Pre-emergent question.

jjtjp(7)February 20, 2014

I've read a lot on the subject and I'm still confused what to do in my situation. I am renting a house where I moved in October of last year. The yard was terrible and it was late too do much but I spot sprayed for broadleaf and aerated, limed, fertilized then over-seeded. I wasn't hoping for much but just a little better. It did get better, especially in some areas, but there are sections around my house that are/were pure crabgrass. I know that I should be applying pre-emergent in probably 3 weeks but what do I do when the crabgrass doesn't come up? It will be too late to get any seed down for spring and it will be a giant mud/dirt spot where I'm sure the weeds will come in. Is that really the only thing to do for an area which is 95% crab grass or do I have any other options?
Keep in mind I'm renting, so I'm not trying to spend too much money to improve my landlord's lawn, but just enough to make it enjoyable for the next couple years. I'm sure there are more details I should provide, but I can't think of what. Let me know what other info you need.
I've learned a ton from this community before even my first post. So thanks for that and thanks in advance!

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Where do you live? Are you new to the region?
Is shade an issue with your yard?
Do you have any water restrictions to deal with?
Do you have children or pets on the lawn?

Crabgrass is a summer annual plant. By this time of year it is long gone. It is very possible that the grass you are looking at is one of the better grasses but has that coarse look of crabgrass. Can you take a picture of the weed in question and post it here? Take the picture in the shade or on a cloudy day and take it from a distance of about 3 inches away. You might put a coin in the picture for reference. If there are any seed heads, get a picture of those.

Seeding in the spring will give you a lot of crabgrass by July. Seeding should be done in the early fall for much better results. If you do end up seeding this time of year, get cheap seed. Save for more expensive seed for the fall seeding. But really it would help to know where you are. Most of zone 7 is very warm and does not necessarily lend itself to seed.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:29PM
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jjtjp(7)

I'm sorry to miss that key information. I live in Charlotte, NC. I am not really that new to the region. My yard is about 50/50 shade sunny depending on the side of the house. The side with the grab grass is on the sunny side. Right now on that side is dead brown crunchy crabgrass with some clover poking its way through. Are you saying that if it were crab grass then it would be nothing left of it? The area in question is bout 400 square feet, but it is right off my patio so that is why I'm so anxious to not have it terrible for another year almost. I can get a picture tomorrow if that helps. Thanks for the reply!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:50PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Okay you're not at all where I thought you were.

Pictures would really help. Crabgrass should be gone by now. I'm not saying you don't have an ugly weed, but treating it properly will be easier knowing what it really is.

What is the rest of the lawn grass? I'm guessing fescue. What would you like?
Does water seem to collect in that spot when it rains for several days?
How often do you water and for how long?
When were the last two times you fertilized and what did you use?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:48PM
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jjtjp(7)

Thanks for the follow up.

First of all, how do I make sure I receive notifications? I have an option "if you no longer wish to receive notifications" but I'm not getting any. It's hard for me to remember to check every day.

The lawn has been a rental for 15 years so its never had proper care. It's a mix of weeds of all sorts with some fescue. I'm targeting to get as much fescue (I think) to grow while I live here the next 3 years. I overseeded with a fescue blend last fall and watered that daily while it was germinating. I haven't really watered since and I am not looking to water too often, if I'm honest. I'm not looking for perfection since this is a rental, just improvement. I fertilized and limed with a mixture from my local lawn care place but I can't remember the quantities. I think the nitrogen was around 17. I also think that I need a lot more lime from what I've read. There is only one spot where water collects on the entire property and I plan on adding some compost to it soon. In that spot is plantain but it is not the same as the crab grass. The crab grass seems to be in the higher heat/less shady areas. Is it advisable to maybe put a Kentucky bluegrass there? Is it not more resistant to direct sunlight?

Thanks again so much for the help. I've attached pictures of the alleged crabgrass.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:52PM
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jjtjp(7)

I guess I can't put two pictures in the same post.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:54PM
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