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 Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?

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Huskyluv
Resident Nutritional Bookworm
Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyMon May 09, 2011 11:39 am

We just filled in the burned spots with top soil and will wait for the grass around it to fill it back it. The top soil looks a lot better than the brown spot for sure and is a lot cheaper than going a chemical route. I did see those lawn additives but wanted to go natural instead...I sound like an environmentalist nut but I promise you I'm not. Just prefer to use less chemicals when and where I can. Smile

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cmanding
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cmanding

Female Join date : 2010-10-12
Location : Denver, CO

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyMon May 09, 2011 11:51 am

I hear ya! Especially when these store bought stuff can be an allergen to our pets! Since it's just one spot Storm burned, I think we'll be OK - he's now starting to go wherever when he used to only go in that one spot. Besides, they don't spend that much time out there - mostly to take potty breaks. When they start to romp and play, then end up running back into the house to play!

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Becky
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Becky

Female Join date : 2011-05-09
Location : Upstate NY

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyWed May 11, 2011 2:31 am

I worked in the lanscape industry for many years and learned a lot when it comes to animals and lawncare. Here are a couple of tips for you to try that won't cost a fortune and are pet friendly.

For urine burn:

Gypsum powder. Rake out the urine damged area, sprinkle an even coat of gypsum powder(available at most garden centers for about $8 for a 10lb bag) water in. Give it a week before reseeding. If you hit the areas up you can avoid raking and reseeding. It will usually correct the damage.

For fertilizing:

A lot of people have a misconception about fertilizing your lawn and the chemical use being harmful to our pets. When used appropiately straight fertilizer has a negligible risk. Fertilizer has an N-P-K ratio that varies for the different times of the year (N-P-K= Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium). If you remember 8th grade science these are all elements found on the periodic table. They are Organic, which is not to be confused with natural. Organic simply means carbon based in lawn care maintence world so often even lawn care services use synthetically engineered fertilizer without weed control for their organic programs. This is effective if you have a docile dog and even outdoor cats that don't eat the grass. Dry applications are best as they don't stain the fur of your pets the way that the liquid applications do. However even with this you should avoid having your fuzzy ones on the lawn for 24-48 hrs.

For those looking for a natural program, which I highly recommend if your pup is like mine and need to taste everything she comes in contact with (concrete, plants, garbage, even frogs), I would suggest a corn gluten program. This is a pricier program and in my area I haven't been able to find a Do-It-Yourself program for corn gluten. This is an all natural fertiler program that also helps to surpress weed development.

Weed Control:

Honestly in all my years in the landscape industry I have yet to come across a pet friendly weed control. I did find a recipe once for a borax solution for weed control but I have never tested it myself or known anyone who has. If you are familiar with it and know how affective it is please let me know.

Insect control:

There is a product that is called PetSafe that offers Insect and Disease control for gardening (ornamentals shrubs and trees, vegatable gardens and perinnial flower beds. They also have a grub control application. I am weary about this product because it still urges caution around dogs.
Neem extract when used as directed is awesome. Just like most extracts, by itself it is very potent. But when dilluted in water it is very pet friendly and works great. I used this to cure a severe aphid infestastion in my flower bed last year. For grubs use neems seed oil...different from neem extract and much harder to find.

For Moles:

Mole toxins are just that, toxins. If your dog gets into to it he/she can become very sick. Instead I have this awesome tip. JUICY FRUIT GUM. Most of my clients thought I was crazy when I told them this but trust me it works. Get yourself a pair of scent free rubber gloves and a couple packs of Juicy Fruit Gum. Do NOT chew it. Wearing the gloves(to avoid getting your scent on it, un wrap a stick of gum and break it up into 3 or 4 peices. Stick it right into the ground wear the moles have been burrowing. Moles are blind so they hunt by smell. They are attracted to the smell of the gum and eat it but can not digest it so they go some where and...well become natural fertilizer.

For Grubs:

Aside from the Neem seed oil that I mentioned above, your best pet friendly defense against grubs is milky spore. I won't kid you depending on the area you live in and your soil type this can get expensive. Here in upstate NY with sanddy soil it should be applied 2 to 3 times a year for three years. It is a systemic application and stores in the root system of the for 10 years. At the end of the 3rd season you should only have to begin the cycle again if you replace your lawn.

For slugs:

In the garden or in your flower beds a pan of beer, yes beer, your basic american lager placed over night will attract slugs. Use a deep flat pan, like a cake pan fill 2/3-3/4 with beer. Slugs are attracted to the smell so the come to drink the beer and drown.

