David McCabe from https://reset.fm/ is back this week with some lawn care tips for the Average Guy! We talk about lawn size, soil temperature, chemical fertilizers and mowers. Everything you need to tackle your spring lawn care.
I think you will enjoy the show.
Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at http://theAverageGuy.tv/hgg444
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Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, Dave McCabe, Lawn Care, Mowing, Lawn Chemicals, Lawn Care, Milorganite, Humic Acid, BioChar, Grass, Fertilizer, spreader, weeds, soil, Soil test, grass seed, Yard Care
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Above, Ag office will have a test kit if not a recommendation for where to get it tested. If not, Lawn Care Nut.
Humic Acid and BioChar
Humic Acid/BioChar/Charcoal Mix
Site One has a product called Lesco Carbon Pro-G https://www.lesco.com/products/carbonpro
This is Milwaukee Wisconsin’s Finest Fert. It’s a BIOSOLID It’s a treated sewage by product that is treated. It’s roughly the same prill size as the Humic DG so what you learned earlier with your spreader will apply here. It’s analysis is 6-4-0. Very low in Nitrogen. Organic. No chemicals. It does have phosphorous though.(4)
Get Buckets from Lowes or HD. Can never have enough buckets.
Jim Collison [0:00]
This is The Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 444 recorded on May 7 2020.
Jim Collison [0:22]
Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews product updates and conversation all for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the average guy TV Studios here and Mike I think winter’s may be trying to inch its way back we’re gonna talk a little bit about this in the lawn show today but it’s a little chilly out I got a hoodie on it’s kind of chilly right
Mike Wieger [0:42]
A little chilly and a lot of rain we’ve been so used to this gorgeous sunny weather and we’ve had a lot more rain lately but it’s you still can’t complain when you’re you know above 50 degrees I guess at this time now Yeah,
Jim Collison [0:52]
now it’s not bad. Dave been chilly and rainy for you. Have you guys gotten much
Dave McCabe [0:56]
it has been it’s been really off and on and we got freeze warnings Or tomorrow night and let us know Kevin
Jim Collison [1:03]
wow it’s been a while since we’ve done snow this late in the year yeah, I mean I remember may 1 snow but I can’t remember one that that this late Well, nobody there’s no there’s no planes flying around above so the the the atmosphere is getting a little bit cooler. Maybe Of course. Speaking of cooler we will have some cool show notes I don’t know Dave what I’ll bring over from your show notes because they’re pretty amazing. But we post we’ll post a show out at The Average Guy TV. Don’t forget you can join us live on the mobile app each and every week. Get at HomeGadgetGeeks.com, Android, iPhone, download it, you can have it for free. Best way to listen when you’re on the road. When we get back on the road. Maybe you can have that or walking around the neighborhood, walking the dog doing the chores, mow the lawn, in this case, out pulling the weeds trimming the roses, whatever you’re going to do out there, throw those earbuds in and listen to us and stream the show each and every week. Don’t Don’t forget to follow the show schedule to I’ve actually got Going on Eventbrite. So TheAverageGuytv.eventbrite.com can see up to date what’s coming up. Mike and I are here next week. No, Rich Hay is here next week and then Mike and I have a show coming up and then Chris Nesi from last week is going to show up as well the week after so if you want to know that go to The Average Guy TV. Yeah, the average guy dot event bright.com and get that done. While you’re out at The Average Guy TV hit it head out to The Average Guy TV slash subscribe newsletter is back up and running. Again. I’m setting it out on a mostly weekly schedule, kind of what I’m saying. So if you want to hear from me on a weekly basis, just know what’s coming out in the show what’s coming ahead, subscribe to the newsletter and we’ll do that as well. Big thanks to Brian Friedlander and Nathanial Lindley last week who joined us for that conversation around how COVID has affected the education system and Mike we went for an hour and a half. I thought it was it was really good. And I appreciate those guys for doing that. Bring it like we had scheduled Chris Nesi to be on he lost power. That night, so we’re gonna have him back on to share that here in a couple weeks. But to appreciate those guys both coming back,
Jim Collison [3:07]
Dave, we’re gonna do a little before we dive into the lawn, so you can’t really talk good lawn care unless you talk a good beer pour. Right? I mean moment, right? up. mowing lawns and beer go together. We normally do this in the pre show, but I thought, well, I want to bring it into the regular show on a regular basis kind of just what we’re drinking. And what we’re doing in the evening. I’ve gone because we’re out. You know, Andy Coffee sent us some beers and we went five weeks on those and we’re out Hint, hint. I’m just saying Jim at The Average Guy TV if you want to send some emergency beer, Mike, I’m fully back to the emergency beer supply.
Mike Wieger [3:39]
I still laugh at you are back on Bud Light. And lft are calling it the emergency beer supply. I think that’s become your new favorite beer and you don’t want to admit it.
Jim Collison [3:47]
It’s actually pretty good. I know. No, it’s not. That’s not Dave. Give us your your opinion of Bud Light. What do you think the Yes, no.
Dave McCabe [3:57]
Oh, yeah. No, that’s it. Yeah. I mean, that’s fine. Bud Light Coors Light like a good Miller light any can do Miller enter any any any choice See, merican beer I’m yeah,
Jim Collison [4:10]
yeah, yeah What are you drinking Mike?
Mike Wieger [4:13]
I went with the Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy that’s a good summer that refreshing beer I know yeah it’s the first one I’ve had this year. It’s always a good first beer I’m not I’ll admit I don’t drink it as my normal beer all the time. It almost gives me dry mouth a little bit I don’t know why for some reason this stuff in there just man I’m like oh I need like water while I’m drinking my beer. Which obviously you drink but like you don’t have that problem because it pretty much is water. Wow, the rolls have over so I’m not even making fun of it because I like it but someone’s got to knock it and when it’s not do
Jim Collison [4:42]
well you went from Mac to PC I can go from from homie craft beer to Bud Light. So Right, right. Yep. Yeah, it is good. Actually, Bud Light lime is one of my favorite one I’m running and after the run, but a good Bud Light line for whatever. It’s just super refreshing. And so I’ve enjoyed that. Dave when you’re out mowing we’re gonna talk about lawn care here in a second when you’re out mowing you come in Do you like cold beer when you’re when you’re doing definitely got
Dave McCabe [5:07]
to have a cold beer after you do some some yard work and the typical American Way to do drinking beers in the lawn is a nice lawn chair. A couple of cold ones and a sprinkler going. drink a beer. You move the sprinkler. drink a beer. You move the sprinkler, right?
Mike Wieger [5:28]
Yeah, the dad dream right there. Complete dad mode engaged with some jean shorts shorts and some white you know white green screen new balances or new green stain new balances.
Jim Collison [5:40]
That’s the dream man. That’s we’ve we’ve pulled it all out all the stops out for tonight. Yeah, yeah, it’s, I’ve Um, I’ve kind of moved all my I it’s mostly evenings and I enjoy beer. I don’t I’m not really I still feel weird about if I you know, if I pop one open at two or three for whatever reasons, still a little too early for me. And that’s just a That’s just a me thing but I know I know there’s some folks that on the weekends all the way well if you want to send us your beer for us to try you can do that send send me an email Jim at The Average Guy TV Well, or show I’ll show you how to do that or we’ve got the discord group going wherever we’ve got it. We have a beer channel, I think and that’s really for us to try beers Mike you and I this weekend We’ll figure something out. figure something locally that we can get distance that we you know, you can get your close to you. I’ll get close to me and we’ll have those for the show.
Mike Wieger [6:30]
Yeah, so far. It’s only Justin Simmons and bust out who have posted over there so yeah, there’s the beer channel now in the discord. So go there and at least just list out your your favorites. So we can have we can have a list we can start just going through all summer.
Jim Collison [6:42]
Yeah, we should have somebody deliver it to us. You know, or something like that get get one of the local breweries that’s doing I don’t know if they do delivery. Maybe we’d have to be prepped to go pick it up. Yeah, I would think David Have you gone out and picked up we’ve done a lot of carry out
Dave McCabe [6:57]
during Eastham. Yeah. We tried to We try to do it. Actually, we’ve done it a lot to be honest with you. No good you know, I’m tardy groceries, restaurants.
Jim Collison [7:12]
Oh, yeah, well, we haven’t probably done it as much as we should have or could have. We’ve been cooking a lot in the house so it’s been good. I’ve also taken to composting as we’re talking about the lawn so you know, as we’re cooking, cooking fresh, we’ve, we’ve kind of gotten some composting and especially the coffee grounds and those are really great for the for the lawn. So we’ve been we’ve been composting those. Well, after the last show day. We just had john a few weeks ago wasn’t fair. It wasn’t very long ago and you and I got talking about something and then you you started writing the book on on what you’re doing there. I think I said something to you about, Hey, what are you doing on your lawn you talking about measuring temperatures?
Dave McCabe [7:55]
Yeah, he was like the show you’re like Alright, thanks, good night and hit stop. And we just I mean, we Probably chatted for 30 minutes, right? Okay, we should do a launch. Oh, yeah, I was Yeah, yeah. But it’ll probably take me you know, a couple weeks to write those show notes. And yeah, I texted you the next morning’s I got done. Ready?
Jim Collison [8:14]
Yeah. Week. Yeah. Well, it’s a good it’s a good week to talk about it because or a good time of the year to talk about May at least here we’re in the Midwest, in the United States. cool season grasses are really what’s kind of what survive and thrive and our environment we get a lot of snow in the winter, we get really cold temperatures. We get a lot of really hot temperatures in the in the summer months in and so we have these cool season grasses that grow that grow really well out here. fescue, and bluegrass, the A lot of times Dave, this time of year is just the best time to be a lawn guy. Because you can almost not try in it looks really good. Right? I mean your lawns looking good. Now you’ve been trying. We’re going to talk about that here in a second, but it’s that show Doc for a lot of people they get out there and they’re like oh my lawn looks so good and then you know June comes and we start seeing some 90 to 95 turns about us they know our friends down in Arizona and Southern California they’re already seeing those temperatures but here at least here in this part of the Midwest I that that summer comes on and it really separates the men from the boys right it’s very month
Dave McCabe [9:20]
springtime everyone’s a lawn genius because the yard is doing the yard is doing the work for us right it’s taken all of those nutrients that is stored all winter long. And it knows this is Mother Nature I’ve got to grow as much as possible and establish roots and then hope for the best when the summer he is Yeah,
Jim Collison [9:40]
yeah, well, no the weeds the weeds are out this time of year as well. dandelions are in full effect. I told I told my daughters were walking the other day the dandelions have won the evolutionary game of you know, a propagating because they’re everywhere and you never get rid of them and, and if we could just learn to like them for what they are, and I can Girl whole yard full of dandelions I think
Dave McCabe [10:02]
could be some way that they would like cure cancer. Right? And we just all go Danny line.
Jim Collison [10:07]
Yeah, no, it’d be good. Well, you put in a pool. You put in a pool and you put in a pool house and that kind of tore up some yard so kind of walk us through from that pool install. You had a lot of things to fix. I was there I saw that. They had run over a bunch of stuff. I think they broke some of your sprinklers in the process. Everything. Yeah, yeah, give us give us the lowdown on your on that Oh, that’s an install.
Dave McCabe [10:33]
That’s what started my evolution because we had the pool done and it’s it’s in the backyard and there’s no way to get to the backyard except through the front yard and through the side yard and and that’s all the digging equipment and all the concrete trucks for the pool deck and we also put in a pool house and I I don’t know where if you can see it right here. That’s the outside lights for people on video on the Whole House and just doing all of that work created a compaction zone in part of my front yard, my side yard and my backyard. Were all of those concrete trucks. They didn’t pump it from the street, they actually had all these huge trucks driving over the yard. And in some spots, they lay down limestone rocks. And it’s the worst thing for a yard is a rock in the middle of your yard, your grass will not grow. It’s a it’s like a little mirror radiating heat all around it and nothing will grow it just kills it. So that’s really what set me on this goal of working in the yard and kind of taking things onto myself. And I’ll tell you, my goal is what I call the American way. And that has changed over the years but mine is a trimmed lawn. Edge sidewalks, edge driveways grass Looking good beds with nice pretty mulch that’s edge and flowers growing and bushes growing and trees. it you know, it’s I don’t know if it’s like Ned Flanders or if it’s way too manicured, but that’s what I’m going for. That’s that’s my way I know there’s organic ways to do it. And I try to do it the best way I can I try to do it with positives and not negatives, you know, not chemicals.
