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Unread 10-25-2006, 04:20 PM   #1
Big AL
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Need lawn or landscape advice? I'll help

I have taken away many good tidbits from you all, and I'd like to pay back something.

I am a landscaper by trade, and now do marketing for a fortune 500 doing business in the Green Industry.

With that in mind, ask away! Need advice on how to handle that scabby crabapple tree? Wanna know what those brown patches in the lawn are? How 'bout fert rates for winterization? Planting something and need year-round color?
Lemme' help!

(my main source of knowledge and experience involves the midwest zones)

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Unread 10-25-2006, 06:12 PM   #2
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OK Al, my zucchini that we had this year had lots of blossom rot, what do I add to the soil so it won't happen next year?
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Unread 10-25-2006, 06:21 PM   #3
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Hi Al, welcome.

I have a Red Oak tree that has never done real good. I planted it about 10 years ago when it was about 8 ft tall. It has grown but not near what it should have. I have planted a couple others in my yard that has passed it up and they are only 3 years old.

Some of the leaves on this tree are partily brown and some branches don't have any leaves at all. The other Red Oaks are only 30-40 ft away. Got any ideas?

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Unread 10-25-2006, 06:39 PM   #4
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How come if it won't grow no matter how much you care for it it's called an exotic plant...and if it thrives with no care at all it's called a weed?

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Unread 10-25-2006, 07:00 PM   #5
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Hey Al... what time of the year do you cut back the Hydrangea's? First I was told March, and I didnt get any blooms the next year, then someone else said November, and guess what? no blooms.. So finally, I left the ugly dead shoots all winter long, and the next spring I had ton's of blooms... I dont want to look at the ugly dead brown shoots all winter Al.... help?
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Unread 10-25-2006, 09:23 PM   #6
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why is grass green and not yellow, shouldnt bluegrass be blue?

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Unread 10-25-2006, 10:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for the offer, Al.

Once alla bowdarkskulls get done with their frivolity, I'm sure you'll get some serious questions, too.

'Cept Davy, I think he's serious. He shouldn't be plantin' no steenkin' Red Oaks up there anyway, though. Just makin' more places for them Oak Wilt bugs to be nestin'. Bad, Davy.

And while you're here, identify this plant if you're able. Been tryin' to find somebody who knew what is for couple years. Piggybacked its way home with me, likely from either the desert down near the Texas/New Mexico border in the vicinity of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, or in the mountains around Cloudcroft, New Mexico, if that helps.

Or from somewheres else.
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Last edited by cx; 10-25-2006 at 10:38 PM.
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Unread 10-25-2006, 11:18 PM   #8
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MM, blossom rot on zucchini is a good thing. Only thing better for it is to take away alla dirt. Al will tell you that.

Kelly, lookin to me like you got one of them exotic plants Stoner talks about.

Bluegrass is green. Gets it name from blue bugs that lives init.

Davy, if your oak tree lives within 1000 yards of a zucchini plant, that's your problem.

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Unread 10-26-2006, 01:28 AM   #9
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Hi Al, thanks for the offer.

I have a lawn that is somewhat thin in most of the areas that receive full sun. I wanna thicken it up and choke out some of the weeds. So I raked the lawn with a metal rake, spread seeds, raked some more, and the soil was naturally kept damp by the fall weather. But the seeds didn't take.

What can I do to make seeding as easy as possible (least amount of work)? I live in the Midwest (Milwaukee area) and am thinking that power thatching inna spring might be a good idea as it would scratch up the soil a bit. The seeds might have a better chance at taking root if I do this (me thinks so, anyways). And what kinda seed should I be looking for?
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Unread 10-26-2006, 05:55 AM   #10
Dave Taylor
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Howdy BA

CX.... Whatever that plant is.... it looks like you jest-about kilt' it.

Al... I gots' moles.... big time.

What's a girl todo? ... .. .

EDIT: Tonto...... If you quit taken' short cuts to the outhouse mebee yer lawn would thicken up a bit.... either that or change brands-o-beer :---)
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Last edited by Dave Taylor; 10-26-2006 at 06:34 AM.
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Unread 10-26-2006, 07:04 AM   #11
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cx that looks like a pot plant you shouldnt be askin people to ID that
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Unread 10-26-2006, 07:38 AM   #12
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My landscaping/gardening knowledge in a Nutshell.........

#1 -SCOTTS...........Buy Scotts anything...its expensive and worth every penny!!!

#2 - Zone 3..........build a greenhouse, you'll need it

#3 - aeration aeration aeration.............the key to a good lawn

#4 - Red Oaks make great shade trees for your great grandchildren..........Silver maples make great shade trees for you!!

#5 - If your going to grow an apple tree, might as well grow one where you can eat the apples..........or at the very least make Jelly!!!
When pruning apple tree's the more ruthless you are the more apples you will see.Fruit Tree Fertilizer Spikes are a must
#6 - Plant Asparagus NOW........Plant Current tree's NOW..........Plant Zucchini's to feed DEER because no HUMAN in thier right mind actually eats it
#7 - SQUASH - Hubbards keep the longest.............Buttercups taste the best.........Acorns are the right size for 2. If you must grow summer squash, grow PATTY PANS...........Buy a pumpkin dont waste your garden space growing 1..........Carrots LOVE Tomatoes...........plant tomatoes between carrot rows...Both will do very well.
Compost on the corner of the garden...............Move the compost to another corner each year........Plant cucumbers where your compost was on a trellis......2 plants is all you will need grown there...........3 plants if you want to feed the neighbors!!
#8 - Grape tomatoes do not crack after rain nearly as bad as cherry tomatoes........Salsa without Cilantro isnt salsa...............Dill will reseed itself.....French Breakfast radishes are the mildest.......Parks Whopper are the biggest tastiest Slicers..............Heirloom tomato's generally SUCK!!!

