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lawnguru wannabe
05-19-2010, 08:10 PM
This house was just built July 2008. The first summer we layed down seed just on the outer part surrounding the house (approximately a half acre), and then mowed the rest of the 'hay field' (really was a hay field) in hopes that after continuous mowing it would turn to grass. Attached you'll see what it looks like now. I have applied fertilizer once in the fall of 2008, and then again last spring (2009). I put down weed and feed. This year, so far I haven't been able to put down any fertilizer since it says the grass should be 'wet' when I put it down, and I've been gone just about every time after it has rained. I've heard you can turn on the sprinklers then put the fertilizer down after that, but with what we have mowed right now (the part we spread seed down, and the part that we mowed that was hayfield, that is almost 2 acres so almost impossible with the time I have.

Few questions I have:

--what's the proper fertilizer treatment from year to year in a lawn this young?
--can i keep on mowing the 'hayfield' part in hopes that it will eventually all turn to grass?
--does my lawn look like it needs nitrogen? it looked good about a month ago but since has turned brown.
--as you can see i have a substantial dandelion problem, as well as clover growing in spots all over the yard. what's a good treatment for that?
--additionally, when spraying, do i need to be careful of trees that were planted last year?

I think that's about all the questions I have for now. I'm a newbie for sure....and new to this site. I appreciate any feedback.

Thanks! :)

bigslick7878
05-20-2010, 12:56 AM
A little seed here and a little fertilizer there is not going to fix that yard, you are wasting your time.

If you want a nice lawn it is going to cost time and money to fix that, and probably a good amount of it.

How much are you prepared to spend?

jnt412
05-20-2010, 11:05 AM
I agree with bigslick. Its possible to get the results you want but it won't happen over night for sure. The WHOLE area will need to be treated with WeednFeed. If not, the weed problem will continue to occur. The wind will make sure of that... What kind of Weed n Feed did you use?

lawnguru wannabe
05-20-2010, 01:21 PM
I actually don't have a ton of money to spend on the lawn so if it takes some time I can live with that. I just bought a pull-behind atv sprayer that I'm going to use. After I cut tonight I'm going to wait a couple days and spray a light mixture of 2-4D on there. I do have the weed and feed granuale fertilizer yet too...Should I apply that after spraying, and if so, how long should I wait?

Thanks for your assistance!

bigslick7878
05-20-2010, 02:51 PM
I can't even tell where the yard is, is it the cutout that is shorter than all the rest??

And what is with the odd shape cutout and wood in pic #3??

Also see all those nice big tall weeds around the lawn? The seed from all that garbage will be constantly blowing right onto your lawn and giving you more weeds.

jnt412
05-20-2010, 03:21 PM
I actually don't have a ton of money to spend on the lawn so if it takes some time I can live with that. I just bought a pull-behind atv sprayer that I'm going to use. After I cut tonight I'm going to wait a couple days and spray a light mixture of 2-4D on there. I do have the weed and feed granuale fertilizer yet too...Should I apply that after spraying, and if so, how long should I wait?

Thanks for your assistance!

Once you spray for weeds you shouldn't have to apply granule weednfeed. I sometimes use a product called Momentum Force from John Deere (formly Lesco). It comes in liquid and granuler. I takes care of the dannies, chick weeds... etc but its slow on clover. Once the weeds are under control I would do a soil test since you have been putting chemicals on the grass prevously and recently.

lawnguru wannabe
05-20-2010, 04:34 PM
I can't even tell where the yard is, is it the cutout that is shorter than all the rest??

And what is with the odd shape cutout and wood in pic #3??

Also see all those nice big tall weeds around the lawn? The seed from all that garbage will be constantly blowing right onto your lawn and giving you more weeds.


yes, it's the cut-out area. what surrounds it is a hayfield. this is a new sub-division that used to be farm fields. eventually i am planning on making my whole lot a yard, but until then, i have the neighbor farmer come in and bale it three times a year.

the odd shape is the area that goes to the back of our lot and the mound system. i mow that. an area for our bonfire, etc.

i hear you about the weeds from the hayfield, BUT, even if i make that whole area lawn right now, there is still the hay field on the lot next to me that isn't developed yet that will still blow into mine.

lawnguru wannabe
05-20-2010, 04:36 PM
Once you spray for weeds you shouldn't have to apply granule weednfeed. I sometimes use a product called Momentum Force from John Deere (formly Lesco). It comes in liquid and granuler. I takes care of the dannies, chick weeds... etc but its slow on clover. Once the weeds are under control I would do a soil test since you have been putting chemicals on the grass prevously and recently.

that was my original thought...now that i have the sprayer. i won't be applying the granular weed and feed from here on out, but will just be putting down the regular granular fertilizer. does that sound about right? how often do you spray for weeds? i heard twice a year. once in the may/june area and then anytime after labor day.

yes, i do have quite a bit of clover in my yard yet. will that stuff that you mentioned eventually do the trick on it, or is 2-4d maybe better? what's the difference between that and 2-4d?

RigglePLC
05-20-2010, 10:47 PM
You are on the right track. Apply the weed and feed. It will take out the dandelions after 3 weeks. And stimulate thicker grass and more green. Apply it when there is a heavy dew early in the morning. Use the weed spray after about 6 to 8 weeks. Spread fertilizer at about the same time--Apply fert just before a good rain if possible. Do the same fert about mid September. Spray the weeds again in Sept. Try to avoid rain for 24 hours after your weed spray. As long as you are spraying weeds in fall as well as spring--the weeds upwind of you will not be a big factor.

jnt412
05-21-2010, 11:42 AM
that was my original thought...now that i have the sprayer. i won't be applying the granular weed and feed from here on out, but will just be putting down the regular granular fertilizer. does that sound about right? how often do you spray for weeds? i heard twice a year. once in the may/june area and then anytime after labor day.

yes, i do have quite a bit of clover in my yard yet. will that stuff that you mentioned eventually do the trick on it, or is 2-4d maybe better? what's the difference between that and 2-4d?

