General Question

lillycoyote's avatar

For those of you out in the burbs - Do you have a chem lawn or do you just let your lawn be, kind of au natural?

Asked by lillycoyote (24817points) May 31st, 2009

I don’t use any chemicals for a number of reasons and my lawn is, at the very least, over 50% weeds. I keep it mowed, but other than that I just really don’t care. I do edge occasionally, with a blade, just to recover long lost parts of my sidewalk. Do you fuss over your lawn?

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12 Answers

chyna's avatar

I do the weed and feed once a year, and I have some kid mow mine, but I don’t really fuss over it much. I don’t care if the mower lines are diagnal, straight, crooked or whatever. I’m just happy when he finally mows.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Our lawn is fertilized, mowed, and watered regularly. (We have kind of a big lawn that sort of goes all around our house). As for weeds, there isn’t really a problem with weeds, so no need to use poison. I think it looks nice. The fertilizing really keeps it dark green.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I live on a small lot. Approximately 50’ by 150’. I ripped up 70% of my yard right after I moved in twenty years ago and put in flowering shrubs, perennials, and raised flower beds. I hate to mow, and a lawn, while being the easiest form of ground cover to care for, is also the most boring. It is a neverending battle with the plants that I do not want (weeds) as opposed to the ones I do want, but that is the fun of having a yard that I can change and micro-manage as I see fit. I have blooming plants in my yard from the end of April until the first killing frost in October. Six months worth of flowers is what my wife and I like. If I want to see a big green lawn, I’ll go to a golf course or the state park.

There are certain products to rid your yard of the more invasive plants like Creeping Charlie and Woodbine and Crabgrass, but I am proud of my organic yard. I have rarely used chemicals on my yard and only in extreme cases, i.e. poison ivy, poison sumac, and some other noxious invaders. Even then, pouring boiling water on poison ivy will kill it better than any expensive store-bought poison.

A good layer of mulch will keep weeds down. The really pathetic thing is watching a neighbor rake up his yard, burn it all on the curb, and then head down to the local nursery to buy $200 worth of bagged mulch. The moron just burned all the free mulch his yard had to offer.

My yard is as natural as any small clearing in a forest, and I like it that way. Anything that cannot survive on its own in my yard doesn’t belong there. I’m not going to baby any plant just because it needs Special Treatment. If it needs ST, then it had better be a house plant.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

In our burbs, it’s uncool to have a grass lawn unless it’s hidden in the backyard and is used for children, people here like indigenous landscaping but they’re okay with Golf course grass

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Those of you who don’t like lawns should move to Vegas where I used to live. Over there, your front yard is rocks and plants; that’s just the way it goes.

augustlan's avatar

I worked as an office manager for lawn care companies for years and years. Here is what I’ve learned that really helps:

If you have a really weedy lawn, and don’t like the looks of it, you will probably need to use weed killer for a while. Don’t use products like RoundUp unless you want to kill everything, grass included. You want broadleaf weed control.

But, the best defense against weeds is a good offense: good, thick grass. Aerate and seed your yard every fall for a few years to get the grass nice and dense. Have your soil tested for pH, and add amendments (like Lime or Sulfur) if you need to. Weeds are opportunistic little buggers… they pop up because they can. Thick grass kind of chokes them out. Once your grass is established, fertilize (if you care to) once in the spring and once in the fall.

Raise your mower blade height to the highest setting, at least 3 inches. Mow regularly… you never want to cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade height at a time. Leave the clippings on the lawn (don’t bag or rake, unless you have to), as they contain nutrients.

If you must water, do so in the morning before the sun gets too hot. Don’t do it in the middle of the day, as that can burn the grass. Try your best not to do it at night, as that promotes fungus growth.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Dansedescygnes I like living in the Midwest, I get four actual seasons, and each one has its good points. Living in Vegas? Fuck that, I might as well set up my livingroom in my oven. I can’t understand how people would intentionally live in the desert.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

It takes a certain type of person. Little tip: if you have a pool and AC, you’re set. I loved it; I lived there for 11 years. It was a little too hot sometimes and that could be annoying, but I could live there again.

Strauss's avatar

If you’re looking for an organic pest control, use vinegar. I used a solution of 1 gallon vinegar (organic, if you’re so inclined) to 1 tbsp dish soap. It was effective for me on Canadian thistle, as well as some invasive vines that resemble morning glories. Boulder County Home & Garden has a good article on this method used in the Denver-Boulder (CO) region.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I would never use ChemLawn! Back when we cared about the lawn, we did basically what @augustlan described, and it looked amazing. Now we just cut the grass, and it still looks pretty darn good.

MissAusten's avatar

We have our grass cut once a week. Each spring I plant things that sometimes grow, and things that usually die. Not a green thumb.

Our yard doesn’t look bad, but we certainly have our share of dandelions and other weeds. The lawn mower seems to take care of it pretty well. At least it’s all green. The only thing I don’t like is the big patch of dirt in the back yard. That part of the yard never gets any sun and floods whenever it rains. There’s probably a way to get grass to grow there, but we don’t mind enough to do anything about it. Besides, it’s fun to watch the kids play in the giant mud pit we get when it rains a lot.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@MissAusten and everyone knows that children’s laughter is a far better sound than that of a gas powered lawn mower.

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