Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

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DevilDawg81
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by DevilDawg81 » September 1st, 2020, 9:28 pm

K-n-N, I highly admire the details and hard work you put in! Heck, you’re documentation here is top notch I know your work is supreme!!!!

Keep it up!

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 2nd, 2020, 8:43 am

DevilDawg81 wrote:
September 1st, 2020, 9:28 pm
K-n-N, I highly admire the details and hard work you put in! Heck, you’re documentation here is top notch I know your work is supreme!!!!

Keep it up!
Thanks, DevilDawg81! You deserve some kudos for seed-down, too!

This morning, I got up and went out intending to take some photos of the newly-paved driveway apron, and found that the possible light showers were indeed falling lightly. Did a quick look on the local weather radar and saw that it was forecasted to continue for a while, so I quickly measured out 10 pounds of urea and applied it evenly over the not-under-renovation 10,000sqft with the broadcast spreader by putting plastic over the top to keep the granules dry. Nothing seems to help grass growth in the fall as much as light showers and a little bit of quick-release fertilizer! Nice to have that done!

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2020-09-03 - Day 8 - Baby Grass!!!

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 3rd, 2020, 7:53 pm

After the steady showers from the last 36 hours let up this morning, I headed outside at lunchtime to see if I should turn the irrigation system back on (we had turned it off the day before), and...

I found that we have BABY GRASS!!!

Image

The other piece of good news is that even with yesterday being showers nearly all day, including some heavier rain at times, we were relieved to find that we didn't seem to have any significant washouts. There's a few places where little rivulets have washed away inch-wide sections, but nothing that seems to be a significant patch.

The germination is widespread, although not quite everywhere, as of now, Day 8 after seed-down. Seems to be right on track compared to our prior experience with Bewitched KBG and Prosperity KBG!

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Photos of Newly-Paved Driveway Apron

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 5th, 2020, 11:31 am

With a crazy busy week, we just now have found enough time to post these pictures of the newly-paved driveway apron. We're thankful that Ken was working from home on the front porch, so he could hustle out and remedy a few cobblestones that became askew when the equipment drove over just the corner of them. We were able to reset them while the asphalt was still hot.

We also managed to steal a few shovelfuls of hot asphalt to patch some chipmunk-induced damage to the driveway.

Right-Side Driveway Apron as of 2020-09-03:
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Left-Side Driveway Apron as of 2020-09-03:
Image

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by andy10917 » September 5th, 2020, 11:37 am

Thanks! This is so detailed that I feel like I'm on the porch too.


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Weekly Progress Photos - Day 8 - 2020-09-03

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 5th, 2020, 11:37 am

We'll be trying to take weekly photos of the renovation to be able to objectively measure progress and provide encouragement to others that KBG starts out slow and not to worry too much!

As reported above, we've had germination as of the day of these photos, although you can't see it at all except for in a close-up pic!

"Lliac Area" as of 3 September 2020 (Day 8)
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"Far End" Repair Area as of 3 September 2020 (Day 8):
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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » September 5th, 2020, 12:09 pm

It's looking good. Now you go into that great phase where the grass is sprouting but you keep saying, "Although you can't see it..." :-)

Around October first, this suddenly becomes, "And this is the new impressive lawn..."

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by DevilDawg81 » September 5th, 2020, 4:09 pm

andy10917 wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 11:37 am
Thanks! This is so detailed that I feel like I'm on the porch too.
I’m with Andy, this is an amazing journey and with all the great photos and details I feel like I’m right there!!

:good:

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by TheStig335 » September 6th, 2020, 12:42 pm

Looks great and that cobblestone/street interface is beautiful! I may have to steal that idea in the future for my yard. I also like the cobblestone around the tree.

I did an engineering internship for PennDOT for 2 summers with a contracted paving crew - we never put down that nice looking of stone when we did shoulder repair after raising the pavement deck. We would always work closely with the homeowners though on making sure they were ok with how we were doing their apron (and would always do it with the initial paving to avoid additional joints).

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » September 6th, 2020, 3:58 pm

TheStig335 wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 12:42 pm
I did an engineering internship for PennDOT
YOU!

