Lawn Care vs. DIY: Confessions of a Northwest Indiana Homeowner

Who doesn’t love a thick, healthy lawn? Nothing beats the feel of green grass under your bare feet while grilling with friends and family. It’s the best part of owning a home. It’s the American dream.

But for those that call Northwest Indiana home, having the perfect lawn is often more aptly called a bad dream….even a nightmare!

Thistle is a real pain!

For many of us, the only thing that grows under our feet is crabgrass and weeds.

Why? Because our soil composition is a mosaic of different soil types that were transported here over thousands of years by either Ice Age glaciers or waterways.

To make matters worse, a third of northern Lake County and huge chunks of Porter County and LaPorte County have thin or sandy soils. These areas were once sand dunes and even part of Lake Michigan.

It’s the one thing in the region everyone has in common…ughh!

Every town in the region has its own set of soil issues. Some soils have clay, others sand, and yet others loam. In my Valparaiso neighborhood, we have all three. Ughhh!!!

When I first built my home, my new sod ended up deadpanning from the soil issues. A year later, my grass was dead and some obscure form of grab grass took over. Nobody knew what species of weed it was or how to kill it. We tried everything. Nothing would kill it… We named it Rasputin!

When I visited the area nurseries to ask about ornamental root feeding and I told them I lived in Keystone… they laughed! They had a nickname for Valpo soil I can’t repeat.

The local nurseries had nicknames for each neighborhood…the soil in Porter County is that bad!

I spent 10 years trying everything from Scotts lawn care to the national franchise lawn services-you know, the guys that stuff flyers, make you feel like you’re an idiot if you don’t hire them, and then don’t return calls when you’re not happy.  I don’t think these chains even hire people that own lawns. Ugghhhh!

I tried everything. As a DIY lawn guy, I wanted someone that could help me where I needed it, and coach me where I didn’t.

I didn’t need someone to offer me expensive lawn soil testing. I needed real solutions from people that new the turf…someone with proven experience in growing green grass in Northwest Indiana.

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