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Need help with a lawn plan.....

Posted by sincerity Western NC (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 19, 11 at 15:23

Okay, I have lived at my current address for around 4 years now...for the past 2, every spring, I aerate, overseed, wait a few weeks and fertilize. I seem to get about a 60/40 ratio of grass to weeds in favor of the weeds, mostly clovers as u can see in the photos below. I have tried a knock off weed b gone product, in concentrated form and sprayed a section of grass and it had minimal effect on the big clover-like things. I was hoping the overseeding/fertilizing would "choke" out the weeds as I have read, but now am at a loss as some sections of the area are almost completely covered in clovers as you can see.

Granted it looks good after being mowed and is certainly green...but definitely not plush grass like I envisioned...Need some advice on a plan of action if anyone would be so kind as I am at my wits end after spending near 500.00 in the past 2 years for this result:
http://img708.imageshack.us/i/imag0038large.jpg/
http://img707.imageshack.us/i/imag0039large.jpg/
http://img857.imageshack.us/i/imag0037large.jpg/

Please let me know if you need additional information and thanks for the time


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

also, I am talking 25-30k sq ft too, so it's not a small area....


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....s

OH yea, and I do have quote a few trees...but even in the full sun areas, there's no difference. Don't have an irrigation system set up either unfortunately. Area Code 28645


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

"every spring, I aerate, overseed, wait a few weeks and fertilize. I seem to get about a 60/40 ratio of grass to weeds in favor of the weeds, mostly clovers as u can see in the photos below."

Your first problem is that you overseed in the spring. Overseeding and fertilizing in spring means you are watering and fertilizing any weed seeds in your lawn. It means you cannot use preemergents and selective herbicides to fight spring germinating weeds. You would be much better off overseeding in the early fall when daytime temps are in the high seventies, and night temps in the fifties.

"I have tried a knock off weed b gone product, in concentrated form and sprayed a section of grass and it had minimal effect on the big clover-like things. I was hoping the overseeding/fertilizing would "choke" out the weeds as I have read, but now am at a loss as some sections of the area are almost completely covered in clovers as you can see."

Certain weeds aren't affected by the normal formulation of Weed-B-Gone. Clover is one of them. You need to use Weed-B-Gone Clover, Chickweed and Oxalis killer. Sometimes it takes two applications, but it works very well. Herbicides also effect seedlings, so if you are seeding in spring these herbicides probably hurt new grass.

If you want to break the cycle, kill the weeds in the spring/summer, overseed in the fall. Next year put down a preemergent in late winter/early spring (Dimension is inexpensive and widely available). Repeat applications every three to four months as stated on the label. If you want to overseed again next year make sure you don't apply the preemergent less than three months before seeding.


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

Remember also, when you aerate you are actually bringing up weed seeds to the surface to germinate.


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

Alright, great thanks for the responses....I will be getting some clover chickweed and oxalis killer this weekend. Any idea on the most economical way? Like I say I have about 25k sq ft to work with here....I have a 4 gallon backpack sprayer but still this is a lot of area. Should I go with the concentrated or the kidn you spray with water hose?

Also, makes sense about the overseeding...so should I not aerate in teh fall when I overseed or will it not matter since the weeds won't be growing in the winter?

Wealth of knowledge here thanks for helping out a new homeowner.


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

I always buy the concentrate, it's cheaper and you can use it in a tank sprayer or hose end sprayer. If you have the time the tank sprayer uses less and applies it where it needs to go most effectively. If your whole lawn is infested then the hose end sprayer will be faster and easier for you.

Yearly aerating isn't necessary for the majority of homeowners. Why are you aerating? The main reason for aeration is soil compaction, or if you have very heavy clay soils. I would rather you get a soil test to see what is going on in your soil chemistry.


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

tried to find the chickweed clover weed b gone but lowes doesn't sell it...the regular weed b gone actually said it kills the above...did they discontinue it? I guess I don't need to aerate, I was just under the impression if I reseeded and didn't, the grass wouldn't come up--thanks for clarifying


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

bumping this as I still have the same problem and wasn't able to curb it much last year. At this point in the spring, what should be my best course of action? As mentioned above is it too late for dimension pre-emergent? Will I benefit from fertilization or do I just have to wait it out until Fall?

thanks!


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

This, I can help with.

1) Apply preemergent weed control + fert in February. DO NOT OVERSEED.

2) Begin mowing as soon as the grass reaches 4". Mow EVERY WEEK, and set your mover to 3" or 3.5". You are mowing too low.

3) Fertilize again in April with a combo broadleaf weedkiller product.

4) Test for pH. Of too low, lime. (I have to do this this year still... *whimper*...)