Jim Collison [12:27]
Yeah. So what if you feel like you have some neighborhood pressure for what I mean? I live in a nice neighborhood and everybody’s got right manicured lawns and I’m sure they’re hiring guys services to come out and do that for you. And there’s a little bit of pressure just to why not just hire the lawn guy.
Dave McCabe [12:45]
Yeah, everybody. Everybody cuts has professional lawn cuts around me. It’s just one of those neighborhoods, right? There’s a big Hoa. And, you know, maybe it’s I don’t know, I don’t even know How to describe the neighborhood. But it’s the type of neighborhood that hires things out, right? They take their shirts to the dry cleaning, when they come home in the evening, they bounce the kids on their knee while someone else mowed the yard. And that’s I’ve never hired out my mowing. But I have hired out my fertilizing. Hmm. And so that’s where I kind of got into this rebuild period after this pool went in. The pool went in and we had a landscape company. The landscape company was actually in charge of laying out the landscape with the pool and making up all the engineering drawings and they actually did the engineering drawings for the pool house. I have a pool house that has a shed for all of my tools and my mower and all that kind of stuff. And there’s also an attached bathroom. So hopefully no kids are, you know, peeing in the pool, they can go to the bathroom and do their business there. So This landscape company promised me They said, we’re gonna leave you better than you are now. Right? And so I was like, that’s great. I’m just gonna let them handle it. They’re, they’re saying they’re going to plant these bushes and these rose bushes and these trees perfect. Just get it done. Leave me better than what I look like now. And needless to say, that didn’t happen that there was certain environmental variables about when they were doing the job when the job was finished. Because while while the job is going on, there’s no chemicals being put down. There’s no pre emergence being put down the crabgrass, the weeds, everything just exploded. I could have done some things different. I probably should have taken on, you know, the other half of the yard myself so it didn’t look awful. I just kind of embraced it and said I’m just going to mow it down and then when it’s done on, we’ll fix it up. So they created a mess. And what I did is I hired a chemical guy. I said, I need help, I need help to dig out of this mess and I needed expertise. And so this is kind of where I, when we start talking about DIY versus hired. And so you have a couple options you can do upkeep yourself. And I’m assuming everyone listening to this show. Everyone out there in your cars right now, let’s just nod right? You’ve got this. We’re going to edge we’re going to mow we’re going to trim we’re gonna blow, right. Those are cool tools. If you don’t have a backpack blower yet. That’s one of the coolest tools ever that you can have. And some guys don’t have a big enough yard right? Some guys have those little patches you don’t. Maybe you don’t need them. The other the other two are fertilizing and weed control. Now those two are harder, right? So, what I’m what I’m saying is there’s no, there’s no harm in hiring that out fertilizing and weed control. But I would say if you’re gonna hire that out, let’s look for a guy. That’s a local guy working in his pickup. He’s got that. He’s got his pick up with the two tanks in it. And he’s got his spreaders, right. But I know you guys have seen like, true green cam lawn, you know, those national companies like that? Yep. I’m gonna say, let’s steer away from those guys. They kind of teach folks how to put the chemical down. Well, that guy driving around in his pickup, he knows what the chemical can do, right? He knows exactly what to put down, what date to put it down, how much to put it down. He’s that kind of guy. You want that local chemical guy and he’s probably going to charge a little bit less. So I would say let’s see. Look for some someone like that instead of one of those big companies.
Jim Collison [17:03]
Yeah, Mike, where do you fit in? Dave’s Dave’s world here. Well I,
Mike Wieger [17:09]
for the past three years I’ve hired it out. But I’ve always wanted to learn enough only because I haven’t wanted to invest the time to learn about when to do it because I think they come out, I want to say 68 times a year for 68 applications, you know, they they decide when it’s the right time they come out and do it. It’s a local company to Omaha use heartland lawn here, and I’ve been super happy with them. I have not seen a single weed in my yard for three years. So they have been absolutely amazing. But if it turned into because I mean, it’s not cheap, right, that chemicals, you can get expensive. I think it’s 60 bucks an application and they’re out 60 times a year. So it’s it’s not cheap, but if I could learn how to do it, and if Dave gives me the confidence and says you can do it, it’s not hard about that. Let’s talk about it. I want to hear I want to learn I’m here absorb
Dave McCabe [17:58]
it’s obviously more from my yard I’m, I’m pushing almost, what? 20 to 22,000 square feet of manicured lawn space. And then when you start adding up the bags of stuff that’s expensive. So the smaller the lawn you have, that’s good. I think about a $60 a month fee. I mean, that’s hard. That’s hard to beat, honestly. So I think you’re really gonna have to want to do it to beat that price, especially if he’s doing good. I’m thinking, if you have a reason, yeah, then let’s jump over. But the reason that I did is I asked my companies that I need to aerate my yard because we’ve compacted this clay, I need to overseed an error rate. And the bills for those were going to be upwards in the $600 range. And I’m like, wow, there’s just no way. Yeah, there’s no way I can go. rent, you know, an aeration machine, which I’ve done many times. Mm hmm. So that’s kind of at the point where I said, you know, I’m kind of getting what we, my wife and I call the big house tax. So when they roll up to a big house, they’re thinking, Okay, yeah, you know, my bill just doubled, really. So, Mike, you can save money in the long run, if you take over your hard service. And the first thing you can do, since you’ve been hiring it out, you just gather up all your receipts, and just see what they’ve been doing. Now, if they haven’t told you what they’re doing, you can ask them what did you put down and when I know you have all the dates, but sometimes those guys when they put the hanger on the door after they’re done, they’ve said exactly what they’ve done.
Mike Wieger [19:43]
Yeah, they do. Yeah, it’s it’s a we put down we put it down because of this. It’s actually a pretty educational sheet. So they’ll tell you, you know, stay off the lawn, you need to water this in 48 hours from now, don’t water it, whatever it is. So I didn’t even think about that about utilizing what they’re getting me to play look
Dave McCabe [19:59]
like myself. Write down exactly what the chemical was, you will know just by doing a little bit of work, saying, okay, they came out March 1 or April 1. And when they put down a pre emergent, well, there’s like two of them, they can do, right. So you know what they’re doing and when they’re doing it, and then they probably did. Maybe late May, early May, maybe first of June.
Mike Wieger [20:27]
Yeah, they just came out actually a week ago.
Dave McCabe [20:29]
Yeah. So early, may they maybe they do a little boost of a small fertilizer to get you into summer. Nice and positive. So you’ve got all of that. So just gather it all up. You’ve, you will, you will save money in the long run, if we can get you to that point. Okay. So, there’s a couple things we need to do first guys, and when I go through when I’m going through my list, and I’m trying to get everybody to do the right things first, I’m going to try to sneak in some Tech, cuz I know we’re a tech podcast. I’m a tech podcast. But it’s kind of hard with some of this, right? Because some of this is like, it’s a lawn mower and a sprinkler. There’s not much tech to that. But we can try to get it in, in a few areas here and there.
Jim Collison [21:19]
Yeah, I think there’s there’s actually a little more than we think. to it now. No, you’re right.
Dave McCabe [21:23]
Yeah. Right. And some of these lawnmowers, Jim, I mean, you really can geek out about a lot
Jim Collison [21:28]
you can’t Well, she just watering your lawn, you can add some tech. So I mean, just knowing what’s going on and let’s not get into weather stations. We only talk about that fun stuff.
Dave McCabe [21:38]
Yeah, no, we will. We will talk about that. And if if Jim if we start getting into midnight, and we haven’t finished podcast, yeah, we can always do I can roll the next
Jim Collison [21:49]
Yeah. Oh. A crossover pod. me pretty great.
Dave McCabe [21:54]
Yeah. All right. Sounds good. Well, what do we need to consider Dave What are so so the first thing we got to do is we got To find out what zone you’re in, we have to know some information. First, I want you to know what zone you’re in. And you can just google long zones and figure out which one you’re in. Right if you guys have seen that map across the United States with the colors, and you know, you’re you’re up at the top, you guys are at the top so you’re probably don’t even
Jim Collison [22:20]
have to think before I think we’re in zone four. Okay,
Mike Wieger [22:23]
I’ve never seen this map. This is all new information. Let me
Jim Collison [22:26]
know there’s a there’s a growing zone map. They’ll go to Yeah, just just Google, what’s my growing zone and it’ll tell you exactly what and then all the plants you buy the grass you do. All that stuff’s governed by the zone
Dave McCabe [22:38]
yet, okay. It says you. The big one is what we’re fighting right now is when is your last frost? Right? When can you put those tomato plants out on the back porch? And for Indiana hits about may 10. And we’re about to get one you know, tomorrow. It’s pretty close
Jim Collison [22:56]
though. That’s pretty accurate, right? I mean, when you think about that, that’s that zone is The kind of the latest possible frosting this year for you guys, that’s probably going to be true. Yeah.
Dave McCabe [23:07]
The second one is probably the hardest one for the beginning lawn care guy, and that’s what kind of grass do you
Mike Wieger [23:16]
have? That’s another good question.
Dave McCabe [23:19]
That is one that you can probably find. When you first interviewed that chemical guy, maybe he didn’t even say anything. The northern zones you guys I mean what we have are the fescues we have perennial ryegrass we have Kentucky Bluegrass and fescues you know those guys down south they got that they got crazy stuff Zoysia and bluegrass and you know that completely different world almost and what you do with your grass, it’s it’s completely different. So you can’t like watch a YouTube video of a guy in Florida. telling you how How to take care you know and when to put down when you’re, you know, up here north. So the next one is not hard, but folks think it’s hard and that’s to get a soil test. When we start when when we evaluate the health of our soil, we’ll know what to put down. Because you can go out and buy a fertilizer from Lowe’s and you just, it’s, it’s fertilizer, right? You throw it down, the grass grows. You do it again, the next year, it grows a little bit. You could do it again the next year it grows just you know, it’s the soil is a living, breathing organism, and it wants to tell you what it needs, but you’ve got to take a soil test and the biggest thing that you can do is check your local Co Op if you have that you guys are pretty big farm state. Yeah, you got a co op. You got a grain elevator around there somewhere. Yeah,
Jim Collison [24:57]
and actually here in Nebraska, we go to our local exchange. office and they wouldn’t be
Dave McCabe [25:01]
able. My extension office is Purdue University. It’s one of the everybody says was the best in the country, but you know, your universities got a great one too. So you can just take a chunk of dirt average some dirt piles in your yard and take it to them and they’ll tell you hate your high end phosphorus. You know, stop fertilizing with this stuff. You know, you need to add some calcium, you need to add some lime, they’ll, they’ll give you one of these. Actually, if if you don’t know you can order a soil test online and mail it in they’ll send you back the info online and you can go from there and they’ll tell you exactly what to add. So it’s it’s a wonderful thing and might never fear you can have my 11 page pamphlet for free. Just throw that in.
Mike Wieger [25:54]
Okay, I’m down well, cuz you’ve got me now I’m trying to figure out the type of grass I have. I still don’t know that like all these things are I have never even done so. grass type soil test all this is new information me so I’m like roughly trying Okay, like zone events.
Dave McCabe [26:08]
Most of us have a mutt. I have three different types of grass type, maybe four in my lawn. Oh, really? Yeah, it’s crazy. I’m trying. I’m trying to do one type. But that typically happens. When you have even like a new house that’s built. They’ll take the cheapest Grassi they can get. It’s called contractor mix and throw it out. And it’s made to come up fast. Yep. And the rest of it fills in later. So that’s
Jim Collison [26:39]
Dave, I actually have two majorly different kinds of grasses between the front in the back so I have soy Sal front which is not typical for Nebraska it will grow here it goes dormant in the winter, it goes Brown. People don’t like it. I love it. In the summer, when it grows, it’s a freaking carpet like it is. It kills everything and it just consumes the entire front. Now I have full full sun. That’s another thing to consider. How much sun is your lawn getting right? Because it can it can vary on it as well. So the front does really well it’s full sun, it just gets blistered voice is great for that it actually consumes a little bit of water. I have no irrigation out there. It’s great the back more traditional blue grasses. You know fescues we have I go to sutherlands here, Mike, that’s a good grass store here in Omaha and they’re the pros. And Dave this is maybe another tip is if you’re buying grass. Well, that sounded bad. If you’re buying grass seed,
Dave McCabe [27:34]
illegal in Indiana, by the way
Jim Collison [27:36]
to Colorado, you’re buying grass seed. Go to like a professional lawn shop that sells seed and they’ll you’ll get the exact stuff that’s best for your area as well. Absolutely. We’re going to talk about grass in a sec so and
Mike Wieger [27:49]
so you don’t need to worry about it necessarily matching what you already have from what it sounds like because if you have a month of different stuff, or do you need to make sure like if I’m going to be going in and grabbing see do the need to make sure I match like take My grass and this is what I have currently. Let’s match it.