24d is in alot of herbicides including Momentum.. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?p=1433737

Personally, I treat for weeds one time only in the spring and seed in the fall. Just apply a second application if needed. What type of sprayer are you using?.. I have a tow-behind Brinkly Sprayer that I used to treat a backyard full of ivory last weekend. Cheapo sprayer, but did a dayum good job...

ChiTownAmateur
05-21-2010, 11:51 AM
I think the easy plan is this, every year:

> Spring. Weed and feed. Get those apps down as early as possible in spring to keep as many weeds off the lawn as possible. Apply weed and feed until end of June (potentially 2 apps....late March and late June (pros needed here)

> Summer. Let it be whatever it will be. Water as frequently as possible.

> Fall. Aearate and overseed. Basically the weed and feed every spring sets up the lawn to grow on it's own and then in fall the aerate/overseed combo will put down more KBG. Use a really aggressively spreading mixture of pure KBG (it's all sun in that plot).

Repeat, every year. Cost = 2 apps of Weed and Feed, one aearation, one overseed...what is that maybe $300 a year?

lawnguru wannabe
05-21-2010, 12:41 PM
You are on the right track. Apply the weed and feed. It will take out the dandelions after 3 weeks. And stimulate thicker grass and more green. Apply it when there is a heavy dew early in the morning. Use the weed spray after about 6 to 8 weeks. Spread fertilizer at about the same time--Apply fert just before a good rain if possible. Do the same fert about mid September. Spray the weeds again in Sept. Try to avoid rain for 24 hours after your weed spray. As long as you are spraying weeds in fall as well as spring--the weeds upwind of you will not be a big factor.


So I should apply my weed and feed granuale fertilizer now, then wait 6-8 weeks before applying the spray? ....then apply regular fertilizer at that same time? What kind of fertilizer would you recommend for this lawn, which is 1.5 years old as stated above? I've read a lot and I've heard of a lot of people putting down triple 10 or triple 19...Are these good?

lawnguru wannabe
05-21-2010, 12:44 PM
24d is in alot of herbicides including Momentum.. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?p=1433737

Personally, I treat for weeds one time only in the spring and seed in the fall. Just apply a second application if needed. What type of sprayer are you using?.. I have a tow-behind Brinkly Sprayer that I used to treat a backyard full of ivory last weekend. Cheapo sprayer, but did a dayum good job...


I just bought a tow-behind 20 gallon Fimco sprayer. Has a hand wand too. My neighbor just used it this last week and applied weed and feed liquid. Would you guys recommend the liquid fertilizer or the granuales? I have heard that the granuales last longer.

Thanks!

lawnguru wannabe
05-21-2010, 12:46 PM
I think the easy plan is this, every year:

> Spring. Weed and feed. Get those apps down as early as possible in spring to keep as many weeds off the lawn as possible. Apply weed and feed until end of June (potentially 2 apps....late March and late June (pros needed here)

> Summer. Let it be whatever it will be. Water as frequently as possible.

> Fall. Aearate and overseed. Basically the weed and feed every spring sets up the lawn to grow on it's own and then in fall the aerate/overseed combo will put down more KBG. Use a really aggressively spreading mixture of pure KBG (it's all sun in that plot).

Repeat, every year. Cost = 2 apps of Weed and Feed, one aearation, one overseed...what is that maybe $300 a year?


Thanks for the info. Question though, might seem like an obvious answer, but what is KBG?

ChiTownAmateur
05-21-2010, 05:46 PM
kbg = kentucky bluegrass

in a plot like that in the middle of wisconsin with full sun, kentucky bluegrass will thrive in that plot. you probably have a mixture in there right now including some rye but with as much sun as it will get, kbg will look and spread the best.

think of your process as an ongoing, easy renovation. in the spring, you apply the right chemicals that will prevent weeds and kill them if they are already there. In the same timeframe you fertilize. The result in spring is to clear the weeds out, and give the existing grass the chance to dig deeper roots, and spread into the empty spaces left by the weeds

in summer you keep it watered as much as possible to keep it growing. enjoy it, have parties, the kids run around no problems

in fall you aerate so that you keep the soil from compacting, and provide easy access for new seeds. you overseed at the same time to put down fresh new grass that will fill in empty areas. Just as fall turns to winter you will have established the new grass.

in spring that new grass has another chance to continue rooting into the ground before the hot summer. apply weed and feed again and repeat...as the years go by you will have a very simple routine and a beautiful yard by middle of next year. You'll still get some very nice results this year also, it may be a little bare in areas of weeds during part of the summer the first year...just part of the process.

lawnguru wannabe
05-21-2010, 06:02 PM
kbg = kentucky bluegrass

in a plot like that in the middle of wisconsin with full sun, kentucky bluegrass will thrive in that plot. you probably have a mixture in there right now including some rye but with as much sun as it will get, kbg will look and spread the best.

think of your process as an ongoing, easy renovation. in the spring, you apply the right chemicals that will prevent weeds and kill them if they are already there. In the same timeframe you fertilize. The result in spring is to clear the weeds out, and give the existing grass the chance to dig deeper roots, and spread into the empty spaces left by the weeds

in summer you keep it watered as much as possible to keep it growing. enjoy it, have parties, the kids run around no problems

in fall you aerate so that you keep the soil from compacting, and provide easy access for new seeds. you overseed at the same time to put down fresh new grass that will fill in empty areas. Just as fall turns to winter you will have established the new grass.

in spring that new grass has another chance to continue rooting into the ground before the hot summer. apply weed and feed again and repeat...as the years go by you will have a very simple routine and a beautiful yard by middle of next year. You'll still get some very nice results this year also, it may be a little bare in areas of weeds during part of the summer the first year...just part of the process.

