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  1. #1
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    Lawn Care - Seeding

    We're finally going to be seeding our within the next week or two. Irrigation system being wrapped up today, rock/plants should start soon after.

    Not the best time to be seeding, yet it is what it is.

    I wanted to solicit some advice from those that have seeded before, especially in the off times. I know we're going to deal with a lot of weeds this year and even next year. We won't be able to apply weed control until very late in the summer or fall.

    I'm looking at picking up a lawn care service for this year and likely next year - to stay on top of the lawn and get the seed more established. From there, the Mrs. and I can handle the weed/feed application.

    Any lawn care services any of you like more than others? I'm getting quotes from TruGreen, Scott's and Perficut. I've asked for each to give 2 quotes - their recommendation and then a separate one for just two treatments - fertilizer in mid-June and weed/feed in the fall. Next year we'll be able to do the early spring crabgrass application.

    Our walk-behind mower allows me to rear discharge, bag and mulch. The nice thing about the bag and mulch, is I can do a combo of both. Mulch 80% and bag the other 20%, etc.

    Anything recommendations on that and anything else we should do to the lawn this year and next?

    I have a good idea of what we plan to do, yet wanted to get advice before choosing a direction.



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Are you planning on sowing a dry seed or are you going to use hydroseeding?



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    absolutely, do not go with TruGreen. I've got my degree in Horticulture and I interviewed with them. Dirty dirty dirty. I've even got a couple stories if you'd like to hear them. Well, I'll jut tell you one anyways...I worked for Cedar Valley Lawn Care, in Cedar Falls while I was going to school. TruGreen, randomly calls people to tell them about some problems they have spotted in their yard. They called my boss, and told him that they noticed some brown patch in his yard and it was some type of fungus. My boss had just built a new house, and didn't even have any grass planted. He played along and asked the guy to come look at it with him. The guy drove right by him.

    And in my interview, they pretty much explained it to me that the average customer only stays with them for one year. But that's ok because 95% of people don't have anyone hired to do their lawn, so there are always more customers out there.


    And definately do hydroseeding if you can afford it



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUonthemove View Post
    absolutely, do not go with TruGreen. I've got my degree in Horticulture and I interviewed with them. Dirty dirty dirty. I've even got a couple stories if you'd like to hear them. Well, I'll jut tell you one anyways...I worked for Cedar Valley Lawn Care, in Cedar Falls while I was going to school. TruGreen, randomly calls people to tell them about some problems they have spotted in their yard. They called my boss, and told him that they noticed some brown patch in his yard and it was some type of fungus. My boss had just built a new house, and didn't even have any grass planted. He played along and asked the guy to come look at it with him. The guy drove right by him.

    And in my interview, they pretty much explained it to me that the average customer only stays with them for one year. But that's ok because 95% of people don't have anyone hired to do their lawn, so there are always more customers out there.


    And definately do hydroseeding if you can afford it
    Yep I agree. TruGreen left a note on my door saying I had grubs and needed treatment....

    (For those of you who don't know everyone has grubs. It's just a matter if you have enough to do damage to your lawn, which I didn't.)



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    It will be a dry seed with a starter fertilizer with straw mulch on top of it. Would've preferred to do hydro seeding or sod, but that would've meant no irrigation system with our budget.

    So, we're sacrificing some quality today to achieve better quality and ease of maintenance later.



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Being raised on the farm and working in he ag industry, I have a few bits of info that hopefully helps you establish a lawn. When you go look at a bag of fertilizer it has 3 numbers in the following way 30-3-8. The numbers correlate with the percentage of N-P-K which is Nitrogen(N), Phosphorous(P) and Potassium(K). A lot of the dry fertilizers you buy have a high N number which I really don't like. Nitrogen makes your grass grow faster, which is good to establish a lawn, but only leads to mowing more when you have an established lawn. A higher P and/or K number is what gives your lawn the deep green/blue color without mowing twice a week. It is what helps develop the root structure on the grass making it more tolerant to dry conditions since the roots are deeper and able to find watersource. The best fertilizer to put on lawn is half 18-46-0 and half 0-0-60 so you get a 9-23-30, but about the only way you can buy that fertilizer is through a local Coop where they either bag it up and sell it or let you fill a 5 gallon bucket for $10.

    I would use the fertilizer with the higher N number until you get a good stand and then use the latter one.