Dave McCabe [28:04]
I I’m not a professional Mike, I think you want to kind of stay as close as possible. Yeah, right. You don’t want to create the mud. So yes, have someone evaluate your grass and the best thing to do is to take it to that local Co Op for your professional landscape store. And we’ll talk about that down below. I’ve got a store in my area called site one. They have areas all over the United States and there’s there is a store somewhere in your area that the professionals go to. To get sprinkler heads, push spreaders seed fertilizer, someone has to supply them, and they will sell to you over the counter. So you can’t be shy not to go in. And when I go, it’s like, it’s like how I used to feel when I went to Best Buy. And I’m just looking around going oh my god, this place is so great. I’m gonna Get this and this and I go in there and I’m just total geek now just looking at all this stuff.
Mike Wieger [29:05]
2009 Mike in Apple Store style, okay, yeah,
Jim Collison [29:09]
yeah, yeah. And it’s so geeky rs sutherlands as they’re the other day and they were taking if you if you brought in a spreader of any kind of any working condition it didn’t matter they were really looking for the green What’s the name of Scott’s I guess makes those really green crappy plastic ones and, and they would give you a $50 credit on one of their $400 spreaders. That was really nice, right? air you know, rubber tires, that you know, everything’s really really nice. And so, yeah, that’s kind of like the best by experience. You go in there like, Oh, I could use a new spreader.
Dave McCabe [29:45]
You smell that fertilizer? Yeah.
Jim Collison [29:48]
Yeah, bags of seed all on the counter marks with five pound one pound. Yeah, it’s dangerous. Mike, be careful. Be careful. I know how you are. You can’t give the lawn back. You can’t say Sell your lawn once you’ve improved it. Yeah, no kidding.
Dave McCabe [30:03]
Okay, so we’re gonna find out what
Jim Collison [30:05]
it’s a really good point,
Dave McCabe [30:06]
we’re gonna find out what kind of grass we have. And we’re going to try to start the process of getting a soil test. But don’t let the soil test slow you down for anything else. No, it’s not, don’t stop. let’s just, let’s keep going. Because the next two steps we can all do right now. And they’re the two most important steps in lawn care. And that’s mowing and watering. The two most important steps if you only do two things, right, it’s these two, it all starts here. So a large part of your lawn care success will be attributed to the daily care, right? We all know that. But most of us don’t do it the right way. That means we’re not watering enough. Or we’re watering too much and we’re not mowing the right way. The other thing I like to warn people is if you don’t like mowing, you have no business going to the fertilizer store, because once you feed it, it’s going to grow. And you can’t, might you can’t caught it once a week. Once we start giving it some food, it’s like kids, you got to put rocks in their pockets because they’re going to grow, you’re going to have to start cutting twice a week, the lawn wants to be cut, it encourages the growth down under once we start mowing it once we start mowing the top of it. So most of us don’t do these two, these two properly. And we we start worrying about our weeds we let that we are weeds in our fertilizer we let that get into our head. So I’m going to say right now who cares? mowed weeds are green. They look okay when you mow. Let’s work on. Let’s work on getting the grass right right. So I think there’s
Jim Collison [31:55]
there’s there’s a really good premise behind this is that very very healthy grass will actually choke out the weeds they will and so you can oftentimes if you can’t get to those I’m with you choose healthy grass because it will consume the weeds and you won’t have to do it. My dandelions this year got overcrowded by the by the line and they were really small, so Pulliam was super easy. Find out and I’ve had maybe five so far so it was really really self great healthy. Yeah, healthy healthy lawns before weeds for sure.
Dave McCabe [32:26]
Yes. And Mike, you may have a lawn type that actually spreads. There’s a couple of lawn types that spread like you. We all hear about fescue, right. So you take one fescue seed, you plant it in the ground, you get one fescue leaf. But if you plant something like Kentucky Bluegrass for you guys down south bluegrass, those spread like weeds, a grass that will actually spread and fill in the other areas. So we’ll get to that we can help it with some fertilizer. out those weeds, but for right now, we’re going to, we’re going to get the mowing and the watering, right. So I tell folks on a rainy night or rainy day, let’s tune up the mower. Let’s get the air in the oil filter right let’s get the oil the plugs, General upkeep, wash it. Be proud of her. She’s your mower, right? The biggest thing is sharpen the blades. If you’re going to get under there, make sure you pull the spark plug. If you’re going to tip them over over, put a plastic baggie over the gas, screw the cap on, that way the gas won’t leak out. And make sure all the safety features work on your mower.
Mike Wieger [33:41]
The interesting piece that I learned there, and that I didn’t know about sharpening the blades before probably about a year and a half ago is when I really found out how important that was, was I mean that affects the look more than in because a jagged top will look brown whereas those fresh cut tops will look much more green and reflect the light the right way and I had no idea the huge difference I thought it was just more of a no helps the growth kind of thing but it really does affect the look a lot more than you think. And the one tool that I didn’t realize I needed until about the second time I sharpen my blades was a balancer. You can do it with a nail, too and you can do a nail and just making sure that after you sharpen it, the blade is even but there is a simple $5 awesome little like metal cone it sits on top of a stick and you just set it on top of there and see if it if it balances out for five bucks. makes it super easy. I just do it on my bench grinder run it real quick and that has been for me the biggest change that I’ve had in milling is just having a sharp blade I do it probably four times a year if not five. Yeah, just to make sure I got
Dave McCabe [34:40]
it right. Got it up Keep going. Yeah, that’s that can be found on that wonderful owl at Lowe’s where all the mowing equipment is Yeah, that’s where I found it.
Mike Wieger [34:50]
Yeah, I didn’t know I needed it until I was walking through loads of course you find stuff you need.
Dave McCabe [34:55]
Also leveling Make sure your your mowing deck is level. Once you do that. And yeah, a sharp blade will not rip the top off, it will actually cut it. And you can tell because it will be ripped, it will be yellow, it might be a split end, the grass blade may look like that I’ll have this little tall spot on the other side. So yeah, that can really create some really angry grass. I say this is your first investment. You don’t like your mower, go shopping, go get you a nice mower that you’re going to enjoy using. It’s the best time in the world to catch a podcast. I put my buds in, and then I put my ear protection over. And it’s it’s the great I mean, that’s you’re listening to a podcast in your mind. It’s a great thing.
Jim Collison [35:44]
I need to do more of that actually now because we’ve been inside I’m not listening to podcasts as much I need to recapture that time for sure. Yeah, but what about what about this time of year you know, it takes you know, how do we get that week de mo in how do you do that like For some folks sets, that’s tough when you have to mow twice a week. How do you how do you get past that to get out there on a weeknight?
Dave McCabe [36:07]
It is and so what you want to do sorry, I just got a text Dave’s set the alarm so I can set the alarm. So, Jim, what you want to do is try to plan it on a Wednesday, mate. Figure out when your Big Mo is, you know, some folks may do it on a Friday night. So they can work all night so they have Saturday to do what they want. When When is your Big Mo a lot. Most people do it on Saturday, right? Do your edging, do your trimming, do all that good stuff on your Big Mo night. And then take a Wednesday night and just fly through the yard. just fly through and mow it, mow it and blow it in, you’re done. If it’s going to rain, move it to Tuesday or Thursday. And the reason that we’re doing twice is most folks make the mistake of mowing too much. You know Your, your mower is chugging along or you’re kicking out these big clumps of grass, and that stuff dries all over your lawn. You’re cutting too much you’re stressing the grass, you just want to cut the top one third off of those blades of grass. And you may actually have to get out there and make a pass, make a high pass and see how much you’re actually cutting off of those blades. And if you need to make another pass and lower that a little bit you can, if you need to raise it. It’s very simple. So we’re going to cut the top one third, and we’re going to do that twice a week.
Mike Wieger [37:37]
So Dave, I always bag my lawn when I mow. Is that a bad thing to be doing? Am I my starving my yard of the natural nutrients of the cut grass that’s being cut? If I bag every single time, you
Dave McCabe [37:49]
kind of answered your own question natural new nutrients of that lawn. If you are fertilizing, there’s fertilizer in those blades of grass, that when you cut and they settle back down They will it’s been proven in those in those universities that they will repeat the lawn. So, you do want to let those clippings get mulched in. Now, don’t just cut them, make sure your mower has a mulching blade and a mulching plug. Because if you just let that stuff fly out the side or fly out the back, it won’t be cut up. If you plug the back on the mulching plug, it’ll keep spinning inside of your push mower and it gets caught up into little bits and it’ll get absorbed down into the soil much better
Jim Collison [38:37]
than if you let it go too tall. You can’t if that’s one of those kinds of things, you’re going to actually do some damage by clumping that grass and throwing it back on top of it if you try to. So if you’re doing top third like Dave’s talking about you every time you can mulch it in there every single time summer is a great time to do that as well. But if you’ve got let it go too long mine I’m in that boat. I’ve been busy all week couldn’t get out to it. It’s going to need to be bag. Just it just is what it is I, I do a system during the year where I continue to fertilize it. I’m not as worried about it, but I do try to get that back in the lunch as much as possible.
Dave McCabe [39:09]
Okay, well, you may not want to hear this. But some folks, if you come back from a, you know, a four day weekend or vacation or something and it’s tall, cut it twice. Still just cut that top third off of it, maybe wait for the next day, cut it again, and re mulch those in or even do it the opposite way. You’ve done it the same day. I know that’s painful, but you get to listen to Jim and maybe even reset, you know, during that So,
Jim Collison [39:40]
yeah, I kind of like it. If you got a good mower going back over it again. It’s not a big deal. If it’s wet. It is a big deal. Like let that dry out in between cuts. But, but now that works out pretty good. Dave, let’s talk a little bit about watering too. So you said cutting and then watering right? This is watering is a mystery to me. I get the Cutting part of it so what have you found out? There’s some great tech in watering What have you what do you do? How do you I don’t irrigate by the way i don’t i don’t water very much and that’s probably why my lawn struggles in the summer. Teach us some things about watering.
Dave McCabe [40:13]
Okay, well, you know you just reminded reminded me something I don’t even have in my notes and, and that’s doing a DIY DIY sprinkler. But the biggest thing is knowledge. Right, we need to know what our grass is. And we need to know what our soil type is. You know, some of us have got sandy soils, loam, red clay, you know, dark clay, we need to know what that is. So we’re not doing this wrong. For most of these yards, we’re just gonna throw it out there you need an inch to an inch and a half per week. Right? You don’t want to put that down all at once. And you need to adjust with rainfall. So maybe just maybe that might be a good reason to get a weather station. I don’t have one. I would like to Have one, but I just kind of track it right? Like we got, you know, we got a quarter inch over the last two days, you just keep that in your mind. It’s really going to matter in the summer, when you really, really, really, really need to know how much water you’re getting down on the on the yard. So, tech alert, Jim, and forever, everybody in the video. I’ve got the nice programmable sprinkler that you that has an app. This is the roxio version three. And it’s not hooked up because I have the version two and it’s working just fine. This was a review unit that you know how those review units go. Yeah, Dave. So what does it do? So it’s a very easy thing. You can you can hit YouTube up and replace your old school where you have to go to the back of the garage and turn it over to the run knob if you have a sprinkler system built in. I should have said that up front right If you have a sprinkler system built in, you can go and you can replace that old, that old box in your garage or even outside in a box with something that’s hooked up to the internet. And what this is going to do for us is via an app, it’s going to allow us to set up our zones set up what kind of soil we want to do, do we want to do water conservation, and the apple? No, I have to water at 6am. But hey, you know what, it just rained last night. Maybe we’re going to skip this cycle. And we’ll just go from there. It’s really smart in being able to hook into the weather and also allow you manual control. The best thing in the world is standing out in the middle of your front yard with your phone in your hand and tap in zone two and having that baby turn up and start sprinkling. That is the coolest thing ever.
