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Rototilling crabgrass into the ground?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by hummingbird3d, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. hummingbird3d

    hummingbird3d LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I have a few customers who want to have their yard rototilled and have grass seed or sod put in its place, the problem that I see is that there is crabgrass in the lawn right now. They are somewhat impatient and just want to get the job done, but my thought is that very soon after the crabgrass will soon emerge again in full force.

    I am considering the use of Round Up, though I have seen that it does not completely get rid of the crabgrass and I don't want to be responsible for the lawn getting the crabgrass back. Then there is the herbicide that I see on the shelf that kills plants but says there is a 1 year period before planting in the same area.

    What to do to meet these costumers wants?
  2. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    I do not renovate until the fall, that way you can just use a pre-emergent in the spring. A renovation mis summer is irrisponsible.
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  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I wouldn't necessarily say it's irresponsible, but, definitively not recommended.

    I'd try to burn down the crabgrass with roundup if you have the time too. That's going to help out immensely when you go to till.

    I've had excellent luck with roundup killing crab-grass, so I don't know what your issue is.
  4. hummingbird3d

    hummingbird3d LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    My customers want the soil tilled pretty much - now and very soon after they want the sod put down.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,494

    Spray it, give it a day, till, level, and lay your sod. Usually, with just sodding, if the groundis soft enough and workable enough, I would say that the Roundup isn't even necessary, but the crabgrass can be tricky and live rhyzomes can pop back up between the joints.
  6. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    The thing is the round up does not kill the seeds. The plants die, but the crabgrass will germinate from seed with the grass seed that you planted. I have seen lawns so bad that were renovated in the summer, that the crabgrass sprouted up quickly enough (as it tends to do in bare ground) that it shaded out almost all of the fescue that was planted and almost none of it came up.

    There are (very expensive) pre emergents that will target crabgrass seeds and still allow lawn grases to grow, but they are cost prohibitive. I forget the name but PBI Gordon makes it. Its mainly used for golf courses that have to fix a patch.
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Ya, the seeds are really your worst enemy when doing a renovation. If he's laying sod, can he till in a pre-em that's not going to inhibit sod growth ?? I definitively wouldn't try to seed in a pre-em.

    I've seen sod jobs with great prep work, and not chem application. The sod acts like a rug and smoothers and inhibits growth of weeds, but it's still a no-win situation. Eventually you'll have weeds, but hopefully at that point, you can spray a herbicide if the lawn is established.

    I thought the original post was saying that roundup doesn't kill all the existing crab-grass, not saying that round-up kills seed also.

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