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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    May 2001
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    Western PA
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    BX2200

    Default BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    Perhaps this job is something best done off tractor, but I thought I'd ask. My grass seems to get thick thatch or dead grass strangling out new growth. This makes it hard to replant or over-seed. It also seems very hard in spots. I thought that a device that would tear it up a bit might kill two birds with one stone. I'd be willing to simply drag something, or perhaps attach a 3 point PTO driven device. I don't know much about what I should use for such a task. I also don't know if the right tool is adaptable to the 3 point hitch on the BX.
    Any ideas??

    Also, should I spread something (lime, mushroom manure)? I am a lawn armature with no clue how my grass becomes dead patchy ugly. My only caveat is that I am very hesitant with chemicals because I have two small children. Perhaps this is the reason my grass does so poorly. I have not spread anything in the past. I believe I do have some grub problems (any non-toxic ideas to kill those things?).
    Thanks,

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    37
    Location
    Central PA
    Tractor
    BX2200

    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    Check out Jerry Bakerís web sight @ http://www.jerrybaker.com/JerryBaker...l/homepage.asp

    He has several concoctions for lawn growth and pest control made from household products like detergent, tobacco juice, ammonia beer and cola. Iíve tried a few and they work.

  3. #3
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
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    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
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    Kubota L5460HSTC

    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    You need to treat the cause of the thatch, not the thatch itself. A properly maintained yard won't have any thatch. One cause of thatch is over fertilization. Contrary to popular belief, grass clippings DON'T cause thatch.

    1st take a few soil samples and have them tested at your local extension school. They will tell you what you need for fertilizer and lime.

    Second, Aerating is one thing you can do to control thatch. Added bonus being that you can use your tractor[img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]. Best time is fall, but spring works too. Don't do it in the middle of summer. I'm very happy with my First Choice Aerator. The 48" model works well on the BX.

    Here are a couple links for further reading

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.hort.cornell.edu/gardening/lawn/>Cornell lawn care</A>

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/hort2/mf2130.pdf>KSU aerating page</A> (pdf)

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/lawntalk/> U Illonios Lawn Talk </A>
    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
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    Kubota L5460HSTC

    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    Rouge,

    Re-reading your post, sounds like you are definitely not over-fertilizing[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img].

    Are you sure you have thatch, or just dead grass - caused by poor soil or grubs. The links I posted cover pretty much evey problem you may have with your lawn.

    Step 1 is still to get the soil chemistry right (fert &amp; lime (ph))

    You can cut a square of the offening grass out of your lawn &amp; bring it to the local ext school for diagnosis.

    Aerating is probably the best non-chemical thing you can do for your lawn, especially if you have clay soil.

    As far as your small children's safety. My non-scientific opinion is that the fertilizers aren't as nasty as the pesticides &amp; herbicides. In any case read the label &amp; keep the kids off the grass Untill it has worked into the soil. Also make sure they wash their hands after playing in the yard.

  5. #5

    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    Mr. Baker's concoctions generally add more nasty chemicals than the "normal" chemicals would do.

    The original poster's description of the patchy areas could also be the results of grubs. These can easily be controlled naturally with Milky Spore and Beneficial Nemetodes. The latter will kill the existing grubs and the former will help keep them away. Unforunately, it's too late in the season for either in most places due to the lower temps.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    May 2001
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    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    I heard of some kind of beer treatment. What a great idea if it works,.. I will check it out.
    Once when I was a Best Man at a freinds wedding,.. we bought a 1/2 keg of local brew from the local micro brewery. We also bought a 1/2 of Coors light (for the girls). Well,.. I had to dispose of the leftover beer and so I dumped it on my lawn. My lawn smelled like beer for months (it was winter).
    P.S. - The micro brew DID NOT get dumped [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img].

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    BX2200

    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    A freind of mine lifted some grass and showed me some grubs (Ah ha!). A big part of my problem revealed. So this Milky Spore is non-toxic? Wow sounds awfull!
    benificial nemotodes sounds like something from Harry Potter. I'll look in to it. Thanks very much.

  8. #8

    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    Both Milky Spore and Beneficial Nemetodes are non-toxic...except to the grubs. So as soon as it warms up in the spring, get the nemetodes down to kill the exisiting grubs before they eat your turf further and then mature into beatles and then get the milky spore down to keep them away for about 6-8 years. (The latter is a "disease" for the little buggers. You can get this stuff at Agway and http://www.milkyspore.com/, etc.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    BX2200

    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    Is benificial nemotodes a name brand or a product type?
    I saw the Milky spore at Agway, but have not had any luck finding the benificial nemotodes.

  10. #10

    Default Re: BX dethatcher, aerator / lawn maintenance

    "Beneficial Nematodes" are a living thing, not a brand or product type. Try online sources, like Gardeners Supply, etc., if Agway doesn't have them. A Google.com search should find you some sources.

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