Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Discuss how to and whether you should renovate your lawn
Marinegrunt
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by Marinegrunt » September 29th, 2018, 7:13 pm

FrankZ wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 4:52 pm
Nice.

I just wanted to see if you were doing the sprinkler jockey:) I have a huge yard and always dream of a reno, but lack of irrigation is the show stopper(well water).
I have 10k and did a reno last fall without an inground irrigation system. I purchased some Hunter pgp sprinklers and used them above ground zip tied to some rebar stakes. I was able to water the whole yard without moving any hose or sprinkler. Those pgp heads can shoot water 40 to 50 feet. There are other members who did the same. Checkout Syntaxx's reno from I think 2016 or 2017. I based mine off of his but he used PVC instead of hoses.

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ken-n-nancy
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2018-09-29 - Day 35 - 5 Weeks Since Seed-Down!

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 29th, 2018, 9:11 pm

This past week has been the first one during this renovation with what I'd call typical fall weather for here in New Hampshire, although a bit wetter than most weeks. Daily highs typically in the 60F-75F region, with overnight lows in the 45F-60F range.

We also had rain on about 4 out of 7 days; I actually had the irrigation system off for the entire workweek of Monday - Friday. The temperatures are cool enough and the grass sufficiently established that in this coming week (forecast to be drier) I'll plan to irrigate on mornings when it hasn't rained for 24 hours, but otherwise leave the irrigation system off. Hopefully by next week I'll move to only watering on the 2nd day since the prior watering event (whether irrigation or natural). Irrigation system blowout is scheduled for Oct 29th.

I mowed mid-week, 6 days after the prior mowing, again at 2.25" height (the lowest I dare go). The grass had not grown as much as I had hoped by that mowing, but about 4 of those 6 days had been completely overcast and rainy, so the grass didn't receive a whole lot of sun. Baby bluegrass needs sun to grow!

At some point during this week, I think the lawn switched from looking like "a dead lawn with new grass starting to grow" to "a new lawn with some bare spots in it" -- I always think that's the exciting transition point in a renovation, where one can take a step back and say "this is going to be a success -- just needs some more time, but it's gonna' work!"

Fertilized again today, this time with just urea (46-0-0) at 1.0#urea/ksqft. With the cooler temps and dry conditions today, I'll wait until early morning tomorrow to water it in.

We're now 3 days past our average first frost (September 26th) and the lowest temp we've had so far is 45F, so even the summer flowers are still growing.

Big event of the week was the bears in the big oak tree: http://www.solidrocksolutions.com/aty/2 ... -Trees.mp4 We haven't seen them back since that day when we must have scared them off.

Oh, and all the apparent divots in the lawn are from the gray squirrels - digging everywhere! No need for mechanical aeration in this lawn -- the gray squirrels are doing it for us! ;)

Below are the 5-week pics:

Mailbox View as of 2018-09-29 (Day 35):
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Lamp Post View as of 2018-09-29 (Day 35):
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Far End as of 2018-09-29 (Day 35):
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darkcrisis
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by darkcrisis » September 29th, 2018, 9:29 pm

Looking good! It is nice when the hard work pays off!

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 29th, 2018, 9:42 pm

Marinegrunt wrote:
September 29th, 2018, 7:05 pm
I just finished reading your whole thread and thoroughly enjoyed it....

I did a reno last fall and also got lucky not having any washouts....
Thanks for letting us know that you enjoyed reading our thread -- we sometimes wonder if people appreciate reading them, and it's good to have the positive feedback.

Dealing with washouts is definitely the biggest challenge with doing a renovation -- we can hardly believe we were blessed with no rain for nearly 3 weeks, enabling the KBG to come in without having to deal with washouts!

We're fortunate to not have a major slope in our renovation area -- a significant slope would make it even more difficult!

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by Paul » October 1st, 2018, 11:37 am

Filling in nicely, looking great!


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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by FrankZ » October 1st, 2018, 5:59 pm

Looks awesome KnN! So happy all that hard work paid off.

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's Lawn Journal - Day 41 Work

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 5th, 2018, 3:30 pm

Today, fertilized the entire lawn as part of the fall nitrogen blitz. Applied 0.5#urea/ksqft = 0.23#N/ksqft on the front lawn new renovation area, and 1.0#urea/ksqft = 0.46#N/ksqft on the established lawns in the back and to the side of the house.

Also mowed the renovation area to 2.25", the side lawn to 2.75", and the back lawn to 3.25" to match the mowing heights we've been using for the past few weeks. The front lawn renovation continues to look better; today's mowing probably cut at least 75% of the blades. However, the areas that have sparser grass also have less vigorous grass, too.