Thanks for the info from you and from everyone else. I'll try that. I'm not 100% sure what kind of grass is there now. The builder put it down when we built the house, and I overseeded with a contractor's blend from a fleet store. I could go to the store and look at the packaging and see.

lawnguru wannabe
05-21-2010, 06:03 PM
Is there a timeframe from when I can put my fertilizer down and when I spray herbicide? For example, if I spray herbicide I have to wait so many days/weeks to put down fertilizer. Also, what about putting down grass seed and fertilizing/spraying?

Thanks!!!!

ChiTownAmateur
05-21-2010, 09:37 PM
Fertilizer and weed control often are done at the same time and that's absolutely fine. fertilizer and new seeding go hand in hand, and typically a "starter" fertilizer is used. Nothing fancy, it's just formulated for root growth and new seeds.

The ONLY issue is you cannot seed and do weed control together. The only easy-to-get product for weed control AND seeding is siduron, found in something like Scott's Step 1. It is designed for crabgrass and a few other weeds, but isn't going to do the job against the onslaught you'll have from the surrounding fields. It's also very expensive making it an option you don't want to consider.

You need 8 weeks minimum after weed treatment to seed. That's why your last weed treatment needs to be done by end of June so you have 8 weeks before Sept 1, which is when you want to get that KBG seed down.

Start another thread asking for KBG seed blend advice or go online to a seed store and write them asking for recommendations for the best KBG to overseed with in your area. The seed people are experts and will give good advice.

Purchase the recommended amount and aearate your lawn and then overseed at the same time. You can hire someone to do it relatively cheap also (not as fun though :) )

RigglePLC
05-21-2010, 11:53 PM
Wannabe, A professional could do this best. However...
In future years, apply crabgrass control with fertilizer about the week of the first mowing. 4 to 6 weeks later apply fertilizer and weed control. Weed n feed is Ok, but liquid spray for weeds followed by a granular product for fert is better. Use a fertilizer designed for turf like 25-0-5. (no 12-12-12, please.)
Apply dry fert and liquid weed control in the fall. However, this year, if you plan to seed, apply liquid weed control in late August and apply fertilizer and seed about a week later.

Stay away from "Contractors Mix" lawn seed. It is another phrase for cheapest possible seed--it contains mostly cheap types of ryegrass. That means you probably have mostly ryegrass already. I suggest a high-quality ryegrass KBG blend. The good stuff will have better germination, be genetically disease resistant and darker green.

lawnguru wannabe
05-22-2010, 02:38 PM
Fertilizer and weed control often are done at the same time and that's absolutely fine. fertilizer and new seeding go hand in hand, and typically a "starter" fertilizer is used. Nothing fancy, it's just formulated for root growth and new seeds.

The ONLY issue is you cannot seed and do weed control together. The only easy-to-get product for weed control AND seeding is siduron, found in something like Scott's Step 1. It is designed for crabgrass and a few other weeds, but isn't going to do the job against the onslaught you'll have from the surrounding fields. It's also very expensive making it an option you don't want to consider.

You need 8 weeks minimum after weed treatment to seed. That's why your last weed treatment needs to be done by end of June so you have 8 weeks before Sept 1, which is when you want to get that KBG seed down.

Start another thread asking for KBG seed blend advice or go online to a seed store and write them asking for recommendations for the best KBG to overseed with in your area. The seed people are experts and will give good advice.

Purchase the recommended amount and aearate your lawn and then overseed at the same time. You can hire someone to do it relatively cheap also (not as fun though :) )

That's some great advice...Thanks for the info. You say wait at least 8 weeks between after weed treatment to overseed, but then the individual below your post says a week? Is there a difference with the type of weed control you put down and when you can seed? Thanks!

lawnguru wannabe
05-22-2010, 02:42 PM
Wannabe, A professional could do this best. However...
In future years, apply crabgrass control with fertilizer about the week of the first mowing. 4 to 6 weeks later apply fertilizer and weed control. Weed n feed is Ok, but liquid spray for weeds followed by a granular product for fert is better. Use a fertilizer designed for turf like 25-0-5. (no 12-12-12, please.)
Apply dry fert and liquid weed control in the fall. However, this year, if you plan to seed, apply liquid weed control in late August and apply fertilizer and seed about a week later.

Stay away from "Contractors Mix" lawn seed. It is another phrase for cheapest possible seed--it contains mostly cheap types of ryegrass. That means you probably have mostly ryegrass already. I suggest a high-quality ryegrass KBG blend. The good stuff will have better germination, be genetically disease resistant and darker green.

Couple questions...is there a crabgrass preventer in liquid form, so when I put it down in the spring I can just spray it on?

Also, should I be using that fertilizer that you suggested (25-0-5) every time I put it down in the spring and the fall, or are there different kinds you put down in the spring versus the fall, etc? I know the second two numbers are for the 'food' for the lawn, so if the middle number, which I believe is phosporous, is 0, will that deprive the lawn of needed nutrients? I have neighbors that tell me to put down triple 19 or triple 10...But they aren't lawn care gurus either. The same neighbors told me about the contractors mix! lol I'll look into some good quality KBG and overseed with that. Do you know of any off hand?

Thanks, you guys are wonderful and I'm learning a lot!:)

RigglePLC
05-22-2010, 04:53 PM
Crabgrass preventer in liquid form is rare in the consumer market. Go with a granule(next yr). Phosphorus is seldom needed in the midwest, and it causes algae in lakes--Michigan and Minnesota have banned it, unless a soil test shows that it is needed. For the fert, use a product that is in a ratio of a large first number (nitrogen), then zero, then a small third number, potasssium. High-quality fert will have at least 30 percent of the nitrogen in the slow-release form. 50 percent is better. Same ratio is fine.
Scotts Turfbuilder "Sun and Shade" seed is the top consumer brand. (Kbg plus improved rye). Look for something with low weed seeds, genetic dark green, disease resistance, tested within 6 months, germination 90 percent--or at least 85 percent. I guess my opinion is different regards how soon you can seed after broadleaf weed control. (However crabgrass control will block seed emergence for 8 to 12 weeks).

lawnguru wannabe
05-23-2010, 01:33 AM
Just curious, but why is phosphorous not needed that much in the midwest? I have heard that it's banned, but I have heard of guys going to a co-op and getting it there now. I'm not a fan since like you said it gets in the lakes/streams and creates unwanted algae, but wondering what the effects are on the grass when you do put it on, versus when you don't put it on.

