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Sudden onset of weeds in lawn

Posted by GregP731 NH (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 2, 14 at 15:28

Hi all-

New homeowner here (about a year) and this was my first full season of trying to make the lawn look really nice. Last fall I overseeded with Pennington and in the spring I had to put some more seed down in problem areas and used a starter fertilizer. I have been cutting the grass relatively high once a week, and I have an irrigation system that waters for 17 mins everyday, once a day (first zone is 7 am).

I'm hoping some of you experts can help point me in the right direction. As you can see in my pictures, I'm getting these random weeds all over the yard. I've done some research, and have a feeling it may have to do with my watering routine? I was considering using a weed-n-feed but read some negative comments on those. You'll see another part of my back yard (where the dog eliminates) that I'm not as concerned about, but I have a feeling the weeds are germinating from that part of the yard because I haven't spent any time weeding the corner.

Let me know your thoughts..
Thanks
Greg

Here is a link that might be useful: grass


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sudden onset of weeds in lawn

1) Stop watering every day. This is the fastest way to not only set off major weed issues in summer, but also to give the lawn a nice, fatal fungal infection.

You'll have to step back watering slowly, every other day, then every third day, as the lawn shows it's grown the roots to handle it. Increase timings appropriately.

2) The one I can identify looks like crabgrass, but I'm terrible at weed ID. If that's correct, any crabgrass killer will take it out in one shot. Weed-B-Gone with Crabgrass Control is very wide-spectrum and will take out the majority of weeds--except for P. annua, P. trivialis, and a few others. It's not great on sedges, either.

3) Don't bother with Weed and Feed, particularly in July. Your lawn doesn't want to eat right now, it's in summer doldrums, whereas the weeds are fully capable of going completely hyperkinetic if fed. The Weed portion of it isn't terribly effective, either.


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RE: Sudden onset of weeds in lawn

What kind of grass seed did you buy? It will tell you on the label in a part called Guaranteed Analysis. Pennington sells all kinds of grass seed. What yours is could be important.

Your watering could not be worse. Do what morph said to back off until you are watering no more than once per week with temps above 90 degrees. It's July in South Texas and I have not yet watered my entire lawn one time for 2014. Granted we have gotten some well-timed rain, but that means 1/2 inch every 2-3 weeks. Every lawn is a little different, and mine is more than a little different, but yours is not that different. Back off and you will stop the weeds. I know that sounds crazy, but weeds need frequent water to sprout, and that's exactly what you're giving them.

If you can, use a spot spray type of herbicide so you are not spreading havoc all over the place. The grass is stressed enough with the heat and daily watering. Spot spray the weeds to minimize further stress. You need to hop on this ASAP, because that is crabgrass and it will take over if not stopped.


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RE: Sudden onset of weeds in lawn

I've uploaded a pic of the grass seed label. Looks like fescue mostly? I have no idea..

I don't understand not watering the lawn. Isn't that how it gets burnt in the hot summer months? It's like the exact opposite of everything I've been told about grass my whole life. Also, the herbicide won't kill the grass along with the weeds?


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RE: Sudden onset of weeds in lawn

>>I've uploaded a pic of the grass seed label. Looks like fescue mostly? I have no idea..

I don't see an attachment so I guess it didn't come through.

>>I don't understand not watering the lawn. Isn't that how it gets burnt in the hot summer months?

More or less, quite the opposite. I water every 9 to 12 days depending on the temperature (it may, in 100 degree heat, go down to 5 days). The grass has deep roots and it's capable of tolerating heat fairly well (I have pure elite KBG, which isn't known for heat tolerance).

Constantly watered grass has short roots. If you suddenly hit a drought and go under watering restrictions, it's going to slip into dormancy very, very quickly and quite possibly die. That's not because you didn't water...but because you overdid it earlier.

Longer roots also gather resources from the soil more efficiently and from further afield, form more associations with fungi and bacterial mats (which help feed the lawn, maintain its immune system, and gather water and resources from even further away).

>>It's like the exact opposite of everything I've been told about grass my whole life.

Yep. Most of the companies are huge fans of frequent, shallow watering. Mostly because it sets off the problems that they sell the solutions for...and then you also get to buy grass seed all over again when the grass dies.

>>Also, the herbicide won't kill the grass along with the weeds?

If you use Weed-B-Gone with Crabgrass Control, no. Something like Round Up would kill anything it touches.


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RE: Sudden onset of weeds in lawn

Greg, you have to unlearn what you think you know about watering. I learned after a knock down drag out online battle with a lawn professional from Phoenix. He swore up and down that once a week was enough for lawns in Phoenix. He finally posted some pictures and I became a convert.

Yep. Most of the companies are huge fans of frequent, shallow watering. Mostly because it sets off the problems that they sell the solutions for...and then you also get to buy grass seed all over again when the grass dies.

Very well said, Morph. Those spring time lawn commercials on the Golf Channel are worth a large fortune to Scotts. They push bermuda seed in February in the south. That's a huge mistake in practice. Bermuda won't germinate until June. By then they are selling people a second round of seed. And they push KBG and fescue seeding in the north. Another mistake. Seeding in the north should be done in August or September. When you seed northern grass in the spring you end up with dead lawn in July and lots of crabgrass. Imagine the possibilities of things you could sell with that scenario.


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