Cover image for The complete idiot's guide a beautiful lawn.
Title:
The complete idiot's guide a beautiful lawn.
Author:
Gilmer, Maureen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Alpha ; Hemel Hempstead : Prentice Hall, 1999.
Physical Description:
384 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Added Title:
A beautiful lawn.
ISBN:
9780028630083
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Material Type
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Central Library SB433 .G55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library SB433 .G55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Showing how to grow and maintain a beautiful lawn, this guide covers all the basics, from how to choose grasses and groundcovers, growing and maintaining traditional turf versus an alternative lawn, to the art of mowing, weed management, and controlling pests and disease.


Author Notes

Maureen Gilmer is the author of 13 books on gardening and the environment, and hundreds of her articles and photos have appeared in numerous publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Country Home, Garden Design, and Fine Gardening. Her weekly radio show, Garden Forum, is broadcast from KVMR-FM, Nevada City. In October 1999, Maureen will co-host Backyard Living, a television program to premier on PBS.


Table of Contents

Part 1 A Thorough Grounding in Grass Family Culturep. 1
1 Grass Goes Globalp. 3
The Meek Shall Inherit the Earthp. 4
How Grasses Work in Naturep. 4
The Incredible Ediblep. 5
Amazing Titanic Grassesp. 6
What Is Grass?p. 7
When Grass Gangs Upp. 8
From Tall Grass to Turf Grassp. 9
Equal Rights for Grassesp. 10
Reasons to Believe ... in Lawnsp. 12
Lawn as Urban Oasisp. 12
When Is a Grass Not a Grass ... When It's a Sedgep. 12
The Least You Need to Knowp. 14
2 Beginner's Botanyp. 15
Don't Be Afraid of the Latinp. 16
Nerd Words You Need to Knowp. 17
Origination and Behavior Termsp. 17
Anatomical Termsp. 18
Propagation Termsp. 18
Know What You're Looking Atp. 18
Rooting Aroundp. 19
Sex and Sensimiliap. 22
Here Today ... Gone to Seedp. 23
Perennial Parenthoodp. 24
When Grass Sleepsp. 26
Alternative Lawnsp. 26
Taming the Wild Onesp. 27
The Least You Need to Knowp. 28
3 Zoning Out on Turf Grassp. 29
Unchangeable Climatep. 29
Precipitationp. 31
Humidityp. 31
Temperaturep. 32
Growing Seasonp. 33
Micro-Management--Turf-Grass Stylep. 33
The Ups and Downsp. 35
Blowing in the Windp. 35
Turf Grass Zonesp. 36
Cool, Humid Regionp. 37
Warm, Humid Regionp. 37
Transition Zonep. 37
Plains Regionp. 37
Arid and Semi-arid Regionsp. 38
California Coast and Interior Valleysp. 38
North Pacific Coastal Areasp. 38
Conditions You Can Changep. 39
You Can't Always Get What You Want ... But You Get What You Needp. 40
Traffic Tolerancep. 41
Colorp. 41
Leaf Texturep. 41
Growth Habitp. 41
Densityp. 42
Disease and Insect Resistancep. 42
Drought Resistancep. 43
Rate of Establishmentp. 43
Thatch Productionp. 44
Shade Tolerancep. 44
The Least You Need to Knowp. 44
4 Rating Top Turf Typesp. 45
Would You Like Your Turf Grass Mixed or Blended?p. 46
Grasses for Cool-Season Regionsp. 47
Kentucky Bluegrass, Poa pratensisp. 47
Perennial Rye, Lolium perennep. 49
A Fescue for All Seasonsp. 50
Grasses for Warm-Season Regionsp. 52
St. Augustine Grassp. 53
Bermuda Grassp. 54
Zoysia, Centipede, and Bahiap. 55
