Lawn for my cottage

Lawn for my cottage




We are Virginians who have a cottage in KDH. We love it! It was built in the 1970s by relatives and we inherited it. No "lawn" had ever been considered. We allow family and friends down and make 3-5 grips a season ourselves. Any recommendations on a lawn service/contractor who can come in an create a low maintenance lawn so we don't have to worry with cutting it the weeks we are not there? Attached is a pic showing the cottage with the sand and scrub lawn. Thanks for any suggestions.




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RE: Lawn for my cottage




I have been using Popo and Sons Landscaping this year for both landscaping projects and regular lawn maintenance. After going through 4 other landscapers in the past 5 years, we have finally found a keeper. They have been reasonably priced and reliable. Matt is the owner and it is a family owned local business located in Manteo. 252-216-7719


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Please consider the cost of starting a lawn in sand. Most respectable grasses don't do well in sand and need water, lots of it. I'm talking Sand, not talking Sandy Soil, it appears there is no soil in your picture. Best 0ptions are good Sod or Zosia Grass which is brown a good portion of the year. You may want to bring in a few truck loads of topsoil. Next thought is a timed, automatic sprinkler system. Since I presume you will not be there full time, a sprinkler system would be a wise choice. Then consider your water bill increasing unless you have a well. I would strongly consider a nice sampling of native plants and ornamental grasses along with some bordering, possibly with river rock. Definitely some vegetation along the foundation. Unless you trust your "Landscaper" you may want to talk to Shannon Brooks at the NC Extension Service in Manteo or possibly Kath Mitchell, the Aquarium's Horticulturist who gives very good advice. There are locals who are classified as Master Gardners who should be able to give you some advice. Good Luck


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Weeping love grass works well. We planted it 18 years ago and it does very well. Only gets cut once a year usually in January or February. It needs to get planted in the early spring or fall as it will not germinate during the hot summer months.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Please consider the cost of starting a lawn in sand. Most respectable grasses don't do well in sand and need water, lots of it. I'm talking Sand, not talking Sandy Soil, it appears there is no soil in your picture. Best 0ptions are good Sod or Zosia Grass which is brown a good portion of the year. You may want to bring in a few truck loads of topsoil. Next thought is a timed, automatic sprinkler system. Since I presume you will not be there full time, a sprinkler system would be a wise choice. Then consider your water bill increasing unless you have a well. I would strongly consider a nice sampling of native plants and ornamental grasses along with some bordering, possibly with river rock. Definitely some vegetation along the foundation. Unless you trust your "Landscaper" you may want to talk to Shannon Brooks at the NC Extension Service in Manteo or possibly Kath Mitchell, the Aquarium's Horticulturist who gives very good advice. There are locals who are classified as Master Gardners who should be able to give you some advice. Good Luck

Pickle


Ditto. We used Alpha Advantage to lay our sod (centipede grass) and install our sprinkler system. This is coastal desert and you will need someone to maintain your lawn also. I am glad we did it, however, I live in our home. Good luck, no shortage of good landscapers here but there is a big difference in what they charge.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




As someone here with a lawn (2 of them at both houses) it takes so doing to do well unless you go the sod and watering method. That is going to need cutting often though and using county water will add to the cost so many put in shallow wells that only go down 10-20 feet to hit water. But it is water full of iron and that is why you often see the iron stained fences because they use a shallow well. It is mot expensive to dig a deeper well to go below the iron rich water near the surface.

Be careful with love grass if you want a nice lawn like you are used to. Love grass grows tall and can take over an area pretty quickly and is used more to take over a lawn that does not get much use from people or pets.

Crab Grass grows well in our sandy soil, but you can't buy the seed anywhere - I have tried. Bluegrass will grow but it needs lots of water and fertilizer. One option is to spread top soil over your sandy yard and plant a beach blend that Ace and others here sell. It will need lots of water to get started and the farther you are from salt air the better.

Many here let the lawns go natural to avoid the maintenance of watering and cutting.
\
Can you find my house??




RE: Lawn for my cottage




As someone here with a lawn (2 of them at both houses) it takes so doing to do well unless you go the sod and watering method. That is going to need cutting often though and using county water will add to the cost so many put in shallow wells that only go down 10-20 feet to hit water. But it is water full of iron and that is why you often see the iron stained fences because they use a shallow well. It is mot expensive to dig a deeper well to go below the iron rich water near the surface.

Be careful with love grass if you want a nice lawn like you are used to. Love grass grows tall and can take over an area pretty quickly and is used more to take over a lawn that does not get much use from people or pets.