So would something like 20-0-10 work...For example? I heard that the higher nitrogen content the more likely you can burn your grass?

Thanks!

RigglePLC
05-23-2010, 10:17 AM
Wannabe, good questions. Phos is needed mainly for production of grain, fruit and flowers, it has nothing to do with the green color of grass. And if the lawn has been fertilized in the past, it probably has an excess built up from previus years, phosphorus hangs around. Phos deficiencies in grass are rare. Normally, you would see no response whatever if you applied phos by itself to grass. It does help stimulate new seed--but even that effect is minor compared to nitrogen.
20-0-10 would work fine. High nitrogen products can burn--but if the nitrogen is in slow-release form--that part of the fert is non-burning. So a 37-0-0 product that was 100 percent coated would be considered non-burning. Such a product would be combined with the cheaper fast release (burn prone) product to make a typical lawn fertilizer.

naughty62
05-23-2010, 10:36 AM
There is a reason why the land around there is hay ground not crop land .If thes soil has low organic material and retains water poorly you may have to divide the property into high maintance area and low maintance areas .The high traffic are around the wood pile would be a good area to use a fescue ,rye ,BG mix .With out irrigation or soil improvement you may never get a good stand of BG .Fescue and PRG will take the heat better .Improve the area around the house , the area people are willing to water and topdress .rome was not built in a day .Find a local pro and have them look at the property .You can waste alot of time and money .old golf course supers ,Co-OP managers,lawn- landscape owners or the old guy with best looking lawn in the neiborhood .I wouldn't try planting straight BG because it germinate slower and by looks of property would need a cover like PRG at the least.

lawnguru wannabe
05-24-2010, 02:47 AM
Wannabe, good questions. Phos is needed mainly for production of grain, fruit and flowers, it has nothing to do with the green color of grass. And if the lawn has been fertilized in the past, it probably has an excess built up from previus years, phosphorus hangs around. Phos deficiencies in grass are rare. Normally, you would see no response whatever if you applied phos by itself to grass. It does help stimulate new seed--but even that effect is minor compared to nitrogen.
20-0-10 would work fine. High nitrogen products can burn--but if the nitrogen is in slow-release form--that part of the fert is non-burning. So a 37-0-0 product that was 100 percent coated would be considered non-burning. Such a product would be combined with the cheaper fast release (burn prone) product to make a typical lawn fertilizer.

So would you recommend planting the same type fertilizer in the spring as wells as in the fall? This is besides the crabgrass preventer that I would put down in the spring.

Does it say on the product if it's slow release or not? Thanks!

lawnguru wannabe
05-24-2010, 02:48 AM
There is a reason why the land around there is hay ground not crop land .If thes soil has low organic material and retains water poorly you may have to divide the property into high maintance area and low maintance areas .The high traffic are around the wood pile would be a good area to use a fescue ,rye ,BG mix .With out irrigation or soil improvement you may never get a good stand of BG .Fescue and PRG will take the heat better .Improve the area around the house , the area people are willing to water and topdress .rome was not built in a day .Find a local pro and have them look at the property .You can waste alot of time and money .old golf course supers ,Co-OP managers,lawn- landscape owners or the old guy with best looking lawn in the neiborhood .I wouldn't try planting straight BG because it germinate slower and by looks of property would need a cover like PRG at the least.

What's PRG? You wouldn't recommend overseeding with just KBG? The guy previous in the thread said that KBG was prob. the best way to go? Just was wondering on the reasoning one or the other.

bigslick7878
05-24-2010, 03:56 AM
What's PRG? You wouldn't recommend overseeding with just KBG? The guy previous in the thread said that KBG was prob. the best way to go? Just was wondering on the reasoning one or the other.

Perennial.

Rye.

Grass.

Lots of people use that in a mix to get grass started when they use KBG. The Rye will come up in about 7 days and the KBG takes about 14. And I will disagree with whoever said it takes the heat well, it needs a lot of water and is not a good grass for high temps and heat. But in your neck of the woods I doubt that will be an issue.

You can use a KBG mix just remember it will take a very long time to come up initially.

RigglePLC
05-24-2010, 10:23 AM
You can use the same fertilizer year around, except for crabgrass/fert in spring. You will have to read the bag label carefully to find the percent slow-release. It will usually say down below in the fine print, next to an asterisk, something like, "12 percent slowly available nitrogen derived from sulfur coated, polymer coated urea". So if it was 25-0-5, 12 percent is high value slow release, and 13 percent is cheap quick release.

Kentucky bluegrass is very slow to establish--if you overseed without tilling the soil-- you might get almost nothing. In an overseed situation KBG plus perennial rye is a better choice. I agree with Bigslick--perennial rye is good, but not particularly resistant to heat. Perennial rye has no ability to creep, but KBG has rhizomes so it creeps and spreads to fill in holes. So a mixture with KBG is better because a mixture is more self-healing, in case of burn-out or other damage. Do you plan to irrigate the area? If not, you may wish to include some high-quality turf type tall fescue, TTTF, is more heat resistant, but it also is non-creeping, so it must be mixed with KBG. The cheaper types of tall fescue (like K-31) have a very wide leaf blade, avoid these weed-like grasses.

What kind of soil do you have? Sand ? Loam? Clay? Black? Yellow? Acid? Do you have a soil test?

ChiTownAmateur
05-24-2010, 11:41 AM
the weed control needs to be applied 8 weeks before seeding. The weed control products themselves have that on the labels. Is it set in stone? I suppose not but I wouldn't want to make the effort to do a step without knowing it has a 100% chance of taking

as for the seed choices i personally think rye grass has little value to your plot. rye helps establish a lawn early on and get roots down deep. Looking at that lawn now there is plenty of coverage and deep roots holding things down. Rye grows very fast and will eventually get overtaken by the bluegrass in the hottest weather.

