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    Lawn Help (with picture)

    Any suggestions? 2 year old sod. It just won't grow into the patchy spots. The weeds seems to be not bad this year. I'm using the Earl May 4 bad program. I've already done crabgrass preventer. I'm about to do the weed and feed spring bag.

    Should I rake out those thatched dead areas? In doing so, won't I break down my crabgrass prevention? Any other suggestions?
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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    If you've already laid crabgrass preventer - you may be done for a while. Anything you do forward will distrurb the crabgrass preventer and that will most likely inhibit any new seeding.

    I would (have) raked out the dead stuff and tried some overseeding. Definitely do this in the early fall - mid/late Sept and get that new seed going for next spring so you can get the crabgrass preventer down with no worries.

    Is your soil compacted? I see this alot in my yard where my mailman has cut a path between houses, or where my dog spends most her time. The soil is almost like a rock. You might want to get some heavey aeration in the fall before you seed - as well.

    Another thing worthwhile is do all you can to encourage growth of the grass that IS there. From what I understand, we're still about 15 degrees from real crabgrass weather. The thicker that lawn is, the harder it is for that crabgrass seed to take hold. That means water it well. A tip I've heard from a buddy who lived next to a former grounds keeper is to regularly (about every 10-14 days) lay down a very light layer of starter fertilizer - the kind that encourages root growth. He used to spread it around about a third the recommended "once" setting on his spreader. Call it a snack for the lawn. I think the idea is to not give it that blast of nutrient, and then if something happens (sun/rain) - you are less likely to burn or have your fertilizer washed away.

    Good luck.


    Last edited by DaddyMac; 05-05-2009 at 05:14 PM.

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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Rent a thatcher, lot easier and more effective than raking and overseed. Nothing will grow with all the dead stuff on the bottom of the lawn. Although the crab grass preventative may affect the seedlings of new seed.


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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    Any suggestions? 2 year old sod. It just won't grow into the patchy spots. The weeds seems to be not bad this year. I'm using the Earl May 4 bad program. I've already done crabgrass preventer. I'm about to do the weed and feed spring bag.

    Should I rake out those thatched dead areas? In doing so, won't I break down my crabgrass prevention? Any other suggestions?

    #1 Crab Grass seed already germinated. Germinates when the soil temps hit around 50. If you put on crab grass after germination, too late. If you put your crab grass preventer on at the right time, it has already done it's job, most likely.

    #2. If it were me, what I would do is aerate it this fall (creates a lot of soil surface contact for seed, and is good also for your lawn), and dormant seed in some bluegrass seed. Do this after the soil temps are below 50. It won't germinate as the soil is too cold, and the snow will drive it down into your soil, for good germination the following spring. Blue grass is what you want (as opposed to rye) and unless you dormant seed it, you must commit to watering for roughly 30 days until it germinates (bluegrass takes 3-4 weeks to germinate). That will be a chore any more this growing season - and if the seed dries out, you are toast.

    #3. Or, if your patchy spots are localized, you could rake up until you have soil contact, and then seed with some perennial rye. I'd cover it with a thin layer of topsoil. This will germinate in 7 or so days, and will cover.

    Bluegrass is preferred as it will spread - fills thin spots. Rye will not spread at all.

    As far as fertilization, I'd focus on two courses of fertilization in the Fall, as that is when grass can take in the nutrients efficiently, and put away the nutrients for the following growing season. A summer treatment is totally wasting your money - you are feeding the weeds. Also, spring feeding is hyped, unless you have a crabgrass problem and then I can see combining the two. A good lawn this growing season was created the Fall prior.

    My $.02.



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    If you've already laid crabgrass preventer - you may be done for a while. Anything you do forward will distrurb the crabgrass preventer and that will most likely inhibit any new seeding.

    I would (have) raked out the dead stuff and tried some overseeding. Definitely do this in the early fall - mid/late Sept and get that new seed going for next spring so you can get the crabgrass preventer down with no worries.

    Is your soil compacted? I see this alot in my yard where my mailman has cut a path between houses, or where my dog spends most her time. The soil is almost like a rock. You might want to get some heavey aeration in the fall before you seed - as well.

