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Old 03-14-2017, 10:24 AM   #1
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Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


We have a 'nothing special' lawn, but have issues with different varieties of weeds. One issue, I think, is a vacant lot next door, which has been there for the 8 years we've owned this house.

It also hasn't helped that we had a 100 year old magnolia in the back yard that had to be removed (including stum grinding) 2 years ago. No grass grew under it.

My wife keeps pressing me to get some Scott's Weed & Feed, but when I google for info (ignoring the Scott's links), none of the sites mention it.

What I've mostly seen are recommendations of controlling weeds by promoting healthy lawn growth. The main method seems to be not cutting too short and not allowing to grow too long. We were cutting it pretty short, but last year, I bought a mulching mower, adjusted it to an acceptable height and never let it grow too long.

This winter (deep south), the weeds seem more prevalent, so I've come here looking for recommendations.

As I mentioned, there are a variety of weeds, but the most prevalent seems to be dollar weed (as in photo).

So what do you experts say? Thanks for any help!

Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?-20170314_095731.jpg
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:01 AM   #2
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


How much work are you willing to put into this? You could hire a lawn service, you could apply fertilizer and weed killer yourself. All of this really doesn't matter if you don't get out and water the lawn when it needs it, though.

A soil test is always a good place to start.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:18 PM   #3
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


Thanks for the reply. I have no problem with the fertilizer and weed killer but am unsure of what to use. And of course, I'd need to educate myself on how to apply it.

As far as watering, I do live in a rainy climate.

As to the work I'm willing to put in, it's more a matter of how much time I can give it. We keep pretty busy, but I could put in a moderate amount of time. I'm not sure how that would hinder resolution.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:19 PM   #4
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


We're no longer allowed to use chemical weed killers for domestic use. The ones that are still available are, in my experience, only marginally effective. Our only real option is promoting strong grass growth which actually does work at keeping weeds at bay. Hiring a lawn service for a couple of seasons to get you to a good 'baseline' lawn might be a good investment. Homeowners tend to over apply - a good licensed operator will apply material close to what is recommended, and they can often use chemicals that homeowners cannot.

You can only control your own property and you will be fighting a constant battle against whatever blows in from over the fence.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:31 PM   #5
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


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Old 03-15-2017, 09:45 AM   #6
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


We have a country lawn, "nothing special" as you said, several acres, so I don't worry about all of it, but do like to keep it looking nice in front of and around the house. Over the years I have tried different approaches; hiring it sprayed, private branded weed and feed, and Scott's weed and feed. Nothing scientific as far as monitoring results, I don't water although I do watch the forecasts closely when planning to do the next application, and of course some summers are cooler than others, some are warmer, some are wetter or drier, so a lot of variables. But I honestly believe that my best results have been with Scott's. Depending on how far you want to take it they have more to offer, but I think that watering becomes a critical part of the process at some point, so, because I don't water, I have simply stuck with spring and fall weed and feed, and that alone makes a big difference for our lawn.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


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I think that watering becomes a critical part of the process at some point
Absolutely and that's part of why I ask about level of effort. In my case, I have about 13,000 ft² of lawn, which isn't huge, but the soil is sand so I have to water a lot and I have to move each of two sprinklers seven times to cover the whole area. Invariably, when it gets hot and dry in July, I will fail to be able to keep up and the lawn will go dormant on me. That's when the weeds can take over.

Neighbor across the street works from home and has a smaller yard plus he brought in 100 yards of quality top soil before he seeded so he can stay on top of the watering and his lawn is so healthy it squeezes out the weeds.
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:40 PM   #8
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


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Originally Posted by stick\shift View Post
Absolutely and that's part of why I ask about level of effort. In my case, I have about 13,000 ft² of lawn, which isn't huge, but the soil is sand so I have to water a lot and I have to move each of two sprinklers seven times to cover the whole area. Invariably, when it gets hot and dry in July, I will fail to be able to keep up and the lawn will go dormant on me. That's when the weeds can take over.

Neighbor across the street works from home and has a smaller yard plus he brought in 100 yards of quality top soil before he seeded so he can stay on top of the watering and his lawn is so healthy it squeezes out the weeds.
That sounds exactly like my yard. Even though I'm retired, schlepping the sprinkler around morning and evening - because watering during the heat of the day is pointless - takes a lot of time, and if you away for a hot week, you've lost. I'm seriously thinking of a sprinkler system.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:38 PM   #9
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


I long for the day when turf lawns become passe'. The time, water, fertilizer, and many are inappropriate breeds of grass for their location which just adds insult to injury. It seems though schools and local parks seem to have a decent handle on maintaining playing fields with minimal effort. I'd find one of those guys and pick their brain.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:25 AM   #10
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Re: Declaring war on weeds...but what to do?


1) get yourself a weed tool and spend 15-20 mins pulling them every saturday AM. Over time you'll have pulled almost everything. If you have dandelions etc. don't let them get to the point where they can spread.

2) get some fertilizer into there, by means of doing it yourself or a pro (probably better off using a pro here - he will know what's local to your area and what works/doesn't work)

3) water

Don't expect miracles overnight. It will take 1-2 seasons.
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