Landscaping progress pictures, now I need help with Lawn

BFranksATX(8A)February 26, 2014

Purchased my first home in october on a .5 acre corner lot. The house faces SW and has two large trees in the front. It really has potential, but I think it is so much that I am having a hard time with wrapping my head around it to make it reach its full potential.

The grass is a mix of st aug under the trees and bermuda in other spots and some other types of grass/weeds spread around. I have been roundup-ing the patches of weeds and other grasses I know are not desirable.

So if anyone can offer advice on a mixture of landscape design and improvements to the turf I would be appreciative.

Oh, and here are some before and after pics of what we have done so far.

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    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:50PM
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step one: plant stuff

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:52PM
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Step two: add rocks!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:54PM
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Before I did much of anything I would check the covenants for the community. Some have stupid regulations about what ahd how you can plant and landscape your yard.

I like Flowers and Flowering trees, so if it were mine I would have a Large flowering bush on each end of the porch like Forsythia. I would also have a large flowering tree Crabapple, cherry, etc as a counter point to the large tree on the left. You may wish to add some Crepe Myrtle.

While the pots on both sides of the walk are nice they are not permanent. I would replace them with some flowering bush like Roses, daphnia, etc. Thinking about it I believe I would add flowering plants all across the front. Azaleas, intermixed with winter daphnia would also be nice. All would add color to the house and provide good odors that you could enjoy when you were on the porch.

I understand what it is like when you buy your first house, been there, So you idea to get some color there quickly and cheaply is good, I also like the edging, but if you plant flowering bushes you may wish to widen the bedding area, as most flowering bushes even the small ones require a minimum to 3 to 4 feet to spread.

This post was edited by knuttle on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 9:33

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:30AM
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I actually have a HUGE Crepe Mertyle in the front near the mail box. About 15ft tall and beautiful.

I did not mention that everything we plant has to be deer resistant. This is out in the country a bit and we have a deer over population problem. They have tried to eat the Silverado Sage already.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:43AM
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DEER. They are very nice animal, and if they find something they like, they will eat it. Azaleas, camellias roses, small trees, any fruit trees or bushes you have, etc. We have one that likes to spend time between the roses, and the brick foundation wall on our porch.

Some people claim the do not like the fragrant plants, I have no data to prove that.

Currently my solution is to plant more than they can eat, assuming if there is to much something will survive and we will have flowers in the yard.

However, it is nice to see a doe and her fawns especially when they are newly born being feed in your back yard.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:06PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

My daughter is in school over in Georgetown, so she's practically a neighbor.

If you're on an unlimited well, then you can have awesome St Augustine. As long as you (1) give it a full inch of water once per week in the hottest heat of summer, (2) mulch mow every week or so at your mower's highest setting, and (3) fertilize it regularly, then St Augustine will choke out the bermuda and other grassy plants.

If you want quick results I would suggest using alfalfa pellets (rabbit food) as your only fertilizer. The application rate is 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Put some down now and in 3 weeks your grass should be coming in just in time for the fertilizer to go to work. Organic fertilizers take a full 3 weeks to see results, but your grass has not started growing in yet for the spring, so timing would be perfect. For fastest results, repeat this monthly for the first few months. Then, if you want to and can afford to, continue monthly through the summer. Or you can skip summer and wait until Labor Day to hit it again. But if you use that for 3 months, the grass should become much more dense by June. Spreading will seem slow in the summer and then leap again in late September or early October.

Deer resistant plants are only resistant until the deer get too hungry. Too many deer make them hungry.

alternatives to grass on large acreage

accent lighting in trees
arbors (for vines)
beds (perennials, annuals, bulbs, herbs, ferns, roses, hostas, container plants, rock, and fruits).
bee keeping
butterfly garden
decorative gates (may be free standing)
dog run or kennel
edibles (veggies)
fences (accent)
fences (privacy)
fragrance garden
ground covers
herb garden
hot tubs
hummingbird garden
Japanese garden
jogging track
moon garden (plants and lights for night time viewing)
ornamental grass garden
other groundcovers
out buildings (like sheds)
outdoor theater
overhead sunshades
parcours (exercise stations)
parking area
party room (free standing for games, theater, pool table, etc.)
picnic or barbecue area
play yard for children
ponds or garden pools
potting bench or shed
putting green
rock garden
rolling hills
rose garden
screened rooms (free standing)
screens (foliage hedges or growing on a wire mesh)
sitting or reading area
sports courts
storage buildings
sun room (free standing)
swimming pools
tool shed
trees (shade)
trees (accent or decorative)
tulip garden
vining plant garden
walkway (formal paved)
walkway (informal path)
walls (retaining)
walls (accent or decorative)
Zen garden

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:21PM
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Thanks dchall and knuttle. The POA here is very loose and I am one of the few who cuts grass of a regular basis.

This weekend I core aerated, raked up three wheel barrels of dead grass stuff, mowed it on the lowest setting on my rotary mower and added two 50lb bags of 15-15-15 I got for free from a neighbor. It was warm and I wanted to do something to get it going. It really is a mess now that I can see all of the bare spots and lack of non weed plants.

With the two large trees and the evening shade do you think Bermuda will not grow well? I am on a community well that has never had to restrict water, but it is also not cheap. We pay almost 40 a month for personal water needs without lawn watering. I would like to use a less water needy grass if at all possible.

Also the more I read I am realizing I need to apply a pre emergent herbicide this week or next right? What is a good brand or chemical name I should look for? Any good stores in the greater austin area that I can get some?

If I want to do some grading should I do that soon or wait until it's closer to mid April and do it along with applying grass seed?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:48PM
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