Crab Grass grows well in our sandy soil, but you can't buy the seed anywhere - I have tried. Bluegrass will grow but it needs lots of water and fertilizer. One option is to spread top soil over your sandy yard and plant a beach blend that Ace and others here sell. It will need lots of water to get started and the farther you are from salt air the better.

Many here let the lawns go natural to avoid the maintenance of watering and cutting.
\
Can you find my house??

Tim-OBX


Yes


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Centipede. You see it growing out of yards into the street. Tough no water grass.If they had sprigged some in 30 years ago the yard would be full now. Not a fast nor labor free method but it will work and won't cost anything but time. Only needs water the first week its in the ground. My yard took about 10 years with this method.Courthouse has it,rest area has it so it is proven to work here.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




I've been told Bermuda grass is the way to go if you have more sun than shade.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




I've been told Bermuda grass is the way to go if you have more sun than shade.

NCSU Dad


Needs tons of water!


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Bermuda needs real dirt, not Sand


RE: Lawn for my cottage




If you put in an automatic sprinkler, you need to maintain it, and it needs to be monitored regularly to some degree. Get a break in the line just past the control valve, and it will flow huge amounts of water when it comes on. (Think of a $1000 water bill in one quarter.) So if you are a remote owner, this can be very problematic.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




I've got to ask...... why the lawn?
The cost of water and maintenance to grow a lawn at the beach is crazy.

Did you consider bring in sand, forming some small dunes in the front plated with love grass etc that is more drought tolerant?

Just curious




RE: Lawn for my cottage




We had a back yard full of love grass for about 10 years. Loved it for the first 7 years or so. Our next door neighbor began feeding feral cats that began building dens in all the neighbors shrubs and also in our love grass. We were unhappy about this. Then our septic field failed and we needed a new system. The excavation of this new system leveled our back yard down to sand. What came in naturally was Bermuda. We don't pay any one to take are of it, but we do mow it when we come down. It's very manageable, and we don't do anything to it, as far as upkeep, other than mowing. And no more wild cats living in it. Win Win.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




We had a back yard full of love grass for about 10 years. Loved it for the first 7 years or so. Our next door neighbor began feeding feral cats that began building dens in all the neighbors shrubs and also in our love grass. We were unhappy about this. Then our septic field failed and we needed a new system. The excavation of this new system leveled our back yard down to sand. What came in naturally was Bermuda. We don't pay any one to take are of it, but we do mow it when we come down. It's very manageable, and we don't do anything to it, as far as upkeep, other than mowing. And no more wild cats living in it. Win Win.

CoolBreezeKDH


Love grass over a septic field is like death to it when those roots get in there and clog it all up and it will in time. Avoid Love Grass.



RE: Lawn for my cottage




Love grass over a septic field is like death to it when those roots get in there and clog it all up and it will in time. Avoid Love Grass.

Tim-OBX
I did not know that! Tnx, Tim.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Love grass over a septic field is like death to it when those roots get in there and clog it all up and it will in time. Avoid Love Grass.

Tim-OBX
I did not know that! Tnx, Tim.

Beachmark


Can't tell you how many systems I have seen with the roots in the pipes. I looks like heart worm in a dog. It can look just like this.




RE: Lawn for my cottage




What about artificial turf?


RE: Lawn for my cottage




What about artificial turf?

Mikec


I have never seen that here except on a putting green in a yard - maybe inside a fenced in pool area.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Love grass over a septic field is like death to it when those roots get in there and clog it all up and it will in time. Avoid Love Grass.

Tim-OBX
I did not know that! Tnx, Tim.

Beachmark


Can't tell you how many systems I have seen with the roots in the pipes. I looks like heart worm in a dog. It can look just like this.

Tim-OBX
Boy, that's a mess!


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Yep. It was terrible. No yard work while it was there, but we paid for it later, as you know. Also, lots of vines grew beneath what you could see on the surface, and that was a problem too. What's there now is what came in by succession, and we just keep it cut back when we visit. No irrigation, but better than what we had.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




Thanks to all of you for the interesting ideas. It will give us a lot to think about over the Winter. I will definitely consult with an expert before doing anything. I may do the front a little better than the rear (the folks behind me have fences anyway) but not sure yet.


RE: Lawn for my cottage




If you put in an automatic sprinkler, you need to maintain it, and it needs to be monitored regularly to some degree. Get a break in the line just past the control valve, and it will flow huge amounts of water when it comes on. (Think of a $1000 water bill in one quarter.) So if you are a remote owner, this can be very problematic.

Beachmark


Not so if you drill a deep well. My cost is only for the 20 minutes that I run the pump 3 days or so a week. I run it more in the dry heat though. Still low cost and maintenance. And I have 16 years of experience...centipede grass.