    For weeds, you are correct when you say that the Fall is the best time to deal with weeds in your lawn. Typically they are broadleaf weeds that you can kill with something with either 2-4D or Banvel in it. If you buy the 2 4D, there are two versions, Esther(oil based) or Amine(water based). Esther is better because having oil in it, it sticks to the weeds where Amine as temp increases has the tendency to "drift" and it can kill anything broadleaf, like flowers, small trees etc.

    I checked with lawn services in the past, but basically I found that I would just spend a lot more money to have them do what, in almost all cases, I knew more about what to do with a lawn then they did.

    You can pm me if you have any other questions but if you have any time at all, you can feed a healthy lawn yourself and save a lot of cashola..



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonesrule91 View Post
    Being raised on the farm and working in he ag industry, I have a few bits of info that hopefully helps you establish a lawn. When you go look at a bag of fertilizer it has 3 numbers in the following way 30-3-8. The numbers correlate with the percentage of N-P-K which is Nitrogen(N), Phosphorous(P) and Potassium(K). A lot of the dry fertilizers you buy have a high N number which I really don't like. Nitrogen makes your grass grow faster, which is good to establish a lawn, but only leads to mowing more when you have an established lawn. A higher P and/or K number is what gives your lawn the deep green/blue color without mowing twice a week. It is what helps develop the root structure on the grass making it more tolerant to dry conditions since the roots are deeper and able to find watersource. The best fertilizer to put on lawn is half 18-46-0 and half 0-0-60 so you get a 9-23-30, but about the only way you can buy that fertilizer is through a local Coop where they either bag it up and sell it or let you fill a 5 gallon bucket for $10.
    how frequently?

    - keep.


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  8. #8
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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Thanks for the info on TruGreen. And thanks for the detailed info Cyclonesrule91. I'd prefer to do it myself, yet unsure I'd be able to stay on top of it - especially in the first year or two with the seed.

    Also, our lot is just shy of 25,000 sq. ft. and I don't have a rider. It would take quite some time to push a spreader around. I may do it anyways, depending on the quotes I get back and what I can get a cart for. I've got some "new to the neighborhood" coupons for Scott's products from the Grimes TrueValue (4 step annual lawn care for $60 - covers 5000 sq. ft.) - so we'll see what the services come back at and compare.



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Don't use straw!!

    It can contain and spread a weedy grass called Quackgrass which is very hard to get rid of.

    I've had good luck seeding and then broadcasting top soil on top just enough to cover the seeds so they don't wash away or the birds don't eat them. It doesn't take much.



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Have you traded the added cost of hiring a lawn service with the added cost of Hydroseeding or Sod? I would be interested in hearing how much you'd save. My gut tells me that it wouldn't be much more expensive going with the Hydroseeding, but it would be a greater upfront cost, whereas you could spread out the burden of a lawn service over several months. I have no actual numbers to back that up though.



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    Any lawn care services any of you like more than others? I'm getting quotes from TruGreen, Scott's and Perficut. I've asked for each to give 2 quotes - their recommendation and then a separate one for just two treatments - fertilizer in mid-June and weed/feed in the fall. Next year we'll be able to do the early spring crabgrass application.
    Also check A+ Lawn & Landscaping. Residential lawn care, commercial lawn care by midwest Iowa A+ Lawn & Landscape

    I have a sprinkler system for my lot that needed fixed a few years after I bought my house. They fixed it for 2/3 the cost that T&T Sprinkler Services quoted me. I was using T&T for my start-up and shut down since they installed my system for the previous owners, but have since switched to A+.

    I would also be comfortable with Perficut. I think he started his business in 1989 when his parent's won some $$$ in the lottery. His parents started Ankeny sanitation in 1989 also. Both are locally owned and have started from the ground up with great success.


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  12. #12
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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    Sod was going to cost a ton - especially being our lot is big. I know a lawn care service will probably cost us no more than $500/year. The difference between sod and seed for our lot was in the $2000 range I think.



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    You could always try the "proven" method they used in "The Rookie": Seed the ground and then place human hair on top of it. Animals don't like the smell of human hair so they'll stay away from it long enough to grow a lush, green lawn (hey, I didn't say it was realistic, just an option...)


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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    But...I have no hair!

    Thanks for the tip on A+...called them to get a quote.



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    Re: Lawn Care - Seeding

    I recommend American Lawn Care 289-1000. I have used them for over 10 years. They are local and offer a discount if you pay in advance ever year. Plus if you ever have a problem the owner will come out for FREE and take a look at it! PLUS HE IS AN ISU GRAD!



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