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Old 04-14-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
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Best Plan of Action? (Newbie!)


This is my first season taking care of a lawn. I've read the "Lawn Care for Dummies" book, so I know only the basics.

Our lawn is nice and lush in some areas, but we have a good amount of dead patches here and there, and some bad areas of crab grass. So my goals are to (1) re-seed the dead spots, and (2) get rid of the crab grass.

I already limed this year and today I applied Scotts Turf Builder Plus Crab Grass Control. After applying, I read on the bag that I shouldn't seed for 4 months. This was very disappointing because I had planned on re-seeding right away.

So what is the optimal timeline for everything? Should I have re-seeded earlier in the spring, or is it better to wait until the fall anyway? Has anybody re-seeded earlier than the recommended 4 months with any success?

And about the crabgrass, I know the Scotts Turf Builder Plus Crab Grass Control won't kill the existing crabgrass, so I sprayed the large patches with some crab grass killer. Is this an effective method for now?

I live in MA and I think I have a mix of Kentucky Bluegrass and Rye
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:55 AM   #2
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The herbicide you applied to control crabgrass is a PRE-EMERGENT type that is designed to keep seed from sprouting so that is why there is a recommendation not to apply new seed for 4 months. You should wait out that recommended period now.

I would encourage you to buy seed now though because this time of year you can buy exactly what you want in bulk. If a blend of hybrid perrenial rye and bluegrass is working for you than that is what you should get.

While you wait the fertilizer will do its thing and if broadleaf weeds are also an issue you should treat them with a POST-EMERGENT herbicide. Something hose end like Weed-B-Gone might be a good choice. You may have to dig out or treat existing crabgrass clumps with something like Round-Up which is a POST-EMERGENT, NON-SELECTIVE, SYSTEMIC herbicide. It will kill anything it touches so be careful.

If you have not aerated in awhile you might as well get on a schedule for that when a company is working your area.

Meanwhile water early in the day if you can and never so late that moisture stays in the turf overnight if possible. Doing so just encourages disease spores and insects. Mow high to discourage weed growth.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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I sprayed the crabgrass patches with some post-emergent herbicide... a type that says it won't kill the "good" grass. And I've been attacking each patch (slowly but surely) with a weed tool. I also walk around the yard regularly to pull up any broad leaf weeds that I see. Luckily, we haven't had too many of those.

Pulling up all that crabgrass obviously leaves more empty patches. Can't wait to seed in 4 months!!

I'll call around this week to see about having the lawn aerated.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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Pretty much everything you might do before the fall is of marginal value coming into summer.

Still rake out the rotten and add soil and fertilize and water and seed to (after the herbicide dissipates)...
but that same effort will have 10X the effect in the fall.
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