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Crabgrass and what to do next?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by ozark01, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. ozark01

    ozark01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I have a yard of about an acre. Over the years it had gotten taken over by weeds and crabgrass so last Sept I killed all of the vegetation with Roundup. By Oct the entire yard was brown and that is the way it has set during the winter. I am now trying to understand what to do next. I have dragged the yard with a drag-type harrow so I am down to about bare dirt in most areas. In a few areas the crabgrass roots are still attached to the ground.

    Here are the ideas I have as to what to do next.

    1 - Sow tall fescue and control the crabgrass that comes up with a post-emergent.
    2 - Put down a pre-emergent and during the next few months continue to treat the weeds and crabgrass that comes up with Roundup. In the fall I would sow tall fescue.
    3 - Any other ideas you folks may have.

    I would like to have a green yard this summer but if it would be better to wait six months before sowing grass then that is what I will do.

    Thanks for any advice you may have!
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,543

    No problem--starting about he first of June you will have green grass. Green crabgrass. Call a professional--cheaper in the long run.

    If not, depends on what state you are in. Drag the weeds periodically, and kill everything about when temperatures come down to 85 in August. Warm soil means quick germination. Drag again, and seed with top-quality fescue seed, (with about 10 percent bluegrass). Add starter. Water every day for 30 days. Add fert to build thickness after 30 days. Plan on crabgrass preventer in spring and again 6 weeks later. Use it at the maximum recommended rate. Hire professional care in the future--this is a job you don't want to do twice.
  3. jweed

    jweed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Another thing is, do you not have the option of using selective herbicides to control weeds and crabgrass on you newly seeded lawn? Round Up is non-selective and would needlessly kill off your new turf around the areas your spraying for weeds? Just a thought. J
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  4. ozark01

    ozark01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Thanks for the reply. I think you are saying that I would be better off not planting any grass until after I spend the spring and summer taking care of the crabgrass that will spout from the seeds left since I did not spray until Sept? (I am in NC)
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,543

    I am about 1000 miles from you...local advice is better...however...you are correct. I am thinking you might as well mow the crabgrass and weeds until late August. There is no practical way to "take care of" the crabgrass during the spring and summer.You might as well let the crabgrass grow as it will help to hold the soil--thereby preventing water and wind erosion. About 3 weeks before you seed, spray and kill crabgrass and everything else with Roundup. Then disc and drag to prepare the seedbed. Sow seed when afternoon temps come down to about a consistent 85. Top quality seed which is disease-resistant and contains 10 percent bluegrass (to improve spreading and repair ability). Titanium LS is a good choice. Apply starter fertilizer, and a second booster fertilizer after 30 days. Water every day for 30 days. Be sure to seed at least 6 weeks before frost. Happy seeding.

    Your only other option is to seed in spring and plan to have crabgrass come up in May--and compete vigorously with your good grass. It will be very dense--but will die due to frost in November.
  6. ozark01

    ozark01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    So in your opinion I should not apply a pre emergent now to prevent the crabgrass seeds from sprouting and making more seeds? I now have bare dirt but I expect it has lots of crabgrass seeds since I did not spray the roundup until September.
  7. jweed

    jweed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    As long as your pr-emergent won't effect the Tall Fescue your seeding with, then I would apply it at weak to reasonable label rates at the optimum time. This product is used to prevent germination, selective or not, I would not mix it too strong. Or you may not get any seed germination at all.

    Seed at optimum times.

    Drop the round up,, and purchase a selective post-emergent Crabgrass killer to spot treat at the 3-4th tiller stage of growth(read the label), about May. A common product is called Acclaim and Acclaim Super.

    Pick up some 2-4d based broad-leaf weed control and spot or blanket spray the acre. 2,4-d is cheap but Acclaim isn't.

    Repeat every year..:)

    On the west coast Crabgrass is not a big issue, it comes up, you spray it, it goes away, just like a Dandelion. But you have to be on top of it, it spreads fast.
  8. ozark01

    ozark01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    There is no good area I am trying to save. I am trying ot get my yard back to bare dirt with nothing growing so I can sow this fall. I bought some Stonewall to put out this week and am going to put out Dimension in April. I am going to use the Roundup to spray anything missed by these two applications. By Sept I hope I have nothing left growing. The Sept 2010 application of roundup did a good job but I still have some onions to deal with. The folks on this board have been a great help! :)
  9. jweed

    jweed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    My mistake Ozark, I was under the impression you did all the killing with Round Up last year and were looking to seed this spring. Best of Luck! J.
  10. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    I'm with Riggle. Wait until late August when the temps are right. With that much land, lack of irrigation system and lack of a spray tank, you're destined for disaster if you seed in the spring. I wouldn't even bother with stonewall and all of the other pre-emergent products as you'll just be wasting money needlessly. It is a false notion that you must have bare soil to successfully sow seed and you'll kill yourself trying to ahieve that goal.

    If it were my property, I would let everything grow from now until the 2nd week of August. I would then spray Round Up on the entire acre of land. From there, I would wait 10-14 days for it to die and then I would scalp the entire area and remove as much as I could. Afterward, you'll have a pretty clean area in which to sow seed. Don't worry about any remnants that are left from the scalping, those plants will be dead and will quickly deteriorate. To sow your seed, you should either rent a slit seeder (both directions), power rake unit, or some other means that would allow you to get maximum soil/seed contact and run it over the entire property. Follow Riggle's advice and apply starter fertilizer the day you seed, again 30 days later and if the ground isn't frozen 30 days from the 2nd application, apply another dose then as well.

    Good luck!

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