08-15-2012, 09:08 AM
#1
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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There's no getting away from the fact that a huge part of American has gone through, is still going through, excessive heat and drought. Here in St Louis during the past few days we've finally cooled down a lot! temperatures in the 80's°F (high 20's°C), but still no rain to talk about...

My back garden (south facing) has taken quit a hammering thanks to the brutal weather, the perennial plants have especially taken a beating. If the weather remains "normal" during the next few weeks I plan to redo parts of the garden -- in fact started doing that this past weekend, moving a few plants around, filling in a few gaps, etc.

From the gloom I'm pretty happy with how well my lawn has stood up to the weather. I have a cool-season lawn (not known to perform at its best through the heat of summer) which I look after "organically" and no longer cut when it gets above 90°F (32°F), this meant this year I didn't cut it for 7 weeks -- should've been longer, but I sneaked a cut in toward the end of June as I needed to put down corn gluten meal at that time...

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2012-08-10, Back garden: Cool season lawn not mowed during 7 weeks of drought & excessive heat



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2012-08-10, Front garden: Cool season lawn not mowed during 7 weeks of drought & excessive heat



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2012-08-12, Back garden: Cool season lawn mowed after 7 weeks of drought & excessive heat



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2012-08-12, Front garden: Cool season lawn mowed after 7 weeks of drought & excessive heat

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 08-15-2012, 11:52 AM
#2
  • krissy
  • Active Member
  • Cando, North Dakota
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WOW your lawn looks amazing, it's nice and green and lush! But not to mow for 7 weeks, that's a LONG time!!!!

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 08-15-2012, 06:53 PM
#3
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Mowing after seven weeks could not have been a whole lot of fun. Confused

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 08-15-2012, 11:22 PM
#4
  • Persius
  • On the learning curve
  • Reading, England
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British gentlemen and their lawns. Marriage made in heaven. Yours looks fab, considering the tricksy climatic conditions. When are we playing croquet, old thing?

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 08-16-2012, 09:16 AM
#5
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(08-15-2012, 11:52 AM)krissy Wrote: WOW your lawn looks amazing, it's nice and green and lush! But not to mow for 7 weeks, that's a LONG time!!!!

(08-15-2012, 06:53 PM)freddy Wrote: Mowing after seven weeks could not have been a whole lot of fun. Confused

Hi Krissy & Freddy

It's my understanding that all cool-season lawns (not sure about warm-season lawns) enter dormancy once temperatures get above 95°F (35°C) ie Stop growing and turn brown. Once a lawn enters dormancy it still requires a minimum of ¼inch (6.25mm) of water a week to remain alive...

Last year I decide enough was enough, and made the decision to stop cutting my lawn religiously once a week regardless of weather conditions, plus being outside working when temperatures got above 90°F (32°C) wasn't doing this red haired, pale skinned, jolly foreigner any good whatsoever. I therefore promised myself to never go outside and cut the grass when temperatures were above 90°F (32°C), plus grass almost completely stops growing in such heat...

During those 7 weeks I done nothing to the lawn except ensured it received 1inch (25mm) of water per week (via two waterings per week), that and not cutting it during that time resulted in the grass remaining green and relatively healthy.

Honestly mowing after such a period wasn't that bad, yes the grass had grown some, but not nearly as much as most people would think, still looked acceptable, wasn't overly long. I mowed it twice, first time with the bag on the back of the mower, this prevented the "longish" cut grass from smothering the lawn, second time without the bag on the back of the mower and in opposite direction to the first cut...

Final result in adopting such a method has resulted in me having to repair 3 Sq Yards (maximum) of lawn out of 410 Sq Yards total next month (September). I can definitely live with that...

Take care, Mike

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 08-16-2012, 09:21 AM
#6
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Wow, Mike, it looks like you live in Vancouver! Such greenery!
Have fun mowing the lawn. Hee hee.

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 08-16-2012, 09:25 AM
#7
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(08-15-2012, 11:22 PM)Persius Wrote: British gentlemen and their lawns. Marriage made in heaven. Yours looks fab, considering the tricksy climatic conditions. When are we playing croquet, old thing?

Amen!

I'm a freak (wife's words), but I find something very satisfying about having a good looking lawn... Get off my lawn :shot:

Cool-season lawns are very! different from lawns back in good old Blighty eg To maintain a good looking, healthy cool-season lawn you should mow to a final cut height of 3inches (75mm) minimum, anything less than that and you're really asking for trouble during the heat of summer... therefore my grass really isn't short enough for a relaxing game of croquet, old bean Euro

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 08-16-2012, 12:27 PM
#8
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Wow! Were you watering it?

We have restrictions in the Kansas City area. I was thinking back to last time I mowed mine, and realized it was 5 May. Went to the local Mexican afterwards for some XX. I have a few chicory that are green, but other than that it is brown and dry. Like you, I have the mower set a 3-4 inches(finish mowers aren't exact) and mow a inch max off.

My neighbor has been his usual every Saturday this summer. This past one I could see from a quarter mile down the road that he was mowing. Not sure what he was mowing anyway, just making dust clouds. I figure it is how he gets away from his wife and their seven kids.

