My lawn's become an obsession... and now it's fall!
Well it's been 1.5 yr of my 2yr home ownership on this .75 acre plot I bought and never thought i'd do much more than chop the lawn when it needed a haircut and tend to more pressing issues.
Cut quality and asthetics slowly caused me to want to make improvements... maybe pretentious or my engineer mindset at work, but I thought if others can have a great looking lawn, I aught to be able to show some diligence and scientific prowess to make this happen.
So it begun, having no arms other than than Scott's annual 4 step program, a $50 1980s Toro 21" 4 stoke Suzuki powered mower that later proved to be a superior piece of machinery and a trimmer/edger/blower I rebuilt, tweaked and drank many a beer to my confusion of their problems... the obsession for perfection carried on.
No longer a north/south and east/west alternating cutting pattern, it became an alternating pattern of diagonal maintenance. The Scott's program, while hated by green thumbs and tree huggers alike... has served me well because nobody's given me a reasonable alternative thusfar for the price or the work needed (sorry i'm not going to take a loan for 3/4 acre worth of milogranite every week).
Doing the above as my base and my feet tired from a never ending every 3 day cut @ 3" which is well above 5" by the 3rd day and sprinkler dragging irrigation, my only real maintenance is the occasional crabgrass sprout or yellow nutsege... fall's here again, a season I never cared about but starting last year I aerate the plot... I don't know how much good it really does, but the internet would have you believe it's the secret to my success.
So my questions are, since my lawn is primarily KBG and aeration will be again performed around september 1... is a starter fertilizer mandatory and beneficial just after considering I'll be putting down the 4th step come end of September... should I be cutting the grass below 3" before putting it to bed here in Michigan and do I need to lose any sleep over the 3 8" diameter "dollar spots" i've aquired over this hot summer? Do I live with the fact that I can't grow grass UP TO the neighbor's pine trees even though I've limed them and rake the needles every month? Will I ever be able to say I don't have to cut it every 3 days but can still enjoy this quality? Does any homeowner really have a PERFECT lawn from all aspects at the end of the day or do they focus on the parts they like... cause i'm getting close!
Most disappointing section of lawn attached, yours truly... guy with a new hobby.