First Lawn Help, *Checklist Inside* Zone 5 lots of ?'s

rmklemanJuly 28, 2008

Hello, I have been searching around on here for awile now (i am usualy over in the remodeling forum on gardenweb) I am new to upkeeping a nice lawn, i just purchased my first house this year. Its a 1969 ranch. The couple before me had the lawn fertilized by a lawn care company in the past but it may have been some time since it was done last. I found the checklist for newbies so i will start with that.

I want to at least work on getting the front yard looking good. I bought a bag of menards weed and feed thats part of a 4 step program that has 1?, 2 weed and feed,3 feed?, 4 winterizer stuff? I have not spread it yet...

Pretty much the crabgrass is starting to take over the yard. It has thin spots, the yard is lumpy (needs rolled maybe??) There are 2 small parts with a few little mushrooms, the lawn looks like its half yellow (maybe lack of rain the past weeks) There are bare spots in a lot of places.

Can you guys start me off with what i can do this year as well as tell me what i can do next year and when it has to be done? example: Plant new grass, then fertilize, then roll yard ect...

Thanks so much i will be checking this a lot through the day so any questions or comments let me know thanks!

Background Information:

1. Where you live?

Northwestern Ohio (zone 5??)

2. What type of grass you have?

Sorry i have no idea i know there is crabgrass :P

3. What products you have applied to your lawn, and how much? These include fertilizer, herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, etc.

None I used one small bottle of stuff from menards this morning for the first time.

4. How often and how long you irrigate?

Only time i have watered the lawn was when i sprayed the cheap weed stuff from menards.

5. Is the lawn established, or have you recently seeded/re-seeded or added sod? If so, when?

Its established, It has a lot of patches that need to be filled in and its very thin, i assume it needs to be seeded??

6. At what height you mow and how often?

I mow at 3 1/2 inches or 3.

7. Results of soil test if applicable.


Specifically describe the problem being as descriptive as possible

Thin and bare spots, crabgrass, 2 spots were there are a few mushrooms, broad leaf weeds/dandylions

8. Entire lawn is affected or a specific area(s)?

Entire lawn in patchy and bare spots but all in all not too bad. Broadleaf weeds or dandylions are present.

9. If it is a specific area, what is different about this area? This can include: Shade, standing water, insects/pests, weeds, moss, rocks, heavy traffic, etc. Also, if the problem area is ring-shaped or spreading in any way.

10. If your problem is with weeds, what type of weeds?

Crabgrass is dominating the lawn... few of the other mentioned above

11. How long you have noticed this problem and it is recurring?


12. Do you have a preference towards a synthetic or organic solution?

Dont care

13. Past efforts to remedy the problem.

They had lawn sprayed and fertilized by local lawn care company

14. Are any solutions not feasible? (hand pulling weeds for 2+ acres, daily watering, etc.)

Its a 1 1/2 acre lot. Pond takes up 1/2 acre. Front lawn i could maybe hand pull?

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Cultural solution first. Water deeply and infrequently based on the grass. When it looks thirsty (won't spring back after stepping on it or looks dry) then water at least an inch. Put a small can (tuna cans are ideal, but anything will do) in the area of the sprinkler so you know how much your putting down. Cut high with a sharp blade. Fertilize. It may be too hot for chemical fertilizer. If you don't have an aversion to Milorganite it would be ideal. Apply at the rate on the bag. Some may offer that fertilizing is wrong, but from your description the grass is weak and it needs food. Feed the grass and kill the weeds is how I see it.

Fixing the weeds. Before you apply the Menards product read the label to see if it is effective on crabgrass. If not, then your local big box should have a product that would work. Bayer and Ortho are pretty good products. Hose end sprayer seems to work well. Same stuff should be available in granular if you prefer spreading, but liquid seems to work faster. Just follow the directions.

Towards the end of August or first half of September you should plan on overseeding (cut grass short gradually, core aerate, apply new seed and fertilize). There are several threads with some great instructions on renovation.

Patience. It will take some time to heal. Renovation this fall will be your best time to improve the lawn.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Ok, so my plan needs to be
1. Water daily right now
2. Put down my weed and feed that fights crabgrass
3.End of august start cutting lower and lower
4.End of august core aerate then spread seed (overseed?)

I have heard that the yard needs to be moist to apply the weed and feed to the granuals stick to the grass and weeds??

Do i need to plan on putting down my weed and feed when its not going to rain for a few days or do i need to water it in???

Thanks for the reply soccer dad! Please any more advice let me know. Chime in with anything guys! Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 2:25AM
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The general rule of thumb is 1 inch of water per week, usually all at one time.

Daily watering for short periods is good for the weeds not for the grass.

Follow the directions on your W&F bag. Generally, the dew in early morning is enough to get the herbicide to stick. A few days before rain or watering schedule is best.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 7:44PM
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