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Old 02-18-2008, 12:13 PM   #1
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I have a new home construction in Charlotte, NC, that was seeded with Fescue last fall. The grass eventually did fill in, but it is overwhelmed with weeds right now. My plan of attack for the spring is: 1. Aerate, 2. Fertilize, 3. Apply topdressing. Then overseed in the fall.
Does this sound ok? Is the aerate/fertilize/topdressing order correct? Should I use a starter fertilizer to promote root growth (I did not fertilize when the lawn was first seeded), or is that only applicable when you seed?

Thanks.

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Old 02-18-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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Actually you want to aerate, topdress, then fertilize. My first order of business would be elimination of the weeds. I probably wouldn't aerate until fall, but if I did, in this order, aerate, re-seed, and lightly topdress. Not many people topdress a lawn. If you re-seed, use a starter fertilizer like 6-20-20, then follow up a couple weeks later after germination with a balanced fertilizer like 15-15-15. For weed control, I spray a produce called Trimec which won't harm the grass. After your seed has come up and established fairly well, 4-6 weeks after seeding, go ahead and apply a granular pre-emergent, to help keep weeds down. Timing is everything, and being it is mid-Feb, its time to get to work.

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Old 02-18-2008, 03:12 PM   #3
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For weed control, I spray a produce called Trimec which won't harm the grass. After your seed has come up and established fairly well, 4-6 weeks after seeding, go ahead and apply a granular pre-emergent, to help keep weeds down. Timing is everything, and being it is mid-Feb, its time to get to work.
Thanks for the advice.
Should I apply Trimec (or another weed control product) before or after spring fertilization? Or doesn't it matter?
I'm on the fence about aerating now or in the fall. The reason I was leaning towards now is so that the topdressing will work better. My home is a new construction and the soil is mostly clay, so I thought topdressing would improve things.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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It doesn't matter when you apply the fertilizer. The weeds may actually take in the Trimec better when they are actively growing, so post fertilizer application may work. I work on a golf course, and recently we rebuilt our greens, we did not aerify until 7 months later. I'd wait until fall, and concentrate on killing weeds and promoting a stronger, thicker lawn right now. Fescue is a cold season grass, so you want to feed it well spring and fall, and try not to promote too much growth during the warm, humid months of summer. My normal fertilizing would be something like 24-12-24 applications March and April and May once a month at 1 lb/N per 1000sf, and as the heat approaches, going with 10-20-30 style ferts at 1/4 lb/N per 1000sf. If this is confusing, let me know...there are a lot of different fertilizers on the market, some quick, some slow. I like Scotts Contec because its both....a bit of quick green up, and a slow steady feed for a month or so.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:20 AM   #5
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Robert131:
Thank you so much for the advice. I am going to wait until fall to aerate.

I did some research and I discovered that my weeds are actually tall fescue. My lawn is fine fescue, so the tall fescue really stands out. I read that tall fescue seed is sometimes found in cheap fine fescue seed. This doesn't surprise me, since I'm sure my builder used the cheapest seed possible.
Will Trimec work on tall fescue? I'm guessing that my best bet is to dig up the tall fescue plants and fertilize.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:14 PM   #6
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Ouch. No Trimec won't work on grass plants. Only method is handpulling to remove this. Fine fescue is an interesting choice for your location, its very susceptible to disease, especially red thread. Make sure you water only in the mornings. Deep and infrequent.

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