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Old 08-11-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


Hi Everyone,

This post is the main reason I joined DIY chatroom but I'm sure I'll be pretty active after it considering the responses. My lawn at the beginning of the season and into late july was looking great! (Green, healthy, water regularly and extensively on hot days) All of a sudden towards the end of july and into august up to now the lawn has a tremendous amount of weeds and small random brown spot throughout it. I was hoping for a solution to the problem to get it back to its earlier state.

Considering if I have time later I will snap a picture of the damage and post it. Any help would be great as to how to go by this issue.

Thanks!
Chris

The Lawn 1 & 2 photo's are mine, the 3rd photo is my neighbors who doesnt seem to be having this problem although our lawns are basically connected
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST-lawn-1.jpg   Lawn going downhill ... FAST-lawn-2.jpg   Lawn going downhill ... FAST-lawn-3.jpg  


Last edited by cgsager910; 08-11-2012 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Added photos of the problem.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


I am not seeing broadleaf weeds. Am I missing them in the photos?

Weeds looks like crabgrass but I cannot tell for sure. Crabgrasses are annuals that sprout from seed and are usually dealt with with a pre-emergent herbicide. Too late for you this year now. And, in turfgrass management there is a trend toward post-emergent control because treating large areas where there is none is costly in both monetary and environmental terms. I posted a response with an ag extension article about the shift to post-emergent treatment last week and will see if I can find it again. Beat me to it if you can. I am not sure if you need a permit for the herbicides or not. I don't think so because the OP of that post included a picture of a hose end product for crab grass.

Ordinarily mowing tall and regular feeding is a good weed defense---especially with broadleaf weeds. But if you mow tall with crabgrass it will go to seed on you and sprout next year again. So, in your case, plan on laying down a pre-emergent late spring. There are both chemical and organic varieties.

As for brown spots. Any chance pets are using your lawn? Check for insects like grubs and lawn moths, and fungus, especially if you have been watering late enough in the day that the turf does not dry out before sundown. Treat accordingly and carefully with an insectiside or fungicide if needed.

It is awfully expensive for what it is and you can replicate it cheaper but the Scotts program does work if you follow it. Start in this fall but I would deal with the crabgrass now.

Also, once you get the crabgrass under control add de-thatching (if needed) and aeration to your turf maintenance schedule.


Last edited by user1007; 08-11-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


Where do you live?
That looks a little like crab-grass, but I really can't tell from that distance. How about posting an up-close shot. ( or just google crab-grass images and you tell us if that is what is on your lawn)
Is this the first year you lived in that house? That much crab grass would not develope over only one year.

Last edited by SPS-1; 08-15-2012 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


It looks like crab grass to me and I'll sing with the corus here. Early spring treatment. Scott's has several products for crabgrass . I seem to remember picking up a lot of their product in the early spring (Feb, March) when I was driving truck.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:55 AM   #5
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


does your neighbor MULCH his?set the blade 1 step higher and start mulching,couple a bags of top soil walking spreader it around in be liberal.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #6
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


I don't want to hijack anyone's thread, but the Original post here with pics has a lot in common with my lawn and I'm currently floundering with what to do and when. If I need to start a new thread for my lawn, kindly let me know and I'll do so - not sure of the protocol here...

Anyway, sdsester... I've seen your helpful posts all over the forum here and recognize that you've been a turf manager in the past, so I respect your opinion and hope that maybe you can help me get rid of my back thumb. :-)

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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Weeds looks like crabgrass but I cannot tell for sure. Crabgrasses are annuals that sprout from seed and are usually dealt with with a pre-emergent herbicide. Too late for you this year now...

...It is awfully expensive for what it is and you can replicate it cheaper but the Scotts program does work if you follow it. Start in this fall but I would deal with the crabgrass now.
I definitely have crabgrass. In fact, I would guess that at least a quarter to a third of my lawn is crabgrass. In the above post, you mention that it's too late to treat with a pre-emergent herbicide. Which makes sense - since it's already out there and thriving.

