my "drive way". if you could call it that, was a bane i could not stand anymore, and essentially took the money that we had hoped to redo the kitchen with late this summer and instead decided to redo the drive way. which grew in to:<br>redid the front porch, redid the walk way between the porch and drive way, pretty much had a new drive way installed, redid the concrete apron in front of the garage and redid the concrete walk way on the side of the house.<br><br>and Pete, you have to start taking before pics, it makes it that much more worth it. here are some before, during and after pics of all that (only cause i'm so psyched/happy with it):<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Loc: United States
We'd happily pay to get some stuff done around our place- the problem is trying to get people to come out and/or return my phone calls....<br><br>Seems like every contractor in the county is too busy to be bothered...<br><br>Back in Black...
I'm not sure where you live but:<br>You're right about your gutt-feeling in respect to CHEM-U-LAWN <br>type services. They'll turn your lawn into a chemical junkie, that<br>in the long run will look green as hell but will by no stretch of the<br>imagination, be healthy, for the soil organisms that SHOULD be<br>present, you, your dog, or for the grass itself. <br><br>There's no use following well meaning advice since not even you <br>know what you're dealing with at this point. Liming soil that's <br>already too alkaline, or applying more fertilizer to grass that may <br>be burned from excessive fertilizer applications will only make the<br>problem worse, by throwing it further out-of-whack!<br><br>Since you've only lived on the property for 2 years, you have no idea<br>what the former owners did (or didn't do) You may have COMPACTED<br>SOIL (needs aeration) or a THATCH BUILD UP.<br><br>#1 Get Your Soil Tested.<br><br>The most reliable, complete (and in the end cheapest) testing is<br>done through the Dept. of Agriculture Lab. in your area.<br>They generally work out of the State Universities, and have offices<br>in almost every county in the USA.<br><br>[color:green]STATE CO-OPERATIVE EXTENSIONS</font color=green><br><br>For about $10 they will give you an assessment of the amount of<br>organic matter present in your lawn, as well as the pH and nutrient<br>levels, and then give you a spot-on analysis and recommendation<br>for exactly what you need to do to "bring it up to snuff" <br><br>When you talk to them on the telephone, they will tell you to come<br>in and buy a Soil Test Kit --- it's just a bag to put the soil sample in,<br>and the ALL IMPORTANT DIRECTIONS on how to take a proper sampling.<br><br>The added bonus, is that you now have access to a network of<br>professionals (FREE OF CHARGE - I MIGHT ADD) that are dedicated<br>to answering any questions, and to give advice about any pest <br>or disease problems that may be causing those dead patches.<br><br> #2 While you're talking to them, ask about bringing them a <br>representative sample of your turf problem. <br><br>Get a low cardboard box (like the ones a case of beer comes in.)<br>Cut a 9"-1' square plug of the turf from the margin between the<br>Problem Area and a Healthy Area. (Dead Turf & Live Turf)<br>They'll need to see the entire chunk from the root zone, to the top <br>of the grass.<br><br>Bring the plug back home, and stomp it right back into place, and <br>water it in, and it should be none-the-worse-for-the-wear. <br><br>[color:green]"...or am I a butterfly that's dreaming she's a woman?"</font color=green>
Loc: United States
I did aerate the lawn myself with those sandal/spike things- that was a real hoot, and the neighbors got a good laugh in the process...<br><br>My Dad actually got his lawn's ph tested as well- sounds like a plan, because now he says his lawn is doing very well after about a year of struggling with other methods..<br><br>Thanks for the tip about the Dept. of Agriculture!<br><br>Back in Black...
<br>Er... "spiking" can further compact the soil. REAL Aeration<br>is done mechanically by a machine that removes plugs of<br>soil, and deposits them onto the soil surface allowing oxygen<br>to enter down into the root zone. If needed, you can either<br>hire a service to do it, or rent the machine for an afternoon.<br><br>But again, that may not be needed, same with dethatching.<br>These are both conditions that are only necessary under<br>certain conditions. Best bet, is to bring them a sample.<br><br>The USDA Co-Operative Extensions are just like Mac Forums,<br>full of volunteers waiting to assist anyone that needs help.<br><br>I STILL don't know the area of the country you're living in,<br>the soil may be very different where you are located from<br>the acidic-sand/clay that dominates the New Jersey Area,<br>but you can have a look at some of the PDF info available<br>through my office: Rutgers CoOperative Extension<br><br>[color:green]"...or am I a butterfly that's dreaming she's a woman?"</font color=green>
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