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Lawns 2020

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john.knutson

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I was tempted to post in the Gardens thread but figured I'd make a new thread in case others had anything to share.

I moved into my current house April of 2020. The lawn was/is in decent shape but there are a lot of spots that could use some help, and plenty of various weeds.

My tentative plan (hopefully I can get it all done before it is too late in the year):
  • Mow Low
  • Dethatch
  • Sweep clippings/thatch
  • Aerate
  • Overseed
I've gotten started on the dethatching/sweeping already:

IMG_20200916_193549.jpg
 

kmcconaughey

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I don't see "fertilize" on your list. The fall is the best time to fertilize, as grass is growing roots out in the fall rather than top growth. If you fertilize in the spring you just get more top growth and you have to mow more frequently. (if you are looking for more seat time on your Cub then spring fertilizing is for you) Other reasons to promote the root growth with fall fertilizing is the grass will be better prepared to survive dry spells if the roots are healthier and the grass will grow thicker and choke out weeds. Retailers push fertilizer in the spring because people are looking forward to getting out and working in their yards not because it's the best time to fertilize.

BTW, nice photo! Great lighting.
 

john.knutson

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I don't see "fertilize" on your list. The fall is the best time to fertilize, as grass is growing roots out in the fall rather than top growth. If you fertilize in the spring you just get more top growth and you have to mow more frequently. (if you are looking for more seat time on your Cub then spring fertilizing is for you) Other reasons to promote the root growth with fall fertilizing is the grass will be better prepared to survive dry spells if the roots are healthier and the grass will grow thicker and choke out weeds. Retailers push fertilizer in the spring because people are looking forward to getting out and working in their yards not because it's the best time to fertilize.

BTW, nice photo! Great lighting.
Good to know! I will look into where the fertilizing fits in the order of operations here. I even have a 50lb bag of fertilizer in the shed, though I recall the extension website talking about using a certain kind when you are also overseeding, I'll have to make sure what I have is appropriate or get something else.
 

john.knutson

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From the U of MN Extension website:

Fertilize the lawn one week prior to aerification to hasten the time it takes for the grass to fill in the holes left by aerating.
Sounds like I should get to fertilizing!

I wonder if I should dethatch the rest of my lawn before fertilizing, or fertilize first :unsure:
 

bmader

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If I were to add, once you're done sweeping up the thatch do your weed control. Weeds are taking up nutrients for winter as well and will absorb the weed control just as easy. Great time to control the difficult weeds such as clover and creeping charlie as well as dandelion or plantain. Once that's done wait a week before aerating and overseeding. your final step would be to fertilize with a starter fertilizer such as 10/20/20, lower nitrogen but higher in phosphate and potash, the last two numbers. Nitrogen is for growth and greening, but the phosphate creates root growth while the potash will help the roots grow stronger. As for timing, if this is done over the course of the next three weeks in your area, consider yourself a lawncare professional. By the way nice pic.
 

john.knutson

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I got 1/2 of the broadleaf weed killer sprayed so far. I don't have a pic of today's spray setup, but I've got some from when I made it:

MVIMG_20200606_164702.jpg
IMG_20200606_191307.jpg


I opted for an ATV sprayer and a custom fabbed mount because it was cheaper than the same sized trailer based option, and it's easier to maneuver.
 

dropte

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I was tempted to post in the Gardens thread but figured I'd make a new thread in case others had anything to share.

I moved into my current house April of 2020. The lawn was/is in decent shape but there are a lot of spots that could use some help, and plenty of various weeds.

My tentative plan (hopefully I can get it all done before it is too late in the year):
  • Mow Low
  • Dethatch
  • Sweep clippings/thatch
  • Aerate
  • Overseed
I've gotten started on the dethatching/sweeping already:

View attachment 140101
Dethatching and aerating are helpful, but most important thing to do is fertilize and pre-emergent for next year. You really need to know how many sq ft of yard you are treating. if you're overseeding, preemergent isn't going to be super helpful since it's going to stop your grass from germinating. In that case, you need to drop down a quality starter fertilizer to provide about 1lbs/1000 sq ft of phosphorus to drive root growth and establishment before winter comes and wipes out your progress. You'll have to deal with the weeds next year with a post emergent (trimec etc), and put down a spring pre-emergent to nip things like crabgrass in the bud.

Honestly at this point in the year, I think it's getting to be a little late for overseeding, especially that far north. Rule of thumb is 45 days before first frost, though if you're going with a quick germinator like perennial ryegrass you can probably get away with doing it later.
 

dropte

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One other thing you may want to consider instead of overseeding now, is waiting until Mid-November (before the snow flies but after the grass is basically done growing) and dormant seeding.
 

john.knutson

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Dethatching and aerating are helpful, but most important thing to do is fertilize and pre-emergent for next year. You really need to know how many sq ft of yard you are treating. if you're overseeding, preemergent isn't going to be super helpful since it's going to stop your grass from germinating. In that case, you need to drop down a quality starter fertilizer to provide about 1lbs/1000 sq ft of phosphorus to drive root growth and establishment before winter comes and wipes out your progress. You'll have to deal with the weeds next year with a post emergent (trimec etc), and put down a spring pre-emergent to nip things like crabgrass in the bud.

Honestly at this point in the year, I think it's getting to be a little late for overseeding, especially that far north. Rule of thumb is 45 days before first frost, though if you're going with a quick germinator like perennial ryegrass you can probably get away with doing it later.
Thanks for the info, I was beginning to worry it was getting a bit late for seeding myself. I may re-evaluate, I have some non-starter fertilizer I could use, and could order up some other herbicides if necessary.