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 7th, 2020, 6:02 pm

MorpheusPA wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 12:09 pm
It's looking good. Now you go into that great phase where the grass is sprouting but you keep saying, "Although you can't see it..." :-)

Around October first, this suddenly becomes, "And this is the new impressive lawn..."
Thanks for the kudos. We'll have to see if we get to mow this renovation before winter -- we're in between the timing of two prior KBG-only renovations -- in one of those, it didn't grow enough to mow before winter, and in the other one we were able to mow a few times. We still need a bit more development to know which we'll have this time around....
DevilDawg81 wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 4:09 pm
andy10917 wrote:
September 5th, 2020, 11:37 am
Thanks! This is so detailed that I feel like I'm on the porch too.
I’m with Andy, this is an amazing journey and with all the great photos and details I feel like I’m right there!!
:good:
Thanks for the encouragement. I sometimes wonder if it's worth the effort to recount our stories -- posts like yours helps us feel like we should continue to do so in the future.
TheStig335 wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 12:42 pm
Looks great and that cobblestone/street interface is beautiful! I may have to steal that idea in the future for my yard. I also like the cobblestone around the tree.
Thanks! We've really been pleased about how the cobblestone borders have turned out. Ken likes them as a simplification to mowing -- by being able to have the mower wheels ride on the cobblestones, the need to do edging and trimming is avoided!
TheStig335 wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 12:42 pm
I did an engineering internship for PennDOT for 2 summers with a contracted paving crew - we never put down that nice looking of stone when we did shoulder repair after raising the pavement deck. We would always work closely with the homeowners though on making sure they were ok with how we were doing their apron (and would always do it with the initial paving to avoid additional joints).
We agree that the stone the town used sure does look nice! Ken's concern isn't that it doesn't look nice, but that it will end up either getting thrown into the lawn by the plow this winter or will end up becoming a weedy border, as the depth isn't sufficient to keep weeds from finding happy conditions.

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Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation - Day 15 Photo Update

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 10th, 2020, 1:16 pm

Today is Day 15 from seed-down and the time for the next weekly installment of photos. We're pretty happy with how things are going so far. We seem to have reasonable germination everywhere. There are a few sparse areas we wish were a little more densely populated with baby grass, but we are hopeful that it will work out without needing to sow any more seed. We've had successful fill-in of the KBG on prior renovations, so we have no reason to think this one won't work out, too.

We also took a close-up of one of the sparser spots, for future reference.

"Lliac Area" as of 10 September 2020 (Day 15)
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"Far End" Repair Area as of 10 September 2020 (Day 15):
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Close-Up of a "Sparse Spot" in the "Lilac Area" as of 10 September 2020 (Day 15):
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Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation - Midst of a Downpour on Day 15

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 10th, 2020, 1:30 pm

Ugh. I was just finishing up posting the above update, when I happened to look out the window and saw that it suddenly looked very dark outside for the middle of the afternoon... Within two minutes, the rain was coming down in buckets.

We're now in the midst of a downpour... Seems like what has germinated to this point is what we're going to get, and what hasn't may very well be washing away!

Image

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by stack316 » September 10th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Looks good....Is the hose purposely laid out to direct drainage?

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by jskierko » September 10th, 2020, 9:20 pm

Looks great! I think I see enough sprouts in your "sparse area" to believe it will fill in just fine without supplemental seeding, just a bit behind the curve.

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 11th, 2020, 10:53 am

stack316 wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 1:42 pm
Looks good....Is the hose purposely laid out to direct drainage?
Thanks. Putting the hose there to direct drainage would have been a good idea. But no, that isn't why it is there -- it's just the place that we "store" it in the summer -- the spigot is behind the house and it's a pain to move it around to the back every time we need it in front along the driveway, so we have just gotten in the habit of leaving it extended parallel to the driveway for most of the summer.
jskierko wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 9:20 pm
Looks great! I think I see enough sprouts in your "sparse area" to believe it will fill in just fine without supplemental seeding, just a bit behind the curve.
Thanks! Having the sparse areas fill in is what we're hoping for, too! We'll be happy if it is filled in by the end of spring. We know this is a marathon, not a sprint, so we're willing to be patient with it.

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 11th, 2020, 10:57 am

This morning, I had a chance to take some pictures of the effects of yesterday's downpour. I'm not quite sure of the correct path to proceed now, but we will try to figure that out by this afternoon.

According to our rain gauge, we received 1.3 inches of rain in about 20 minutes yesterday during the downpour mentioned (and pictured) in our prior posting. Comparatively lighter rain continued occasionally until the evening, for a total accumulation of 1.8 inches yesterday.

The downpour shifted a lot of the peat moss in a "rippled" pattern, kind of like sand ripples at the beach. This has left most areas clear of peat moss, but also resulted in piled ridges of peat moss up to about 1/2 inch deep. (See pics below.)

The grass seedlings and the soil seem to have stayed put, although at least half of the seedlings are bent over and laying flat on the ground.

