Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by ROYJ24, Mar 18, 2008.
What is the order of lawncare?
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I have a friend who seeds lawns for new home construction. He seeds and puts fertilizer down at the same time. He claims you can grow grass on pure sand in doing it that way. Its amazing how fast the seeds sprout and how quickly the new lawn takes shape. He also farms a few hundred acres of crops, he knows how to get things to grow.
Prep your area to be seeded and seed it. Use a fertilizer for seeding with no weed preventer in the bag. This will prevent seed from germinating. After your lawn is established you can apply scotts or some other brand with some kind of weed prevention. Apply I.A.W. manufactures recommendation.
Every spring I lime my entire lawn and bare spots of the lawn(most are by the road) then about a week or so later I rough up, re loam spots by the road killed by road salt ....I use starter fertilizer and seed like hell. I also fertilize the rest of my lawn with Scotts with halts or equivalent. Then sometime in the summer I sometimes(not always) use a mid summer fertilizer, sometimes I use just a spray fertilizer with weed killer( its cheaper)......then in the fall I lime again. If you use ALOT of lime especially in the fall it cuts down on the amount of weed killer you'll need the following year. I lime in fall and spring every year.
This pattern works very well for me...so see no need to change it
While the lime trick may be working for you, there really isn't any agronomic basis for lime directly combatting weeds, especially with frequent applications. With too frequent of applications, you are going to raise the soil pH too high, which is not necessarily too bad for most turfgrass, but it does promote a hospitable environment for clover to grow like crazy (it likes a high pH). On a related note given the site we are on, wood ash is an excellent liming source!
Here in VA, clover, dandelions, crabgrass, goosegrass and chickweed are our main turfgrass weeds. In addition, we fight bermudagrass (wiregrass) in our cool-season (bluegrass, fescue) lawns as well. Most any of the over-the-counter weed killers containing 2, 4-D and/or Dicamba will zap most of your broadleaf weeds (clover, dandelions, chickweed). Removing the others is trickier - there are several pre- and post-emergence crabgrass/goosegrass killers that work moderately well, with the pre-emergent ones generally working the best, although a combination will probably be needed for season-long control. If you have heavy bermudagrass and/or other weed infestations, your best bet may be to go ahead and zap the entire stand with a round-up type product (glyphosate) or other product (gramoxone) that kills everything, and start all over.
Ideally, the best time for seeding and fertilizing cool-season grasses is in the fall, specifically 4-6 weeks prior to first killing frost. Temps are cooler and moisture retention higher during this time. Seeding and fertilizing can be done at the same time as stated in earlier posts. If you have no seeding to do, it is still best to fertilize in the fall - spring fertilization is for those that enjoy recreational mowing and overseeding their lawn in the fall after half of it dies from overgrowth/drought stress during the summer. If you have to seed at other times of the year, try to use a ground cover like straw to retain moisture and shield from excessive heat, and keep the new area watered, but not overly so.
Do not attempt any overseeding for at least 6 weeks (or longer depending on label instructions) after applying a pre-emergence herbicide. The "kill all" herbicides (round up, etc) and/or post-emergence herbicides can generally be seeded into within a couple of days, but again, make sure and read the label as different products have different restrictions.
Funny but I mix clover in with my grass. Nitrogen output is amazing. Use white clover because it doesn't grow too high. I also cut on the highest setting. Also lime once a year and aerate with a pitchfork.
But I am out in the back 20, so we can get away with stuff like that.
Years ago I needed a new lawn and we had that stuff they spray from a truck (can't remember what it is called) and I got the best lawn I ever had. Cost more but the labour on my end was zilch. Front and back lawn on a 1/4 acre was done in like an hour. It sticks to everything and holds up really well on slopes.
Here in the Northeast we use a different seed.....I use 8 bags of lime every year in the spring and fall....I have cut my fertilizer down quite a bit due to it....before I started with so much lime I had to fertilize more...for crab grass etc. I have a virtually weed free lawn I'll post pics from last summer soon and some this summer...
My sister had that kind of lawn done....was awesome....worked very well for them....as you said, cuts the labor.
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