Fescue adds value if you don't plan to water often. It is a clumpy grass though and won't look quite as nice. If you don't water often, get a fescue (20%) and bluegrass (80%) mix of some sort.

But if you can water at least 1x week during hot weeks a pure bluegrass mixture will do the best. It will look beautiful and is the most heat tolerant for a northern grass.

Overseeding will not be improved in this case by adding rye or fescue. The roots are already established in this lawn, it's just a matter of what fills in the holes. Bluegrass added to the top of the soil will germinate very well in fall, it just needs to be down early enough (1st week or 2 of sept latest) for enough time to germinate and root.

Don't complicate this. Contact a seed company either locally or on-line, shown them the pictures and ask for their best reco on what seeds to use. Let them know you'll pay a few extra $$$ for the better improved KBG's if that is what they recommend.

RigglePLC
05-24-2010, 12:07 PM
And I woud like to point out a problem, Wannabe,
Lots of people from further south refer to turf type tall fescue (TTTF) as "fescue". It should not be confused with fine fescue, red fescue, hard fescue, sheep fescue or creeping red fescue---which are all forms of fine fescue--a shade-adapted grass which is not suitable for hot-climate, hot-sun situations.
Read the label carefully for info or restrictions on how soon you can apply seed after broadleaf weed control. I suggest, if you seed in the fall do it when the soil temp is still high for quickest germination, but after the fall cool down has started. In your area about when the temp comes down to a high of 80 degrees. Probably about Aug 15 in your area. About 8 weeks before frost. I don't disagree--just have my own opinion, that is all.

ChiTownAmateur
05-24-2010, 03:53 PM
Trust me and Riggle here my man. KBG is the way to go. TTTF is nice stuff also but not nearly the same as the KBG. It has a big benefit of being lower mainteance but the reason most don't use it is simply because it's not nearly as nice.

Here's a link to one of a zillion companies and their recommendations for Wisconsin:

http://www.lawngrass.com/states/wisconson.html

lawnguru wannabe
05-25-2010, 07:30 PM
You can use the same fertilizer year around, except for crabgrass/fert in spring. You will have to read the bag label carefully to find the percent slow-release. It will usually say down below in the fine print, next to an asterisk, something like, "12 percent slowly available nitrogen derived from sulfur coated, polymer coated urea". So if it was 25-0-5, 12 percent is high value slow release, and 13 percent is cheap quick release.

Kentucky bluegrass is very slow to establish--if you overseed without tilling the soil-- you might get almost nothing. In an overseed situation KBG plus perennial rye is a better choice. I agree with Bigslick--perennial rye is good, but not particularly resistant to heat. Perennial rye has no ability to creep, but KBG has rhizomes so it creeps and spreads to fill in holes. So a mixture with KBG is better because a mixture is more self-healing, in case of burn-out or other damage. Do you plan to irrigate the area? If not, you may wish to include some high-quality turf type tall fescue, TTTF, is more heat resistant, but it also is non-creeping, so it must be mixed with KBG. The cheaper types of tall fescue (like K-31) have a very wide leaf blade, avoid these weed-like grasses.

What kind of soil do you have? Sand ? Loam? Clay? Black? Yellow? Acid? Do you have a soil test?

So would you recommend something like 25-0-5 then for spring and fall fertilizing? ...and when you talk about slow release, what should the % of slow release be to be optimal?

I won't have an irrigation system put in, but I will water with sprinklers when needed just around the house. Most of the lawn won't get touched. What kind of seed would you recommend for this? Would I need to buy two different kinds and mixing them?

We have mainly clay-type soil. Haven't done a soil test on my property yet since we moved in July 2008...Should have and prob. will do here shortly.

lawnguru wannabe
05-25-2010, 07:35 PM
the weed control needs to be applied 8 weeks before seeding. The weed control products themselves have that on the labels. Is it set in stone? I suppose not but I wouldn't want to make the effort to do a step without knowing it has a 100% chance of taking

as for the seed choices i personally think rye grass has little value to your plot. rye helps establish a lawn early on and get roots down deep. Looking at that lawn now there is plenty of coverage and deep roots holding things down. Rye grows very fast and will eventually get overtaken by the bluegrass in the hottest weather.

Fescue adds value if you don't plan to water often. It is a clumpy grass though and won't look quite as nice. If you don't water often, get a fescue (20%) and bluegrass (80%) mix of some sort.

But if you can water at least 1x week during hot weeks a pure bluegrass mixture will do the best. It will look beautiful and is the most heat tolerant for a northern grass.

Overseeding will not be improved in this case by adding rye or fescue. The roots are already established in this lawn, it's just a matter of what fills in the holes. Bluegrass added to the top of the soil will germinate very well in fall, it just needs to be down early enough (1st week or 2 of sept latest) for enough time to germinate and root.

Don't complicate this. Contact a seed company either locally or on-line, shown them the pictures and ask for their best reco on what seeds to use. Let them know you'll pay a few extra $$$ for the better improved KBG's if that is what they recommend.

Question on over-seeding. Do you just put it in a spreader and go up and down your lawn, or does it need to do something else to make it take better? I've always thought (and what I did last fall) was just get the spreader out and go up and down the lawn...then wait for rain to pound it in the soil. Is this right?

lawnguru wannabe
05-25-2010, 07:38 PM
Trust me and Riggle here my man. KBG is the way to go. TTTF is nice stuff also but not nearly the same as the KBG. It has a big benefit of being lower mainteance but the reason most don't use it is simply because it's not nearly as nice.

