Fertilizing my lawn for initial spring application

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Cyclones_R_GR8

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Feb 10, 2007
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My lawn doesn’t seem like it’s coming in the best this year. I’ve got dead/dying/dormant spots scattered all over my yard while my neighbors is green as can be right now. I over seeded about 3 weeks ago, fertilized with milorganite two weeks ago and just put down a grub control yesterday. No chemicals other than spot spraying since last year because of the overseeding. I did not get on a fall weed and feed last year but did some apps of fertilizer earlier in the summer and spring. Any suggestions?

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Still looks better than half my yard. My problem is always fungus, I need to put down a few applications of the anti fungus this year. I did a few years ago and it cleared up for a couple of years and last year it got bad again. Yesterday I used the weed killer you attach to your hose to spray down the back yard. Too many weeds to spot treat. The yard next door has been completely ignored since the original owner moved out over 10 years ago. It's impossible to keep you yard halfway decent when you live next to a weed factory.
 

HardcoreClone

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Jul 28, 2006
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I've always heard about Milorganite, but don't have any experience. If I'm already doing the Earl May 5-step program this year, am I okay to also do 1-2 applications of Milorganite? My lawn needs a ton of nutrients and top soil built back up, as a lot has eroded away the past couple years.

I also want to topdress with screened soil and/or sand. I'm debating if I should try to get one application done soon, then another in the fall when I aerate/overseed. Or if I should just do it in the Fall.
 

cycloner29

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Dec 17, 2008
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Ames
I've always heard about Milorganite, but don't have any experience. If I'm already doing the Earl May 5-step program this year, am I okay to also do 1-2 applications of Milorganite? My lawn needs a ton of nutrients and top soil built back up, as a lot has eroded away the past couple years.

I also want to topdress with screened soil and/or sand. I'm debating if I should try to get one application done soon, then another in the fall when I aerate/overseed. Or if I should just do it in the Fall.
How many holes are on your course/yard if you are topdressing your yard.

It takes years to create topsoil. If you have a lot of clay under what washed away you my be better off breaking it up and reseeding or sod after adding some topsoil to it.

I have used Milorganite the last few years, and will put some down in the next couple of weeks. I do not want to continously us it due to the heavy metals, even though they are minuscule in amounts it does add up over time.

I am also going to put GrubEx down the next time rain is in the forecast as after tilling my garden I did see a few grubs but not to the extent of 10 grubs per square foot. My back yard just is not taking off the way it has the past few years.
 

Bader

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Jul 25, 2007
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Ankeny
Anyone have any suggestions for dealing with black medic? My neighborhood in Ankeny has seen this crap just explode the last few years. I've been pulling it out by the root and disposing of it, but it's starting to feel like a losing battle
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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Just apply some N or do I apply some P and K too? Ive got some 30-0-3 in the garage but would something like a 10-10-10 work better?

I’ve been keeping up with mowing and raked out the crappy spots because I laid some seed down. The grass in that pic is only about 3 inches, it’s just not standing up. I haven’t aerated or dethatched since I moved in a couple years ago. I should probably do that I guess.
I'd just use the 30-0-3 you have on hand and see how it looks after a week or two.
 
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nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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Anyone have any suggestions for dealing with black medic? My neighborhood in Ankeny has seen this crap just explode the last few years. I've been pulling it out by the root and disposing of it, but it's starting to feel like a losing battle
www.canr.msu.edu/news/white_clover_and_black_medic_infesting_turf

Says here, "The most effective herbicides for controlling black medic and white clover contain the active ingredient clopyralid, fluroxypyr or quinclorac."

extension.wsu.edu/whitman/2013/10/black-medic/

Says here, "Herbicides that contain triclopyr, dicamba, clopyralid, or 2,4-D combinations are generally effective if applied correctly, usually in early spring or fall when the plant is young and actively growing. More than one application may be necessary."

