Looking for Chicago area lawn care company: Not mowing, just weed

linnea56(z5 IL)August 14, 2011

After years of wanting to avoid chemicals on the lawn, my "grass" is now more weeds than good grass. Last fall I got desperate and killed a large area of crabgrass with rounup. When it was all dead I raked it out, and sowed new seed. I thought that was the answer. It looked great last fall and this spring. But now, in midsummer, all that good new grass has died out, and crabgrass has seeded itself heavily in that are. It looks even worse than it did last summer. In the back, my "lawn" is mostly ground ivy and yellow woodsorrel.

This is beyond me. I need to hire some lawn care company to get rid of this. I've tried various chemicals, but getting the right dilution is near impossible. And I don't have the time for it.

I won't use TruGreen (aka Chemlawn) because I used them a long time back and they were so slapdash they missed a lot of areas. My neighbors still use them, and the application is still slapdash. I have large areas of garden beds, I need someone conscientious enough that the garden will not accidentally get sprayed.

Does anyone know of a Chicago area company they are happy with? I'm in the NW suburbs. It's a shot in the dark, but I thought I'd at least ask. Thanks!

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

You're looking for someone to get rid of your weeds and install a lawn. Any landscaper can do that. The trick comes after the lawn is up and growing. You are apparently doing something wrong to get crabgrass year after year.

I have not use anything but organic fertilizer (not compost) in my lawn since 2002 and have not seen any crabgrass. Weeds come and go depending on the drought and my time to go pull them. This year I have overdosed with organic fertilizer by applying a full application of 20 pounds of corn gluten meal per 1,000 square feet every month since April. The lawn has never looked this good. In fact my wife is a little perturbed because we have one of very few lawns that does not have any dead spots in it (we've had only 5 inches of rain in the past 10 months). I water according to the local ordinance for Stage II drought conditions and the lawn looks scary good. Besides the overdose of organic fertilizer, all I do is water and mow.

Before you call a landscaper, please help us to help you some more by answering a few questions.

What kind of grass do you (or did you) have?

How have you been watering? How often and how long each time?

How have you been mowing? How often and how high/low?

How often do you fertilize and what do you use?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 9:44PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I don't know what kind of grass I have. I'm in the Midwest, so it's no fancy variety like zoysia or St. Augustine. The bag of grass seed I last used has many kinds listed on it, which look about the same as what it was originally sodded with 25 years ago.

I don't want to treat the weeds myself. I can't. This is already beyond my ability. I've tried weed and feed products, preemergence crabgrass products, weedkillers, over many years, and none have had any real effect. All I know is, the weeds, ground ivy and crabgrass keep multiplying. I tried killing it all with Roundup last fall, in a couple of 12 x 12 foot sections, and now those areas are the worst part of the lawn. The newly seeded grass (which I added to this spring, too) basically died out as soon as it got hot. Grass usually goes dormant here in the summer. This year, though, with lots of rain, it still looks green.

I water when the garden seems dry. I have many garden beds, which I monitor pretty carefully. The grass gets water, when they get water. But we have had so much rain, it hasn�t been necessary to water anything since June.

We fertilize twice a year, spring and fall. Mowing height: my husband does this: medium, I guess?

If I can't find a week control company, my next option is to hire someone to pull out everything and re-sod.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:00PM
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It sounds to me like your lawn could be doing OK based off of the answers you gave. I'm sure there are multiple different landscaping companies in your area. FInd a reputable one and go with them. There are companies that don't know much about the grass they treat and are mostly just looking to earn a buck. Other companies are devoted to making your lawn look good. Long short, is - choose a good company even though they will cost more. Unfortunately I don't know of a specific one.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 6:02PM
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