Thats all I can think of at the time but let me know if you have any other lawn care or garden woes and I let you know if there are any other tips I have.

Happy pet friendly gardening every one!
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Koda
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Koda

Female Join date : 2009-05-20
Location : Glenville, NY

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyWed May 11, 2011 8:42 am

Wow, Becky! This is freaking phenomenal! Thank you!

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Huskyluv
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Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyWed May 11, 2011 11:43 am

Awesome post Becky! I want to hear more about the corn gluten program! What is it? How does it work? Where can you get it?

We finally have our own house and yard to maintain so we are definitely on a learning curve here and have lots of questions. Hope you don't mind if we pick your brain a bit! Boy am I glad you're here! Smile

Also, what's your opinion on Preen Weed preventer for flower beds? I bought some (a little late) but haven't put it down yet as I've been wondering if it's any good and safe for my newly planted flower beds. Any experience with it?

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Becky
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Becky

Female Join date : 2011-05-09
Location : Upstate NY

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyWed May 11, 2011 2:35 pm

Here's a great link that really describes the corn gluten process. I disagree with the term herbicide as that implies that corn gluten kills weeds, really it surppresses them, or prevents them from popping up. Keep in mind that once weeds and crabgrass are present they are very difficult to control without using chemicals. Your best defense against a crabgrass and weed free lawn is a thick plush lawn. Overseeding regularly is your best option.

http://www.lawntimes.com/archive/index.php?t-5612.html

Also I reccommend a standard winterizing application when using the corn gluten program. Corn gluten is staight nitrogen, this is what makes your lawn green. Winterizers are a high potassium treatment. Potassium thickens up the cell walls of the root system so that they contain water and nutrients over a longer period of time. Phosphorus (the middle number in the NPK ratio) stimulates root development. Phosphorus is a high pollutant in the state of NY so we try not to use it here but is still used in most of your DIY programs and most starter fert.

As to where to find it. I haven't been able to find it in your Big Box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. Hewitts carried it last year but I haven't been over there this season. I'm noticing some "Organic" Garden Centers pop up in NY but I haven't looked in any of them yet. Bradfield makes a great product that I have found on Amazon. If you have a GC in your area that specializes in organic or natural gardening that would be the place to find it. If all else fails try Amazon (I like amazon because you can read up on the reviews from others who have tried it).
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Becky
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Becky

Female Join date : 2011-05-09
Location : Upstate NY

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyWed May 11, 2011 2:42 pm

As for Preen it is a very good product. I advise you to be careful with liquid applications as it is an herbicide. If it comes in contact with another plant it will most likely damage it. They do make a granular application that comes in a shaker can. Preen also makes a landscape fabric that works wonders. It serves as a sheild. You lay it down in your beds and simply cut wholes in it where you are going to plant your flowers. it keeps weeds from popping up in your beds. Even stubborn ones like ground ivy.
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Huskyluv
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Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyWed May 11, 2011 4:49 pm

Fantastic information, thank you so much! I will definitely be looking into the corn gluten program and reading up on it more. I have the granular Preen and it says for established garden beds so I only plan to use it on the areas of my garden beds that have no plants to keep the weeds at bay. Thanks for the info! I have a feeling I will have more questions on lawn care if you plan to stick around. Wink

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Becky
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Becky

Female Join date : 2011-05-09
Location : Upstate NY

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyWed May 11, 2011 11:53 pm

Any time Val.
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Huskyluv
Resident Nutritional Bookworm
Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 1:03 pm

Becky, do you have any tips on controlling and/or killing clover? I have several small patches of clover trying to establish themselves in my lawn. They are small but I want to nip this in the bud before it becomes a big problem. I sprayed them with Spectracide Weed Stop for Lawns this morning but am curious if you have any other tips.

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Becky
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Becky

Female Join date : 2011-05-09
Location : Upstate NY

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 3:09 pm

Unfortunately clover is one of those "difficult to control" weeds. There really isn't a good remedy. Keep hitting it up with the weed control. When it starts to work you will see the edges of the leafy part turn brown/red/purple and curl inward. You did the right thing by starting hitting it up early. I would suggest overseeding in the fall to reduce a recurring issue next year.

