Jeremy Bunag

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since May 30, 2007
Workin' Central IL converted farmland
Central IL
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Recent posts by Jeremy Bunag

Ways of getting compost into the soil:
Most Permie/least destructive - fling on top and have worms bring it down
No worms? Can't wait?
Most destructive/quick - fling on top and till it in
Middle-of-the-road - Core aerate and fling compost

If you have good finished compost, you can core aerate, sow seed, then fling compost as a mulch and to add organic matter.

Hope this helps!

7 years ago
I'd start with just the moldy hay if you can get your hands on it. Cheaper! As it's not really an exact science working with materials like this, you'll probably end up experimenting and seeing what works for you. Find your place on the spectrum:

Cheapest: Just moldy hay
Laziest: Just Ringers (I make the assumption that spreading granulated fertilizer is easier than spreading hay...I'm sure there are those that would flip that!)
Cheap (ish) and Lazy (ish): Moldy hay and 1/4 rate of Ringers
Scientific Method (ish): Start with just moldy hay. Add Ringers to taste (until you like how it all works)

8 years ago
Mow it, leave the clippings.

"The soil is hard and compacted" - Mow it and leave the clippings. Put the organics back, and this will help. If weeds do sprout from this, they're shooting roots in and helping the hard and compacted soil, helping the compaction. And you'll mow them again and both feed more organics and weaken them. Weeds are green, and your soil wants green.

You might be able to play with the height some, depending on if/what grass exists, and if you want to keep it. "Generally speaking" I'd still mow to a height that isn't scalping (so you have some green to look at) until the fall when lawn renovation can take main stage (assuming cool season grasses).

While you're figuring things out, simplify and feed the soil: Mow, leaving the clippings. Don't make more work for yourself with bagging. (Unless you really want to, and then I'd suggest packaging it up and sending it all to me for my compost pile! )

My 2cents!

8 years ago
Your lawm might also be a bit thirsty. When it is not springing back (like leaving foot prints when you walk on it) that is an indication that it would like some water. Wheel tracks may still be evident on non-thirsty lawns, but they usually will stand up again when a rotary mower comes back over with all it's wind.

8 years ago
Well hopefully the tree won't give "too dense" a shade, but it will help the baby grass from cooking. Some of my best turf is where it gets afternoon shade. Measuring an inch of water with *any* sprinkler (even mother nature) is by putting a perpendicular walled dish, or rain gauge or whatever-you-have-laying-around-the-house-that-can-hold-water in the area you want to measure, then measuring with a ruler the amount of water it collected. Easy-peasy!
9 years ago
Be careful with sand, it is very difficult to aggregate it with proper amounts into clay soil, so much so  that most end up making harder dirt.  Compost would be a better choice, since it is not so picky about relative amounts vs. clay.
10 years ago
This article regarding physical control talks about underlying problems.  Good read (aligned with this site's commonly liked ideas) if you gloss over thatch removal and count on worms for aeration.  The gist of it is help compaction/drainage and avoid shady moist lawn.  Low fertility also contributes to moss winning over grass.

Chemical remedies may help now, but if you don't fix the underlying problem you'll be busy next year (or even later this year)...
10 years ago
Well many people don't like disturbing the soil structure, it will take a little bit before harmony (statis) is re-established.  I'm curious what others have to say though.  I too hate the washout ruts I have.  I'm pretty much just tending to what's there, keeping and adding organic matter as much as I can, and hoping for the soil to soften up enough to smooth out like a more "fluid" soil...

What you describe sounds logical...
10 years ago
  I guess I'm at a loss as to what basic H and basic G are...
10 years ago

Rabid Chipmunk wrote:
Pools lose most of their heat through evaporation.  The most cost effective thing you can do is put a pool cover on when your pool is not in use. 

True.  We covered ours and it helped a lot.  I also tried using a utility pump, black hose, and hot patio.  No actual data to report but it seemed like a good idea.
10 years ago