My Lawn Maintenance Log - 2008

Starting in 2007, I have opted to do my own lawn maintenance. Prior, I had a service take care of it, but I have been not so happy with how my lawn has looked the last couple years. I always thought the lawn guys cut it much too short (they still do on my neighbor's yard). So, starting in 2007, I've taken matters in my own hands. Oddly enough, much like my woodworking and other home improvement efforts, I'm very much looking forward to this endeavor. This page is my online diary so that I can monitor my progress.

The Plan

3.29.08 - Scotts Step 1 (broadcast spreader @ 3-1/2) - done

4.2.08 - Milky Spore (broadcast spreader @ 2-1/2) - done

7.6.08 - Milky Spore (broadcast spreader @ 2-1/4) - done

7.6.08 - Milorganite (broadcast spreader @ 9) - done

10.1.08 -Milky Spore

11.17.08 - Scotts Step 4

Standard Recipe

Milorganite - 4 bags per application

Milky Spore - 1 Bag per application


10.25.08 - Neglecting my lawn. And it's starting to show. Weeds are making a come backl, and I need to trim the hedges (or take them out entirely). At least today I trimmed back the hedges, which were getting out of control.

4.2.08 - Milky Spore applied. 20lb 7,000 sq ft bag. I set the spreader at 2-1/2, but may be fine at 3 next time.

3.29.08 - Walked the lawn. Picked up trash. I did some minor raking. I only did the areas immediately adjacent to my driveway to lift up the matted grass due to the heavy piles of snow sitting on top of it all winter long. In fact, some parts of the lawn still had lingering snow. I was talking to "Tom" at the local Ace. Apparently he's an organic-lawn-care guy too, which is what I strive to be. I explained my lawn conditions from past years, and he said to go with Step 1 one more time. So I bought a 15,000 sq. ft. bag's worth. Tom doesn't do any other fertilization apparently, but I'm sticking with Milorganite until things really thicken up. The plan is to use CGM for the first time too. Last year, things looked better, but not great by any means. My neighbor, Ziggy, thought my lawn was looking better than past years (his lawn looks fantastic by the way), but I thought I had way too many weeds, especially in the parkway. I'm probably not watering enough. As many experts have recommended, the goal is to water only once a week with 1" of water. I will still be applying Milky Spore to combat the Japanese beetle infestation of last year. Ziggy's secret is that he applies "a little" fertilizer every couple weeks - but only "a little bit." He copied the secret from the older guy at the corner - whose lawn looks fantastic by the way. Hmm, maybe they're onto something... At Ace, I also picked up some clover weed killer.

3.22.08 - What a freakish winter! We've had more snow this winter than any winter I can recall in Chicago. Sure, we got dumped on in '79, but it was a one time event if I recall correctly. This year it seemed as if we had a major snow fall once a week EVERY week even into Spring! I thought when I bought a new commercial snowblower a little over a week back that I was guaranteeing that it would never snow again - ever, but not this winter. My driveway yesterday:

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