    Another thing worthwhile is do all you can to encourage growth of the grass that IS there. From what I understand, we're still about 15 degrees from real crabgrass weather. The thicker that lawn is, the harder it is for that crabgrass seed to take hold. That means water it well. A tip I've heard from a buddy who lived next to a former grounds keeper is to regularly (about every 10-14 days) lay down a very light layer of starter fertilizer - the kind that encourages root growth. He used to spread it around about a third the recommended "once" setting on his spreader. Call it a snack for the lawn. I think the idea is to not give it that blast of nutrient, and then if something happens (sun/rain) - you are less likely to burn or have your fertilizer washed away.

    Good luck.
    Some gal at Earl May told me something similar about getting all preped in the fall. Rake, seed, water, etc. I did to aeration this spring to try to allow new grows to spread easily because I did think my soil was overly compacted.

    I haven't tried the new lawn fertilzer lightly before. I'm about to do the weed and feed so I think I'll stick to doing that on schedule.

    Crabgrass is what really worries me to I don't want to disturb the soil.

    I guess I'll wait until the Fall. The good news is the front lawn that people see looks great.


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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    Some gal at Earl May told me something similar about getting all preped in the fall. Rake, seed, water, etc. I did to aeration this spring to try to allow new grows to spread easily because I did think my soil was overly compacted.

    I haven't tried the new lawn fertilzer lightly before. I'm about to do the weed and feed so I think I'll stick to doing that on schedule.

    Crabgrass is what really worries me to I don't want to disturb the soil.

    I guess I'll wait until the Fall. The good news is the front lawn that people see looks great.
    Did you have a crabgrass problem last year? If so - I wouldn't mess much with it.

    If you still need to weed n' feed - I'd do that. The starter fertilizer thing is something maybe to do in June, July, Aug. Before you water or rain. Just a sprinkle. I did it for a few years and really seemed to work well. It's not a substitute for any other lawn maintenance.



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    Did you have a crabgrass problem last year? If so - I wouldn't mess much with it.

    If you still need to weed n' feed - I'd do that. The starter fertilizer thing is something maybe to do in June, July, Aug. Before you water or rain. Just a sprinkle. I did it for a few years and really seemed to work well. It's not a substitute for any other lawn maintenance.
    put down starter fertilizer when you want to "start" your grass seedlings. I.e., if you dormant feed, then put the starter fertilizer down early in the spring. If you put starter fertilizer down in the summer, you will have wasted it. Believe me, that is an impossible time to grow grass from seed. Also, the existing grass is not going to benefit from fertilizer in the summer......



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    cant tell from the picture but looks like you might have had snow mold from the winter.... not a big deal, seed through it and you will be fine, the sooner the better



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    As some have noted, can't do much now with the crabgrass preventer down.

    I suggest feeding/watering it properly this year. Get some good fertilizer, not the nitrogen heavy stuff.

    This fall, dethatch it and then overseed. Could aerate after dethatching as well. We dethatched, aerated and overseeded last fall. Put my last feeding down the first week of November (or very close to that time). Results were very good.



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    I'd recommend not going to Earl May, but maybe that's just me.



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    Any suggestions? 2 year old sod. It just won't grow into the patchy spots. The weeds seems to be not bad this year. I'm using the Earl May 4 bad program. I've already done crabgrass preventer. I'm about to do the weed and feed spring bag.

    Should I rake out those thatched dead areas? In doing so, won't I break down my crabgrass prevention? Any other suggestions?
    Cover the yard with AstroTurf.



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Quote Originally Posted by PolkCityClone View Post
    Cover the yard with AstroTurf.
    Yeah, that's what I would do


    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneErik View Post
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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Just dump a ton of Nitrogen on it and spray it with Dicamba to take out the broadleaves. That will work eventually.



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Go talk to Jerry Kluver over in the Lawn and Garden section of Hy-Vee on 86th and Douglas and he will get your grass looking like a fairway at Augusta.



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    Re: Lawn Help (with picture)

    Good god that's awful...Move now!



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