When you say "deal with the crabgrass now," what are you suggesting? Walking through and spraying some type of a crabgrass killer on there to kill it of for this year? If so, I assume that this will leave dead spots. For the deadspots, will my lawn fill these areas in or will I need to seed? What do I need to do to promote lawn growth in these areas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Ordinarily mowing tall and regular feeding is a good weed defense---especially with broadleaf weeds. But if you mow tall with crabgrass it will go to seed on you and sprout next year again. So, in your case, plan on laying down a pre-emergent late spring. There are both chemical and organic varieties.
What do you suggest s a good pre-emeragent herbicide to fight off crabgrass in the spring? How do I determine when is best to lay it down?

To add to my issues, I also have a decent sized spot of broad leaf weeds that have completely taken over an area that is a few hundred square feet or so. There is very little grass in this area now - almost none. For this area, I'm thinking that I should spray an herbicide now, to kill the weeds and re-seed. Is this line of thinking correct? What do I need to know before I start? When I spray the herbicide, how long should I wait before I spread seed?

Lastly, how do I pick which variety of seed to use in my lawn and what type of fertilize do I use - and when? I know that I'm asking pretty basic questions here because I'm a complete novice - I appreciate any guidance that you can offer.

I'm unsure if my location is in my profile... I'm in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:22 PM   #7
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


Where are you located?

What is the ph of your soil? PH is very important. Too low, weeds can flourish and grass will suffer.

As mentioned above, get on a good annual lawn program such as Scotts ( I follow one from a local nursery ) and your lawn will perk up in no time.

How do you cut the grass? Do you mulch the clippings or bag or do you discharge them to the side in a windrow? I highly recommend mulching. It recycles the nutrients back into the ground and will help maximize the fertilizer you use.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


MSMA to kill Crabgass!!!
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:19 AM   #9
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MSMA to kill Crabgass!!!
Then what? Assume I would reseed after the crabgrass dies, but how soon? then in the spring use a pre-emergent herbicide?
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:40 AM   #10
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Look online, its only found online at select places but you have to search for it. MSMA to kill it, seed after it dies or seed winter turf grass, then in the spring buy a msma type pre emergent and then seed as directed.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:01 AM   #11
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MSMA MAYBE!!!! You have to use it according to label directions and note that it can kill off things like St. Augustine completely. It can also take out fescues and other creeping type turfgrasses if used at the wrong time of the year. Just be careful and no the risks of applying it please. As mentioned, because it has been abused it is not available in some states. Don't get me wrong, it is a very viable option if used appropriately.

http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/PDFFil...urfgrasses.pdf

It is not the only thing that will kill crabgrass so ignore that comment. Roundup will too but of course will kill anything else it comes in contact with. There are any number of universal grass and brush killers that will kill it also but they may render the soil unplantable for overseeding for a period of time.

Last I looked MSMA is a post-emergent requiring a surfacant to go with it. I do not think it is used for pre-emergent weed control.

Last edited by user1007; 08-24-2012 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:49 PM   #12
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


Anyone knows roundup will kill any green living thing, but who would use that on their lawn to kill any living grass that is left??

Use Prodiamine 65 WDG for pre-emergent crabgrass control in early spring. MSMA if it has already started growing- 2-4 tbs per gallon of water. As with anything, read the directions and know what type of grass you have.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:34 PM   #13
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Lawn going downhill ... FAST


Quote:
Originally Posted by pwgsx View Post
Anyone knows roundup will kill any green living thing, but who would use that on their lawn to kill any living grass that is left??
Certainly was not suggesting to use RoundUp generally but it is highly effective against even crabgrass as a spot systemic herbicide. It is of course non-selective so you do not want to get it on desirable plant material.

Roundup is going to be easier for people in some states to get than MSMA. I was suggesting an option. MSMA is not the only post-emergent approach that can be taken to get rid of crabgrass.

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