5) If you're not going to do a good bit of watering (recommended, at least until your grass recovers--after it's happy, you can back off again), shift fert period to late April to mid-May and don't fert again until Sept. If you are going to water, then you can do a third fert in early June with something like Scott's with Summerguard.

6) Water over the summer, at least .5" once a week any week it doesn't rain at least .8". (See above if you wont...) Apply grub control only if needed. Milky spore is best because it leaves the good bugs alone.

7) In Sept, fert again. Use a broadleaf product if you're getting new fall weeds.

8) Overseed in mid-Oct (if you're not in the mts...) and fertilize.

I think your biggest problems are when you overseed, not fertilizing enough, and mowing too low.


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

This, I can help with.

1) Apply preemergent weed control + fert in February. DO NOT OVERSEED.

2) Begin mowing as soon as the grass reaches 4". Mow EVERY WEEK, and set your mover to 3" or 3.5". You are mowing too low.

3) Fertilize again in April with a combo broadleaf weedkiller product.

4) Test for pH. Of too low, lime. (I have to do this this year still... *whimper*...)

5) If you're not going to do a good bit of watering (recommended, at least until your grass recovers--after it's happy, you can back off again), shift fert period to late April to mid-May and don't fert again until Sept. If you are going to water, then you can do a third fert in early June with something like Scott's with Summerguard.

6) Water over the summer, at least .5" once a week any week it doesn't rain at least .8". (See above if you wont...) Apply grub control only if needed. Milky spore is best because it leaves the good bugs alone.

7) In Sept, fert again. Use a broadleaf product if you're getting new fall weeds.

8) Overseed in mid-Oct (if you're not in the mts...) and fertilize.

I think your biggest problems are when you overseed, not fertilizing enough, and mowing too low.


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btw...

BTW, the .5" will only let your yard coast. If you want it to do well, it needs 1" per week, total. Depending on the variety of grass, that's 1-2 waterings per week.


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

Reyes' plan is pretty good but I would not wait until October to overseed. The time to do that is when the summer heat breaks and night time temps are noticeably cooler. For a lot of people that happens in August. Most people put this stuff off so I'd say get it on your mind in August and wait for the heat to back off a little. Going early rather than late gives your grass more time to germinate and get mowed.

Also, every bottle of Weed-B-Gone says it will kill clover, chickweed, etc. What you want is the bottle with those grasses listed in bold letters in the name of the product. Don't stop looking after one store. Find a real nursery to help you. The product you need is stronger than the one you bought. Also you do not have to drench the soil to kill weeds. All you need to do is mist the leaves.


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

Get a soil test to figure out what is really going on....

Our "Red Clay" soils tend to be very massively mineral deficient, and have poor nutrient holding capacity.... Likely you will need Lime to overcome calcium and magnesium deficiencies... Phosphate and potash to overcome P and K deficiencies... Etc....

Next... as several folks here have stated... No more aerating... It guarantees you will have an abundance of weeds....

Now... you need to make a choice here... You have so many weeds and so little grass that you might be better off renovating 1 section of your lawn to establish an actual Grass turf.... If you want to do Bermuda - start now. If you want to do Bluegrass or Fescue - start August 15th or Sept 1st depending on the weather....

But.. If you do decide to do a renovation... 25,000 sq-ft is too much for the 1st time.... Start with a 5,000 sq-ft section to be your "Showpiece" and renovate that section... Plan to do the next section next year....

So.. Say you decide on a KBG/TTTF mix..
As soon as you get your soil test results back - you start working on everything... Nitrogen, Lime, Phosphate, Potash, minor elements, etc.... but let the weeds live - they will help incorporate all that stuff...

Kill off your 5,000 sq-ft section around August 15th with Round-up. Starter Fertilizer + Seed go down Sept 1st... and you irrigate 5-7 times per day till it comes up, then back off a little at a time till it's established - somewhere around November...

The following Spring and summer - you water and use pre-emergents, fungicide, and weed killer products to help make sure your baby grass survives the summer.... No nitrogen fertilizer past February.

Then, August 15th 2013 - you do the next 5,000 sq-ft section, and start your fall fertilizer routine on 2012's 5,000 sq-ft section....

Thanks


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RE: Need help with a lawn plan.....

wow guys you have given me a lot to think about....THANK YOU! first off...it didn't notify me via email there were replies!

So as an update....I have applied fertilizer and lime prior to a BIG rain...hopefully it didn't wash away! I considered this a last ditch effort as I am tired of spending 100-120.00 and getting minimal results. IF this doesn't work I am going to be faced with a decision to start over, or follow reyes' schedule to a T for a few years and see what happens.

I am also going to look for the weed b gone mentioned above. Anxious to see how the fertilization process goes after the rain yesterday. I will keep thread updated in a week or so and see how it's looking!

Again thanks for the amazing resource here!


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