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cibula11 01-25-2007 02:28 PM

Seeding for Spring
With spring around the corner, I would like to spend some time and improve the look of my lawn. I spent last year doing a four step process (pretty standard), with weed and feed, etc. There is quite a bit if unwanted weeds and grass that I am clueless as to what it is. There are few areas that actually look like healthy grass. I spent much of the fall raking (dethatching the best that I could). Should I overseed in the spring and when exactly. I live in Iowa by the way. I was thinking of overseeding with perennial rye grass. Suggestions??

Brik 01-25-2007 03:33 PM

Generally you over-seed in the fall. Long enough before the first frost so it establishes yet not too early that summer heat will hinder the new grass. So, round Labor day or so.

As to what you are doing to date. Obviously your 4 step approach is not doing so well or you wouldn't have the weed problem. I have heard "weed & feed" products are not ideal although I have used them.

I have had good success with Vigoro stuff. I think its available at home depot as well as elsewhere. They have a 5 step program for your zone.

cibula11 01-25-2007 03:49 PM

I have only lived in the house about 9 mos. so I haven't really given my yard a chance. I was wondering if there is anything I can do for early spring (other than start a crab grass preventer or another 4/5 step program)?

Brik 01-26-2007 09:32 AM

Seeding can be done but then you cant use a pre-emergent for crabgrass. Pick one. You can seed but it will grow with the crabgrass. If you take care of the crabgrass then there will be less competition for the good stuff to grow.

What I did once was to just seed the bare spots. I then covered them and did the early spring crabgrass preemergent treatment. I used a couple of trash can lids to cover the seeded area.

I'm not sure this really took well. I don't have bare spots any more but I over seeded the last two falls.

I did see Roger Cook on this old house use a crabgrass prevent, over seed and starter fertilizer all at once (three different applications IIRC). He said he had a special pre-emergence stuff that didn't effect his seed. That may be what you want. I googled a bit for you and found this

Reading about this, you should be able to over seed the entire lawn, add extra seed where you have bare spots, treat for crabgrass with Tuppersan and apply a starter fertilizer to help with germination of the new seed and green up of established plants.

cibula11 01-26-2007 09:37 AM

Thanks, I will have to look into it. I guess I should take care of the weeds first, before I worry about anything else. It's just a yard that hasn't had any care ever. I'm sure it will be a slow process getting it back on track. It just drives me nuts, because a bad looking yard makes your house look that much worse. We have a pretty small lot around 10,000 sq ft, so I would like it to look as nice as possible

Brik 01-26-2007 09:43 AM

I with you. My yard is about the same size.

One more point - My next door neigbor uses a pro service for treatments. They are likely applying similar things that I am. They also did a core areation a couple of times. I have only raked with a thatch rake a couple of times.

His lawn looks really bad compared to mine. Whats the difference? Its the mowing. He mows his very low. I think he is trying for that putting green look. He has a lot of dirt showing. I now have none. He mows low, I mow a little higher than most.

cibula11 01-26-2007 09:48 AM

I have done the same thing with raking. Last summer we had a dry spell for about 6 weeks, which didn't help the yard. So, it's definately all about mowing it higher.

sheeter 02-01-2007 05:01 PM

Ye ole Lawn
I'm with you guys. I have about 1 acre in NC and am new to the house myself. Last year I put in an irrigation system, that runs each night during the heat of summer. I have been researching this subject extensively and developed a plan to develop a nice yard. I will overseed this spring with bermuda, which is the type of grass that I have. I will fertilize with a turf type fertilizer in the odd number months and spray Amine 2,4 D in the even number months for weed control. Once I get my bermuda lawn full and healthy, it should prevent the weeds from growing. I hope so at least because I currently have a wild onion problem which makes it difficult when cutting the grass. Anyway, my wife and I purchased a few books, searched online, and talked to a landscape designer. We have enjoyed learning and trying together to develop a nice lawn. Keep trying and working at it, you will succeed.

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