I'll try to get some "looking down from standing height" pictures of the thinner areas tomorrow to let others doing renovations see what the thinner areas that I haven't re-seeded look like, in hopes that they'll be able to fill in during spring.

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ken-n-nancy
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2018-10-06 - Day 42 - 6 Weeks Since Seed-Down!

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 6th, 2018, 9:50 pm

Having done all the week's work on the lawn yesterday (mowing and fertilizer), today's only lawn maintenance task was to take the weekly photos!

Weather this past week was seasonable - neither hot or cold, but generally pretty gray without much sunlight. Without much light, this week's growth seemed to be somewhat lessened.

The gray squirrels continue to be obnoxious, digging everywhere -- it's particularly visible in the barer spots, but exists throughout the entire lawn - they don't appear to be selective about whether they dig in a bare spot, the renovated lawn, or the established lawn. Of course, their holes are most evident in the bare spots!

Below are the 6-week pics:

Mailbox View as of 2018-10-06 (Day 42):
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Lamp Post View as of 2018-10-06 (Day 42):
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Far End as of 2018-10-06 (Day 42):
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ken-n-nancy
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2018-10-14 - Day 50 - 7+ Weeks Since Seed-Down!

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 14th, 2018, 6:42 pm

With other activities on our calendar for Saturday, we didn't get to lawn care tasks until this afternoon. Ken had mulch-mowed leaves over the renovation area on Friday afternoon, but more new ones had fallen, so Nancy took advantage of the drying sun and cool, crisp air to blow the latest leaves off of the renovation area for our weekly pics.

Nancy Blowing Leaves off the Renovation Area
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We're quite happy with the way the renovation has turned out -- there are still some pretty big thin spots, but given our past experience with KBG in the spring, we won't be adding any more seed in those areas, but will let the KBG "do it's thing" in the spring while protecting against weeds with a spring pre-emergent.

Weather this past week was pretty good for growing grass in the fall, with better sun than the week before. The established lawn has great color; growth is starting to slow a bit with the cooler temperatures. Because our average first frost is Sept 26, (although no actual frost yet) and this coming week is forecast to be quite cool with no highs over 56F and overnight lows typically in the 20s-30s, we've decided to cease our weekly urea fertilizer treatments as of the prior application on Oct 5.

The improvement from week to week is less noticeable now, but the maturity, density, and color of the grass is continuing to move in the right direction! The spots which germinated first look the best, starting to take on some of the darker color that we know will eventually show itself in the Bewitched+Prosperity blend.

Below are the 50-day (7-week) pics:

Mailbox View as of 2018-10-14 (Day 50):
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Lamp Post View as of 2018-10-06 (Day 50):
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Far End as of 2018-10-06 (Day 50):
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ken-n-nancy
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2018-10-16 - Mulch Mowing Leaves Into Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 16th, 2018, 9:03 pm

Many, many leaves blew off the trees last night - definitely enough to make about 85% coverage of the reno area.

In order to keep the sunlight available to those young blades of grass, tonight we mulch-mowed all the leaves on the renovation area so that they're down in the lawn instead of covering up the grass.

It looks better to show all green again, too! ;)

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by andy10917 » October 16th, 2018, 9:37 pm

Only 1,000 more mulchings until you're done. Cake.

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Ken-n-Nancy's Lawn Journal - 2018-10-19 - Frosty Lawn Pic

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 19th, 2018, 11:40 am

Just had to share a picture of the frosty renovation from this morning...

Frost on the New Grass - almost 8 weeks old - on 2018-10-19!

Image

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's Lawn Journal - Day 56 - 8 weeks!

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 20th, 2018, 9:58 am

Not much news to report in the last week. Grass growth is slowing down (but still far from stopped) with cooler temps in the past week, with overnight lows having typically been in the 30s and daytime highs in the 50s.

The leaves are also starting to fall - we've mulch-mowed a couple times this week, even on the renovation area, where we're counting on the mulched leaves to help provide important organic material for the soil.

We didn't make our weekly urea fertilizer treatment last week, so it's now 2+ weeks since our prior application on Oct 5. Color is starting to look pretty splotchy, with some darker green areas and some lighter green areas. We're not sure if that's because some sections are darkening with maturity, or if other sections are losing color due to the fertilizer running out, or if it's just color loss due to the shorter days and cooler temperatures. In any case, with it having been 2 weeks since our last fertilizer application, we'll be expecting grass growth to slowly taper off in a pretty natural way.