We're not quite sure of the best path to proceed. Options under consideration include:
  • Doing nothing. (i.e. let it be as it is)
  • Raking (gently) the peat moss ridges back out to get approximately even spread again.
  • Blowing (gently) the peat moss off of the renovation area (probably onto the driveway for cleaning up and maybe redistributing if we feel real adventuresome) with our leaf blower.
I'm concerned that doing nothing will leave the seedlings in the piled ripples practically buried. I'm not particularly worried about the mostly bare areas -- the seedlings have sufficient roots to have stayed put yesterday, so I think they are beyond the danger of washout now and should be able to draw water from within the top inch of soil, so having the soil surface dry out a little should be okay. The coverage is very sparse in some places, but we've seen from prior renovations that we have sufficient coverage for the KBG to fill in by the end of next spring. I'm concerned that raking may damage the KBG seedlings. Blowing seems like it would be less destructive, as long as we do so gently enough to not lift up clumps of soil. I'm currently tending to the leaf blower option, hoping that it may also result in gently lifting the bent over seedlings, too.

It does seem that the peat moss is currently still too wet to gently blow off the renovation area (although we haven't yet tried). I'm hoping that in a few hours or so it will have dried out enough to enable us to do that.

Any suggestions or other ideas?

Lilac Area on 2020-09-11 (Day 16) After Yesterday's Downpour:
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Closer View of "Ripples" Formed by Water-Moved Peat Moss on 2020-09-11 (Day 16):
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Close-up View of "Ripples" Formed by Water-Moved Peat Moss on 2020-09-11 (Day 16):
Image

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by DevilDawg81 » September 11th, 2020, 9:21 pm

I had this happen during my spring renovation only it was on day 5. I lightly raked the peat out the best and “gingerly” as I could. It seemed to be okay. I used a KBG mix and the grass has spread some and I’m sure it will continue to fill in.

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by ken-n-nancy » September 11th, 2020, 10:22 pm

DevilDawg81 wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 9:21 pm
I had this happen during my spring renovation only it was on day 5. I lightly raked the peat out the best and “gingerly” as I could. It seemed to be okay. I used a KBG mix and the grass has spread some and I’m sure it will continue to fill in.
Thanks for the suggestion, DevilDawg81.

What I ended up doing is kind of a bit of each possibility I had mentioned in my post from this morning. Even though the peat moss had shifted, the soil didn't get washed out and the seedlings didn't get uprooted. I don't think I had many ungerminated seeds remaining in the peat moss, being that we were 2 weeks after seed-down and both Bewitched and Prosperity seem to be comparatively quick to germinate. In any case, even if we did lose some seed, it looks like we have enough germinated to get to success.

So, since it was only the peat moss that got disturbed and we didn't really need the peat moss for coverage any more where the grass has germinated, I didn't worry about again getting coverage everywhere. So, for most of the area, I didn't do anything.

However, there were places where the "ripples" of peat moss were nearly an inch deep and were smothering the baby grass. In those areas, I used the back of a plastic leaf rake to break up the clumps and spread them out a bit. I really only did that on ripples that were over a half-inch thick. The technique worked well and didn't seem to rip out any of the seedlings. The lesser ripples didn't seem to be likely to cause any harm, so I let them be.

After using the rake to spread out the "ripples" a bit, I used the leaf blower to spread the de-rippled peat moss out a little more and also to get some air underneath the matted-down blades of grass.

I think the combination of approaches worked pretty well. Photos are further below.

I did toss out about a handful of seed and some more peat moss (I have a tiny bit remaining, even still) in three small spots that I thought were a little too sparse and would benefit from a few more seedlings. I won't be extending watering longer for them, though, so they're going to need to try to do their best to follow along even though I'll be cutting back on watering in a few more days. I've made the mistake of changing the normal sequence of activities to help stragglers, but what happens when doing that is the 95% that had been doing well starts to suffer a bit while focusing on the 5% that is playing catch-up. My experience is that it's better to optimize for the "many" and let the "few" deal with the less than optimal conditions.

Lilac Area After Tidying Up A Bit On 2020-09-11 (Day 16):
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Closer View After Tidying Up A Bit of "Ripples" Formed by Water-Moved Peat Moss on 2020-09-11 (Day 16):
Image

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Re: Ken-n-Nancy's 2020 "Driveway Side" Lawn Renovation

Post by MorpheusPA » September 12th, 2020, 8:37 pm

Ripples are pretty normal and nothing to worry about. Of course, the seed will sprout in and near the ripples first due to the excess water, but...

So far, it looks great! Even the allegedly thin areas will end up looking just fine by November. BTDT, got the T-shirt.

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