Going Native ... Naturallyp. 56
Buffalo Grassp. 57
Pasture Grassesp. 58
The Least You Need to Knowp. 59
Part 2 Civilized Grasses for Your Yardp. 61
5 Turf Grass and the Landscapep. 63
In the Eye of the Beholderp. 64
The Home Wreckerp. 64
The Lawnowner Lifestylep. 67
How Big Is Big?p. 69
The Ups and Downs of Grading and Moundsp. 69
Rule #1 Not Too Steepp. 70
Rule #2 Flat on Topp. 70
Irrigation Is Not Just for Farmersp. 72
Do You Have What It Takes to Go Organic?p. 74
Lawn Substitutes ... No Can Do!p. 76
The Least You Need to Knowp. 76
6 No-Brainer Lawn Designp. 77
Step 1 Sketch Your Yardp. 78
Step 2 Measure the Dimensions for Your Sketchp. 80
How to Express Numbersp. 80
Measuring the Housep. 80
Measuring the Property Linep. 81
Measuring Curvesp. 82
Measuring Other Stuffp. 83
Step 3 Gather Art Suppliesp. 84
Use the Right Paperp. 84
All Pencils Are Not Created Equalp. 85
The French Curvep. 86
Getting Edgesp. 86
Step 4 Transfer from the Sketch to a Planp. 86
Step 5 Lay Out the Lawnp. 88
Taking the Vitalsp. 88
Edgesp. 88
Arborescent Allowancesp. 89
Active Versus Passive Lawn Spacep. 89
Fill in the Gapsp. 90
Checking It in Real Timep. 91
The Least You Need to Knowp. 92
7 Ladies and Gentlemen ... Buy Your Grassesp. 93
Way to Go ... and Whyp. 94
DNA, Sex, and Seedp. 94
Sprigs and Stolonsp. 95
Sod and Sod Farmsp. 95
Put a Plug in Itp. 96
How and How Much to Plantp. 96
How Big Is Your Lawn?p. 98
Consumer Consciousnessp. 100
Pros and Cons of Nurseries, Home Improvement Stores, and Discount Chainsp. 100
Savvy Seed Shoppingp. 101
Savvy Sod Shoppingp. 102
Edge Optionsp. 103
Concrete Mow Stripsp. 105
The Least You Need to Knowp. 106
Part 3 The Nuts and Bolts of Grass Roots Gardeningp. 107
8 Dealing with Dirtp. 109
It's What You Don't See That's Importantp. 110
Soil Structurep. 110
The Back Yard Fertility Clinicp. 111
Peccadilloes of PHp. 112
Subdivision and Homesite Gradingp. 113
Subsoil Horizonsp. 114
Imported Soilsp. 114
Follow the Waterp. 114
How to Improve Soil for Lawnsp. 116
Challenging Clayp. 116
Saving Sandp. 117
Popular Amendmentsp. 118
The Least You Need to Knowp. 120
9 Lawn Tools and Equipmentp. 121
Divisions of Laborp. 122
The Almighty Mowerp. 122
Manual Reel Mowerp. 124
Electric Lawn Mowerp. 125
Power Rotary Mowerp. 125
Riding Lawn Mowers and Lawn Tractorsp. 126
More Horsepowerp. 127
Mulching Mowersp. 127
The Art of Lawn Mower Maintenancep. 127
Power Junkiesp. 129
Passing Gasp. 129
Two-Stroke Mixersp. 130
Turn on the Juicep. 130
String Trimmerp. 130
Specialty Lawn Toolsp. 131
Spreadersp. 132
Rollerp. 132
Thatching Rakep. 133
Hand Shears and Battery Trimmersp. 133
Tool Time for Lawnownersp. 133
Why Buy When You Can Rentp. 134
The Least You Need to Knowp. 134
10 The Art of the Mowp. 135
About Growth and Mowingp. 136
Hot and Cold Exceptionsp. 136
How to Adjust Mowing Heightp. 138
Clean-Cut Lawnsp. 139
Rotary Blade Sharpeningp. 140
Safe Mowingp. 142
Pruning the Grassp. 143
Ways to Go, Ways to Mowp. 144
Thinking Greenp. 146
Seasonal Schedule for Mowingp. 147
Waking Up the Lawn--Springp. 147
Dog Days--Summerp. 148
Fall Down--Autumnp. 148
Old Man Winterp. 148
Winter Mower Carep. 149
The Least You Need to Knowp. 150
Part 4 Creating a Green Carpetp. 151
11 Seeding a Turf Grass Lawnp. 153
A Black Thumb's Seed Primerp. 154
So, What's Ideal?p. 154
Timing Is Crucialp. 155