Here's a link to one of a zillion companies and their recommendations for Wisconsin:

http://www.lawngrass.com/states/wisconson.html

Thanks for the info I'll take a look at that link. Only problem with KBG is that I'll only be watering the part of my lawn that is around my house. Since I won't have irrigation, and my lawn is decent sized, I prob. won't be running the sprinklers out any further. Will that cause a problem with KBG? ...and can I overseed with KBG or do I need a mixture? Thanks!

bigslick7878
05-25-2010, 08:37 PM
Thanks for the info I'll take a look at that link. Only problem with KBG is that I'll only be watering the part of my lawn that is around my house. Since I won't have irrigation, and my lawn is decent sized, I prob. won't be running the sprinklers out any further. Will that cause a problem with KBG? ...and can I overseed with KBG or do I need a mixture? Thanks!

You can buy sprinklers that will solve that problem.

And yes, if you dont water the seed you might have a slight problem. Like it can't grow without water type problem.

RigglePLC
05-25-2010, 10:34 PM
Sorry, some experts don't have the same suggestions as me. I would suggest a seed mixture of KBG and per rye around the house in the near yard which will be watered, (maybe Scotts Sun and Shade). Further out would be best sown with Turf type tall fescue (top quality type--no K-31).
Like: http://www.amazon.com/Scotts-11717-Tall-Fescue-Grass/dp/B000A09DW6

In both cases I suggest you should reduce competition from your present grass. Prepare the soil by mowing as short as possible, remove residue, then power rake, so that lots of dirt becomes visible. Sow seed. Power rake again to mix the seed into the top quarter inch of soil. Apply starter fertilizer. Water every day for 30 days. If you are depending on rain or mostly rain, start in fall--about 8 weeks before the first frost. (Late August probably). Aztec Tall fescue contained in Scotts is excellent. But remember tall fescue is very slow to germinate--takes about 2 weeks.

ChiTownAmateur
05-26-2010, 11:29 AM
Your first decision has to be whether or not you are willing to do what's necessary to maintain the larger plot beyond the house. As Slick suggest you can get sprinklers that can get out much further but you have to be up to the task.

Decision #1: Are you only going to water and maintain around the house? If so then simply mow the other area and overseed with a high quality TTTF when you see rain coming in the forecast in Fall. If you are willing to take it a step further and get the necessary above ground irrigation out to those spots, you can use KBG or whatever mixture is suggested by the seed Co/experts.

Decision #2: How much time are you willing to put into the Fall renovation?
Here are a few considerations with increasing levels of effort required:
a) Simply mow low and overseed in fall
b) Mow low, aearate and overseed
c) Mow low, powerrake, aerate and seed
d) Mow low, powerrake, aerate, overseed and topdress

Each will give you increasing levels of quality turf and each will require an additional step that takes time and effort, or $$. It's up to you which you do, any will help, as you might imagine simply throwing out seed without much else provides the least opportunity for the grass to make contact with the soil and grow

lawnguru wannabe
05-26-2010, 05:21 PM
You can buy sprinklers that will solve that problem.

And yes, if you dont water the seed you might have a slight problem. Like it can't grow without water type problem.

Well, I realize that, but I'm relying on rain when it comes down to that I think. I know it won't produce as well as having an irrigation system or setting up a sprinkler schedule, but it should still work?

lawnguru wannabe
05-26-2010, 05:26 PM
When concerning over-seeding, from the responses I've received, I have a question. In the fall, can I just put seed in a spreader and run it over the grass (that's cut short), or do I need to mow low, aerate, rake, etc for it to take?

Green Scape
05-26-2010, 06:27 PM
Mow, aerate then overseed......spray the weeds a couple times weeks in advance. Wait till fall to seed if you can......and yes you can put seed in a spreader.Also, if your getting paid to do all this, i wouldnt rely on the rain, set up a $10 sprinkler, for atleast a couple weeks.....that should do it.....

ChiTownAmateur
05-26-2010, 06:33 PM
When concerning over-seeding, from the responses I've received, I have a question. In the fall, can I just put seed in a spreader and run it over the grass (that's cut short), or do I need to mow low, aerate, rake, etc for it to take?

see post #38 for this answer

You have two areas, the high maintenance area (immediately around the house) and the low maintenance area (outside perimeter)

The high maintenance area will get weed and feed in spring, be watered 1-2" in summer, and then overseeded in fall. Post #38 talks about options for how elaborate or basic the overseeding process is. This area will be mowed regularly.

The low maintenance area should be overseeded with Tall Turf Type Fescue (TTTF) in Fall. It must be kept moist for the 3-4 weeks immediately following overseeding.

So the question becomes, OK so what happens if I overseed it but don't water it? You lose a percentage of the seed. Once it gets wet and then dries out again, you lose it. So some will surive nestled into the existing foliage and keep wet, but some won't. The drier it becomes, the less successful your overseeding becomes. So in prepping this area, what should you do to make it successful for overseeding? again see post #38

once the low maintenance lawn is overseeded and watered for 3-4 weeks, it can be left alone and simply mowed.

I believe the above is the summary of everybody's input and the solution you have pointed towards so far based upon effort.

My last point (and probably not my last point because there will be more questions :) ) is BUY HIGH QUALITY SEED. DO NOT SKIMP AND BUY CHEAP SEED AND THEN DO ALL THE WORK. Difference in costs is miniscule, difference in results is DRAMATIC.

So again what seed should you buy? Contact a seed company and they will specify it for you to your exact needs. Both the KBG and the TTTF can be purchased from one company offering quality products.

lawnguru wannabe
05-26-2010, 06:53 PM
More questions....Never! :)

Chitown, you stated in the low maint area, that it needs to be kept wet for 3-4 weeks. Wouldn't this cosist of constant watering? I would imagine not long after you water, within a few hours it could dry out?

Also, are you saying the area can't be mowed during that 3-4 week period?

Thanks much....I appreciate everyone's responses. I'm an amateur, and have learned a ton so far! :cool2:

jnt412
05-27-2010, 11:37 AM
see post #38 for this answer


The low maintenance area should be overseeded with Tall Turf Type Fescue (TTTF) in Fall. It must be kept moist for the 3-4 weeks immediately following overseeding.



According to the pics posted, the low profile area has weeds also. The weeds need to be addressed as well. If not, the weed problem will continue to be a huge issue..