Is that a 25 gallon tank? Are you going to rig up a spray bar?

I have a 15 Gal tank and 1" square tubing but have not found time to fab this yet for my 782.

Bob G.
It is a 16 gallon tank. I might make up a spray bar but I wanted to see how well the lance works first. It seems to be OK so far, but I've only got 2 tanks worth of chemical through it so far, and it's too soon to see the actual results.
 

john.knutson

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One other thing you may want to consider instead of overseeding now, is waiting until Mid-November (before the snow flies but after the grass is basically done growing) and dormant seeding.
I'll look into that option!
 

dropte

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David Ropte
Also, look into going to a landscape supply store instead of a big box store. 2.3 acres is a LOT of land to maintain like a lawn.

Normal granular fert from like siteone should run you about
$1.50-2.00/1k sq ft for most applications. An acre is 43.5k feet. Liquid is usually more cost effective I believe, but I've never had to maintain that much to know :D

I'm a bit of a lawn nerd and am almost always doing some tinkering with mine! This spring is as good as it's ever been!

B8D76C7F-9241-42C8-93CC-04ABF11B30BF_1_105_c.jpeg
IMG_1821.jpeg

edit: And by the way, those stripes are out of a factory setup 3225 with the 44" deck with factory blades and no mods/striper or anything. Love the way it cuts.
 
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john.knutson

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Also, look into going to a landscape supply store instead of a big box store. 2.3 acres is a LOT of land to maintain like a lawn.

Normal granular fert from like siteone should run you about
$1.50-2.00/1k sq ft for most applications. An acre is 43.5k feet. Liquid is usually more cost effective I believe, but I've never had to maintain that much to know :D
edit: And by the way, those stripes are out of a factory setup 3225 with the 44" deck with factory blades and no mods/striper or anything. Love the way it cuts.
Good advice, that's what I did for the seed, but I just ran to HD for the starter fert because I was impatient and thought I would be putting it down soon. I had not heard of siteone but I will be checking it out!

And by the way, those stripes are out of a factory setup 3225 with the 44" deck with factory blades and no mods/striper or anything. Love the way it cuts.
Looks great! I liked how my 107 cut, especially with the cast end deck, but I like the maneuverability of my zero turn and it frees up my Cubs for sleeve hitch and towing work (which keeps them plenty busy).
 

Oak

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Nice looking lawn Dropte!
Yep, I'll say it again. Cub never made a better GT for mowing than a 3000 series machine. It disappoints me that the XT3's attachments are all belt driven now and don't have the rollers on them. Are you sure that is a 44" deck? I didn't think the 44's had the rollers but the 48,54 & 60's did.
 

dropte

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Nice looking lawn Dropte!
Yep, I'll say it again. Cub never made a better GT for mowing than a 3000 series machine. It disappoints me that the XT3's attachments are all belt driven now and don't have the rollers on them. Are you sure that is a 44" deck? I didn't think the 44's had the rollers but the 48,54 & 60's did.
I'm 100% sure. It doesn't have any rollers on it it stripes like that without any rollers. I was pretty shocked the first time I mowed with it. My working theory is that it does a really good job of lifting the grass and then laying it back down after I pass. I have a couple of 54s as well, that I haven't mowed with yet because they both need some re-habbing. I haven't spun up a 54 on the 3000 series yet, but the blade tip speed on the 44 is definitely a LOT higher than the 54GT on my 2084. It takes all of those 23 horsies in the 3225 (I think the PO blew the engine up at some point because it's got a replacement 23HP in it and an oil pressure gauge added) to spin that thing and it sounds like a swarm of very angry bees when it's spinning.

I love my 3000 series machines for doing actual work. Once you hook up the blower in 1 minute or switch to a blade in 2 minutes you kinda forget that the other cubs even have those attachments :D Belly mower kinda sucks to put on, but that's the case with lots of machines.

Actually driving them, you can keep one hand on the (hydraulic power) steering wheel, control your direction with one foot, use another hand to control the blade angle/height or blower height, and hit the diff lock (if you need it) with your other foot...man the 3000 series are just the best in terms of actual usability. Trying to adjust your speed and the height of the blower/blade while steering and maybe trying to brake a spinning wheel on the 2084, you gotta be a bit of a juggler. The aluminum rears in the 3k have their issues, but once they went to the cast iron rear they mostly got it right. By that point, aside from subjective appearance, they had basically taken everything the 82 and cyclops machines were lacking and put it into a better package for what most people use GTs for. I wouldn't plow with it all day (though it will hold up just fine to that I'm sure), but there isn't a better machine that IH or MTD ever made for mowing grass or moving snow, IMO.

I love my old cubs too, and use them routinely for lots of little odd jobs, but the 3225 with cat-0, deck and blower gets most of the GT work these days. I just picked up a 3240 that had a dropped valve that I'm going through over the winter and hoping to make that my main mower next year. Then I can fix the leaky transaxle in the 3225 next spring after I limp it through the fall and winter. Have a donor machine waiting to come apart for that.
 

john.knutson

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Last week or so has been mostly leaf collection. I haven't yet gotten my Peco vac in working order, but I am certainly more motivated now.

I sweep into piles, then suck them up with my Stihl leaf vac and dump them in the trailer. It's a bit of extra work running them thru the shredder vac but it reduces the size, and will speed up the breakdown of the leaves I would imagine.

I also got some wheel weights when I picked up my 147 last month and finally go them mounted on my 107.

PXL_20201005_203012404.jpg
 

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