to several things. For example the hardness of the ground particularly at the east end of the lawn was almost concrete like. As you wandered west toward that extremely steep CSRD easement, it becomes softer. I have a hunch that we did so much work on the retaining wall that heads down to the greenhouse level, that we simply pounded it into submission. I am hopeful that the scarifier will be sufficient to improve that situation, and if I add sand and more seed each time I do it, eventually it might recover. Tried digging out a few weeds this afternoon and that was a hopeless task. Hard to believe how hard that ground is. It will be getting a thorough soaking tomorrow to see if that helps.

    I finally twigged as to why you say good morning when I'm about to head for bed here. I'm originally from Haywards Heath in Sussex, now called West Sussex I understand. Just a hop, skip and jump from Hampshire.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  18. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    Ahh a neighbour from the South Coast, what a small world Keith. Haywards Heath is a really lovely place to live, but then again so is BC. Very different though.
    So it's goodnight then Keith, lol.
     
    Keith Elliott likes this.
  19. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Hahaha! Yes, I suppose so. Just after 11:30 p.m. here so I'm off to bed.
     
  20. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Take a peek at the rake in post #31, I used it today to test a small section of the upper lawn. It really does work like a charm. In the photo here, the grass is only about 5' wide, and look how much debris it pulled out. I bet if I did it again, it would get even more. The tines are really springy and do a great job. I mowed this section yesterday with the grass catcher installed. But this stuff is obviously from times past.

    IMG_4487.JPG
     
  21. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    We managed to add another 100' of netting today, and now Val has gone to visit her friends just down the road. We will try and finish the last bit of netting as soon as she's back. I have tied some wool in a few spots on the netting, which I trust the deer will notice before they try and crash through.

    Incidentally, towards the end of that rock wall, we saw Gordie the gopher this morning. Naturally I didn't have my camera with me then. He often sits up on a rock when the sun is out and suns himself, so I should be able to catch a pic later.

    IMG_4484.JPG
     
  22. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    People are always surprised at how much thatch is removed and as you say Keith, there is still more there that could come out. Now the light and water can get to those grass roots so much better. Your lawn will pick up very quickly now. Well done.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
    Keith Elliott likes this.
  23. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    Count me in to those folks who are indeed surprised. After I mowed the grass, there was almost no thatch showing at all. Not until I started using the rake did it show up. I think what I might do is to rake that top grass once a week just to see what happens. Just after 6 a.m. here and it's blowing outside something fierce, so I'm not in any hurry to get outside just yet!
     
  24. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    12,024
    Likes Received:
    7,799
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    I know you are keen to do more raking Keith, but one good rake in Spring is enough. You don't want to damage those lovely new shoots that are forming now for your Summer lawn.
     
    Keith Elliott likes this.
  25. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    Anglemont, B.C.
    I see. Well, your idea of one good raking would be about half of mine! You have to remember that I don't have high energy levels any more like I used to. I'm only able to do small sections at a time anyway. Maybe a giant vacuum cleaner!
     

Share This Page