Unwanted Weedsp. 155
Purge Method #1 No Runner Grassesp. 156
Purge Method #2 Runner Grass Assaultp. 156
Serial Weed Killersp. 157
Going to Seedp. 158
Step 1 Soil Prepp. 158
Step 2 Finish Gradingp. 159
Hydroseed Maniap. 161
Step 3 Broadcast Seedingp. 162
Step 4 Cover It Upp. 163
Step 5 Roll with Cautionp. 163
Step 6 Make Rainp. 163
A Watering Primerp. 164
The Virgin Mowp. 165
First Feedingsp. 165
The Least You Need to Knowp. 166
12 Sodbusting a Turf Grass Lawnp. 167
Getting Ready to Sodp. 168
Again with the Weedsp. 169
Soil Prep for Sodp. 169
Making the Gradep. 170
Sod Palletsp. 172
Sod's Limited Shelf Lifep. 173
Getting Laidp. 174
Protecting Gaps and Edgesp. 175
Roll Another Onep. 176
Aftercare for Sod Lawnsp. 176
The Water Regimep. 176
First Feedingsp. 178
A Clean Cutp. 178
Problematic Projectionsp. 178
The Least You Need to Knowp. 179
13 Planting a Lawn from Sprigs, Plugs, and Stolonsp. 181
Which Grasses Grow from Whichp. 182
Spot Soddingp. 183
Vulnerable Purchasesp. 184
Making Their Bedp. 184
Laying Out the Gridp. 184
Planting Like a Squarep. 186
Sticking Stolonsp. 187
Cover-upsp. 189
Sprinkle, Sprinkle Little Lawnp. 189
Save Our Soilp. 191
Wicked Weedsp. 191
The Virgin Mowp. 193
Greedy Grassesp. 193
The Least You Need to Knowp. 193
14 Planting an Alternative Lawnp. 195
Turf Grass Counter Culturep. 196
Before You Go Nativep. 196
The Green, Green Grass of Homep. 197
Native Grasslandp. 197
Pasturesp. 198
Ornamental Meadowsp. 198
Meadow in a Canp. 199
Seedy Optionsp. 200
How Much to Buy and When the Time Is Rightp. 201
Conditions to Considerp. 202
Planting a Natural Lawn or Pasture from Seedp. 205
Plowing the Back 40p. 206
Plant the Plantsp. 206
A Sowing Beep. 207
Drag Racingp. 207
Water or Rainp. 208
What to Expectp. 208
The Least You Need to Knowp. 208
15 Groundcovers Where Lawns Just Won't Dop. 209
Groundcovers Now and Thenp. 210
Dividing Up the Spoilsp. 210
Meet Mr. Shrubp. 210
Controlled Overpopulationp. 211
Top 20 American Groundcovers and Their Characteristicsp. 212
Weed Barrier Fabrics and Mulchesp. 221
Only Creeping Shrubs Need Applyp. 221
Groundcover Sheet Cakesp. 222
How Many Should I Buy?p. 223
Five Easy Steps to Groundcover Gloryp. 223
Step 1 Get the Dirt Readyp. 223
Step 2 Lay Out the Plantsp. 223
Step 3 Put Them in the Groundp. 223
Step 4 Water the Plantsp. 224
Step 5 Mulchp. 224
The Least You Need to Knowp. 224
Part 5 Please Feed the Grassp. 225
16 The Basic Food Groupsp. 227
The Macro and Micro of Nutrientsp. 228
The Great Macronutrient Trilogyp. 228
Micronutrientsp. 229
You Are What You Eatp. 230
Complete Fertilizers with Trace Elementsp. 230
Weed While You Feedp. 230
Killer Fertilizersp. 230
Fertilizer Formsp. 231
Chemical-Free Feedingp. 231
Calories Out, Calories Inp. 232
Seasons of Demandp. 233
Application Ratesp. 233
Money for Nitrogenp. 234
Spreading the Fertilizerp. 235
Dead Lawns Do Tell Talesp. 236
Applying Liquid Fertilizersp. 236
The Least You Need to Knowp. 238
17 Water Right, Water Deepp. 239
A Tale of Plants and Waterp. 240
It's All About Roots and Dirtp. 240
Soils Are Like Coffeep. 241
The Rundown on Runoffp. 242
Watering Gizmos and Systemsp. 242
In-Ground Systemsp. 243
Garden-Hose Sprinklersp. 244
How and When to Water Lawnsp. 245
Day After Dayp. 246
Time Is on Your Sidep. 246
Duration Doesn't Always Mean Penetrationp. 247
Five Reasons Not to Overwaterp. 249