Mike Wieger [42:57]
Do you have sprinklers sprinklers? I do. And I was just I’d say I am terrible at going and turning them off when I know we’ve had rain. And I know our water bills pretty high from them. And you know, we have a we were pretty big long not as big as yours, Dave. But I have I think I calculate 15,000 square foot of your lawn, and it sucks up a lot of water. And so I something like that has been on my list of stuff to look at and implement. I I’m so bad, Dave, I don’t even know what zones are which I still I’ve been in this house for two and a half years. And I still have not done the process of going out and mapping and drawing out where all my zones are. So the sprinkler guy came out. He kind of did a recommendation and said it and I have honestly just trusted him and left it and I haven’t changed it.
Dave McCabe [43:43]
Yeah, you definitely you definitely want to take that back under control because you have a wonderful opportunity here to tech up your 15,000 square feet. Get a rato, you don’t have to get the version three. version three added 5.8 gigahertz and it added a couple of Other bells and whistles. But depending on where your unit is, if you think it can reach 2.4, the two gigahertz band, like mine is in my was in my garage, and it gets plenty of Wi Fi there. So this thing is going to save you and one of the things that does that I think is really cool is you can tell it to cycle your zones. Like if, if the see my, my zone one is out by the road. Well what happens all the time with everybody’s zone that’s on the street, is you water the street or you water so much in the grass and it’s, it’s, it’s got this angle of tilt going out to the road, you’re watering the road. Well, you can tell zone one, hey, let’s put this zone down in three steps. Do a little zone one, a little zone two, little zone three, come back to zone one, it will cycle that and that allows that water to soak So you’re getting everything that you sprayed out and it will save you water. And you can sometimes even water less.
Jim Collison [45:08]
So so maybe five minutes ozone spread across three times as opposed to 15 minutes. And that water coming off the lawn onto the street and down into the gutter because it has a bit absorbed. Yes, I was when you were saying watering the street. I was also thinking about those sprinklers that haven’t been checked or adjusted in a while that like this is where it’s fun to stand on your lawn with the app and try these zones just to make sure your sprinklers are actually hitting the areas they are intended to hit. Because you’ve seen those neighbors and you drive by five in the morning. Yeah, yeah, you they’re watering your car. They’re getting
Dave McCabe [45:41]
some hard water on your freshly washed car. Like you need to do you need to do the the rain controller dance. There’s there’s a run a single zone, set up on that thing somehow someway figure it out, set it for three minutes, slide it over to run and start jogging. out to where you think it’s gonna be and look around, have a spiral in your hand. You don’t have to draw the map yet, but write down where it’s at. Right? Let’s get your zones right. And then you can get one of these things for like 150 bucks. woo.com has them all the time. The rato threes. Yes, yes, I was just looking at him on Amazon, it looks like about 214. Right now seems we’re running with the first thing that you’ve got to know how you you have to know is how many zones Do you have your control on a nine. Okay, it may be set up to control 12. But if you only have nine, you know, there’s no sense in buying if you only had six. There’s no sense in buying the 12. Right, you can buy just six. Got it. And someone in chat Jim just said take a picture of it. And that’s a great, great tip. Take a picture of it. And then when that three minutes is up, go back in, set it to zone two, three minutes and run out and find out That one’s out
Jim Collison [47:00]
to just take a picture of it running right? You’ll know exactly where your heads are.
Dave McCabe [47:04]
Yeah, yeah. And then yeah, write that down. So you know, zone one street, zone one or zone two, middle front, no back, right, back left or east west. However, you know how to find it. Mic Run, run that.
Jim Collison [47:22]
Run that to the drone up in the in the sky, and just take a picture on the camera and just talk into it. Okay, I’m turning on zone one. Right. Okay, I’m turning on zone two. Pretty good. There you go to the backyard.
Mike Wieger [47:36]
I was thinking about just taking it up there taking a picture straight down and then yeah, and then drawing on the picture. But yeah, you
Jim Collison [47:41]
could just in that you’d see him Come on and and have a little movie of it flying that from the garage. That sounds like a recipe for me hitting another tree with that thing with a beer but a beer. Yeah, yeah. Hold my beer and watch this.
Mike Wieger [47:52]
Or just you know what me to get? No, not here you go fly the drone, and dad’s gonna stay here.
Jim Collison [47:57]
That’s right. That’s right.
Dave McCabe [47:58]
The other thing is guys If you do have an online controller, it loves to save water. So you have to go through the system through the settings and know what’s going on. Especially if you take like an extended vacation. I remember we took an extended vacation two weeks and came back late summer in my yard was it I’m not gonna say dead it was dormant right? When the grass is not getting its water, especially in that summer heat. It will go dormant to save its roots to keep its roots alive. And I got back in my controller was like look at all the water I saved you even like my dad. So I tell people don’t trust it right? measure the output of your zone. Because some zones are different. Some zones have different heads. So the biggest thing that people tell you to do is do the tuna can challenge and that is Mike, you turn on a zone for a long time and run it until you can capture a half inch of water. And they tell you to put tuna cans out. You don’t have to put a tuna can. But that’s what the challenge is called. You need to put out some type of measurable cost cop. All right guys, don’t don’t do a rain gauge, because that’s that rain gauges are trying to get water coming straight down, you need to do a can. That’s capturing water kind of flying in from all directions. And know how long it takes zone one to put half an inch of water down. Because you’re going to you’re going to water two times a week, right? Starting at like 3am. So it’s kind of done before you get out, get in the car and drive to work. If you don’t know how much you’re putting down, how are you going to know when you put it if you get an extra week? It’s a
Mike Wieger [49:56]
total guess for me at this point. Yeah, you’re right. It’s for all of us.
Dave McCabe [49:59]
Yeah. Because we haven’t gone out there to do that we just kind of guess you kind of go out there and go Wow, it’s it’s a lake out here. Maybe
Mike Wieger [50:06]
I’m gonna turn that’s exactly what I do. It’s a lake or man it just did the sprinklers and it’s really dry. I can still walk out here and my socks, you know, a few hours later and
Dave McCabe [50:14]
it’s not wet enough knowing and it’s crunchy, right?
Mike Wieger [50:17]
Yeah, yep. But I’m doing a way more than twice a week is that I’m probably I’m probably way over watering my lawn. I think I’m Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday or something like
Jim Collison [50:25]
that. It just depends how long and how much and how long they’re running for. Right?
Dave McCabe [50:28]
Absolutely. We’re all different. No one can tell you you’re doing it wrong. But it does sound like maybe you could cut that back but just know what you’re doing. You’ve got that automated system. Just know just know what it’s doing. The biggest thing with with these systems like the ratio is you can adjust for summer, you can adjust for summer heat, and you can adjust for rainfall that’s coming down the free water
Jim Collison [50:53]
day the summer heats interesting cuz oftentimes I hear people turning on their sprinklers to cool the lawns down Right. So we would typically water at three in the morning, whatever whatever your cycle is. But in a really, really hot days I’ve heard of folks saying I don’t know. We run a quick cycle to cool the the the lawn down not to water it, but the chemo is
Dave McCabe [51:13]
great. It’s a great thing to bring up because it’s so controversial. I call it that Mid Day heat cycle. And I did it last year, just to try it. And I think it worked. Well, you, Jimmy, everybody’s different. You kind of if you just water a little bit, your grass may kind of brown down and go dormant. Because let’s face it, some folks get some gnarly heat. We’re talking 100 degrees, you’re not gonna fight that Kentucky Bluegrass, like my grass, ate above 85 degrees and it really starts stressing out. So you really have to decide how much you’re going to do to keep it green during that time period. And if you July and August are just notorious for heat. You kind of have to decide Am I going to do this? Or not? Am I gonna chase the kids off from my midday cycle or not? So
Jim Collison [52:08]
there’s a low tech solution to that too. And that’s when you see somebody in the neighborhood in your neighborhood, and their grass is better than yours. Knock on the door, well, when we can do this, again, knock on the door, and ask them what they’re doing. Like, you know, now they may be paying for that pay paying for it in water or paying for it in a professional service paying for it that way. But I think it’s great. I mean, oftentimes we miss that neighbor, who’s has the same soil, in a lot of cases, is in the same conditions getting the same amount of rain, same amount of sunlight. Trees may vary some of those kinds of things. But I think asking around by your region, to the person who’s doing it, right, pretty great idea pretty low tech.
Dave McCabe [52:50]
Yep. Yeah, find that guy that’s pushing them or if you don’t see someone cutting their yard, that means they someone’s cutting it for you or your work.
Jim Collison [52:59]
Yeah, or maybe even ask them who they use simply do it themselves. Who are you using to get some to get some advice on Well now that
Dave McCabe [53:06]
now that we’ve talked about it, you got 15,000 square feet and you’re paying 60 bucks per application. I’m just gonna tell you keep that up. We’ll,
Mike Wieger [53:14]
I’ll keep them that works
Dave McCabe [53:15]
especially if they’re doing a great job Mike, why are you Why put someone out of out of a job if they’re doing doing a good deal? Because I think that’s a I think that’s a good deal. You could Yeah, you can get a bag of fertilizer for 25 bucks, you can get some for 13 bucks. But if
Mike Wieger [53:31]
Yeah, well, we’ll see if I get to keep them this last time. Actually, he just came last week and I didn’t realize he had come and we have a dog door and my dog had him cornered in the backyard just rip roaring bark on him so loud. I felt so bad I went out there I heard cuz I heard PD gonna bark and I’m like, oh, and I looked in the security camera and sure enough, the guys can just stand there against the fence. So I grabbed PD I felt so bad. So hopefully they are so my lawn company.
Jim Collison [53:54]
Yeah, watch out the first
Mike Wieger [53:55]
like no, he goes no, he was I’m used to it. He was he didn’t do anything. He was just bar he was a man. He’s gonna allow Bark for a little dog. Sounds like he thinks is a big dog.
Jim Collison [54:04]
Some Okay, so 15 square feet. I have five I think how do i mean what are some ways that I could easily if I wanted to know how big exactly is my grass besides just going out and going, you know one potato two potato three potato four. What are some tech ways that we can kind of wrap it
Dave McCabe [54:23]
tech alert tackler exactly alert. So there’s I’m gonna I’m gonna I’m gonna teach you the most freest thing in the entire world freest that’s a new word. Google Maps. Did you know if you go to maps.google.com find your house zoom in as much as you possibly can. And right click maybe I need to do this right now so I don’t get it wrong. Right click you need to go to the satellite. So enable a satellite you guys gonna do it at the same time? We’re
Unknown Speaker [54:56]
gonna do it. We’re all gonna do it with you.
Mike Wieger [54:59]
Because I just didn’t know way, I’ll tell you how I did it after and I want to see if I get the same sort of result.
Dave McCabe [55:04]
Yes. So you go, it helps if you have a good square patch, which I do not. So find your house fellas. Find a nice corner of your yard, and right click right there at that point. And at the very bottom, measure distance, oh, there we go, it’s gonna place that it’s gonna place a little.on your yard and you can just dot dot, dot, dot dot all around. You don’t have to make nice square rectangles because I mean, I’ve got circles in my yard, you can click every couple of millimeters to get that perfect contour of your yard. And when you have a nice long section, just do the long section. And keep going all the way around your yard. I’m just doing my yard real quick here. I know nobody can see. And when you get back, click to the start point where you started and it’ll integrate Close that and there’ll be a little bottom box on your on your page and it’ll tell you distance around. But more importantly, total square feet. Did you guys get that?
Jim Collison [56:13]
I did. I did that dude that is great.
Dave McCabe [56:17]
Like I amazingly free.
