New home: grabgrass/lawn issues

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by jmreeves, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. jmreeves

    jmreeves LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hello everyone and firstly thank you for this wonderful resource!!

    I plan on taking some pictures tonight but thought I would share my initial problems firsthand. I live in eastern tennessee(nashville) and my lawn has serious crabgrass and other weed issues. Roughly 30-35% crabgrass/weeds/dandelions etc.

    My goal is to eventually have a nice thick and lush lawn:) I did some crude soil tests and will be testing the pH tonight as well as sending a sample out. I grabbed some soil and made a ball. It held its form pretty well and when gently bounced it crumbled, I presume this is good. I found a few earthworms as I was digging up some weeds but I wouldn't be surprised if they were far and few in between.

    I missed the preemptive treatment of crabgrass:( . My soil also looks a bit compact and i noticed when shoving a screwdriver through the soil that in several spots I hit some loose rock.

    My plan

    1) dethatch lawn: mow to 1 inch and use thatch rake. 4/10/10

    2) obtain pH results and adjust soil with lime or similar. 4/17/10( I may adjust sooner, I am a chemist and am pretty confident in my home pH test skills and may even use the lab)

    3) fertilize with weed killer and grass growth. 4/??/10
    Pull up weeds by hand and at this point do I spray chemically for the crabgrass and broadleaf weeds?

    aireate and overseed in the fall

    How does this sound?

  2. jmreeves

    jmreeves LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Well I dethatched the lawn!!!

    pH was 7.5 and needed nutrients. I have been slowly adding an ammonium sulfate based fertilizer to drop the pH to 6.5 while watering. As soon as pH gets to about 6.5 I will add some scotts fert and weed killer.
  3. GrassStitcher

    GrassStitcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    I would not worry about the crabgrass, you can put down all the pre emergent crabgrass preventer in the world and it will still not stop it if you lawn is thin or there is bare soil. I would leave the crabgrass when you over seed in the fall and slice seed right through it. The crabgrass is annual and will die off anyway.

    That all sounds good, you don't have to pull up dead weeds. I would continue to adjust soil ph through the spring / summer, add organic matter anyway you can, compost, organic fertilizer - this will feed the soil microbes, eliminate the weeds as much as possible then do a complete overseeding in the fall, core aerating in the fall is also beneficial.
  4. jmreeves

    jmreeves LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thank you so much for your help! Lawn is really shaping up and the soil is finally at 6.5 and slightly infertile. I added the typical weed and feed, high in nitrogen and plan to add a mix of compost and topsoil as you have stated. Will airate and overseed in fall.
  5. tomas21

    tomas21 LawnSite Member
    from CA
    Messages: 26

    What kind of fertilizer are you going to use?
  6. jmreeves

    jmreeves LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Around 4-20-10 I used Vigoro's Weed and feed, 28.3.3. I also added some some organic topsoil( basic topsoil mixed with composte in wheelbarrow) a week later.

    I have some bare soil spots where the fertilzer killed of the weeds that were there.(did real well with dandelions). Overall lawn looks 100% better and nice and green but I will still seed in the fall.

    Still some issues with the larger leaf weeds like plantains. Hoping a healthy lawn over the summer and reseeding in the fall will help. Preemerge next year!!

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