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Terrible lawn...

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by CAT powered, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    My lawn is terrible.

    Right now all the crabgrass is dead and brown and it just shows exactly how terrible it is. I have no idea what kind of grasses are in it. I can tell you for sure it isn't really just one or two types. In reality I want to just want to kill it all and start over with good grass.

    I have several questions.

    1: What is the best time to kill and reseed it all?

    2: I have a bit of shade in my side yard which is separated from the rest of the lawn by the driveway. What type of seed would work well there?

    3: The rest of my yard is fairly flat with just the front being a hill and it has little to no shade what seed would work well there?

    4: What is the best way to kill it all off? I'm thinking roundup.

    I've seen lawns in my area done in a similar way. They killed off all the grass this fall with some kind of herbicide and left the dead grass. Then they must have slit seeded it and now it came up and it is beautiful.

    Before someone suggests to me that I should get a soil sample I will tell you now. I have already gotten a soil sample and I've added everything it told me to. I plan on getting another and having it tested again to make sure everything I put down worked correctly. My PH was pretty high for my area. I put down a bit of lime and 25-5-10 fert like the test results said to.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. By the way: Call an LCO is not a good answer. I'm trying to learn how to do this stuff myself so I can start a new part of my business doing work like this.

    STRINGALATION LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 777

    i say to dethatch. seed @ recommended rate for the type you choose and top dress with a 1/4 inch are more of soil then let it sit and marinate all winter. watch what you put on it in spring because some pre emergents will kill the seeds. it is called dormant seeding its just an idea
  3. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    1. September is the best or easiest time, but you can do it anytime in spring or summer.

    2. In New England, we almost always use a mix of rye, bluegrass and fescue. The easiest solution is "sunny mix" or "shady mix", available at Lesco or just about anywhere.

    4. Roundup is the way to go.

    What I do is Roundup, wait a week, weed-wack if it is small enough, aerate, amend (fert/lime), slice seed, water twice daily for a week. Sometimes I spread loam if the soil is really rough.

    As mentioned above, if you plan to do this in the spring, applying fert with crabgrass control will stop your seed from germinating. If you do not apply crabgrass control, you will get crabgrass. This is a conflict which you cannot avoid.

    One suggestion is to apply crabgrass control w/fert in the spring (maybe twice, 2 apps a month apart), then do weed control in early summer. Whatever good grass you do have in the lawn will be in better shape. Then aerate and seed next September 1. You may not need to do the roundup bit at all.

    The most important thing to remember is that the best way to deal with crabgrass is to prevent it during your spring application(s). But preventing it also prevents grass seed from germinating.
  4. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    Thanks for the info, guys. I think I'll go with the pre-emergent/weed control stuff in spring and summer and then do my seeding next fall. It seems like the easier way to go.

    Thanks again.

  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Sounds like a good line for a business card. :confused:
  6. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,056

    ""My PH was pretty high for my area. I put down a bit of lime and 25-5-10 fert like the test results said to."

    Lime raises soil pH...

    Other than that, I would not waste money on a pre-emergent next spring if you plan to kill and reseed in late August or September. You can beat the crabgrass seed that lies in the soil and out compete it with the new grass. After you spray the Roundup a second time, you can tilt the odds in your favor by spraying Tupersan (Siduron) just before you plant. This will buy you a short window of time during which you can get your new seed germinated. You’ll have broadleaf weeds but they’re not so hard to get rid of. Really push it with fertilizer and mow often, starting as soon as there is enough for the mower to remove and leaf surface.

    Spend the time between now and late summer adding any soil amendments, if any, you want to use. If you currently have irrigation, fine tune it before trusting it with your new lawn. If you do not have irrigation, this might be the best opportunity you will have to install it.

    Find seed mixes and blends you think you would like to use. Check out the listed varieties on NTEP checking out how they typically perform around the country.
  7. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    Yea. I meant low, but just wrote high.:hammerhead:

    I've never seen anyone in CT that uses irrigation. Everyone just makes sure to keep water on it with hoses and sprinklers after seeding from what I've seen. Hopefully someone else from up north can give some more insight on that subject.
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    He means an underground spinkler system I think. If you want them, it would be best to install them before you reseed.
  9. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    I know exactly what he means. I've just never seen anyone up here that uses them.

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