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Pre emergent advice for struggling lawn

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by ddcd, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. ddcd

    ddcd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    First off I would like to thank in advance for any advice. I have been lurking here for awhile reading about pre emergents and herbicdes in general.

    I purchased my house in January of this year. It was a foreclosure empty for nearly a year, with no care or enough rain in 2012 due to the drought in the Dallas area. According to my neighbors my yard was "nothing but dirt". My backyard has serious drainage problems and is heavily compacted (black clay soil) so I know that needs to be fixed first.

    In April I put down Scotts weed and feed (lesson learned) after an outbreak of broadleaf type weeds. I will never do that again-all it did was make the weeds grow more and nothing for the grass. My yard turned "green" about 2 months after all of my neighbors (middle June), which considering the year before, is impressive that it came back.

    After the weed and feed I just used regular 2,4-d in my pump sprayer to spot treat as needed. I had a TON of poa annua (or something similar, had a ton of seed heads) that died out with the heat. Now we are in middle July and I am having a serious crabgrass outbreak, which I have been treating with Drive.

    I put the first treatment down with my pump sprayer with cone nozzle (need fan?) which makes it hard to get uniform coverage, but have seen good results with about 1.3 oz/gallon/1000sqft. The bermuda is growing fine through the dead crabgrass but is a slightly lighter shade of green, does this mean I used too much Drive?

    Other than that I have been pulling various Dandelion and other weeds as they come up by hand. My yard now has a bunch of dead crabgrass from the Drive.

    So my questions are:
    1)I was planning on fertilizing the end of July (last did June 19) with straight N (probably Scotts), and again sometime in October with winterguard or something similar. Any recommendations here? I have a John Deere Landscapes nearby.
    2)The winter weeds were not too bad in Jan/Feb of this year, but I have a feeling they will be much worse next winter since I have irrigated the yard this summer. My concern is:
    What type of pre emergent should I use (if any) this fall, and being in Dallas, should it be around October? I understand when to apply in the springtime for crabgrass.

    I have looked at Dimension and Barricade but not sure what to use and if to "split" the applications between October/December/March. My yard is approx 4k sq ft so I realize any 1/2 gallon jug will last me for a very long time.

    3)Should I wait until next year to Aerate, then apply pre-emergent after to cover all the holes?

    4)What do you guys use for grubs? While pulling weeds I see 1 or 2 around the base of the weed, but this just started happening recently.

    Overall my yard has improved, but has a ways to go. I realize the refurb process is not overnight but just thought I would ask the pros.
  2. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    Use Merit for grubs.
    Use demension dry for crabgrass and water it it.
  3. bjack312

    bjack312 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 0

    At this point, I would feed the Bermuda monthly now thru September, and provide adequate irrigation (deep watering once a week). Build up the existing stand as much as possible during the growing season. Also would be a good time to aerate to help with the soil compaction. Mowing often (2 or 3 times a week) will also help the Bermuda spread laterally.

    Late September to early October apply a pre-emergent to take care of the winter weeds and poa annua. Another app of pre-emergent in February should greatly reduce your weed pressure next year.

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