Jim Collison [56:18]
Yeah, it is and i think so mine says total area 1200 and 13 square feet. So I know that’s the front yard. Okay, then the front that’s just the front. I’d have to do some stuff in the back but no, that’s great. That gets me that gets me started on this. I’ve always kind of just guessed Oh, it’s I get the 5000 square foot bag is that’s what I kind of, you know, like, well, I don’t have any more than that. But
Dave McCabe [56:42]
now I don’t know we’re gonna get really basic here right now in this is something I used to do before I knew it was the thing, right? I should have brought it up here. I have a spiral. It just says garage on it. Right? So one of those old 10 cent spirals with the color on the front that you can Put an eraser on and write off, like you used to do in junior high. And it’s my garage spiral. Anytime I need a cut list for the saw, or I mix up some weed killer, how much did I mix? What is it, you know? And we’re going to, we’re going to take our square footage of our yards and we’re going to put it in there. So, Mike, you would also put your zones in there, you just write everything down and you leave it in your garage. Anytime you go out there and you’re like, what zone how many heads we’re in zone three. It’s in your garage spiral. Right. So before you stuck that in there, take a nice little screenshot of your front yard of how many square feet you had. Now, if you’re like some homeowners, you’ve got a house right next to you, right? So there’s a driveway in between, you’ve got this little patch of grass you got to take care of. Well don’t do Don’t do it. With your main yard. Do it separately. So, you know, hey, I’ve got this little 525 square foot patch on the side of my house. So what I’m trying to get you to do is section off these little sections. So when we come back with fertilizers and weed killers, we know Okay, my front was 1500 my side is 500 you can mix up the appropriate chemicals, weed killers, or fertilizers or soil conditioners or whatever in the all these different little patches around your yard. I I measured mine up differently a couple of times that way I know. Like I got, I think it’s like 9200 square foot front yard, right big ol front yard. So I I always just mix up for 9000 square feet. That’s all I do. And I throw a little extra in.
Jim Collison [58:54]
Dave McCabe [58:55]
So use this and try to get it to the rule of thumb that we are All training we all use in the lawn interesting, that’s 1000 square feet. Everything is measured in 1000 square feet. And if you have like a 2000 square foot lawn in the front 3000 in the back, I mean, you’re golden, right? That contractors measured it for you and they built built your house, you’ve got that perfect little square. Or maybe you’ve got a sidewalk that jumps right in between two pieces of yard or some, measure those separately. You may have to, you know, have a couple of pieces of paper in your yard but screencap that I mean in your yard in your spiral screen, capture those, print them out and put them in your spiral. And then that way, when you’re in the in the garage, mixing up your fertilizer, you know, 9000 square foot in the front 15 you know, thousand square foot total. You really need to know that print it out, get your notebook, get your spiral, put it in there, and you have a yard plan instantly. You’ve got a yard plan.
Jim Collison [1:00:02]
Mike Wieger [1:00:03]
Yeah. Now, it was way more accurate than I had gone to the county assessor website, taking a lot size less the square footage of the house. But I forget, you know, that doesn’t include the garage, right? So I did it on here. I just started excluding, okay, what’s the house then? What’s this area to get down to exactly what my yard is and then your idea of actually sectioning it off.
Mike Wieger [1:00:25]
I loaded document.
Mike Wieger [1:00:26]
I’m gonna start I’m gonna start this turtle weekend. This is my fun.
Jim Collison [1:00:28]
Wood. Yeah. So would you have total or did you do at all
Mike Wieger [1:00:30]
16,003 88 Oh, so a little bit
Jim Collison [1:00:33]
more. I was a little less. I’m right at four. So 30 you know, 34 in the back or? Yeah, no. 24 in the back. 16 in front. Okay.
Dave McCabe [1:00:43]
Yeah, that’s a great numbers. I mean, those are great. mixable numbers. Yeah,
Jim Collison [1:00:47]
right. Yeah. Right.
Dave McCabe [1:00:48]
So yes, when we get into fertilizers, you have to know you can’t just throw the bag in the spreader and just start running around the front yard. You have no idea how much you put down. Because when we get into fertilizers, it’s pounds per 1000 square feet. So that’s why I’m telling you try to Section these off in 1000 square foot sections. And some folks are listening thinking, yes, I’ve got these little sections over here by the sidewalk. I got my neighbor side right over here, you know. So it it, it can be different for every person. And Google Maps isn’t perfect, because, you know, sometimes tree lines, you know, it’s a satellite, you might have to do a little guessing because it’s top down. And trees may be blocking, you know, some of the property lines, but you’re going to get really close with it. And it’s really fun.
Jim Collison [1:01:40]
It is a lot of fun. Dave, is there any tech we can use to keep track of those? Have you used any apps or any websites or you know, my biggest thing, one note?
Dave McCabe [1:01:50]
Okay, the biggest thing I do is I kind of put I have a backup a one note, because here’s the thing. I’ll be sitting at my desk thinking huh? Well Am I gonna put down my pre emergent this year? And I have a lawn calendar in OneNote there’s no reason to put it in the garage spiral because it changes way too much right? I I write down when I mow or write down how much I put down when because I want to know, because if next year I’m like thinking Wow, my grass looks like crap. What did I do last year? Oh, I forgot to winterize What was I doing? I was on vacation. I don’t know. So I think a journal somewhere online where you can get to it because I can’t tell you how many times Jim is another tech alert is a bag chair. You need a good bag chair in your garage. You go and sit down in your bag chair you get your spiral out. Maybe you have your Bud Light nearby. And just every once in a while take a hammer and just bang on the workbench. No one will bother you for hours. Just just reading your spiral. But no my point was if you had
Mike Wieger [1:03:04]
to like bang on a hammer and I’m like,
Mike Wieger [1:03:06]
ah so the wife thinks you’re working
Dave McCabe [1:03:08]
or keep your drill by you know as you do that, you know, maybe throw out an expletive every once in a while banging hammer on the workbench
Jim Collison [1:03:18]
in the house, or walk in the house angry. One of the things that Dave i think is so important to have it out in the garage and not necessarily in your tech is when I’m working outside especially in the summer I’m hot and sweaty, I get grass all over my feet. I’m over my shoes coming in and sitting down at my desk, your you know, your arms are dripping not it’s not something you want to do. And so I won’t check it. You know if it’s on if it’s on a computer, even on my phone, a little nasty sometimes to pull that out. Just as easy to go into the garage, you know, hmm go through a couple pages. And if you’ve got that on paper, it is pretty handy in the garage to have that my dad did that. And and Pretty cool. So I, I have not I have a little marker and some things I write down but I’m gonna need out my system sounds like Mike, you’re gonna Up yours too.
Mike Wieger [1:04:08]
Yeah, I’ll probably do a combination like Dave suggested probably something out in the garage for certain aspects. And then certain aspects like this where I’m doing Google Maps, I’ll probably start screenshotting this putting onto one note. That way when I’m at the store to I have a totally detriments,
Dave McCabe [1:04:23]
you know, and I don’t know if you guys do it, but you put all your house stuff in there. How many heater units do you have in your home? I have a couple. And both of the filters are different sizes. And when I get to the filter aisle, I’m like, God bless America. What size do I have? Oh, it’s in OneNote. I just look.
Mike Wieger [1:04:42]
I you know, and I’ve taken a picture before so then I’m always sitting there scrolling through my photo library. One photo I do that same thing with like routers with the password admin things for my parents. So I got a photo here somewhere. I didn’t even think about the OneNote I use OneNote for work religiously. Like I live in OneNote and I don’t even think to Use it in my normal out of work life.
Dave McCabe [1:05:02]
Yeah, I have a lawn folder that’s just mind numbingly long. As you can probably imagine with my 11 page manifesto that we’re going through now.
Mike Wieger [1:05:13]
Yeah, if you’re new to this meticulous, I can’t even imagine what your actual lawn notes are. That’s
Dave McCabe [1:05:16]
crazy. It is absolutely crazy. But it allows you to, to just track everything. We’re going to get into fertilizers here.
Jim Collison [1:05:24]
Yeah, let’s let’s jump into that because we, this is probably the most complicated and the scariest for a lot of folks. It is it is and
Dave McCabe [1:05:31]
I’m going to try to make it easy for us. And I’m going to I’m going to give you some tips on how to practice because a lot of guys this is the part that they’ve screwed up in the past and they’ve put down a fertilizer, they got it Lowe’s and their lawn Three days later was yellow, right? They didn’t water it in correctly, and burnt the yard or you know, did something silly. So we need to know what we’re doing and I’m going to tell you how to practice this. But the first thing is it’s it’s the spreader. Right some one of you guys said, Jim, you’re trading in your Scott spreader in your $12 spreader to get a nice $400 one. Well, I’m telling you, when you get into this, you’re gonna want that $400 spreader, because they’re they are a work of art. That’s it’s a really nice piece of machinery. And those Scotts ones will get it done for a small yard. And for something that doesn’t have a lot of landmines and meteorites that you can bump around in and jump in. Now, if Mike was doing his with the size of his yard, he needs a spreader. And I tell people, they asked me all the time, I’m pushing this monster in my yard and it’s got these, you know, monster truck tires on the side and my lawn is bumpy. It has undulations it’s got ridges and and you know, plantings in the middle and trees in the middle. It’s bumpy, so I like a nice pneumatic tire. I don’t like the Scott spreader with that plastic tire, everything you run over, it’s just risking you dumping all that fertilizer into your yard and creating that nice big yellow spot for the world to see for the next four to six weeks.
Jim Collison [1:07:15]
Yeah, yeah, it’s not yellow snow. The you you it’s a good it is a good reminder but like my arts under 5000 it’s one bag usually. And I get away with those spreaders. Actually, I replace them every couple years. They run them, you know, they run them between 15 and 30 bucks generally I can get them out close out on the fall. Yeah, you know, and there’s another shopping technique oftentimes if you’re buying this stuff off season, when so let everybody let everybody else go get that stuff and then off season pick those things up for the next year. So you have it. Oftentimes you can get stuff really inexpensive. I think the last time I bought a Walmart Scott spreader, the one I’m using now, it was $25 So it’s just, uh, you know if you can do it. I envy your spreader though, Dave, I’d love one of those. I watched some lawn guys on the web, and they’ve all got really nice, you know, spreaders and I’m like, Ooh, that just sounds like it feels good on the lawn. And I know when you’re pushing that. It holds more material.
Dave McCabe [1:08:17]
Yeah, it feels more sturdy. Right? Right. So and I don’t have anything special. Mine is an Agra fab. I think it was like 150 bucks, but it’s gotten big. Oh, hopper. It’s got bigger pneumatic tires. I would love to have one of those $400 ones. I just, it’s overkill,
Jim Collison [1:08:35]
right? Yes. And that’s contractor grade, in a lot of cases, right for people yelling all the time. You know,
Dave McCabe [1:08:40]
I have a little bit of smarts come into this. But if I could get away with it.
Jim Collison [1:08:44]
Yeah, I’d have one. All right now.
Mike Wieger [1:08:46]
That’s what I’ve been trying to decide on. So I’ve been needing a few things like a dispatcher is something I really wanted, you know, detach that lawn every year, and I’ve been trying to decide so I have a riding lawnmower brand new year and a half ago decided like you said invest in yourself. Add one to enjoy the mo and man do I ever enjoy the mo with that Cub Cadet? I really enjoy it. Okay, so I go do I go full just pull behind everything right pull behind the Thatcher pull behind spreader or do I start to separate it out and have you know because the one thing about it is with the way my lawns a little bit like yours they’ve not really I’ve loaded trees and have a lot of tight areas where that mowers like to fit the best I barely squeeze through and so it’s like maybe it just be easier if I could just get up real quick and do a not have to ride the lawn mower to do those certain activities.
Dave McCabe [1:09:30]
Yeah, I’m I really like a tow ball spreader, but I’m really kind of against it from my yard because of what you said I have a lot of turns and a lot of tight spots. And I feel like I can’t control the output. So I can control the output when I’m pushing because my levers right there. But if you had like two acres, I mean, yeah, like Absolutely. I’d have a total and so I I do like a good push spreader and I do like Mike, if you have a Cub Cadet like that, they have some pull behind implements that you can do. And like a core air Raider, that’s the best thing to have with a with a riding lawnmower is you can rate your yard in the fall, and you don’t have to go and rent that big heavy machine. You know from Home Depot or sunbelt, or whoever your rental agency is. They’re not as they’re not perfect, like those those very heavy ones that have, you know, a 50 pound rolling drum on them.
Mike Wieger [1:10:31]
Right, but they still will poke some holes and aerate the soil. Indeed, is it harder with a pullback? The only thing that we’re going to pull behind in that scenario is like it probably hard to know, obviously you flagged all your sprinkler heads a little bit hard to avoid. Those are the pole behind.