Efficient Watering Practices When the Heat's Onp. 249
Fine-Tuning an In-Ground Systemp. 249
Step 1 Find All Your Valvesp. 250
Step 2 Figure Out Which Ones Belong to the Lawnp. 251
Step 3 Head Check for Each Valvep. 251
Step 4 Verify Watering Timesp. 251
Step 5 Program the Controllerp. 251
Care and Repairp. 251
Clean a Clogged Headp. 252
Change or Replace a Sprinkler Headp. 253
Fix a Broken Riserp. 253
Fix a Broken Pipep. 253
The Least You Need to Knowp. 254
18 What's Eating Your Lawnp. 255
Assault and Battery--The Major Offendersp. 256
The Basics of Lawn Patchingp. 256
Burn, Baby, Burnp. 259
Traffic Wear Solutionsp. 259
Post-party Problemsp. 259
Family Patternsp. 260
Auto Phobiap. 261
The Dead Zonep. 262
A Clogged Sprinkler Headp. 262
A Broken or Out-of-Alignment Sprinkler Headp. 262
Sprinkler System Design Flawsp. 262
How Now Brown Moundp. 264
Old Man Winter's Fingerprintsp. 265
Heavingp. 265
Snowbound Trafficp. 265
Repair a Scalpp. 266
Play Equipment Carnagep. 267
Worst-Case Scenario: Water Rationing During Droughtp. 267
Periodic Droughtp. 268
Persistent Droughtp. 268
Shade, Shade Go Awayp. 269
The Least You Need to Knowp. 270
19 Pets and Wildlife and Your Lawnp. 271
Man's Best Friendp. 272
Female Dog Spot Diseasep. 272
Land Minesp. 273
Canine Neurosesp. 274
Diggingp. 275
Chewingp. 275
12-Volt Discouragementp. 276
Lawn and Landscapes for Dogsp. 277
Front Yard Confrontationsp. 278
Wildlife and Lawnsp. 278
Belling the Catp. 279
Rodenta Non Gratap. 280
Gopher Brokep. 280
Poisonp. 281
Trapsp. 282
Giant Destroyersp. 283
Pollution Solutionp. 283
Moles' Holesp. 283
Pepe Le Pewp. 285
The Least You Need to Knowp. 285
Part 6 Old Lawn Makeoversp. 287
20 New Life for Old Lawnsp. 289
Topdressing: Why We Lay It on Thickp. 290
The Hidden Organic Benefits of Topdressingp. 290
Qualities of Topdressing Materialsp. 291
How to Buy Topdressingp. 291
Specialty Topdressing Productp. 291
Turf Grass Health Spa Activitiesp. 292
Opening Compacted Soilsp. 293
Thatch Removalp. 293
Thicker Lawnsp. 294
Temporary Green-Upp. 294
Change Grass Typesp. 294
Efficient Water Usep. 295
Make Soil More Activep. 295
Crowd Out Weedsp. 295
How to Topdress Your Lawnp. 295
A Step-by-Step Procedurep. 295
Overseeding a Dormant Lawnp. 296
An Annual Rye Primerp. 296
Sowing It Rightp. 296
Quick-Fix Instant Rye Lawnp. 297
Trees in Lawnsp. 297
Increased Shadep. 298
Surface Rootingp. 299
Competition and Tractor Blightp. 303
The Least You Need to Knowp. 304
21 Soil Compaction--Public Enemy #1p. 305
Let's Talk Dirtp. 306
About Disease and Microorganismsp. 306
Doctor, Oxygen Please!p. 306
Blame It on the Clayp. 307
Spots and Trailsp. 308
Uniquely Newp. 309
Hardpan Is Deadpanp. 310
So What's Aeration Anyway?p. 310
Heavy and Not-So-Heavy Equipmentp. 311
Aerating Sandalsp. 311
Spading Forkp. 311
Sod Coring Toolp. 311
Aerating Rollerp. 312
Power Corep. 312
Other Stuff You Needp. 313
Step-by-Step Aeration and Renovationp. 314
Rent the Machinep. 314
Punch Out Your Lawnp. 315
About the Plugsp. 315
Overseedp. 316
Topdressp. 316
Fertilize and Microorganizep. 316
Waterp. 317
The Leat You Need to Knowp. 318
22 Thatch: Not the Kind for Hutsp. 319
A Batch of Thatchp. 320
How to Know Your Thatchp. 320
Thatch and Organic Lawn Gurusp. 322
Thatch According to Golf Course Greenskeepersp. 322
The Infection Connectionp. 323