Here is a link on a borax solution. This sight implies that it is more intended for creeping charlie aka ground ivy. I have never tried it myself but I plan to this year. In my experience if something will work on ground ivy it will work on any other hard to control weed (ground ivy is the most difficult to control). Borax is pet friendly. If you try it please let me know what your results are.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h519borax.html
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jbealer
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jbealer

Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 3:30 pm

i have vine weed and it drives me crazy! nothing stops it. the grass in front of my garden bed gets dandelions and the grass behind the bed gets vine weed, its weird, i craw and pull it up and spray with weed killer. i fertilize with weed control in the fall and summer and i have raked the thatch out and i still have a bare looking yard Sad we laid sod just 2yrs ago and i would think we would have a thick lawn. i think i need to try over-seeding this weekend before it gets to hot. i just don't know how often i need to water for seed and do you need to put some dirt down or you just spreed the seed into the grass?

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Huskyluv
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Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 4:12 pm

@Becky wrote:
Unfortunately clover is one of those "difficult to control" weeds. There really isn't a good remedy. Keep hitting it up with the weed control. When it starts to work you will see the edges of the leafy part turn brown/red/purple and curl inward. You did the right thing by starting hitting it up early. I would suggest overseeding in the fall to reduce a recurring issue next year.

Really, overseeding in the fall? Is the fall a better time than spring? I think we will plan to do that this year if it will be okay in the fall. I'd be worried about the seeds washing away throughout the winter. confused

@Becky wrote:
Here is a link on a borax solution. This sight implies that it is more intended for creeping charlie aka ground ivy. I have never tried it myself but I plan to this year. In my experience if something will work on ground ivy it will work on any other hard to control weed (ground ivy is the most difficult to control). Borax is pet friendly. If you try it please let me know what your results are.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h519borax.html

Thanks for that link and information. Since the clover is in with the grass, will the borax solution harm or kill the grass at all? We have centipede grass if that makes any difference. Since the clover is localized in the front yard I don't want to end up with dead brown patches out front...if it were in the back where no one will see it that would be a different story. If it's not going to kill my grass then I'd be more than happy to try it out on the clover.


Oh and I have some sort of ivy plant (I'm guessing) growing from the woods behind our house and it has decided to latch onto our black aluminum fence. Hubby and I thought it kinda would look nice to have some sort of ivy climbing on the fence but I have no idea if this thing will be invasive or not. I'm wondering if I should let it be and allow it to continue growing on the fence (but no further) or if I should keep it at bay.

I'll take a pic later this afternoon and post it in case anyone might be able to identify it. Whatever it is, it is extremely fast growing!

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Becky
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Becky

Female Join date : 2011-05-09
Location : Upstate NY

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 5:07 pm

Jenn,
You should only have to add soil if you are doing major repair work. Like a larger are that was destroyed by grubs. The vine weed is most likely ground ivy/creeping charlie. Google it for images so that you can compare it to a picture. If it is ground ivy it is almost impossible to get rid of. The root system on this weed is viney and stems from a specific sources. The source can be within 2 ft or four blocks away. As far as the lawn goes I have two suggestions. First check your thatch layers. Even though you are dethatching you may have excessive thatch layers. Dethatching by rake really only targets the surface thatch. CHecking thatch is easy. Poke your finger through the grass into the soil. The resistance you feel is thatch(live and dead root) ideally this should be no more than 1/2" to 3/4" in depth. Beyond that it is excessive. Too much thatch cuts of circulation to the healthy root blocking water and nutrients. Even sod has a pre exsisting thatch layer. If this is a problem I would highly reccommend a core aeration, any lawn care service will be able to do this, or you can rent an aerator from home depot for about $60 for the day. My other suggestion is to test your soil. Soil in NY gets very acidic and stunts the growth a grass. I'm not sure what your conditions are in CO but if you are having that many problems get it tested. Any garden center should be able to do this. Pull a couple samples from diffirent areas. Backyard, side yard, front, etc. Soil testing is pretty cheap. Or you can by a kit where you can do it at home. If your pH is off talk to someone nearby that can advise you on the corrective measures. If it is really off it may take a while to correct. As far as water goes. Its very important. If you have wet springs like we do, it really isn't necessary to water, but I have been to Denver in the summer, it gets hot. 15-20 minutes in the morning or evening is ideal here in NY. I would say that you would need at least that. Also make sure to check water regualtions in your area. You don't want to be sighted for a violation.