#9 - WILD RICE is the stuff of life.............any other Rice is just STARCH!!
Somewhere in here is a recipe for Wild Rice Soup..........try it........you'll never go back to Campbells chicken and rice!!
TIP YOUR TILE MAN, His Retirement plan is not nearly as lucrative as yours and his waning years will be far more painful to boot.
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Unread 10-26-2006, 10:46 AM   #13
Big AL
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Holy overload batman...

Let me sort through these here and see what I can help with.

1) Blue Grass will turn a nice dark blue if you put iron on it in the late spring. I recommend a product called "NutriLean" or "Ironite" works well also (gotta get these at the garden center...not sold at HD). Just be sure not to put it down too heavily or you will actually turn the lawn grey. Secondly, DO NOT get any on your driveway or you will get brown stains when the stuff gets wet and dissolves. Finally, use a brodcast spreader to put it down and overlap your passes a minimum of 12 inches or you will stripe it badly.
2) Red Oaks. It's hard to tell what could be the problem. Did you use the "What the heck is wrong with my red oak" calculator above?
...most oaks have iron chlorosis if planted in a high PH soil (did you ammend the soil with anything before planting? Are you in clay soil? Did you remove the burlap from the root ball b4 planting? Was the root ball set a couple inches above the existing grade? ...what size joists are under your lawn? Does it stand up to the jump up and down test? ).
The best way to get iron in the tree is through a trunk injection. Not usually recommended for the DIY. However, on smaller trees, you can get sprays and also root feeders that will help. As far as the bare branches...cut one off near the tip...if the inside is green and flexible, it ain't dead. If it is brown and brittle, cut it off lower until you hit a green area...then prune it to a point where it looks good.
3) Seeding lawn help: Raking is nice, aeration is good, slit seeding is best....and damp Fall conditions are not quite enough (new seed needs watering 3X per day for 2 weeks). Also, different grass types have different germination rates (Rye comes up in 6 or 7 days, KY blue comes up in 14-18 days). For seeding in Milwaukee, I recommend a nice mix of Perennial Ryegrass and KY Blue for full sun. The more expensive seed is better because it is filtered and doesn't have weed seed included. Scott's seed is very good quality. Avoid the big bags that read "Landscapers Mix." They are full of crap. Look at the lable on the bag and see what the % of noxious weed seed is. Also, you don't want a lot of "inert matter." Inert matter is another phrase for, "This bag contains some crap."
Finally, the best way to seed an existing lawn is to rent a slit seeder. It's about twice as big as a lawn mower. It actually makes small trenches or slits in the lawn and drops seed in them, then covers them. You should have enough seed to put down about 40lbs per 1,000 sq ft. (my opinion here).
Slit seed the lawn in a checkerboard pattern to avoid the appearance of lines. IOW, run the machine North and South, then again, East and West. You can do this NOW and the seed will germinate in Spring. This is called "dormant seeding"
Last thing: Spread a good starter fertilizer over the lawn. 20-10-10 or 20-20-10 are good rates.
Also, if you decide to wait until Spring to seed, be aware that you must get your seed down and germinated prior to May 1 so you can still get your crabgrass preemergent down in time.
Remember: The keys to seed success are: 1) constant moisture, and 2) seed-to-soil contact
4) Don't know about the zuchini much...I'm more of an ornamental specialist. I like it on the grill with some butter slathered on it though.
5) moles are in your lawn because there is food for em' there. Usually grub worms. Kill the grubs, lose (some) of the moles. I've also had luck with a pellet gun. ---ole wives tale: Drop slightly chewed juicy fruit gum in the burrows...mole smells, mole eats, mole has major bowel issues, bam...dead mole.
6) Here's the hydrangea help. http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/pruning.html
It all depends on what kind you have. I, personally, do not prune mine back.

Hope this helps.
I'll be down in Atlanta golfing over the next 4 days, (envy me, all) so when I get back, I'll jump back on this thread.

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this forum.

BTW--I have a book coming out soon. It's titled:
Big AL's booK on: Grass Over Your World.
I may even start an entire forum for Green Industry Pros and DIY's alike. I was thinking we could give free advice and stuff.
Pretty original idea eh?

sorry, CX, no clue on the potted beggar weed you have there. Try it on a salad with ranch or blue cheese and tell me what happens, ok?

Last edited by Big AL; 10-26-2006 at 10:52 AM.
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Unread 10-26-2006, 05:15 PM   #14
Steven Hauser
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Will I ever get rid of the cabgrass? I been paying those companies All Green True Green whatever to do the chemicals and I can't tell a difference.

Seems to me the lawn grass is changing had fescue and now it is changing to soemthing else. Thicker and denser in a 4x4 area.

Greenville SC don't no nuthin' about grass 'cept I like rocks better.

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Unread 10-26-2006, 06:22 PM   #15
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My pot plants are not doing very well. Whats a good fertilizer? Something that won't be too toxic when I smoke it.
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