What's your favoritr Pre-Em regime?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by fishinpa, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 293

    I've been reading alot about Tupersan lately and liked the idea of something going after crabgrass only. Now I'm thinking it's not the best idea I've come across.

    SO: I was thinking of getting a Starter Fert with Tupersn and then summer applications with it also, later in the year... no one is carrying the Lebanon starter with Tupersan, so I'm screwed right off the bat.
    NEXT: I can get Tupersan "straight" (for late May/ early June) but WOW is it expensive! You have to use double the rate for an existing lawn which mean using the straight Tupersan would run me about 120.00, + any Fert application I choose to use.

    THEN I try to find a starter fert with Tupersn today and I had this older gentleman say "What the h*ll do you want to use that for", no one uses it anymore. The he said to use a Non pre-em enriched starter fert, then they have a special blend of fert with Dimension, that at the rates they mix it, work as a pre and post emergent. He said to put it down as close to June 15th as possible.

    Here's my dilemma: I was hoping to use the Tupersan, because I'm trying to recover a very abused 50yr old lawn, and want to be able to "spot seed" all year and not have to worry about the dimension killing off my new growth and/or seed. If I wait till June 15th, I'll have crazy amounts of crabgrass already!

    What is your most effective regime of crabgrass control?
  2. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 293

    I try and play by the rules and stay in the homeowners form, and I get no response from the "guys that know"???

    What's up with that? I know the LCO's float down here.... please help as I'm SOL and out of steam!
  3. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Well, how big is your lawn? Can you keep up with watering if we have a hot, dry summer like last season? You can overseed all you want, and if we hit drought like conditions, all of that overseeding will have been for nothing because the new turf will not make it. That's why most LCO's push for fall seeding. The turf will have 2 growing seasons (fall and spring) before it hits any type of stress and will have a much better chance at survival. It's tough to give an accurate analysis without knowing the dimensions.
  4. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 293

    I've got about 18 to 20k of lawn. Watering is not a problem.

    I was just looking for product suggestions and general theory for usage. I know this is not an exacting science and it will continue to be a work in progress for at least another year or two.

    I'm in my 2nd year with recovering this yard and it's coming along. I actually have grass now instead of bare-spots and moss.
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    It seems to me you need to pick a path and go for it. What do you need or worry about more? A full lawn or spots of crabgrass? It's hard to do both if you want to do it in the Spring and add continual seeding. You can always put seed down now, but you won't see good germination until soil temps rise, and then you get crab germination too.
    If you can't wait until fall, do you have access to a slit/slice seeder? You can probably rent one, and IMO is better than overseeding. Slice seed, starter fert, and in the fall, slice seed some areas again if needed. You will have some crab germination, but you can hit that with a post-emergent in spots neighbors see.
    I apologize if you just want product rec's, but honestly I think you should establish the turf and worry about the crabgrass later.
  6. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    NattyLawn gave you good suggestions. Concentrate on establishing the turf through proper fertilization and cultural practices for your area. Check with your local Dept of Ag or Co-operative Extension, if you have one in your area. Crabgrass is a minor pest that is easily controlled preemergently or post emergently, or by doing nothing (frost). Thicken the turf and you'll probably not need to use any crab controls.
  7. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 757

    This is the one question that comes up every year at this time, a lot, and is the most difficult to explain. I will do my best to explain.

    First, how bad is your crabgrass problem? and how thin is the lawn? You really need to choose which is more important, filling in the lawn or controlling crabgrass. Your best bet is to do a pre-emergent and wait for the fall to reseed. If you are hell bent on doing both spring seed and pre-emergent you can do this....

    If you can only find Tupersan (siduron) in a spray, consider using Drive 75 (quinclorac) instead, it is still not labeled as a pre-emergent yet, but from what BASF tells me, it will last longer than Tupersan and is also cheaper (1# per Acre). You can't use it (easily) with bluegrass though, just fescue and rye. What types of grass do you have? If you plan to use bluegrass, then Drive 75 might not be your best choice. Spread 1/2 the seed, prepare the seedbed by raking or aeration, or slicing, then spread the other 1/2, then spray the area with Drive 75 right over the seed, no problems, or you could use Tupersan.

    Give your grass AT LEAST 5 to 6 weeks after germination to apply dimension. If you are going to apply in mid-June, make sure you do it when the lawn is not drought-stressed. Or you could just keep applying Tupersan every month :) , if you can afford it. Legally you can only apply 2 blanket applications of Drive 75 per year. I don't think there is a maximum use rate of Tupersan per year.

    For best results with spring seedings you will need the ability to irrigate and you might need to have some fungicides ready for use.

    lets see if I forgot anything....hmmm.....

    your seedlings will have a better chance of survival if you don't do the dimension, but you will have less crabgrass control. Oh, another nice thing about Drive 75, it can be used as both a "seed-time" pre-emergent and a post-emergent, you can even control clover and dandelion over top of the fescue seedlings.
  8. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 293

    I know there's lots of work to do here and try to keep the "summer seeding" in the back of the house which is not 100% sun, like the front yard is. Before anyone mentions it, I DID have a tree company (my best Bud) come through and do a thorough "lift & cleanout" of the rear of the property. I know - No Sun = no grass!

    The Crabgrass took over about 50% of the front lawn last summer. Its "looking" like I took 50 to 80% of that back with the fall seeding.

    The lawn WAS VERY THIN last year. I don't have nearly the bald spots I had before I started this project. But as far as the current thickness is concerned, I'm hoping when I get the spring starter app down the fall seed will take off, but feel we won't know for sure until the fert is down and doing its thing.

    The seed I've been planting is tall Fescue. The local feed mill calls it "winning colors". I do not believe there is any rye in this mix.

    I have core aerated a week ago or so when we had a few warm days and it was lightly raining. I put about a 1/4 rate of lime down before aeration and seeded immediately thereafter.

    It kind of sounds like I'm on the right course here. I do appreciate the time you took to write this out. I'll look into the Drive 75 and take your suggestions into serious consideration. IE: Now I can start looking for product pricing and reading more about the Drive.

    Again I thank you and please fell free to pass any more info that may come to mind.

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