ChiTownAmateur
05-27-2010, 12:08 PM
More questions....Never! :)

Chitown, you stated in the low maint area, that it needs to be kept wet for 3-4 weeks. Wouldn't this cosist of constant watering? I would imagine not long after you water, within a few hours it could dry out?

Also, are you saying the area can't be mowed during that 3-4 week period?

Thanks much....I appreciate everyone's responses. I'm an amateur, and have learned a ton so far! :cool2:

the seeds cannot dry out completely is the rule. usually that means a light sprinkling 2x a day, once in the a.m and once in the p.m. water enough to keep it moist. if you want to be lazier, in fall you can probably get away with a bit heavier watering in the a.m. and skip the p.m.

you can mow when overseeding simply allow the lawn to dry out as much as possible before mowing....basically right before you would water mow first i.e. skip a morning watering and mow that a.m as it dries out, then water immediately to keep the new seed wet

weeds in the low maintenance area are definitely a big issue...it sounded like the plan though was to let them be what they will be and slowly improve that area over a period of a few years. a weed app this year would make that area much nicer...again though i'm calling it a low maintenance area because it was decided that space wouldn't be watered or maintained much beyond mowing and a yearly overseed

lawnguru wannabe
05-27-2010, 12:42 PM
According to the pics posted, the low profile area has weeds also. The weeds need to be addressed as well. If not, the weed problem will continue to be a huge issue..

Yes, I'm going to spray 2-4D this weekend. What recommended rate of 2-4d to water should I mix? I use a Fimco pull-behind sprayer, 20 gallon.

Thanks!

lawnguru wannabe
05-27-2010, 12:47 PM
the seeds cannot dry out completely is the rule. usually that means a light sprinkling 2x a day, once in the a.m and once in the p.m. water enough to keep it moist. if you want to be lazier, in fall you can probably get away with a bit heavier watering in the a.m. and skip the p.m.

you can mow when overseeding simply allow the lawn to dry out as much as possible before mowing....basically right before you would water mow first i.e. skip a morning watering and mow that a.m as it dries out, then water immediately to keep the new seed wet

weeds in the low maintenance area are definitely a big issue...it sounded like the plan though was to let them be what they will be and slowly improve that area over a period of a few years. a weed app this year would make that area much nicer...again though i'm calling it a low maintenance area because it was decided that space wouldn't be watered or maintained much beyond mowing and a yearly overseed


Most of the watering will prob. be done in the evening due to my schedule....and I think I'm going to keep the overseeding to the fall as well.

Yes, there are weeds. Lots of dandelions and clover. As stated in the previous post, I'm spraying 2-4D this weekend. I just mowed last night...Probably shorter than I would have wanted to as well. Will that be an issue? Do you recommend a certain timeframe to spray after mowing?

You are correct, that will be a low maintenance area. So, I'm not expecting a drastic change overnight, but rather with time.

ChiTownAmateur
05-27-2010, 03:55 PM
I understand why you are most likely saying you'll water at night only. The problem is this -- the evaporation occurs in the daytime. If you water at night, it sits there all night and dries out during the night and morning...and may not make it to the evening.

If you watered only in the A.M., the water would be there for the evaporation period and would have a better chance of making it to the following day. So as much as it may suck, you should get up early enough to moisten all the area. We're not talking a long watering...but you should listen to the suggestions from before to get sprinklers. Set them up with hoses and turn them on for 10 minutes and you're done. Better chance at full germination of your overseed if you also water in the evening. But if you only do it 1x per day do it in the A.M., PITA as it may be

Mowing is a minor stress on a lawn and moreso in the hot summer months. Mowing itself is not a big deal but mowing too low is. Do not mow low for the purpose of trying to have longer periods between mowings. Each type of grass and sun/shade situation requires a different cutting height, but in general where you are you should mow when it reaches 4" tall and cut it to 2-1/2 or 3" when you do. That may be much higher than you are used to but it is correct. Keeping your grass tall enough (2-1/2-4") also helps crowd out the weeds once you have renovated for a year or two...the tall thick grass makes it very hard for weeds to grow, part of your long-term strategy to keep them out without a lot of maintenance

RigglePLC
05-28-2010, 01:14 PM
Wannabe,
Hmmm--the 20 gal Fimco sprayer. Fine. Gas or electric? Sorry, the only proper way to calibrate it is to fill tank with water (test for a few seconds) Then fill to exactly to 20 gal line. Spray at a set speed, until you have used exactly 5 gallons. Then carefully measure the number of square feet you covered. Calculate the sqfeet per gallon covered. Example 10,000 sqft, used 5 gallons, so 2000 sqfeet per gallon.
You need to make a fill chart with Excel. For each gallon of water you need to add enough weed killer to cover 2000 sqft. ( Put another way for each half-gallon you need enough weed killer to cover 1000 sqft). You sound like you spent a lot of money going to a fine college--so I am sure you can handle the calculations. Remember, if the rate is given in quarts per acre--there are 32 ounces in a quart and 43,560 sqft in an acre.

2,4-D by itself is not really the best choice. A herbicide like Trimec which contains two additional weed products would be more effective on the tough weeds like clover. Add a tablespoon per gallon of detergent to help wet the waxy or hairy weeds. Plan to spray again in late July so you can drop seed about mid-to late August. Fertilize before rain or whenever you have good soil moisture.
I hope it works out OK. Take pictures and show us, OK? Let us know if problems.

lawnguru wannabe
05-29-2010, 12:48 PM
I understand why you are most likely saying you'll water at night only. The problem is this -- the evaporation occurs in the daytime. If you water at night, it sits there all night and dries out during the night and morning...and may not make it to the evening.