Dave McCabe [1:10:45]
No, you’d be surprised. You’d be surprised and you’re going to go one way and then you’re going to come back and go an opposite way. And you’ll just be flying around the yard. Okay, that’s fine.
Mike Wieger [1:10:56]
I skipped one year, and I was okay. Let’s see how bad It gets didn’t get bad I have not eroded this lawn ever and it hasn’t hasn’t bitten me but maybe I don’t know what I’m looking for for it. So that’s one thing I need to start doing because I’m sure when they do it one’s like oh wow differences. Okay, looks a lot better
Jim Collison [1:11:12]
well it depends on your soil type how often it gets stepped on as a compacted or not or you know how often the kids playing on it are they is are the neighbors walking on it? I mean, that’s I think if it’s working, I mean, if you like your grass, you don’t have to invent more things to do to make it you know if you really really like it, but if it’s struggling in some spots, that’s where this troubleshooting has to come in. Like why is it watering? Is it fertilizer? Is it compacted? Do you have the wrong kind of seed in there if you have the wrong kind of grass growing in there because it’s maybe it’s shade all the time? Yeah, and you’ve got to you’ve got to grass that grows only in the sun right? I mean, I think this is where some of the smarts come in. And man by the way, there are so many good one video you know, channels on YouTube to just watch People do this let them make the mistakes and then just learn from them right you know, yeah,
Mike Wieger [1:12:06]
I you know, my thing is in the backyard my grass is great, looks good, like especially right after a mow all evens same color, great coverage, no spots within three to four days, probably even three days. There are like 20 spots that grew up super fast than everything else. And I cannot figure out why
Jim Collison [1:12:23]
it’s different grass types. So
Dave McCabe [1:12:26]
you have different grass types. Be weeds guys, you never know when you die. Or we’re like Jim said you’ve got a wide baited wide bladed fescue, right that are clumping fescue. Or maybe you have you know, actually just some weeds or maybe it’s just, um yeah, in urine spots.
Mike Wieger [1:12:47]
That’s that’s what that was what was going on, because I’m like, it’s the same grass. It’s just growing faster, my guy but those are the spots that PD is just being in
Dave McCabe [1:12:55]
this battle that with more nitrogen. We’re just just fertilize
Jim Collison [1:12:59]
David in your in your opinion, Dave, when do I do granular when do I spray? Like what’s the, in your experience? granular getting in it right? I’m a granular guy they commit. Yeah. Did dig in with me on that. When What? How do I know?
Dave McCabe [1:13:15]
So you could go around the room and you’re probably gonna get a different answer because some folks like that some folks like to spray some folks like the granulars. Personally, I like a granular I will search for that before I do anything else. That doesn’t mean I can’t spray. Right? I do. But I would rather I would rather push it and throw it down that way. And it actually it just depends on what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it right. And most of the time, you can do it with a grain or whether it’s, you know, feeding or taking care of some grubs. Pre emergence. It’s it seems like when we get into controlling weeds, is when we have our biggest problem. With spraying, because most of most weed control is via liquids. Mm hmm.
Jim Collison [1:14:06]
Yeah, and I know some of the brands some of the granular brands have tried to combat that by creating a smaller granular that will stick to the leaves so they recommend you put it on after a do a morning dew or right after it’s rain so it’ll stick to the leaves to get through that. I do think weed control is best done by spraying. I actually think we control as best unnaturally one just go out and pull them and you’d be surprised. I’ve got a little three prong tool that goes into the ground and you spin it and you pull it out and pop in this got a little thing on any pop it out. I carry a five gallon bucket with me. Once a day during the spring, I just go out get as many as I can and in 20 minutes. It’s amazing in a week or two how many weeds you can get to and you do it that way and then of course, they’re not there. The other thing I thought is I carry a grasp bag with me when I do that and when I pull that weed I throw some seed down in that hole that I’ve just pulled out. So now I’ve aerated, I’ve seated at what was now going to be blank and I’ve gotten that seed down inside the hole, dump on that just kind of fill it in a little bit and then boom, walk away. doing those in little increments is is, man, all of a sudden you’re just like, wow, I don’t see as many weeds as I used to. Yeah, that all afternoon doing the whole yard in the sun after you mow because right, we start mowing at 10. We’re down about noon. We want to go in but we still got to do that. We see these weeds that we saw when we mowed. You’re out there in the hot sun. Yeah, you get pretty pissed off. You’re like this sucks. This sucks. Don’t do, don’t don’t mow first and then do the weeds. Go out and grab your weeds while it’s cool. Right? Then mow. Right get those get those in an order. You’ll also be less mad when you’re mowing and you’re not seeing that.
Dave McCabe [1:15:53]
It can become a chore and like you said if you do it over and over and over a little bit at a time Yeah, it’s very Much better than doing it that one time every two or three months, right?
Jim Collison [1:16:04]
Yeah. Dave, when you got your sample back, you sent your sample and they gave you some instructions on the way back. How does that influence then? How do you use that report to influence your fertilizer choices? Is it Can Can you do it that way?
Dave McCabe [1:16:18]
You can in that report will definitely tell you what you are lacking. And sometimes it gets into some real crazy stuff. Like you may need to apply some lime or some calcium or something like that. But the biggest thing we get into and we’re talking about fertilizer is that those numbers on the back, right? You see like a 24 dash zero dash one. And that’s called the NPK analysis. That’s nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. So we were probably okay with that, but we’ll just go over it real quick. Nitrogen is what stimulates the lawn growth, right? That’s what makes it grow. That’s what will kill it if you don’t do it, right. So and that’s that first number. And it’s usually it’s usually a higher number, you know, somewhere 812 2430, I’ve even seen a 42 just crazy amounts of nitrogen. A good shot of nitrogen will boost that grass in as little as maybe three days. And you’ll have a nice big green up.
Jim Collison [1:17:20]
If you’re if you’re in a locale that gets thunderstorms, by the way, those thunderstorms create and pull that nitrogen out of the air and add it to the water. And so that’s why when we have we live in these climates, they get them the grass really will green up after a thunderstorm because it’s pulling in that natural nitrogen out of the air. It’s pretty cool.
Dave McCabe [1:17:37]
Pretty cool. That middle number is phosphorus phosphorus, we really only need when we want to stimulate root growth. You only want that number to be big if the soil analysis tells you so or if you’re doing like an overseeding application. And that’s found in a lot of what we call starter fertilizers. So if you overstate In the fall, sometimes you’ll throw down a big, a big number inside that phosphorus column, otherwise, high phosphorus you kind of want to stay away from because we don’t want that leaching into our water supplies and our lakes and causing algae blooms and whatnot. And a lot of a lot of locales may have a phosphorus ban. I know Florida has a certain time of year, I don’t know when it is like May or June or something, they cannot put anything down because they can’t have all that phosphorus running off into the Everglades, because they get all that pop up rain and it just washes everything away. So we have to be checked. We have to be careful on that check with your local regulations on the phosphorus. It’s not it’s not so good on the fishes and the files. Probably. The last one is potassium and that one is you. You really only want to tackle that one when it tells you to Potassium is good for vegetables and whatnot. And usually when you get a fertilizer, it’s going to be a very low potassium number. And it’s not really I, I kind of tell folks don’t try not to worry about it. Don’t Don’t put too much phosphorus in and be careful of your nitrogen number. We definitely want to pay attention to that.
Jim Collison [1:19:24]
And that’s where writing that down makes a difference. Like What Did what were my numbers that I applied?
Dave McCabe [1:19:29]
What did I do? How many pounds per thousand? Yeah, absolutely. So that’s what we’re going to go over right here is, let’s say you’re ready. Spring is kind of faded off. We’re getting into June, it’s time to push the lawn with some more nitrogen. It’s trying to time to get it to get back to green, right. You may be a little leery about getting into this step because we don’t want to hurt the lawn. So what I’ve told folks is there’s products out there That are all the rage right now. The humic acids, the bio chars, it’s this charcoal type product that I mean, Jim, you said it earlier if you go out to YouTube, and you search humic acid and bio char and charcoal and humid char and all this, all these little keywords, you’re going to find all these guys out there talking about it. And most of the time, they’re, you know, they’re pimping their own product, they want to sell you something or they want to sell you their YouTube video and their channel. But the good thing about these products is the real they are very beneficial humic acid and a charcoal based humic acid so beneficial to your soil. And the good thing about it is you can almost not put enough of it down. The only way you’re going to kill the grass is if you cover it up with it. That’s what I found. I have put this stuff down heavy. And I’ve actually spilled some in the yard and killed a little patch of the grass. But that’s literally because I spelt like a three inch mound of it right? And it just kind of yelled at up the grass a little bit because it couldn’t get to the couldn’t get sunlight and air. So there’s, there’s a product out there on Amazon and it’s not cheap. And the only problem I have is, gentlemen, I’ve got this link in there. It’s called humic DG. And it’s Oh, it’s it’s in stock. It’s a little expensive, but it allows you to practice now Mike this thing cost $65 for a bag of humic dg and it is literally humic acid. And like all kinds of other nutrients like seek helps and other little things like that. But what this says $65 we’ll do we’ll take you into a confidence level of applying your fertilizer because you can set your spreader level, you can practice, you can practice three pounds per thousand square feet. So, you know, Jim, how much was your front yard?
Jim Collison [1:22:19]
It’s 1460 sorry, 1600 square
Dave McCabe [1:22:23]
feet. Yeah. So you know if you need to do three pounds per thousand, so now you’re at four and a half pounds. So, you know, if you measure out four and a half pounds of product, you put that in your spreader. When you get done rolling it across your front yard, all of that product needs to be gone. Right? And, you know, if you get halfway across your yard, and you look down in the spreader and there’s nothing left. Well, maybe you’re spreading it on a little too thick. Now, Jim, if you were spreading fertilizer, at this point, you’d be in trouble. just doubled up right half of your yard. But if you’re applying this humic acid product, then you’re not in trouble. Because this is a soil conditioner. This is going to break down and get into the soil. And what it does is it, it allows the, the nutrients of your fertilizers and have your grass clippings to get reabsorbed by the grass and into the roots. It’s a proven fact. And there’s a lot of snake oil salesmen out there on YouTube, selling all kinds of different products. But that one right there is absolutely a good product. It’s just too expensive. And a guarantee a 20 to $30 of that product is shipping. Because it’s on Amazon.
Jim Collison [1:23:44]
Yeah. Can you get a cheaper?
Dave McCabe [1:23:46]
Can Can you find it locally? I mean, cheaper? Absolutely. And this is where you’re going to have to go to that Co Op, you’re going to have to go to site one, and you’re going to have to ask some stupid questions. And you’re going to have to say more Buddy told me to get a granular humic acid that’s good for my soul and they’re gonna tell you well we’ve got this over here Why don’t you try this it’s a humic acid charcoal mix or something like that. Now the other good thing about that one that I showed you that $65 a bag is that bag will go a long way on a light application. Mike you could you could probably have that bag for a year before you would you know get it all put down
Mike Wieger [1:24:30]
which one on the on the Anderson stuff
Dave McCabe [1:24:32]
on that Anderson’s bag Okay, before you got it down at its light rate. You would be you’d be tired. Trust me on it. Okay, it’s light rate is very light and I don’t remember what it is. It may be three pounds per thousand if you click that fourth and yeah, it
Mike Wieger [1:24:49]
looks like two and a half pounds. or
Mike Wieger [1:24:55]
something. The top one is at least the Agra fab broadcast.
Dave McCabe [1:24:59]
Oh, they have an accurate fab there now that’s Yeah, fantastic. Yeah, look at there you go right two and a half pounds per thousand. Yeah, that’s a 40 pound bag. That’s a lot of practice runs guys. That’s a lot of fun and it’s good for the art right i mean it’s great for the yard. Especially if you have a clay soil. It’s fantastic for the yard.
Jim Collison [1:25:21]
Yeah, it David may be one of those that you not not just practice on but get into a regular routine of throughout the year in the spring and and maybe in the fall.