Val, Again I have never tried the borax solution before. If you are going to try it I would do a spot test first in an area that isn't visible to most.
Your growing conditions are very different than mine. Here we deal mostly with fescues, perennial rye and bluegrass.However, seeding and planting perennials, though affective in the spring, are best done in the fall. Your soil nutrient levels are highest at this point. Early fall is best. In NY that is usually early to mid september, just as the temperatures start to cool. That could be a bit later for you but not too late. When you fall temps cool to the low to mid seventies its time to over seed. If you do a core aeration first the seed will drop into the soil and germinate from inside. Seeding in the spring is good for patching, to fill in those unsighly spots, however your nutrient levels are washed out from the over wintering snow. Seed will germinate but at a lower percentage. For example I did some repair work a couple weeks ago. I filled in some areas that were hit with grubs and where Miko had dug. I used a 3,000 sq ft bag of seed from Scott's and maybe 60% of it actually germinated.
As far as that vine goes, most viney plants whether weeds or ground cover or house plants, grow rapidly and will become invasive if left unattended. You probably won't be able to kill it but i would advise cutting it back regularly, don't be surprised if more shows up.
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Huskyluv
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Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 7:35 pm

Thanks again for all the help, you have no idea how much I appreciate it!

Here's a pic of the viney thing that has started attaching itself to our fence in case anyone can identify it:
Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 IMG_0856

I honestly think it looks nice growing on the fence but I want to keep it on the fence only. I check it several times a week to make sure it doesn't start creeping into my flower beds. It really is growing like a weed!

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SabakaMom
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Female Join date : 2011-02-10
Location : Virginia

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 8:38 pm

I think that's a wild grapevine. I don't think you want it...
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Becky
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Female Join date : 2011-05-09
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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 10:03 pm

I agree with Lisa, it looks very much like wild grape vine. Very invasive if not kept under control, and where there is one, there will be more.
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Huskyluv
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Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 10:16 pm

You guys are awesome! This stuff is literally everywhere in the woods behind the house and throughout the neighborhood. I see it overtaking so many trees in the woods, it's everywhere! And the woods are protected so I cannot kill anything that is not on our property.

Now I'm not sure what to do about it. confused

Let me put it this way, if it were you guys, would you allow it to grow on the fence and keep it cut back so that it stays only on the fence or would you cut it back and keep it off the fence altogether?

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Becky
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Female Join date : 2011-05-09
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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 10:29 pm

There's nothing wrong with having it on the fence. If you have the time to do it you might even be able to train it to weave in and out of the fence, similar to morning glory. Vines like to wrap around things so it really isn't hard to do. But if it is growing fast now and its only May, imagine how it will be come July.
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SabakaMom
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Female Join date : 2011-02-10
Location : Virginia

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptyFri May 13, 2011 10:30 pm

I would keep it off the fence. I am not a fan of "creeping vines" though. As a child I remember wild grapevines in the woods hanging from the trees being over an inch in diameter and strong enough for a kid to swing on (like Tarzan, you know Cool ).

This is the vine that is used to make grapevine wreaths, I think. Perhaps you could start a craft business on the side - - - lol!
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cmanding
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cmanding

Female Join date : 2010-10-12
Location : Denver, CO

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptySat May 14, 2011 3:37 pm

I don't think ACV is working for our lawn...We're noticing some new burn spots.
Storm is getting 1 tablespoon/day of ACV (since he's 105 lbs) and Ginger is getting 1/2 tablespoon/day (since she's 58 lbs)...they both drink a good amount of water...maybe they are not getting enough ACV to make a difference?

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Huskyluv
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Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptySat May 14, 2011 6:19 pm

Dakota gets 1 tbsp of ACV per day and he's 50 lbs, you could definitely give them more if you want to. If not maybe try something else? Could you maybe train them to pee in a certain area? That is helping tremendously with Dakota.

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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptySat May 14, 2011 6:41 pm

Luck is with you that it isn't Kudzu.

http://www.hiltonpond.org/thisweek060901.html
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cmanding
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cmanding

Female Join date : 2010-10-12
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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptySat May 14, 2011 7:21 pm

That's what they are!
Yikes!

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jbealer
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Female Join date : 2009-05-29
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PostSubject: Re: Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots?   Salvaging a lawn from "burn" spots? - Page 2 EmptySat May 14, 2011 7:41 pm

Val, I would keep it off the fence. U paid a lot for that fence and if you let it grow and then chang your mind it will be a bitch to get it off the fence with it wraped all good around it.
I would go out and buy a vine to cover your fence, like morning glory or honeysucle something nice if you want that look

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