Video: 3 Simple Summer Lawn Tips

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Subject: watering lawn

If I don't have a automatic watering system, how to I assess that I've watered my lawn "1 inch" per week. And does it matter the size of the the lawn. I live in an urban setting and have a very small area for a lawn.


Linda T.

Garrett Kelly
Garrett Kelly

Subject: Water leve

Hey Linda, this is Garrett K. with Angie's List. A good trick to monitor how much you've watered is to place an empty tuna can in the watering area, when it fills up shut the water off. Thanks!


Subject: Monoculture lawns need to go, everywhere

This is not just a problem for drought-stricken areas---non-native, monoculture grass lawns are an idea that was foisted on us by the developers of Levittown 70 years ago, to promote suburban conformity. Such lawns do not support wildlife, they only use resources (including power mowing) plus chemicals that are harmful to the environment. They are unnatural in every sense of the word. Angie's List could be a powerful force for good in promoting only services that are mindful of ecological best practices (planting native plants, etc.) for today's world, not the 1950s.

Dale Blankenship

Subject: how short?

OK, so we shouldn't cut our grass "too short". What's the optimum length? (I may err on the long side, but give us some guidelines here, folks! Two inches? Three?)

Garrett Kelly
Garrett Kelly

Subject: Grass length

Hey Dale, this is Garrett K. with Angie's List. The third tip on this article covers your question: Hint: It's about three inches. Thanks! 


Tom Raffaele

Subject: De-thatching & Aerating

What, if any, is the value of de-thatching and/ or aerating a lawn? How often, if ever, should they be done? Does mulching speed up the formation of thatch?

Garrett Kelly
Garrett Kelly

Subject: Aeration

Hey Tom, this is Garrett K. with Angie's List. This artilce may help answer your questions: Thanks! 

David McKinnon

Subject: 3 Summer Lawn Tips

Thanks very much for the summer lawn tips. We hear these things all the time, but, we also forget them all the time.

Very helpful!!

Karen Martin

Subject: Watering in drought

What you mention for watering won't work for West Coast this year due to drought. What do we do???

Garrett Kelly
Garrett Kelly

Subject: Conservation

Hey Karen, this is Garrett K. with Angie's List. Thanks for pointing this out. We have covered ways to landscape when water isn't abundant. Please see this article: Thanks! 

ted mmorris

Subject: weeds in my pretty green lawn

put weed killer on lawn ,no luck yet (almost 1and 1/2 weeks


Subject: Liquid Fertilizer

"Whereas when you spray liquid fertilizer, you’re going to coat the leaf blades of the grass, then if you mow you’re going to mow that off.”

When I mow the lawn the clippings land on the lawn like is recommemded. The clippings also provide trace elements not provided by fertilization and reduce the need to fertilize and the polution that follows with runoff.

Doug Patrick

Subject: Slow fertilization

I assume by that you are talking about something like Milorganite?

Nancy Eichler

Subject: Lawns and the Drought

To publicize and instruct how to have better and greener lawns while California is in the midst of a very serious and long drought is now smart or advisable.

Angie's List should acknowledge the drought, the amount of water needed to maintain a lawn, and advise and suggest letting lawns die to be replaced with drought tolerant and native plants.


Subject: Not so green these days...

Sad to say, in California, 'having a green lawn our neighbors will envy' is not an option. On the positive side, we all have the same sad and dry lawns so there is no envy.
Saving water is the priority.

But your tips and the discussion are appreciated and hopefully we can apply the advice at a later time.

Garrett Kelly
Garrett Kelly

Subject: Conservation

Hey Dale, this is Garrett K. with Angie's List. Thanks for pointing this out. We have covered ways to landscape when water isn't abundant. Please see this article: Thanks! 

Geoff B

Subject: Good lessons

As it happens, it took me about 20 years to learn these three things on my own.
Additional ideas I might add are;
-maintain proper Ph
-use a small amount of epsom salt (many soils are depleted of magnesium). Annually I use 1 to 2 lbs per 5000sqft.
-I can tell about how well my insecticide is working by the amount of digging the raccoons are doing. Few or no holes? No need to reapply.

Louis Irwin

Subject: Lawns

Best lawn = grow vegetables, esp. perennial veggies. Also grow fruit-bearing perennials (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, apples, pears, many others) and nut-bearing trees (walnuts, pecans, chestnuts, etc.).

Use organic, permaculture practices only. Use composting techniques rather than 1950's-era bags of fertilizers - your creeks & rivers, & ponds will do much better w/o nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers washed into them.

If you own sheep, then it's a good idea to grow grass. If you must grow grass, choose the hardiest, most drought-resistant, least maintenance requiring variety for your region. Plant enough for some touch football, croquet, badminton, chilling with friends, or whatever. But don't feel required to plant a huge,
sprawling monoculture of cosmetic crap.

jeff karlin

Subject: Watering lawns in California?

I'm in California in the worst drought year in 50 plus years. Watering my lawn at a rate of 1 inch per week is a bit stupid and presumptuous at this point in our state's water history. Perhaps a little more sensitivity is called for on the part of your staff.


Subject: Perhaps we should have a

Perhaps we should have a separate posting just for California since some posters think that is the center of the universe. Since you are water restricted, and probably will be all summer, just give up on your lawn this year, there is no viable solution. You guys need all the "available" water to keep your crop industry going, your lawn is a small sacrifice to make for your state's economy.


Subject: Watering lawns in California?

"Presumptuous"? "Sensitivity"? How about back off, calm down, don't be so but hurt and pompous, and just either take the advice (which is spot-on for lawn health, absent any contraindicating factors) or just simply disregard it if it is inappropriate for your situation locally. The rest of the country is getting just a little bit weary of Californians' spoilsport hyper-"sensitivity" and P.C. attitude.

If you don't have water, DON'T irrigate your lawn! Easy-peasy simple as that!

Garrett Kelly
Garrett Kelly

Subject: Conservation

Hey Jeff, this is Garrett K. with Angie's List. Thanks for pointing this out. We have covered ways to landscape when water isn't abundant. Please see this article: Thanks! 

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.