Need advice on overseeding

jayt63June 8, 2007

Until this year I have had a beautiful organic lawn. I use soy bean meal, milorganite, and various organic fertilizers and cut my grass at 3" and mulch mow.

This year my lawn has been overtaken by poa. I don't want to use Roundup or any chemicals to kill off my lawn. My question is would it help to overseed my lawn this fall with a good tall turf grass. I would expect to use (or hire a landscaper to use) a slit seed applicator, thus gaining the benefit of aeration at same time as overseeding. Should this take care of my poa problem next year?

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morpheuspa

Should this take care of my poa problem next year?

Welcome to the club, neighbor! Poa annua and Poa trivialis seem to be running rampant this year. I had 400 square feet of triv myself.

Poa annua is an annual (hence the name), so it's going to die with the first frost. If that's what you have, then only the seeds are coming back and they'll start to germinate in fall. A pre-emergent applied then will help, and again in spring. You can't seed with a pre-emergent, and since bluegrass is in the same genus (Poa pratensis) you can't get away with the bluegrass-safe pre-emergents like Tupersan.

Poa trivialis is perennial and happily winters through in Zone 5 and 6 (I'm a technical zone six in the Lehigh Valley, but usually consider myself zone five if I'm thinking about a marginal plant). If you really don't want to use chemicals (I used Certainty herbicide to control it--I had no choice), horticultural vinegar or hand-pulling is your only choice.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 7:24AM
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jayt63

Thanks morpheuspa. I will consider your advice and will talk to a landscaper about it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 6:43PM
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subywu(z5 neOH KBG)

Just a little correction: Poa Annua dies with summer heat/drought. It overwinters nicely just like all bluegrasses. And if nature (or you) gives it enough water during the summer, it can survive that too!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 11:53AM
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morpheuspa

At least where I live, the stuff is fairly happy even in July. It may be hot and dry, but the humidity is high enough to generate dew almost daily up here in the Appalachian foothills.

If you get it, you have it until first freeze. :-)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 7:48AM
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subywu(z5 neOH KBG)

my point was that poa annua does not die in winter.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 9:39AM
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morpheuspa

my point was that poa annua does not die in winter.

Huh. I guess it depends on the temperatures during winter. Where I get a bit of it now and again, winter winds scour the area and it goes down. Not too much likes fifteen degrees and thirty mile an hour winds (even I can't stand it!)

I can imagine that if I had a problem on the southern or eastern face of the yard it wouldn't. Even some of my annuals come through the winter there in the most sheltered areas.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:31AM
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