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 08-17-2012, 08:34 AM
#9
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(08-16-2012, 12:27 PM)Saliavin Wrote: Wow! Were you watering it?

I ensure the lawn receives 1inch (25mm) of water per week, either via rainfall (wishful thinking this year) or via two waterings per week...



(08-16-2012, 12:27 PM)Saliavin Wrote: We have restrictions in the Kansas City area. I was thinking back to last time I mowed mine, and realized it was 5 May. Went to the local Mexican afterwards for some XX. I have a few chicory that are green, but other than that it is brown and dry. Like you, I have the mower set a 3-4 inches(finish mowers aren't exact) and mow a inch max off.

My neighbor has been his usual every Saturday this summer. This past one I could see from a quarter mile down the road that he was mowing. Not sure what he was mowing anyway, just making dust clouds. I figure it is how he gets away from his wife and their seven kids.

Biggrin I see those same "dust clouds" all around here, mowing dirt makes me laugh Biggrin

Disclaimer: My first year over here I was one of those "dust clouds" mowers, didn't know any better, was cutting the grass like I did back in Blighty (1 to 1½ inches / 25 to 37.5mm final cut height).

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 08-20-2012, 09:45 AM
#10
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(08-15-2012, 09:08 AM)mikeperry Wrote: My back garden (south facing) has taken quit a hammering thanks to the brutal weather, the perennial plants have especially taken a beating. If the weather remains "normal" during the next few weeks I plan to redo parts of the garden -- in fact started doing that this past weekend, moving a few plants around, filling in a few gaps, etc.

Weekend was spent working in the back garden...

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2012-08-18: 14 Panicum Northwind Switchgrasses need to go due to me planting them in too much shade 18 months ago, live & learn...



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2012-08-18: Panicum Northwind Switchgrasses cut down & ready to be dugout.



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2012-08-18: Panicum Northwind Switchgrasses cleared away, 11 given away & 3 re-used in new flowerbed. 27 Missouri Native plants (ordered, pick-up in early September) will be used to fill in the space.



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2012-08-19: Putting in a new flowerbed.



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2012-08-19: New flowerbed edged out.



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2012-08-19: New flowerbed, planted with 3 (re-used) Panicum Northwind Switchgrasses.



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2012-08-19: New flowerbed, planted with 3 (re-used) Panicum Northwind Switchgrasses.

Edit: Fixed formatting.

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 08-20-2012, 03:23 PM
#11
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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I'm looking forward to seeing how the garden matures. Smile

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 08-24-2012, 08:50 AM
#12
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Autumn (Fall) flowering plants are starting to awake...

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Eastern Blazing Star in bud



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Eastern Blazing Star in bud

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 08-24-2012, 01:38 PM
#13
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Wow, beautiful, Mike! Thumbsup

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 09-10-2012, 09:55 AM
#14
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(08-20-2012, 03:23 PM)freddy Wrote: I'm looking forward to seeing how the garden matures. Smile

Hi Freddy

This past weekend I picked up and planted 27 plug plants to fill in the gap created by removing those 14 Panicum Northwind Switchgrasses...

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27 Plug Plants from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery



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Planted! 27 plug plants



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Planted! 27 plug plants

Fingers-crossed the new plug plants establish themselves enough to get through the winter unscathed (shouldn't experience any problems if the winter is anything like the very mild winter we had last/this year).

Take care, Mike

Edit: Link added.

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 09-10-2012, 10:07 AM
#15
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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It will be fun to see how those fill out.

Mike, I think if your wife and you ever decide to move you are going to have to tell perspective buyers of your current home that your backyard is not included in the selling price; it is going with you. Laughing1

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 09-10-2013, 09:59 AM
#16
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(09-10-2012, 10:07 AM)freddy Wrote: It will be fun to see how those fill out...

Freddy, here you go...

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2013-09-09: One year on from planting 27 plug plants



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2013-09-09: One year on from planting 27 plug plants



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2013-09-09: One year on from planting 27 plug plants

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 09-10-2013, 11:01 AM
#17
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Wow, Mike, they really took off, didn't they?!

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 09-16-2013, 05:46 PM
#18
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(09-10-2013, 11:01 AM)freddy Wrote: Wow, Mike, they really took off, didn't they?!

They certainly did Freddy, I'm especially pleased with the Little bluestem (second row from the fence line). Fingers-crossed the Palm sedge (row against the fence line) will fill in a lot by next year and grow a little taller.

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2013-09-15: Cool season lawn not mowed during 4 weeks of drought & excessive heat



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2013-09-15: Cool season lawn not mowed during 4 weeks of drought & excessive heat



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2013-09-15: Cool season lawn mowed after 4 weeks of drought & excessive heat



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2013-09-15: Cool season lawn mowed after 4 weeks of drought & excessive heat



Last Friday (13th Sept 2013) I added 6 Missouri native plants to our Missouri Native Garden...

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2013-09-13: 6 plug plants from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery



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2013-09-13: Butterfly weed



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2013-09-13: Cliff Goldenrod



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2013-09-13: Glade Coneflower



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2013-09-13: Purple Prairie Clover



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2013-09-13: Zigzag Goldenrod



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2013-09-13: Showy Coneflower (black-eyed Susan)

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