I'd invest in a bottle of something like Gordon's t-zone, as that's a handy and powerful cocktail of weed killers that would be useful for your black medic problem and other broadleaf weeds. Please follow the label rates and apply during the recommended temperatures, as t-zone is a little less forgiving then your typical bottle of weed killer. Another option would be to buy a bottle of Quinclorac name brand Drive. It would work on the black medic and also come in handy for post emergent crabgrass, if that's a problem in your lawn. You'll need to go to a lawn and landscape store to find these products or order online from somebody like www.doyourownpestcontrol.com
 

helechopper

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Apr 8, 2006
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Download the Scotts app. It will tell you exactly what to do for any yard problem you may have. It works like a charm.
 

khardbored

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Oct 20, 2012
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Anyone have any suggestions for dealing with black medic? My neighborhood in Ankeny has seen this crap just explode the last few years. I've been pulling it out by the root and disposing of it, but it's starting to feel like a losing battle
Is that what that is? I just call it "three-leaf clover!"

I also have it and live in Ankeny. I've had mostly success with Roundup for Lawns, but it needs a couple sprays a week or so apart.
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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Is that what that is? I just call it "three-leaf clover!"

I also have it and live in Ankeny. I've had mostly success with Roundup for Lawns, but it needs a couple sprays a week or so apart.
Clover, oxalis, and black medic look a lot alike. Roundup for Lawns isn't the best bet for these weeds, but it should give ok control after 2 applications.
 

cmjh10

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Dec 5, 2012
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Iowa Falls
Do you really have thatch? I power rake mine with a cheap Sun Joe de-thatcher once a year or whenever I over seed.
I assume so, this is the 3rd summer we have been here, and previous owner obviously didnt do anything with the yard.
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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I assume so, this is the 3rd summer we have been here, and previous owner obviously didnt do anything with the yard.
First off, I'm a fan of your avatar so I will continue to reply in order to see that nice young lady again.

You can rent a power rake or dethatcher, but it's cheaper just to buy a plug in one off amazon and they work pretty well. I think greenworks and sun joe make one.
 

cmjh10

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Dec 5, 2012
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Iowa Falls
First off, I'm a fan of your avatar so I will continue to reply in order to see that nice young lady again.

You can rent a power rake or dethatcher, but it's cheaper just to buy a plug in one off amazon and they work pretty well. I think greenworks and sun joe make one.
Should I do it now? Fall? Spring?
 

Bader

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Jul 25, 2007
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Ankeny
Is that what that is? I just call it "three-leaf clover!"

I also have it and live in Ankeny. I've had mostly success with Roundup for Lawns, but it needs a couple sprays a week or so apart.
It's a bit of a guess. At first I thought it was Creeping Charlie but the leaves are wrong and that stuff usually grows in thicker tree areas than my yard. If it's alive long enough it grows tiny yellow flowers that make me think that's right.
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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It's a bit of a guess. At first I thought it was Creeping Charlie but the leaves are wrong and that stuff usually grows in thicker tree areas than my yard. If it's alive long enough it grows tiny yellow flowers that make me think that's right.
I think it's probably oxalis, or wood sorel. Triclopyr is the go to herbicide for that sort of thing and the t-zone I recommended earlier will wipe it out.
 

khardbored

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Oct 20, 2012
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I de-thatched my front yard this AM and was appalled at how much thatch there was!!!

mom lawn clumps33.JPG

Looks like little hay piles! (after this I took care of the piles with the push mower / bagger).

Edit: I bought a cheap SunJoe electric de-thatcher -- it's on Amazon ( link here if you want to see it). I figure if it last 3 seasons it's cheaper than renting one. The bagger is so small it's useless, tho.
 

BCClone

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Sep 4, 2011
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Should I do it now? Fall? Spring?

Even those pull behind ones for a rider will help out. I have a 40” one and it really pulls it up. It cost around 70 bucks. That is what the commercial people charge. We either hire it or do it ourselves each first mowing.
 

NorthCyd

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Aug 22, 2011
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Dethatching seems odd to me. Why would you remove organic material from your yard that is eventually going to replenish top soil?