Below are the 56-day (8-week) pics:

Mailbox View as of 2018-10-20 (Day 56):
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Lamp Post View as of 2018-10-20 (Day 56):
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Far End as of 2018-10-20 (Day 56):
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FF Thinning Area as of 2018-10-20:
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by mflinn » October 22nd, 2018, 2:03 pm

Loving this thread, so thank you for the effort! How is the FF thinning project/experiment coming along?

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 22nd, 2018, 6:10 pm

andy10917 wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 9:37 pm
Only 1,000 more mulchings until you're done. Cake.
Oh, if only that weren't so true.

Trying to figure out if I should don the headlamp tonight and mow / mulch in the dark. Sunset at 5:51pm today is tough. I'm rarely home from work by then! It's going to be even worse in a couple weeks after daylight savings time ends.

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by DevilDawg81 » October 23rd, 2018, 7:27 pm

Whew, 5:51 sunset is rough. I feel for ya, but it’s looking great!

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 30th, 2018, 10:29 pm

DevilDawg81 wrote:
October 23rd, 2018, 7:27 pm
Whew, 5:51 sunset is rough. I feel for ya, but it’s looking great!
Thanks for the kudos on the lawn! The sunset time is going to continue to get a lot worse before it gets better...

I had to come home from work early today in order to mulch up leaves. Couldn't do it over the weekend due to too much rain causing wet leaves. Tonight's sunset was at 5:41pm.

It's going to get real tough after this coming weekend when we "fall back" from daylight savings time and have sunset at about 4:30pm!

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's Lawn Journal - Day 66 - 9½ weeks

Post by ken-n-nancy » October 30th, 2018, 10:35 pm

This "weekly update" is a few days late, as the weekend was just too wet to do anything in the lawn. Plus, we were busy with a robotics tournament, too... ;)

The prior week was cool and cloudy, with high temps lower than typical for this time of year, but overnight lows pretty much on track. Grass growth continues to slow down, but the mature grass still has excellent color -- maybe the darkest it has been all year. The new grass looks like it may be yellowing a bit, but it's hard to tell if it's actually getting yellower or just looking more yellow in comparison to the darkening mature grass. Leaves continue to fall at a steady rate; the young birch, beech, and witch hazel are getting pretty bare, but the big oaks are just starting to drop their first leaves now.

The irrigation system was blown out yesterday (Monday, Oct 29th) so we won't be using that any more this year. Turns out we haven't had it on in about two weeks anyway, as we've had regular rain every few days and when the grass gets wet, it dries out a lot more slowly than it did back in July and August!

Mulch-mowed leaves tonight for the first time in 8 days. Needed to "double mow" in order to get the leaves diced up into small enough pieces, given how many there were. Took a picture of the mulch-mowing "half-done" to show what the leaf cover looked like.

With the slowdown in grass growth, I'm glad we made our last urea application on Oct 5 -- seems like we're just about on track for our typical fall growth stoppage just before Thanksgiving. Very thankful that we haven't had any snow yet!

Below are the 66-day (9½ weeks!) pics:

Mailbox View as of 2018-10-30 (Day 66):
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Lamp Post View as of 2018-10-30 (Day 66):
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Far End as of 2018-10-30 (Day 66), Halfway Done Mulching Leaves:
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Far End as of 2018-10-30 (Day 66):
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ken-n-nancy
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Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - First Spring Photos after 2018 Fall Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » May 11th, 2019, 5:24 pm

This post shows our first "lawn photos" of spring 2019, following the fall 2018 renovation of our front lawn to a Kentucky Bluegrass blend of Bewitched and Prosperity. As of when these photos were taken on 7 April 2019, the lawn was just barely starting to think about greening up. Given our prior experience with Bewitched KBG in our area, it probably won't look fully green until the very end of April and won't need mowing until about the middle of May.

We are encouraged about how the grass survived the winter. There's a lot of filling-in the grass will need to do this spring, but it's definitely good enough that we will be applying a pre-emergent rather than even considering any additional seeding!

Below are the first spring pics, taken 226 days (approx 7.5 months) after seed-down :

Mailbox View as of 2019-04-07 (Day 226):
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Lamp Post View as of 2019-04-07 (Day 226):
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Far End as of 2019-04-07 (Day 226):
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FF Thinning Area as of 2019-04-07:
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andy10917
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2018 Front Lawn Renovation - "War on Triv"

Post by andy10917 » May 11th, 2019, 5:58 pm

Nice!! Where do you think you are now vs the original title "War on Triv"? I need a fix of "we're winning the battle" from someone - is it you?

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