Grow lights on a grass lawn

GMBStyleDecember 18, 2012

My yard is small and shaded, but I am fixated on growing a healthy lawn. This may sound crazy to some of you, but I've been inspired by the greenskeepers at Lambeau field (in the recent news).

What would be the cheapest way to install effective grow lights on my 25' x 35' lawn? (or maybe 1/4 of the lawn and I can rotate around). I am very handy when it comes to wiring and carpentry.

I'm thinking outdoor-rated fluorescent tube fixtures, but so far, my math is coming out to thousands of dollars initial purchase cost. Any help would be sincerely appreciated.

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fluorescent would be a huge mistake. u can buy 600W reflectorized HPS lamps from HTG, and that would be my first choice, in terms of being economical. Or you can also use 575W pulse start metal halides from Venture - the ballast kit and lamp, goes for around 160$ and the Venture people are experts are building very high performance very high tech lamps quite reasonably priced. they make them mainly for industry, but i use those venture lamps in my indoor garden because they simply are phenomenal.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 9:21PM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Why don't you find an appropriate, i.e. shade tolerant, grass, and put that in your lawn.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Thanks for the feedback.

I am very close to pulling the trigger on a purchasing (4) 400W system by iPower.

Overdrive: why would fluorescent be a mistake?

theficuswrangler: I know this all sounds a little silly. I actually did install brand new shade blend sod this summer (in addition to amending the existing soils prior). The sod company came highly recommended. The sod is rated for 4 hours sunlight minimum. In the summer, most of my yard gets this. But in the winter, none gets it. I just moved into this house and didn't realize it earlier. Given my dedication to having grass and the size of the lawn, do you have any recommendations or tips? What would be the cheapest way to install effective grow lights on my 25' x 35' lawn?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:50PM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Darlin, fraid I can't help you. It never occurred to me to put grow lights on a lawn. Do people actually do this? This isn't a joke, is it? My approach to my lawn is to kind of chill out and see what the flow of nature is. Put things where they grow best, water with what falls from the sky, if one thing doesn't work, put in something else. I'm farther and farther from grass lawn every year.

But to address your situation from a horticultural standpoint, if you have 4 hrs of light (I'm assuming you mean full sunlight) under your tree in the summer, you still have light, meaning not dense shade, in the winter. There should be strains of grass that could grow there. I'm from Fla, so I'm not familiar with grass varieties in your neck of the woods. If you're not satisfied with performance of the sod you ordered, if they told you it would grow under the tree and it hasn't, you should be due a refund or new product. Have you consulted with not just one but several landscape specialists - try to find one that employs someone with an actual hort degree.

Then again, I'm sure you've seen many beautiful yards that have areas of groundcover or plantings where grass won't grow. I'm sure you could get wonderful plans from a garden designer or landscape architect, and have the plantings installed, and maintained, for mucho less dineros than what you're planning. And you'd probably end up happier. Cause trying to make grass grow where it's not natural for it is going to be one long headache, I expect. Besides light, there will be bugs, fungus, disease, other assorted weirdness.

I find it's more satisfying to flow with nature than to try and beat her into submission. But what do I know, maybe this grow-lighting of lawns is perfectly common where you live, in which case you should be able to find lots of good advice. I'm sorry, it just seems so strange to me.

Hey, what about AstroTurf? Or painted-on lawns? Last summer there were a couple of companies painting lawns. I kid you not. Anyway, good luck to you.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 9:09PM
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