Fixing a broken lawn

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by LushGreenLawn, May 4, 2006.

  1. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    Hello Guys,
    So far I have only done mowing and some light cleanups. I have a customer that has a lawn that has never been taken care of other than cutting, so it is basically whatever weeds have been growing over the years, no real grass. Is there a way to turn this into a lawn, without tilling the whole thing and installing sod? If he weed and feeds I am assuming it will kill most of his lawn because it is all weeds, and most of them broadleaf. Overseeding will just make grass in with the weeds?

    I am not doing this work for him because I cannot put down chemicals but what can I advise him to do?

    Thanks in advance

  2. daveyo

    daveyo LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 907

    First, do a soil sample, know exactly where you stand nutrient wise. If you want you can pay a little extra to see how much organic matter you have also, probably not a real bad idea. Whatever you do don't till, you will only bring more weed seeds to the surface. I really don't like weed and feeds, I'd rather control the weeds separately from adding my recommended nutrients, lime, sulfur or whatever. I also don't like seeding in the spring, if I absolutely have too, it will be a small area and I'll water the heck out of it. Even so I don't seem to get a good hold on the germination, it's a root thing I think. There is more to it but this should start you off.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I agree, weed & feed blows: It doesn't do a good job, it kinda fertilizes and it sorta kills a few weeds, but that's about it and it's not cheap and I've used it before and was disappointed by the results every single time.

    Unfortunately, unless you're up north, the window for core aeration and seeding is closed because it's just too close to summer and to make a long story short, I would wait until Fall but definitely Core Aeration is the best solution, forget tilling that is a pita you don't need.

    As for the weeds, you have two options but either way the weed application and the seeding have to be spread at LEAST 30 days apart because weed killer interferes with seed germination so if you don't spread the two applications then you will waste time and money but:
    - Core Aerate and seed, then 30-60 days later hit the weeds or even wait until spring.
    - Hit the weeds in early August and hard! Then in september, core aerate and seed.

    On the seeding, consider using some starter fertilizer and a bit of lime to help germination.

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