Help return my yard to its former glory!

kacthorpeApril 23, 2014

I love my cool weather fescue lawn and I love taking care of it. God bless my husband for taking over the lawn care in the last two years during my two very difficult, back to back pregnancies.

It's just not his thing, though, and the poor yard has suffered. It's almost overrun with oxalis and clover.

But I'm back and I'm going to whip this lawn back into shape. My problem is I've only ever had to take care of a healthy lawn and I'm baffled on how to take care of a crummy lawn. Also, I don't know what to do chemical-wise as I've always paid someone to do that (a service my husband cancelled, God love him!)

Here's what I've done: 1) Taken as good care of the remaining lawn as I know how--mow high, infrequent deep watering etc. 2) I applied a pre-emergent in early March. 3) I just applied weed and feed today

And I just read on here that weed and feed is pretty useless, so I'm stopping and asking advice before I make it worse.

Can someone give me a plan of attack so I can be proud of my yard again? Thanks so, so much!

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

OMG! Thanks for doing your homework and realizing when to stop and ask questions.

When fescue plants die they don't come back and the adjacent fescue plants don't fill in. It's just the nature of most fescues. Something has happened and you need more plants to replace the dead ones.

What I would suggest is nursing the weedy lawn through the summer and tackling the problem in the fall. What you need is more fescue plants. The best time to seed fescue is in the fall. If you do it now you will have a crabgrass lawn by July. New grass cannot stand the summer heat but crabgrass is a summer plant. So it wins. If you seed in the fall, the crabgrass will not be germinating and that will give the grass a chance to mature before next summer. Late August is the time to do this. You'll have to get rid of the weeds, mow low, seed, roll the seed down (or walk on all of them), and water very briefly for 3x per day for 2 weeks. Then start weaning the new grass off the 3x per day watering and work your way to monthly watering for the winter. Then in spring of 2015 you can slowly water more frequently until you're back to weekly.

If you see in mid September that you are still a little thin, you still have time to seed some more. The idea is to have a dense stand of fescue by spring.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:58PM
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Thank you so much. That makes so much sense.

So no matter if I pull the weeds, spray them or even nuke them, no more fescue is going to fill in so there will always be weeds (or bare patches) until I overseed in the fall.

I'm good with babying a lawn maintenance-wise, but should I be using any chemicals to keep the current weeds at bay? I'm just afraid that the weeds are going to totally dominate my lawn between now and August.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:50PM
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