Dave McCabe [1:25:33]
It wouldn’t even hurt it in the summer to be honest. Just get it when you need that itch to throw something down. If you’re an over fertilizer person, you know, you just you put too much down and Jim I’ve started doing a bag a year because when I told you what has happened to my yard, it’s in compacted. I mean cement trucks. Were compacting my clay. I don’t have a good yard at all guys. compacted clay is awful. So I have gone up been down back and forth with an air Raider and I will erase the yard. And then I will throw in this humic dg it to get it straight to the soil. And I’m actually using a different product now and you can find this at that same store. If you go to your co op and you just ask them, don’t be afraid to ask them how they may snicker when you leave. But sometimes you’ll get a guy there who just said hey, come on, let’s walk around and he’ll show you what they’ve got. You know. So it’s good to get out there and at least try that and you’re not going to hurt anything. So I’m doing a bag a year. Now the other thing is, is you’re not going to see any results from this. instantly. You’re not going to see it in a month. You may not even see it in five months, six months, 10 months. This is what they call a soil conditioner. And you can use that keyword as well Jim soil conditioner to get down there and A lot of the good ones are going to have the humic acid. Sea kelp is a good it’s like vitamins. Sea kelp is a good vitamin for your yard and a charcoal or something that they call biochar. Oh, I know what I was going to tell you about this humic dg is what they have done with it this company called the Andersons, they’ve put it in a pellet or a pill that doesn’t powder. So when you push it, it’s not going to powder up. It’s not going to cover your legs in black, charcoal dust 10 years ago, when guys were, you know, on the forefront of this product, they were throwing it down in a powder form and it was awful. And these guys have got it in a nice pill and it just lays down and when water hits it, it just breaks down into millions of little particles and it soaks down into your grass. It’s it’s really a good product. I believe in it. I picked it. I don’t think anybody on YouTube has taken the stance that I’m taking where I tell folks to practice with this. No, I take my yard and practice with something that we will absolutely not hurt our yard. We will do benefits to our yard, right? I need I need to have a YouTube channel.
Jim Collison [1:28:21]
You do you do? You definitely do. I do. That’d be so fun. Well, it Dave sometimes you just have that urge to do something like I need to do something today to my yard. This is a great product, you can do it anytime. It doesn’t matter when if you just got that itch to throw something down, that’s going to benefit your soil. It’s a good way to do it.
Dave McCabe [1:28:41]
So that’s practicing for first. Now the other thing that we get to do here, we get to go to Lowe’s, and we get to buy a couple of those awesome buckets that are blue. Or if you like Home Depot, you go and buy those awesome orange buckets. Always have a couple of those laying around right. Always have those laying around. It may sound anal, Jim, but we really need to measure this product out, we need to know how many actual pounds of the product we’re putting into our spreader. Because when we get to the fertilizers and the high nitrogen starter fertilizers, and even more when we get to seed seed is expensive. If you’re not measuring and putting it down correctly, you’re not only putting down too much or too little, but you could be throwing away money by doing too much. You can actually put too much grass seed down in your yard, if you’re overseeing it’ll, it’ll all grow. But when it comes springtime, and it all pops back up, it can choke each other out. You don’t want to put down too much you don’t want to put down too little. So we need to measure and somewhere in this crazy pamphlet I’ve created. I’ve got a $14 scale that I found at Amazon. I think it’s a fish scale. But the reason that I bought it is I can hold it up and I can measure the weight of my bucket. My, I think I have the, I think it’s just a generic silver bucket, my generic bucket is 1.74 pounds. And when I weigh my bucket, I can tap a button, that’ll zero my scale. And then I can put scoops in there, and it it won’t measure the bucket anymore, right? It starts at a negative 1.74. So all you’re measuring is the product you’re not measuring the bucket again, it just helps your brain because your brain is running through all these numbers of pounds and square foot and what am I going to do and don’t want to get this wrong it just it kind of helps you get through that part and get through it accurately.
Mike Wieger [1:30:55]
I get a fish scale is a good idea. Never thought to use one of those with that, you know We all have a bunch of them the lows bucket, I pretty much grab whenever time I’m there, like might as well right there. You use them for everything. Yeah, yeah, smart keys that scale and zero out and then you’ve done you know exactly down to the Absolutely.
Jim Collison [1:31:12]
When when you say a fish scale, you’re talking about one of those that you kind of hang up. It’s not the stretchy scale one, it’s actually
Dave McCabe [1:31:17]
electronic. Okay, it’s electronic. Because it’s got those buttons on there. You can measure your bucket and zero that bucket out. And then then you’re just measuring your product. And one of the biggest ways I use it as Jim, the worst thing for a pool is fertilizer. So when I throw down fertilizer by a pool, I use one of those little handheld dudes. I don’t know if you’ve guys have got one of those where you just kind of rocket your, your fertilizer out. Mm hmm. Those are the best for little small areas that you want to do. If you don’t want to be pushing that big spreader around. I’ll just measure that whole hand spreader. It’s just a mechanized hand spreader, I’ll measure the whole thing. Zero that weighed out, and then start throwing in the humic dg or the fertilizer. And then I know you know because I have this one spot that’s 500 square feet. It’s just this little bitty spot. I’m not gonna roll the spreader out for that I literally could take a handful run over to it and throw it right button. I like to get out there with my little and they even make a battery operated one for 20 bucks. So
Mike Wieger [1:32:28]
no got me You got me so excited to mow on. Probably tomorrow night actually. And you do it tomorrow night and get out there and at least do one pass because I’m Jim. I’ve been busy and the grass has gotten really long because that just the fertilizer hit and everything is it’s gotten tall. So get out there probably one pass tomorrow and then do a nice the full mill on Saturday. I’m like you. I do try and mow twice a week. doesn’t happen all the time. But I’ll do my full edging blowing. You know that the three hour three and a half hour mo that it is on Saturday and then hopefully around In the week, at some point, I can just get on the mower real quick, not care and go as fast as I can.
Jim Collison [1:33:06]
Dave, you know what I’m thinking we ought to do. We ought to finish up some spring stuff, I kind of want to ask you like, okay, from what you haven’t covered? What are the final spring things? So be thinking about that as we think about that, then we ought to have you back on, you know, as we, you know, maybe mid June. Yeah. And do it in start thinking about like, okay, it’s summer. What should I be doing now in summer because there’s, there’s a whole bunch of different things. We can kind of talk about it from that perspective. So when we think of spring and we’re kind of for a lot of folks in the south, where beyond spring for us up here, we’re still dealing with winter. Mm hmm. Very clearly, apparently. No, it’s still spring, right. It’s still spring, the grass is fine with it. Anything else you’d add?
Dave McCabe [1:33:49]
We’re going to spring right now everybody should have thrown out their pre emergent in the pre emergent is what it’s going to do is when the when the ground temperature gets to 55 degrees for six days. Straight, the crabgrass seeds are gonna wake up and start growing. And what the pre emergent does it it just lays there creates a nice little barrier in your soil. And when the crabgrass starts growing, it just kills it right instantly doesn’t stop it from growing. those seeds are still there. It just prevents it from growing up into our yard.
Jim Collison [1:34:22]
Okay, wait a minute, 55 degrees, six days straight. Does that mean I’m
Dave McCabe [1:34:27]
we’re past it. Only people in I would say the Michigan Upper Peninsula.
Jim Collison [1:34:32]
Let’s just say I wanted to do this next year, right? I’m preparing I’m thinking about this. How do I know what temperature like? Are you actually I think, how are you know, how do you know your temperature? soilless
Dave McCabe [1:34:43]
Yeah, it’s it’s a well, I’m getting lost in my own notes. What I do is I do two things. So sometimes even your ag Extension Office of your local university will have an application online. I use one online that where you can look at your zone and see what your soil temperature is, and they take averages from different people around around the area. The low tech way is to go to one of the drawers in your kitchen and find the meat thermometer that you poke into the meat and make sure that the pork chops are 165 degrees. Take that when your wife’s not looking and go stab it into the soil three inches deep. It will do the same thing. And if you’re on video, Jim has got the multi use digital meat thermometer for 1095. And you can measure your soul temp Jenna.
Jim Collison [1:35:42]
Yeah. Do you do that date? Is that what you’re doing? That’s the measuring your temperature of your soils. What started this conversation by the way? That’s what you said you were doing that I was like what? What are you serious? Yeah. Did you do it a certain time? Did you at the same time every day. Did you watch Your routine on that what do
Dave McCabe [1:36:00]
you do just once a week, and there’s no rhyme or reason you just want. What we’re trying to do is just prevent weeds from growing by putting down a simple product. It’s called pre emergent. You got to get it down at a certain time in the spring, so it’s down and ready for that. That growth to happen. It’ll happen fast, but you can help yourself with some online temperature programs. Michigan State University, I think it’s Michigan State has a great program for temperatures. There’s a couple of other little programs but I like to, I like to know what my yard is doing. Yeah, no locally there. None of those programs know unless you can, you know, put the meat thermometer in.
Jim Collison [1:36:44]
Yeah, and you could with this, you could have a Bluetooth if you had a meat thermometer that was attached to a Bluetooth sensor. You could do the same thing, right, you could do sensors that Joe in the chat room is saying I’ll pop up here in a second. This can be monitored with the raspberry Pi and a d s 18 b 20 sensor. And you know, you could get really, really, really high tech about it. Dave if I’m throwing down if I’m overseeding and I’m a big fan of early spring overseeding In fact, I throw, I just throw a seed down in February or March to let the snow push it into the ground and that snow water and the weight will bring it to the to get that dirt to seed contact so those seeds can grow. That pre emergence is going to stop that right if that’s okay, so we have to be careful just touched on one of the most controversial do I do in the spring or do I do it in the fall and the Honestly, I’m all for the fall.
Dave McCabe [1:37:39]
You can do all of this in the fall. The temperatures are easier on you, your seats not gonna lay there all winter long. And you can do the thing like core aeration, you can do a starter fertilizer. You have plenty of time to let that grass seed grow, get strong. Throw down your winterizer fertilizer and You’re done. Mm hmm. That way you can do a pre emergent in the fall, as well as a pre emergent in the in the early spring as well.
Jim Collison [1:38:10]
Yeah, just it’s a timing thing. You could also if you get your depending on what conditions you are, if you can get your seeds to sprout if you can get your grass seeds that you put down early again, I’m a big February March fan of that. I’ve even been known to throw them on top of the snow and the snow will take them down if I know we’re going to get some hot temperatures. In other words, if it just snowed and it’s going to get warm, throw that seed on top of the snow and the snow actually take it into the ground as it as it melts down with you. It’s a great way to get that soil contact. I’ll wait if I’m going to do pre emergence then I will wait until I have visible signs that those seeds have sprouted now it’s a little late to do it sometimes in that way. But you can catch here in Nebraska, you can Priam get catch some of those pre emergence coming up and slow some of it down in the process. But if you don’t need to see it if you don’t need to oversee man that’s that’s a super technique to get that pre emergence down the spring. Yeah,
Dave McCabe [1:39:02]
spring is so much harder to do fescues have a seven to 10 German seven to 10 day germination rate, Kentucky Bluegrass 21 day germination. Yes, very hard to grow Kentucky Bluegrass and get it growing in the spring. So you kind of do it in the fall and you’ll have good luck. Mix in a little perennial ryegrass and you’ll have a beautiful yard.