Bugs Check In, But They Don't Check Outp. 323
So What's in It Anyway?p. 324
The Major Offendersp. 325
Friday the 13th for Thatchp. 326
Nature's Wayp. 326
When to De-thatchp. 326
Choose the Right Toolp. 327
To Aerate or Not to Aeratep. 329
Resurrecting Your Lawn Step by Stepp. 329
Step 1 Water and Mowp. 329
Step 2 De-thatch the Lawnp. 329
Step 3 Rake Up the Thatchp. 330
Step 4 De-thatch Again Going the Other Wayp. 330
Step 5 Rake Up More Thatchp. 330
Step 6 Aerate (Optional)p. 330
Step 7 Overseed (Optional)p. 330
Step 8 Topdressp. 330
Spot Thatch Removalp. 331
Coaxing Your Lawn Back to Lifep. 331
The Least You Need to Knowp. 332
Part 7 In Search of Small Game and Green Invadersp. 333
23 Weeds--Botanical UFOsp. 335
Name Callingp. 336
Weeds in Grassp. 336
Greenskeepers' Nightmaresp. 336
A Grand Strategyp. 336
Good for Grass, Bad for Weedp. 337
The Best Offense Is a Good Defensep. 337
Don't Contaminate Your Lawnp. 337
Weed Botanyp. 338
Annus Horribilisp. 338
Perennial Problemsp. 339
When Weeds Sleepp. 339
Look at and Feel the Weedsp. 339
Mug Shots of Lawn Criminals--Eight Notorious Grassy Weedsp. 341
Crabgrass and Annual Bluegrassesp. 341
Dallisgrassp. 342
Johnsongrassp. 342
Quackgrassp. 342
Bentgrassp. 343
Nutsedgep. 343
Bermuda and Other Warm-Season Grasses in Cool-Season Lawnsp. 344
Fescues and Other Cool-Season Grasses in Warm-Season Lawnsp. 344
Bothersome Broadleafsp. 344
Cloversp. 344
Dandelionp. 344
Oxalis (a.k.a. Sheep Sorrel)p. 346
Broadleaf Plantainp. 346
Spurgep. 346
Some Shady Charactersp. 346
Mossesp. 347
Violetsp. 347
The Prevention and Eradication Programp. 347
The Goal of Weed Controlp. 347
Manual Weed Removalp. 348
Herbicides--Getting Out the Big Gunsp. 349
Fertilizer Killersp. 349
Seed Killersp. 349
Picky Killersp. 349
Mass Murderersp. 349
Sprayers and Stuffp. 350
The Least You Need to Knowp. 350
24 A Fungus Among Usp. 351
Understanding Fungip. 352
How Fungi Eatp. 352
How Fungi Travelp. 353
Is Your Lawn a Breeding Ground?p. 353
Beware the Wetp. 353
Fire and Icep. 353
Too Much of the Good Stuffp. 354
Butch Haircutsp. 354
Happy Rootsp. 354
Thick Thatchp. 354
Disease Fightersp. 354
A Social Diseasep. 355
Disease Happensp. 355
Brown Patchp. 356
Fusarium Blightp. 357
Pythium Blightp. 359
Dollar Spotp. 360
Melting Outp. 362
Pink Snow Mold, Grey Snow Moldp. 363
A Pathological Diagnosisp. 364
The Least You Need to Knowp. 364
25 Insects--Know Thine Enemyp. 365
It's All in the Numbersp. 366
Natural Defensesp. 366
Whether It's Weatherp. 366
Shooting the Good Bugs with the Badp. 366
Least Toxicp. 367
The Rundown on Reproductionp. 367
Underground Testingp. 369
Top Lawn Pestsp. 369
Grubsp. 369
Chinch Bugsp. 370
Sod Webwormp. 370
Billbugp. 371
Mole Cricketp. 372
Recognizing Beneficial Insectsp. 373
Pest Control Productsp. 373
BT: Bacteria with an Attitudep. 374
Milky Spore Diseasep. 374
Predatory Nematodesp. 374
Bazooka Botanicalsp. 375
Chemical Warfarep. 375
Baitsp. 375
Trapsp. 376
Forms and Applicationsp. 376
Options by Typep. 376
Spot or Blanketp. 376
The 10 Commandments of Pesticidesp. 377
The Least You Need to Knowp. 378
Appendix Trees, Products, Seed, and Organic Product Guidep. 379
Top 25 American Lawn Treesp. 379
Top Turf Grass and Alternative Lawn Seed Sourcesp. 380
Organic Lawn Product Sourcesp. 381
Lawn Mower Makersp. 382
Indexp. 383

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