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seeding after crab grass control

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Pristine1, May 1, 2009.

  1. Pristine1

    Pristine1 LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 81

    Hi everyone....I have a question:

    I just picked up a new customer who is firing Scotts to go green with me. Scotts already did the first app with the preemerge. The lawn was put in last fall...typical builders lawn....crappy mix. A lot of annual rye etc.
    I am hoping to aerate, power rake, top dress, overseed and top dress again.

    Do you think that by aerating in two directions, power raking, composting and then seeding will work? My thoughts were to really break that barrier with the two machines and the first round of composting.

    As always thank in advance!
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    I will say upfront that I am a pesticide applicator and user of synthetics. If Scotts has already applied the pre-emergent, I think it is unlikely that the overseeding process you describe will have good results.

    Are you sure it is annual rye? What else has germinated that can be pushed to fill in. I think the choices for now are:
    • accept (with regrets) the mixture you have-mow it, water it, work on getting rid of the weeds and hope for the best until the end of summer at which time your plan will work pretty well
    • push (in my world that's fertilize) what you have and get it to fill in, then work on getting rid of the weeds
    • sod
    If I understand correctly, this was a new lawn last fall. The customer dropped Scotts after one application. I wonder what the customer expected from Scotts or might expect from you. If Scotts also put in the lawn last fall, then I am not quite so concerned about the type of customer you have.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    An organic, sustainable approach to landscape maintenance?
  4. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    That is fine. I did not post to argue that. I meant to question the patience of the customer. It is a different question but isn't that a pretty huge change in thinking on the part of the customer in such a short time? Perhaps they did not know Scotts uses chemicals and fertilizers.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I see no reason for aeration on a new lawn, power raking maybe to cleanup a seed bed, but if you topdress with good soil/compost and rake in the seed you should be fine.

    The challenge would be to have enough topdressing for the seed to germinate in b4 hitting the pre-m underneath.
    Go with a trial area first, so you don't waste your client's money.

    Why anyone would Pre-M a lawn that looks that bad is way beyond the... Just how much in the 'box' is this industry of squirt and fert...
    Good luck. :)
  6. Pristine1

    Pristine1 LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 81

    The client, at the request of his wife...and som
    e selling on my part...wants to go organic. So power raking and aerating won't break that barrier huh? Maybe I top dress and fert now, then renovate in the fall. The lawn is irrigated if that makes a difference. Any other ideas?
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Hit it hard with CT and irrigation.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Pre-M is a chemical that mixes with the soil and is taken up into plants, like any other chemical. Once ingestted it affects root growth. Mature plants are not effected - much, but it is deadly to seedlings.

    That is the only information I have found about - How Pre-M Works. There is no barrier to break up.
    I have had success with topdressing and overseeding with irrigated lawns throughout the summer. These lawns were supposedly Pre-M'd , but there didn't seem to be much problem with the young seedling in the new dirt.
  9. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    might be a good idea to find out what type of pre m was put down, date of app and rate.

    the pre m's work by binding to the soil. microbial degradation and lots of water washing it out will help speed up break down of the pre m, like kiril said? lots CT and irrigation? what kind of soil is this? sandy, high OM? depending on the answers above it might be a good idea to wait till fall? and "push" the lawn like some one said now?? or you can try now a heavy topdressing seeding, keep it well watered and fertilized. but,

    question though? if your going organic with the lawn? and the lawn is in bad shape? do you think the weeds will disappear on their own?

    might want to let the pre m do it's thing first? just a thought..
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Yup. Hit it with undiluted tea and water in with the irrigation (light), wait a week, irrigate enough to flush the soil (target depth should be >= 4") .... let soil reach field capacity .... do it again for a total of 2-3 times.

    When your done with your flushing, compost and CT with your over seeding.

    Will this work .... don't know, but IMO it is your best bet if you want to seed before fall.

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