If you watered only in the A.M., the water would be there for the evaporation period and would have a better chance of making it to the following day. So as much as it may suck, you should get up early enough to moisten all the area. We're not talking a long watering...but you should listen to the suggestions from before to get sprinklers. Set them up with hoses and turn them on for 10 minutes and you're done. Better chance at full germination of your overseed if you also water in the evening. But if you only do it 1x per day do it in the A.M., PITA as it may be

Mowing is a minor stress on a lawn and moreso in the hot summer months. Mowing itself is not a big deal but mowing too low is. Do not mow low for the purpose of trying to have longer periods between mowings. Each type of grass and sun/shade situation requires a different cutting height, but in general where you are you should mow when it reaches 4" tall and cut it to 2-1/2 or 3" when you do. That may be much higher than you are used to but it is correct. Keeping your grass tall enough (2-1/2-4") also helps crowd out the weeds once you have renovated for a year or two...the tall thick grass makes it very hard for weeds to grow, part of your long-term strategy to keep them out without a lot of maintenance

That makes sense, so I'll try to make that happen. My work schedule is so crazy though but will try to do the best I can with watering in the morning after I overseed. Thanks!

lawnguru wannabe
05-29-2010, 12:52 PM
Wannabe,
Hmmm--the 20 gal Fimco sprayer. Fine. Gas or electric? Sorry, the only proper way to calibrate it is to fill tank with water (test for a few seconds) Then fill to exactly to 20 gal line. Spray at a set speed, until you have used exactly 5 gallons. Then carefully measure the number of square feet you covered. Calculate the sqfeet per gallon covered. Example 10,000 sqft, used 5 gallons, so 2000 sqfeet per gallon.
You need to make a fill chart with Excel. For each gallon of water you need to add enough weed killer to cover 2000 sqft. ( Put another way for each half-gallon you need enough weed killer to cover 1000 sqft). You sound like you spent a lot of money going to a fine college--so I am sure you can handle the calculations. Remember, if the rate is given in quarts per acre--there are 32 ounces in a quart and 43,560 sqft in an acre.

2,4-D by itself is not really the best choice. A herbicide like Trimec which contains two additional weed products would be more effective on the tough weeds like clover. Add a tablespoon per gallon of detergent to help wet the waxy or hairy weeds. Plan to spray again in late July so you can drop seed about mid-to late August. Fertilize before rain or whenever you have good soil moisture.
I hope it works out OK. Take pictures and show us, OK? Let us know if problems.

This is an electric that hooks up to your atv or mower battery. We did a 'rough' calibration, but doing what you stated would prob be the best so not to waste any product and not to put too much on the lawn.

So you think I should buy Trimec (is that the name brand?) and use that instead of 2-4D?

After I spray and fertilize here shortly I'll take pictures again. Thanks for all the help.

lawnguru wannabe
06-03-2010, 06:02 PM
Well, I put down 30-0-3 I believe (Menards fertilizer) on Sunday/Monday. Got some rain right after so that was good. We'll see what happens. Have to spray yet....Hopefully this coming weekend after I mow. I'll give you guys updated pictures after my next lawn mowing.

Thanks again!

RigglePLC
06-03-2010, 08:57 PM
Way to go Guru,
fert followed by rain--perfect. Be prepared to mow. If you can feed it before rain every 5 or 6 weeks--that will be excellent. Now go after the weeds. 2,4-D is fine: use it if you already have it. But Trimec is better. In the last five years Ortho Weed B Gone has improved and is now about the same as Trimec. If you want an even better weed kill use Weed B Gone Max. Or Ortho Chickweed, Clover and Oxalis Killer--better for the clover and the tough weeds. Plan your second weed control about mid summer so it will not interfere with your late August (fall) seeding. Next year if you are NOT seeding in the fall, then apply your fall weed control in mid October. The October weed control guarantees that the dandelion seeds that blow in and sprout during the summer will be killed and no dandelions will appear in spring. Winter annuals like chickweed and henbit are also best killed in fall.
I hope the weather cooperates. Hard work, but your efforts will pay off. Waiting for the pics!

lawnguru wannabe
06-04-2010, 01:08 PM
Thanks...This thread has helped me a ton! So, a big hand of thanks to all of you!

How many weeks between spraying and overseeding again? Also, will my mid-summer spraying (when do you recommend me doing that, if I don't get around to spraying now till mid June?) kill everything that needs to be killed for next year? I'm just going off what you were saying about spraying in the fall next year and having that kill the dandelions and other weeds for the following spring.

RigglePLC
06-04-2010, 09:47 PM
Guru,
I suggest (not everyone will agree), do your second broadleaf weed spray about July31. Then allow about 2 weeks and over seed about Aug 15. Include starter fertilizer. Not sure about Wisconsin, but this should allow quick germination due to high soil temps, and be followed by cool temps and fall rains, in September. Plant a few seeds indoors in a coffee mug so you can be sure the seed is germinating properly. Also water a convenient small area everyday to satisfy yourself that the seed is good and conditions are OK if water is present.

lawnguru wannabe
06-09-2010, 07:00 PM
Guru,
I suggest (not everyone will agree), do your second broadleaf weed spray about July31. Then allow about 2 weeks and over seed about Aug 15. Include starter fertilizer. Not sure about Wisconsin, but this should allow quick germination due to high soil temps, and be followed by cool temps and fall rains, in September. Plant a few seeds indoors in a coffee mug so you can be sure the seed is germinating properly. Also water a convenient small area everyday to satisfy yourself that the seed is good and conditions are OK if water is present.

That sounds good thanks for the advice! I'll be putting up pics here mid-summer to keep you guys posted on how it's looking.

Thanks again to everyone.

lawnguru wannabe
10-22-2010, 01:25 PM
well, i didn't get around to post pics this summer but i did take some. i'll hopefully post some this weekend when i upload them from my camera. it's coming along, and once again, i appreciate all the help you all have given me!

one question i do have though, is that i did not spray any 2-4d at all this summer. have the sprayer, just didnt' have time to spray. now, we are late october here in Wisconsin and snow will be flying before we know it. my question though, is it too late to spray if i did it this weekend or next? just not sure if there is a rule as to how late you can spray?

thanks!!!!