I need help with my lawn

AxbourneJanuary 9, 2013

Hi, I moved into my house a couple months back. The Lawn has been neglected for years on end. I am a new homeowner so I am trying to figure out the best approach to restoring this lawn and need some help.

Late Fall I had it core aerated and I overseeded with fescue. About 2 weeks later was our first frost so I dont know if it killed the seed or not.

I am not sure if I should use weed killer in early spring or If I should just stick to watering and mowing high?

Any help would be appreciated.


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Seed needs temps over 55 to germinate. Seedlings can be killed by frost. If you didn't see any germination, most likely it was too cold for the seed to germinate and what you really ended up doing is called dormant seeding. The seed will germinate this Spring when temps get high enough. Fescue isn't nown for its spreading ability, so regular overseeding is recommended. For larger bare spots you will have better sprouting if you topdress over the seed with peat moss.
A pre-emergent applied at the proper time in the Spring will prevent most weeds from re-establishing. However it will also stop grass seed from germinating. Spay-on weed killer like weed B gone are best when used to spot treat.
You will get the best lawn results if you make sure you have balanced soil. (save time and money in the long run- turf grasses stuggle in poor soil and weeds don't--healthy soil wont prvent weeds but it will help the grass compete and eventually squeeze the weeds out) Google Logan Labs in Ohio and investigate getting a soil test and recommendations.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 3:33PM
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Thank you, I have tested my soil and the ph is 6.5. The lawn had alot of crabgrass and clover when we looked at it early last year. Do you think it would be best to prevent weeds with pre emergent? or let grasss come up in the spring and just spot treat?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 4:02PM
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A pre emergent isn't going to affect clover. there is a Weed B Gone product that is specifically formulated for clover and similar "weeds" (clover is not always considered a weed ;). As for the CG, pre-emergent is most effective and Weed B Gone Max for Crabgrass for spot spraying is very good. BUT neither is very friendly to new grass and shouldn't be applied until after the 3rd mowing.
Fall is the best time to seed. My suggestion is to attack the CG and clover problem regularly during the Spring and summer, ammmend the soil if needed and overseed in early fall for the best results. You can overseed this Spring and wait until the new grass matures and then fight the weeds but results aren't usually very good as the weeds just out-compete the grass pluss new grass doesn't do well with the stress factors of Summer.
A PH between 6.3 and 6.8 is good for cool season grasses, but there is more to healthy soil than just PH. There are also organic matter, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and iron levels that are important to growing healthy grass.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 12:21PM
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