Jim Collison [1:39:23]
Yeah, I had some really good luck this year. We had some spots I put in some new landscaping and just destroyed the grass and where it was in and there was a spot during the during the winter or during early early spring that we got so much rain and then actually cracked the you know how it went and dries out. And so I just took seed and started putting it in all those cracks. Like I was like yes, I don’t have to do anything, spreading it. And guess what, it’s all grown in us. I mean it is it is really taken this year. So I’ve done it
Dave McCabe [1:39:52]
two years in a row and I really like and promote seed to soil contact and I will throw thin layers down of topsoil, as well as a product called a pin mulch. And that’s a pellet pelletized mulch. For the grass. Once it gets wet, it creates a little cover. And it’ll hold that seed down and hide it from the birds. And it’s a really great it’s a lot of fun to do in the fall is. And it all starts with that garage notebook and your OneNote y’all plan it out. And you you know, I’m going to do this and this and this and this. And,
Jim Collison [1:40:28]
yeah, and the difficulty of fall seed is the leaves are your enemy at times, and so if you spent all this time seeding, and then you don’t get your leaves up, that they will kill it every time. And so you just have to be vigilant about getting out there doing that I’m not so I kind of use the snow technique in the spring. That’s what works for me. I think the key is finding what works for you that garage notebook those experiences trying some things out right is what works, Mike
Dave McCabe [1:41:01]
Our next topic and we push, let’s push the grass into growing, right. It’s, we’ve practiced right, it’s time to throw down some nitrogen. And I kind of want us to take our hats off to Milwaukee. We drink a lot of Milwaukee beer. You’ve got a Shandy. You know that’s, that’s Wisconsin beer right there. Right now, Milwaukee’s finest fertilizer comes from the great citizens of Milwaukee in a product called milorganite. This is a product you can get at Home Depot for about 16 bucks a bag. And this is what’s called a bio solid Fela’s. So what happens is they take Milwaukee’s best sewage Milwaukee’s blue and they process the it’s like, it’s like making whiskey right you don’t drink You don’t drink the mash, you drink what came off of the mash. And that’s what morganite is. And that’s what we’re practicing for. The analysis of a mulligan i is a 640. So six nitrogen for five phosphorus in a zero potassium now for phosphorus is a little high. If you listen to the earlier segment about what I was talking about with phosphorus, but it’s a very low risk fertilizer that will really punch your grass. It also has a little bit of iron in it. And iron is really good for your grass to turn it a nice green and sometimes it’s a little bit of a bluish green. And it makes it just pop. And the other thing is, is it smells fantastic. It is. It’s called the smell of success. Because you know you’re putting down Milwaukee, fine as fertilizer on your yard after you’re done, it does have an aromatic waft to it. So if your CFO or your kids, you know, kind of push back after you’ve put down the Malawian graduate to a new product, but it does kind of smell.
Mike Wieger [1:43:27]
I don’t know if I’m more impressed by the product or the entrepreneur who said, You know what, Milwaukee, we can take all of our waste and make a killing on it. Yeah, exactly.
Jim Collison [1:43:37]
Well, we have Almagro two that that is a lot of the our yard waste and stuff gets ground up and they create their own, you know, their own fertilizer with it gets mixed with some other things and and you can buy that in bags here in Omaha, almost Almagro, I think is what it’s called.
Dave McCabe [1:43:54]
Yeah, you’d be surprised, Jim, if again, I’m going to push you to your local landscape, someplace. I place go ask questions ask him for a low nitrogen organic product. They’ll point you to something that has a four or a six or an eight, maybe even a 12. And that kind of stuff. You can you can really put down kind of heavy, you can practice with it, you you’re really not going to burn your lawn. If you go to Lowe’s, and get a Scotts synthetic. That is starts with like a 24 or 30. That’s what I tell people don’t start with that stuff. I tell them, stay away from in the first place. Go to your landscape supply and get find someone that’s got less go. There’s a brand called Lesko that’s made by different companies all over the United States that they have some wonderful products and you can even get organic products that have all of the humans in them. They have the charcoals in them all different kinds of little Grass vitamins and soil conditioners can really get some good stuff and it’s much cheaper than what you can do. If you order stuff online if you’re listening to the youtubers, the youtubers got some fine products that they sell. But this milorganite right here, if I’ll tell you this Mike, if you guys are if you’re not ready to practice with that $65 bag, you very well can get this $13 this $16 bag and practice with it. It’s coverage rate is not very big. It’s a 36 pound bag. It covers 2500 square feet. So you still need to add that up. And make sure that that’s still a good plan for you and your your yard because you’re thinking oh 16 bucks a bag. That’s great. When we get home, you may not be putting enough product down for your grass,
Jim Collison [1:45:58]
but it’d be great for myself. For you you could buy a test bag throw that in your in the actually in the area. You know, I think you have a sidewalk and then you’ve got that little strip of grass right is do you have or does the sidewalk go all the way to the street? I can’t remember in your sidewalk because a little bit in the street all the way the street. Well, maybe you have a spot in your yard. That’s small, right? And yeah, you could try like this is you can do this with any of the fertilizers try by someone and try them in a small spot and say, hey, what how well, are they working in my yard monitoring? Right, right.
Mike Wieger [1:46:28]
Yeah, my side yard.
Jim Collison [1:46:29]
Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s a great, Dave. I love it. I you brought you brought this idea of practice in and I never really thought of doing that. And practicing Mike, I’ve cut off twice. Sorry. No, no, I hadn’t thought of that either.
Mike Wieger [1:46:41]
But I just want to quickly add on to Dave’s point of using Google Maps real quick. So of course, as I started to like click around when I was when he was telling us about that. You can actually go to Earth google.com and if you go there you can if you do the measure option you can actually start doing and it’s called You can also call the project To do like yard measurement project, and I measured off front yard, back yard side yard and I click on those on the left and it just highlights that section of the yard and you can actually start to do like segments and save as a project so I didn’t know you could set little you know, I was on a journey there for about two minutes of trying to race through that that Yeah, so you could even get you go really deep into measuring because what David said was like Oh, that’s a good idea is actually doing the segment’s to figure out okay, measurement wise 4000 thousand square feet to measure out stuff Okay, so how how close Am I to that how close my front yard my backyard my side yard to being close to that and and you put me down a rabbit hole Dave?
Dave McCabe [1:47:40]
It can get it can get crazy. I love it to tell you this. Don’t go to YouTube. Just don’t go. You’ll never come out. You’ll never come out and same person ever again.
Jim Collison [1:47:50]
I watched the lawn rebel. Conor Ward is kind of my guy. He’s just nuts. He’s crazier than rose lizard. And but I just kind of watch it for the train right? Like he just, but he’s really good. He has great looking lawn. And there’s some things I’ve kind of learned from him in that. Yeah. And you can
Dave McCabe [1:48:06]
I I threw them under the bus but I, you know in my desert in my diatribe here, I have listed some of the folks that I have learned from and what I’ve learned from them. And you kind of take a little from everyone. And you kind of have to remember, like I said earlier, they’re all trying to sell something, whether it’s themselves or some type of fertilizer. So you kind of have to take it with a grain of salt. Some are, I would say, kind of snake oil salesman. You got to be careful. But I haven’t seen a product out there yet. That has been bad. Honestly, I’ve tried a lot of different products. There’s been times where I’m putting something in the front yard that’s different than the back yard to see just what happens. Yeah, what happens if I use you know, just two different products. I’ve used Mallorca, not on the back. Some type of chicken feed organic chicken feed on the front just to
Jim Collison [1:49:04]
just to try it or just chickens. Sometimes that work too. They’re really good for your yard By the way, coffee is to coffee grounds are good. We used to get to Starbucks game way back when we used to go to stores, you could go to Starbucks and get their, you know, their extended coffee, let that dry out and then sprinkle that in your grass. And of course, it’s a high end nitrogen and it will it’s the kind of natural fertilizer. Dave, you don’t like it, but I’m a Scots guy. And I every year I wait for Ace Hardware to run their Scots deal and I can get their four step program for 60 bucks. So it turns out to be you know, not too much. It saves me a few dollars on buying it in the moment, which I always forget to do. Anyways, I’m putting in my shed, and I write down the dates. All right on May 15. I’m going to do this on June 30 on July you know, August 15. That’s been a system that works and My lawn likes it. I have less than 5000 square feet. It’s one bag. It’s a system that works. I’ve really liked it. I think the key on that is finding and this is what I hear you saying, try some things out and find that thing that works for you. in your region.
Dave McCabe [1:50:16]
Yeah. Be you don’t have the knowledge about your region if that’s your ground, and, and go in with smarts. Yeah, and not just shooting from the hip, you shoot from the hip, you. You can make a lot of mistakes very quickly with your with your lawn, and it can take a lot of time to recover. But if you do it right, you go into winter, and you’ve done it all right, all year long and all winter long. When you come back in the spring. You’re going to have to mow three times a week because your grass is just going to be so happy and healthy. It’s going to be growing
Jim Collison [1:50:49]
like crazy. And that’s a good that’s a good place to be for sure. All right. Let’s plan a late June. Do you think? mid to late June summer lawn in what I want to hear from you is okay, now we got through spring, what are we doing to protect the lawn in the summer? Because I think that’s a completely different. I mean, some things are the same. Watering is more important or doing things to kind of protect that we asked that question early on. Do I turn the water on to cool things down? How are our rain? How the rain things working? Where are we at from a water standpoint and maybe even some tech to kind of think through? How do I know how stressed my environment is there are some drought condition websites that you can monitor that’ll let you know, just how bad is the drought in your area and what do you need to do? Can you would you do that? If I if I asked you to do that. Would you come
Dave McCabe [1:51:42]
back? Yeah, we might as well just just keep it going. And yeah, hit on what we’ve left off with here. Right talk about fungicides. We can talk about grub control. We can talk about weed control, the identification right there’s a lie a lot we got to do fell
Jim Collison [1:51:59]
Yeah. And somehow the weeds survive in the summer. And like the grasses struggling in the weeds or just like this is the greatest thing ever, right? And you’re like, I’m never watering this thing. Why don’t the weeds go dormant? So I think there’s some really great stuff to talk about about summer conditions coming out of spring, going into summer and because how you set up your your lawn in the summer really dictates how well it’s going to do the next year. And so if you can conquer summer, and prep it for fall, man going into the next spring, you are set it takes you a whole nother year to do it. But those are signup, kind of some key stuff, Mike, anything else? Any other questions? You’ve been you’ve been I’ve watched you plotting and taking over the lawn world. We’ve always been doing this.
Mike Wieger [1:52:44]
I have I mean, it’s just it’s one of those like firehose of information. So trying, okay, what’s my first step? And I like Dave, how you kind of walk us through, hey, these are the steps you need to go through. And let’s just tackle one at a time. Right? And so watering is my first one. Really getting that under control and Then and then looking at what can I do to add on to what my my fertilizer people already doing to make it even better? And then maybe even getting comfortable enough with the practice that you talked about to fully replace them if I get to that point?
Dave McCabe [1:53:12]
Yeah, start with a soil test and see what see how healthy your soil is. Yeah.
Jim Collison [1:53:18]
Maybe for some folks, you know, if you are working from home or not everybody got a chance to do that there are still folks going into work, who are being very productive and very busy. Dave, I’ve actually found I go out and see my lawn every day. It’s been a great it’s, it’s the five minute weeding methods. So I just go out not the five minute weed method but weeding method. And I go out there and I just find to to, you know, grab I had that reader handy. And I grab it on my way out and if I see something I stick them, I don’t I have zero leads right now in my yard because every day I do three or five minutes of taking those weeds out. They won’t propagate. Now they’re going to come back because dandelions are the most successful weed In evolutionary history, right, they’re gonna come back but doing them in little bits has really really worked for me. Yeah, right. That has been around for a while. Yeah, yeah, there. There we go. I was wondering how long it would take us to get a for 20 references on that as well. Okay. couple of reminders on the way out one if you want to support the show financially, you can find us on Patreon The Average Guy TV slash Patreon. Jump in our discord group The Average Guy TV slash discord a lot of great barbecue conversation going on. Listen, nothing better than grilling me looking at a green well manicured mowed yard, right? Yes, that is it. There’s just nothing better. You feel like a superstar right now. It may not that may not hold over the summer. So make sure you’re staying close to us here. We’ll be all those announcements go in there. But make sure you’ve subscribed to us or you follow us on Eventbrite, the average guy.eventbrite.com and I post all the shows coming up. I’ll post when Dave is coming back as well. So you’ll know if you subscribe over there. You get a notification when I post that you You’ll get that a couple weeks in advance so kind of a great way to stay up what’s going on The Average Guy TV platform both web and media hosting powered by Maple Grove Partners get secure reliable high speed hosting from people that you know and your trust plans as little as $10 a month for pretty rockin hosting. And we appreciate Christian for sponsoring us he’s done that for 10 years now. It’s pretty crazy that I’ve had my sight on something of his for the last 10 years so pretty crazy. Don’t forget to download the app is while you’re out Moe and it’s a great way to stream the show when you’re out in the yard. You can do some podcast too but Home Gadget geeks.com will get you there as well. We are live every Thursday 8pm Central nine eastern sky TV slash live. Richie is here next week. You know we’re talking about Windows day, you know, you know that’s happening. As we catch up with with Richie, his life’s changed a little bit but he’s still following all things windows and we’ll be excited to have him on the program as well. If you’re listening live, we’ll do a little bit of post show so stay around for that but that was a good
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