Overseeding; will it conquer crab grass?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 733

    I have a customer who has an estimated 10-15% crab grass in his back yard. It's a new home and the back was seeded. Front looks great, no crab grass or anything else, but it came from sod. If I overseed now with a slit seeder, will that make the crabgrass be gone for next year? Will it make his lawn look better for the remainder of this year?

    Is this a better way to go than just to wait 'til next year and do pre-emergent treatment? How can I sell him on this over-seeding if this is the thing to do?

    I'm thinking I'll have to charge at least $150-175 to make it worth my while as the dethatcher/seeder is around $50 to rent and the seed may be about $40-50 for that area ( about 20,000 sq ft). Or should I charge a lot more/or less?
     
  2. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Posts: 2,574

    crab grass is an annual, a good thick lawn is a great preventative, but the pre-emergent is also important, the crab grass that is there now will die off soon....
     
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Yep. That is one of the ideas of re-seeding in the fall, also. This gives the new grass the chance to germinate and establish, so it will will be there to choke out the crabgrass. The only thing is, is that many times, the grass is still thin, so crabgrass can still come in. This is why pre-emergent is so important. Then, subsequent to that, the new grass will then fill in (mid to late spring).
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    In theory, yes.

    One thing that keeps the crabgrass coming back too thou is summer and browning out the lawn. Soon as that mower scallops a section of the lawn, crabgrass is almost always waiting to flourish... Watch it sometime, not telling you to scallop a spot on purpose, but when it happens, see what does and doesn't grow in that spot, more so from June onwards. And on that same note, if the lawn stresses it's almost guaranteed, only a thick lush lawn is able to fight that crap.

    A higher cut height helps, as does lengthening the cut intervals during the hottest months.
     
  5. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 733

    Thanks guys! I may try to see if I can get em to have me overseed soon AND do the pre-emergent application in the spring so that the crapgrass will be defeated!
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I didn't tell you this but the beauty of this business is that stuff will come back :laugh:
    No, look...

    It helps to learn to use the wording 'weed control,' I am sure you'll win more than a few battles but in the end the weeds win the war, so long someone throws money at them it appears they stay gone for the most part. Of course you do want to do your best to eradicate them, but it is a seasonal thing, every year there's weed control, and that takes care of it for the most part.
     
  7. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 733

    So the crabgrass will be completely gone out of it's existing spots in the yard by end of this season? Will the seed remain though? Is it even worth putting good grass seed down in crabby areas now or, what will become of those spots next year if he doesnt' seed in those places is what I'm getting at; will it just be spots of dirt, since the crab grass is an annual?
     
  8. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Posts: 2,574

    the crab grass seed remains but the pre-emergent stops it's germination.....
     
  9. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    Seed too late in the fall to where the seed doesnt fully germinate and then you might not want the crabgrass preventer in the spring or the seed will just be killed. Just make sure you still have weather to overseed now and get the grass grown in before fall, then the crabgrass preventer in spring and you should be all good.
     

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