Planted new grass in fall, weeds are out of control now

TeetimeAP2March 18, 2012

Hi,

I planted 3/4 of an acre of Kentucky Blue high grade mix the last week of August last year. I got about 1 inch of grass growth before it stopped before winter. I did apply slow fertilizer at the first of October. When the grass went dormant the color was weird compared to the dormant grass of my neighbors.

So it's now March and the weeds are going crazy and their green and my grass is still dormant.

My question is when can I apply fertilizer to my lawn? I would like to see it grow beyond 1 inch :) can you apply fertilizer to a spring lawn that is dormant? How long do you have to wait?

Also in some areas the weeds are so thick, I cant see any lawn. Does that mean I will have to replant that? or will the grass grow through?

Thanks for any feedback!

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andy10917(NY 6a)

Did you rototill, aerate or otherwise disturb the surface of the soil? What did you use for a topdressing?

What brand/mixture of seed did you use?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 1:52PM
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TeetimeAP2

I didn't disturb anything in the fall. I did two fertilizing, one when I seeded and the other first of October.

The seed I used was from a local green house. Most of my neighbors have it in, and its a nice feeling grass. Its a mix of 4 or 5 different Kentucky grasses.

The reason I'm asking about how early I can fertilize is because I obviously need the grass to grow so I can mow it three times so I then can start killing weeds?

I guess that is another question, if grass is planted in fall do you have to wait three mowings before you apply a weed killer in the spring?.

Everything I read was last week of August is the most ideal time to plant, and it got about a month of warm weather and then when the colder weather came in everybody's grass stopped growing. Mine stopped about an inch, i'm assuming this is normal. I would assume you wouldn't be able to mow three times before winter, unless you live in a warmer climate or have a very warm fall.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:04PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

Now, after the grass has 'over wintered' ... it is considered mature and there is no need to mow 3 times now before applying a herbicide. Go ahead and kill those weeds.

Apply fertilizer after you have mowed the grass. An actual looking shaggy, in need of a trim, mowing. After fertilizing, new weed growth will be happy and you will need to kill weeds again.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:43PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I agree with Gary. If your KBG is still completely, totally, dormant, you can use RoundUp. If you suspect it is coming around out of dormancy, then stick with a Weed-B-Gone product.

Fertilizing now, before the real grass comes out of dormancy, would be fertilizing only the weeds. After you mow real grass for the second time, you can be sure you have roots capable of taking up nutrients.

What watering schedule are you following or planning to follow?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:03PM
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TeetimeAP2

Thanks for the feedback.

Make sure I get this straight, with Kentucky blue grass planted in the fall and only grown an inch. It considered mature when it goes through winter and that would allow me to apply weed killer.

what type of weed killer should I use? Weed-bgone? I also have a lot of broad leaf weeds, would 2 4-d be ok on a lawn that was planted in fall?

Also here in a couple of weeks the grasses around here in Utah should be coming out of dormancy, should I apply a fertilizer with weed control? This would be after the weed killer I applied now?

As far as watering schedule, normally we get a fairly wet spring, so I should be ok until May if the season is normal.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 10:14PM
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TeetimeAP2

I just want to confirm, because I spent a lot of money on this seed, almost as much as hydro-seeding. I don't want to kill my grass because I'm not patient enough. But I also want to give it a good head start and waiting for 3 mows, the weeds would be more out of control because of the spring weeds.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 10:37PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

>"Make sure I get this straight, with Kentucky blue grass planted in the fall and only grown an inch. It considered mature when it goes through winter and that would allow me to apply weed killer."

Yes.

>"what type of weed killer should I use? Weed-bgone? I also have a lot of broad leaf weeds, would 2 4-d be ok on a lawn that was planted in fall?"

Yes, 2,4D is fine now ... but know that 2,4D is not the cat's meow for every weed. Look at labels and purchase a combination of 2,4D with Triclopyr or 2,4D & Quinclorac for better weed coverage.

>"should I apply a fertilizer with weed control?"

No.

Fertilizing and weed control is two separate operations with different timing needs. When it is time to fertilize (after a real mowing) - then fertilize. If it is time to kill weeds (like now) then kill weeds

>"I don't want to kill my grass because I'm not patient enough."

Then don't fight mother nature. Allow the grass to wake up naturally when it's good and ready. Your lawn knows no calendar. Once the spring 'growth flush' begins, as soil temps rise, you will be mowing twice a week - guaranteed! It is then that you begin feeding.

In the case of a newly renovated lawn, you can "spoon feed" your lawn this spring. This means - half the bag rate of synthetic fertilizer, applied twice as often. This keeps the young lawn, like a child, constantly fed.

Utah has crazy weather, so once it warms up and summer conditions begin, STOP the synthetic fertilizer until fall.
During the summer, drop something organic for a slower, more gentle constant feeding. Milorganite would be perfect for this time.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:51PM
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TeetimeAP2

Thank you everybody. Ok I'll work on the weeds now. I'll Wait untill the grass is actively growing before I fertilize.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:12AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Agreed with gary on everything.

The grass is considered mature because the roots have had time to 'harden off.' Had you seeded this spring, the roots would still be too tender when the summer heat comes. You are good to go for summer.

KBG takes 3 years to really establish. First year it sleeps, second year it creeps. Third year it leaps.

Since we have your attention, what is your watering and mowing plan? May as well get all the important stuff handled while you're interested.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 9:51AM
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natecookie

hi I have the same problem i live in farmington, i planted mine in october 1 acre, looking to see if you tried anything and what worked.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:46PM
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