Lawn rehab - is this a good plan?

NinjaPixie87(7)April 23, 2013

Original plan was to spread some weed & feed, but after doing some reading, it seems that the general consensus is that weed & feed is a big no-no.

So here's my new plan:
Step 1: Pull up the bigger weeds (done) and mow at highest setting and bag clippings.
Step 2: Apply fertilizer.
Step 3: After about 2 weeks, apply weed-be-gone. (Might need a second round.)

Another option might be to spread some clover seed, and let the clover choke out the weeds naturally. But I don't know at what point in the above steps this should be done.

My questions:
1. What kind of fertilizer should I use?
2. Can I seed the bare areas, and just avoid hitting those areas with the fertilizer and WBG?
3. Would seed even work this time of year, or are we stuck until fall? I don't mind putting down something like rye as a temporary fix, I just want to start healing the bare areas.
3. Should I keep our dogs' yard time to a minimum for a few days after applying stuff?

(Some background, if it makes a difference:
We are new homeowners, haven't done anything but mow since we moved in ~1.5yrs ago, and we now have a very weedy, neglected yard. One side of the front yard looks okay but has a few weeds, the other half of the front yard is dirt/few wood chips where we just removed a tree. Half of the backyard is pretty dead looking, and probably 90% weeds with very little actual grass. The other half of the backyard is much more green, and more like 30% weeds. There are some bare areas where we used to have mulch (old play area) that need to be seeded at some point. Soil is red clay in some areas, and rich dark color in other areas. I don't know my weeds very well, but we appear to have lots of dandelions, chickweed, some sort of thistle, and something that my husband claims is "corn-related" (shoots up quick, thick, hollow, juicy stalk), and purselane?. I think we originally had Bermuda grass (not sod), but I'm not 100% sure. We're in zone 7, upstate SC.)

Any help would be appreciated. Sorry I don't have pictures; I might be able to post some later today when I go mow.

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chaoticut

I'll take a stab at it and hopefully the experts will come help as well.

Overall the plan sounds pretty good to me. Much better than just laying down some weed and feed and hoping for magic :)

My first suggestion would be to figure out what type of grass you have. Either through the internet or by digging up a clump and taking it to a local nursery (finding a good, local nursery is worth its weight in gold 10 times over!). In fact you could pull every type of weed and I'm sure your nursery could identify and suggests a solution for you!

Then I would get a soil sample. You can opt for the extensive ones through your county or just buy a cheap one on amazon. This will give you a general ideal of where your at as far as soil conditions go.

While your grabbing your soil sample look at your thatch build up and soil density. Always good to see if your yard just needs to be thatched and aerated so the grass can actually receive nutrients to grow!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:59PM
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NinjaPixie87(7)

I didn't think of taking a clump of grass to a nursery, that's a great idea. I looked at the grass as I was mowing yesterday, and some of it is a low, crawling type grass, and some if it grows in tall clumps...so I think we might actually have Kentucky Blue Grass with a Crabgrass infestation. But I'll take some to a nursery and check it out...thanks!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:35AM
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albany1(5)

In early April I put down EZ seed. Most areas seem to be growing well
(About 4 weeks later).My question is if it is inevitable that this grass
Will die off in July,or over winter and can Imanticipate a ton of crab grass by
Summer.
Can you ever be successful with a spring seeding here in upstate NY?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 4:56PM
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