What to use and when

aiaral(z5NY)September 3, 2006

My lawn is a real mess this year. Crab grass, weeds and bare spots. I did use weed and feed twice this season but I still have weeds and the crab grass is horrid. I know the crab grass can not be treated until spring but what can I do now for the weeds? Should I ferilize now or wait? Should I use a weed and feed? Help!

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Dear Aiaral,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. The good news is that fall is the best time to get your lawn back in shape. The bad news is you have to act fairly quickly to get the best results (next two weeks). Here is what I suggest. First, apply a broadleaf weed control (I like to apply Trimec, and many will do) to the lawn. My first choice is this in a liquid form, but you can apply in a granular, even a weed and feed. Second, go back 4-5 days later and overseed with a premium mixture of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass at a rate of 4 lbs/1000 ft2. (Apply a starter fertilizer at a rate of 1.0 lb N/1000 ft2 if you used the Trimec liquid instead of the weed and feed.)

Water the lawn faithfully for 2-3 weeks (once per day will be fine, let the rains be your friend). Mow the grass when it gets to 3-4 inches and keep it at 2.5 inches for this season.

Apply starter fertilizer at the same rate (regardless of what you did the first time) in early October. Also in early October, apply Trimec to the lawn to eradicate winter annual weeds that will begin to germinate. You can apply the Trimec at 1/3 the label rate if you have already cleaned up the lawn for weeds in early September. This should take you into spring in very good fashion.

Again, thanks for the question and let me know if you have more.


Trey Rogers
The Yard Doctor

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 8:11AM
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I am having a debate with some of my neighbors about what order to aerate, overseed, and appy a top dressing like leafgo. What order do you suggest?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 10:31AM
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Thanks for the reply. One more question. Is there any one brand of fertilizer you prefer over others?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 3:31PM
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I'm not sure about what the Yard Doctor would say, but I don't think brand names make a lot of difference in fertilizers. If you're using chemical fertilizers, you need to match the three numbers on the bag with what your soil needs. When I lived in Illinois, ww usually bought 10-10-10, but in Utah, 21-0-0 is common, because Phosphorous and Potash are naturally abundant. If I'm applying a chemical fertilizer, it's always the cheapest one they had.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 1:44AM
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Dear Aiaral,

Lots of fertilizers to buy, follow the UT's advice and concentrate on rate and timing. The release of the nitrogen into the soil is the key with most fertilizers. teh cheaper the prodcut the faster it will be released and the more often you will need to fertilize. Not a big deal if you like to work in the lawn as you maintain control just like the Pros.

Trey Rogers

Also, to Littlelawnco: areate, seed, topdress.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 5:54AM
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Thanks for the advise. I'll probably hire someone to put down the products. At 78 it's a bit much for me. Hopefully the lawn will look much better next Srping.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 5:32PM
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