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Scotts Turfbuilder..will it get rid of older crab grass?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Chicago Irish, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Chicago Irish

    Chicago Irish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I live in Chicago, and just put down the Scott's Turfbuilder with halts a day back. My question is this...
    I moved into our current home last April and have found an average sized area (12' x 12') in my backyard with crabgrass.

    With the recent fertilization, what else should I be using to get rid of the crabgrass? I know the halts 'prevents', but does that also mean it will stop the crabgrass seeds from germinating? I understand (at least I think I do), that the crabgrass dies off in the later fall, and when Spring comes, germination for crabgrass seeds begin (I've read that this happens around the time of the lilacs blooming...who knows).

    Has my fertilizer application with the Scotts Tbuilder w/ halts stopped it pfrom germinating, or am I just stopping it from spreading.

    Am I missing a window to get rid of the crab grass I have already had?

    Sorry so many questions, but I'm sure there will be other watching eyes on any replies.

  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,248

    A Pre-emergent (the stuff that is supposed to prevent the crabgrass) acts by frying the hair root that springs out of the seed hull. NOTHING WILL PREVENT GERMINATION as that husk is super impervent. Timing is everything. If you put down the Scott's too late after the seed has germinated then all is lost. There are some pre-em like Dimension that have a few weeks of post-emergent that will help control the weeds. Do you know your ground temp? Check it with a meat thermometer. If is about 40-50, you're probably OK. If it is 50-60 then germination has started on the existing weed seed that is present in the soil from last year. Now on a good note; crabgrass germinates a little later than broadleaf seeds. If your lawn is not too large, you could cover the whole lawn with a good post. On that 12X12 spot, buy yourself a GOOD HAND SPRAYER WITH A FAN TIP and a small bottle of "Weed Alert" from Fert-i-loam (BUY at Nursery or full time plant house) read and FOLLOW the directions. Several light treatments with that SPRAYER WITH A FAN TIP. You could hire a pro there for the season that will get you off to a good start. You could burn your grass if you mix too much of the Three-Way (Weed-Alert), so error on the slightly below required amount.
    You'll be fine...It's like hair; it'll grow back.
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    What you're talking about can't be crabgrass, CI.
    Crabgrass is an annual.
    It germinates from seed every spring & dies every fall as the season winds down.
    You won't see actual crabgrass beginning to sprout in & around Chicago IL until sometime between Memorial Day & 4th of July.

    Why don't you download a close-up digital pic or two onto this thread so we can see exactly what you're talking about?
  4. Chicago Irish

    Chicago Irish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    RAlmaroad---thanks for the thoughts.

    Marcos---here are some images. Let me know what you think.

    Notice in the pics the old, last fall died off weed. The new ones are here already, so I am starting to doubt they are crabgrass as you already noted, Marcos.

    Any help is appreciated.




  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Nice pics! :)

    What you have there is actually a perennial grass called KY 31 tall fescue.
    KY 31 lives 12 months a year, only going dormant in the winter, not dying, like crabgrass & other annuals.

    The best way to kill it without getting too high tech with expensive chemicals is to wait until the weather's a bit consistently warm, then use glysophate (Roundup) & be careful to spray just those clumps of thick fescue. Some folks add blue dye (you could use blue kitchen food coloring) to their spray so they can mark what they've sprayed & what they haven't.

    Wait about 10 days to two weeks & you'll notice it turning brown & dieing.
    Then rake the spots out, making sure you chop into the soil a lot so the seed will make good soil contact.

    Seed the bare spots w/ a ky bluegrass / perennial rye blend (that's what it looks like you have from the pics).
    Probably no need for straw.
    Just keep them watered lightly & frequently.

    Good luck 2U! :waving:

    P.S. That 'high tech' chemical is called Corsair.
    If you have too much KY 31 to spot-spray, pull up a label for Riverdale's Corsair & read thru it.
  6. Chicago Irish

    Chicago Irish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thank you much for the informative direction.:clapping:

    I've hit a few sites in the last few months, and I have to say I've learned a good amount in the last few days around here...more than other places.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to answer a new guys questions. I'll show some pics in a month or two when I have the situation under control.

    C I
  7. Chicago Irish

    Chicago Irish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Well, here we are, June 9th. I cleared the area using round-up, but got behind due to a new baby and work being busy as can be. I never tilled or put seed down. I'm in high school administration, and the end of the year is busy, and the baby did me in. I'm off for the summer now and trying to salvage this operation.

    I've raked out the area, and wanted to till it, then seed. Now I'm thinking that I'm going to have one heck of a time growing this grass with the heat of summer in full swing in Chicago.

    Should I wait until Fall to put the seed down and just cut my loses for now? I think I'll have a better chance of growth success doing so.

    Marcos? Any thoughts?

    Thanks folks,

  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Any grass you plant in Chicago should germinate & grow like wildfire this summer, provided you baby it along with adequate irrigation, at least until it's about mowable height.

    The main reason early fall is the best season for seeding & renovation is because in August & early Sept, the soil's still warm from the summer, but weeds like crabgrass, purslane & spurge are entering the last stage of their (annual) life.

    A problem you may experience with seeding in June / July is a simultaneous germination of aforementioned type weeds, right along with your blue / rye mix.
    Some ways to help prevent this:
    - Prep soil in seed bed very well, incorporating finished compost into your existing soil base
    - Seed at recommended rate. Don't skimp!
    - If the area is relatively small, consider the use of straw substitutes like Penn Mulch or erosion-control blankets. Otherwise, clean straw is OK.
    - Water very frequently but shallow to start, then once you begin to see actual germination, begin to gradually transition your watering toward a deeper, but much less frequent pattern.
  9. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Because it's a late start I would put down a perennial rye grass only and have it germinate in 3-7 days, water the heck out of it and get some deep roots established. Come fall i would aerate that spot and then overseed with a nice KBG.

    Very, very hard to get a large patch covered with KBG this time of year and get roots deep enough to surive. You'd have to put down as much mulch as possible without smothering the small KBG seeds.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    I don't care for that papery straw substitute.
    I'd go for pelletized mulch if I were in your situation, and not so heavy at that.
    Most importantly is compost incorporation into the existing soil B4 seeding.

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