***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

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Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

Hi all,
Thanks for stopping by to follow as I start my journey into Reel mowing. Last September I moved into a new house on 1/3 acre right on the outskirts of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. The actual sod was not laid down until late October of 2019. It was pretty cold out when they put it down and I had no clue what was in store for spring 2020. Flash forward to Spring 2020, my yard started out Rough! Much of the front yard was destroyed by my dog over the winter months (need to move bathroom spot to back).
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This picture above was take on 4/20/20. (Pretty rough)

I was frustrated with how bad my yard was looking after a couple days so I went and bought some Perennial Rye seed and some type of Scotts triple feed fertilizer. I proceeded to place the seed and fertilizer in rough spots while also giving the yard a light toss of both over the whole yard. I do want you to know I’ve never done much lawn maintenance and not sure if I should have done this. I then took pictures a week later with not much going on. I got more yard pics though and you can really see the bad spots up front still. WTF!! 4/26/20 below...
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Fast forward to May 12th and the yard is sitting at about 3.5 inches. I ripped out some of the dead grass in the front and replaced it with sod just so I didn’t have to look at my dog spots. The yard is Green! Took about 2-3 weeks from the last photos but PRG seed is coming in! I can tell I have PRG in the front heavy because it’s different colors now.

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Above photos 5/12/20

Today is 5/22/20 and I got some surprises!!
My yard is looking pretty dang good. I think I’m ready to start going low gradually from the 3” that I sit at right now. I took some photos that gradually go up my drive way so you can see my front yard spots are still very visible but I’m letting it go for now unless someone has advice. I also purchased a Toro GM1000 yesterday from another member in here who I will not mention for privacy reasons. I have attached some before and after photos of her cleaned up. Currently sitting at 313 hard earned hours but looks to be a great mower for the money. Please check out the photos of my lawn down below and feel free to give me advice on how I should proceed. If no advice comes in I’m going to go down a .25 every 3 days until I get to 1.5” and sit there for a bit. Please enjoy my most recent photos from today’s lawn and yesterday purchase!!!]

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Rough spots from my dog right out front door
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Mower before and after pictures after deep clean
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Last edited by ReelylowInMN on Sat May 23, 2020 1:37 am, edited 5 times in total.

Dasda
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:00 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada.
Grass Type: Not sure at the moment
Lawn Size: ~5000sqft
Mower: Poulan Pro Self Propelled

Re: ***2020 lawn transformation (year 1)***

Post by Dasda »

Looks really nice. Lots of progress!

Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

Thanks @Dasda

User avatar
Babameca
Posts: 1344
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: Montreal CA
Grass Type: Everest, Award, Perfection/PRG
Lawn Size: 6000
Mower: Honda HRX/Jacobsen GK 526

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by Babameca »

Welcome! Looks good. Make sure you have a solid fert plan. A soil test also will help you tune things in. Low mow is addictive bit also demanding.

Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

Babameca wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:26 pm
Welcome! Looks good. Make sure you have a solid fert plan. A soil test also will help you tune things in. Low mow is addictive bit also demanding.
I don’t have any plans set for fert at the moment. I am so new to lawn maintenance I feel bad even asking questions. Should I fertilize frequently? I heard that I should also use T-NEX when trying to transform my lawn from long (3”) to low. I heard it helps grow the grass outward or having a stronger base so you can go low without having to water a ton? Correct me if I’m wrong! Anyway thanks for the help!

User avatar
Babameca
Posts: 1344
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: Montreal CA
Grass Type: Everest, Award, Perfection/PRG
Lawn Size: 6000
Mower: Honda HRX/Jacobsen GK 526

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by Babameca »

@ReelylowInMN I have seen many new sods only last for a season, due to no maintenance. I guess by order of priority:
1. Learn how maintain (fert, water, normal mow). That includes understanding macro and micro nutrients roles and products that can supply those.
2. Learn how to control weeds and fungus

T-Nex is famous but applied accordingly and mastering the above.
There is plenty about all this here in the forum. Look for sticky treads.

Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

Babameca wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 3:24 pm
@ReelylowInMN I have seen many new sods only last for a season, due to no maintenance. I guess by order of priority:
1. Learn how maintain (fert, water, normal mow). That includes understanding macro and micro nutrients roles and products that can supply those.
2. Learn how to control weeds and fungus

T-Nex is famous but applied accordingly and mastering the above.
There is plenty about all this here in the forum. Look for sticky treads.
Thanks for the response and info. I think tomorrow I’ll research more of the basics and watch some YouTube to get a better understanding! My lawn is new (fresh sod last October) I want to do what I can now to make it work and be healthy. I also wouldn’t mind having a real nice and low lawn if I can do it! I’ll be logging the journey just so next year less mistakes are made if any are this year!

Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

5/23/20
Decided to block off two rectangular sections in my front yard that have rough spots from my dog. I decided to use a hand held cultivator and really dig out the pee spots. I then put down a layer of top soil, a good spread of perennial rye, then one more layer of topsoil. I’ll let this sit for a while without any disturbances. I hope it all doesn’t get washed out but we shall see. Photos below!

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User avatar
Vtx531
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:50 pm
Location: SW Michigan
Grass Type: Mix
Lawn Size: 18500
Mower: Toro 42” Zeroturn rotary

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by Vtx531 »

Wow it really greened and thickened up nicely now. What height are you mowing currently?
Lawn journal please comment - viewtopic.php?f=27&t=11321

Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

@Vtx531 Well it was at 3” and now today it’s at 2” . I used a sun joe reel and did two passes over the yard. It really looks good. Every couple days from now on I plan to take off .25” until I get resistance. I plan to use T nex when I get a bit lower. I took some photos today 5/24/20. Part of the front lawn is blocked off for some fresh top soil and seed I put down for rough dog spots. We will see what happens there but everything looks pretty good. Not sure if I should start to spray down preventive measures for weeds I might encounter after I put down a nitrogen heavy fertilizer like a month ago? Any thoughts? If so any recommendations?
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Last edited by ReelylowInMN on Sun May 24, 2020 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

Got some aerial views off google earth from before my house was developed last year. I forgot to mention that my lawn sits on a old golf course. ⛳️ I tried to outline my lot for a better view. “X” marks the spot!
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User avatar
MNLawnGuy1980
TLF Supporter
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:42 am
Location: MN
Grass Type: KBG, some PRG
Lawn Size: 13k
Mower: Sun Joe 20" Reel Mower
Contact:

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by MNLawnGuy1980 »

Looks great! How did you get the spots off the black parts of the engine. I was having a heck of a time with those, I used motorcycle cleaner but as soon as it dried, they were back again.
2020 Lawn Journal: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=15449
2019 Lawn Journal: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=10437
Sun Joe Reel Mower Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai5cnFa6J5c

Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

MNLawnGuy1980 wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:53 am
Looks great! How did you get the spots off the black parts of the engine. I was having a heck of a time with those, I used motorcycle cleaner but as soon as it dried, they were back again.
@MNLawnGuy1980 not sure if they are gone for good because I haven’t really checked but I used some Motorcycle cleaner as well, really works on this toro!

Topic Author
ReelylowInMN
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Location: Minnesota
Grass Type: Kentucky bluegrass/PRG
Lawn Size: 1/3 acre
Mower: Toro GM1000

Re: ***2020 lawn journal/ transformation (year 1)***

Post by ReelylowInMN »

It is Wednesday, May 27th. I mowed the yard at 2” today. I had to mow with the rotary first to bag clippings and then I got all the left overs with the sun joe push reel. They yard is growing really fast at 3 day intervals, lots of grass clippings. I did go down two notches on the sun joe from 3 days ago and I did manage to get the entire yard at that level. Not sure if my initial cut was actually at 2” on Sunday... I also got out the gm1000 and did a roll over the yard to see if I could get the “toro stripe” appearance. It looks great and was fun to do even though I still can’t cut with it. Some photos below from today’s cut!
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