overseed or start over??

indynatMay 12, 2014

Problem: Rear yard (aprox 5000xq.ft) Full sun. I have found grass seed in my area that works well, so that isn't a problem. I am approximating that about 40% of my lawn is weeds/crab grass not actual grass.
I have applied weed & feed already this year. It seems to have helped some but there are still the root systems of the weeds and there are definitely WAY too many to hand dig up! Here is my question:

should I overseed (using a power overseeder) water, fertilize, etc. this year and see what happens

OR

Is the weed problem likely to continue and new grass will not overpower the weeds (i know this may not happen this summer) and I should just plow it all up, and completely start from bare dirt with new seed.
Indiana

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

If you do any new seeding now, you will have 100% crabgrass in just a few short weeks. So don't do it now!!

The time to reseed cool season turf is in the fall. That might be late August to early Sept for you. Until then I suggest you practice the best lawn care you can. Even weeds look better than nothing when they are well watered, mowed, and fertilized.

Get into the habit of watering deeply and infrequently. Deeply means 1 inch of water all at one time. Infrequently means once per week when temps are in the 90s and once every other week in the 80s. Measure 1 inch by setting out empty cat food or tuna cans. Time how long it takes your sprinkler to fill the cans. That is the time you will use from now on every time you water. If your soil will not accept all that water at one time without runoff, either change to an oscillator type sprinkler or do something to soften your soil. Shampoo is what I used. I'll tell you more if you want more on that. By watering like this you will seriously affect the ability of new weed seeds to germinate. They need frequent/daily water.

Mulch mow your grass at the highest or next to highest setting on the mower. Tall grass helps to prevent weeds and also grows deep, drought resistant, roots.

Fertilize with chemicals about now for the first time this year. If you use organics, then you could have fertilized earlier.

Don't think in terms of plowing. Think in terms of scraping. If you have the resources to do a full renovation, then hire a landscaper with a tractor and box blade to resurface your lot. It should take about an hour. If he has the wrong equipment it might take a week. You're paying by the hour so make sure it is a box blade on the back of a real tractor and not a Bobcat or Skid Steer.

Most people who write in here about weed n feed are unhappy with it. A better alternative is to apply fertilizer and then follow up in 2 weeks by spot spraying any remaining weeds. Some weeds will go away simply from being fertilized, some will go away when the grass becomes healthier, and some will go away when the grass is taller and more dense. Just spray the remaining weeds.

In full sun your grass seed mix should contain some Kentucky bluegrass. At least in my opinion. It spreads to fill in thin spots helping to keep weeds out even if they do sprout.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 2:22PM
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