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stopping the crab grass seeds

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by bavaria-n, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. bavaria-n

    bavaria-n LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    The spring is far away, but I am all ready thinking about what to use first on my lawn. There are some yellow shrubs that bloom in the spring, in the same time I need to use fertilizer for my lawn that stops the crab grass seeds from germinating.
    And I have a new problem, the new neighbors that that walk from home to home and complain about smelling this and that including fertilizer…
    So I need something that doesn’t smell.
    By the way they stopped walking to homes and started to call Environmentalists, yahh … :dizzy:
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,707

    You can't fix stupid--not you--the neighbors, I mean. You should apply a low odor product like one containing Dimension (dithiopyr). It is safer, because it is effective at a low dose rate. One-tenth of one percent in the bag. About 2 tenths of a pound per acre.

    Apply it just after your first mowing. Apply again in 6 weeks if your crabgrass problem is severe.
  3. atouchofnature

    atouchofnature LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Corn Gluten Meal is a good choice, especially if the neighbors are complaining about pesticides. It is a corn by-product and is literally edible. It is a bit more expensive than most other choices, and is not quite as effective at first, but it does work. If you apply it 3 times the 1st year, early spring, late spring, and early fall, by the second year you will get a very good control of weeds.

    If you want to stick with synthetic pesticides, follow Riggle's advice and go with Dimension. It is a very good product, and in my opinion, safer than many other choices.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Grow grass instead of stunting its growth. I'm not an environmental whacko when I say it irritates me to no end; that the "professional" system is so concerned about killing weeds - they have no window of opportunity to grow grass.
    That is one "Stupid" that could be fixed.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,707

    Chemical weed control may be necessary, but...its true...thick grass is the best weed and crabrass control. Thin grass will always have problems. Why not reduce or eliminate the ryegrass (if you have it) and upgrade to a higher quality grass with rhizomes, like Kentucky bluegrass cultivars such as: Midnight II, Northstar, Limosine or America. For best results buy sod--such as the new Yankee Stadium sod. Feed it, water it, keep it thick and cut it high. No need for crab control at the stadium.
  6. atouchofnature

    atouchofnature LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Smallaxe is right. The best weed control is a thick, healthy lawn that is mowed high. You would get a better end result if you were to spend your weed control budget on quality seed, and use good cultural practices. Water infrequently and deeply, fertilize in the fall and restore the lawn's biological balance with compost topdressings and compost tea.

    The problem is that the above mentioned methods do not provide instant results, and many of us have come to believe that if we don't see results instantly, then we wasted our money. I wish I had a dollar for every customer who has called me to complain that their lawn wasn't thick 1 week after seeding, or the weeds weren't dead 4 hours after spraying.

    bavaria-n: If you are patient, and willing to wait a short while for results, maybe even have to live with a few weeds during the waiting, go with smallaxe's methods. If you are impatient, and hate weeds, then use pre-emergent herbicides. With smallaxe's recommendations, you will have to live with some weeds for a while, and minimal weeds after the lawn is in shape. With the chemical method, you will have to apply the chemicals from now until doomsday
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    So what is your point? Crab Grass will out compete turf because it is a fast growing annual. Turf is a perennial and grows slower than Crab Grass. The more water and fertilize without controlling Crab Grass the quicker you grow Crab Grass instead of Turf because the Crab Grass out competes Turf. To establish a thick turf you must control undesirable weeds.

    How do you control undesirable Crab Grass??? There are two schools of thought. One is that Pre Emerge will chemically ROOT PRUNE turf and stunt it's growth while not totally controlling Crab Grass. The second is Post Emerge will also stunt desirable turf while not always giving complete control of Crab Grass. Both methods need repeat application on weaker turf. Both Methods have some negative effect on Turf. BTW I am of the school of Post Emerge SPOT Treatment.

    Culture Practices like cutting high and watering help grow Healthy Turf. But Chemicals are a must, whether in Synthetic or Organic form.

    PS. IMHO Growing Turf is the Easy part. Controlling Weeds is in fact the most important part of growing Healthy Turf.
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Contact Al Lane at PTS in Lindenhurst, they are on Hoffman Ave and have been there for 30 years, they are one of our distributors and understand the "issues" you have, basically all of long island has with their laws

    He can suggest several things and help you put a program together for a healthy, unstinky lawn

    There is also an organic turf show (11th year) in the same area every spring at Hofstra, great companies there to speak to and speakers that can help as well
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    See now I have to agree with Ric (kill me now). If you need to control weeds, then do it when they appear. "Just in case" applications of anything is an asinine practice IMO.
  10. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,109

    Add me to the list of spot spraying post emergence for weedy grasses.

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