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Old 09-14-2015, 11:16 AM
 
1,064 posts, read 705,752 times
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I'm a new homeowner and I'm obsessed with my lawn for some reason, unfortunately its been completely overrun by crabgrass. I own an acre, but this year I just want to focus on the front. I've made it my mission to have a beautiful green lawn next year. This is my current plan:

I purchased a 4gal sprayer from harbor freight for $20 (highly recommend) and a couple bottles of Bayer crabgrass all-in-one $8.50 a bottle.

1)I started by spraying the large patches of crabgrass, then did a pretty general spray over the whole lawn, again its pretty much everywhere. A few days later all the dandelions were dead and the crabgrass was turning red. The first patch I hit all along my walkway is now completely dead YAY!

2) I'm thinking about renting a dethatcher, maybe give the bayer spray another week to work its magic. The lawn is in pretty bad shape I'd say its 75%+ crabgrass, so I'm not sure there's much to salvage and I think I'd be best off getting up the dead crabgrass and getting ready for seed and not worry if the dethatcher hurts the other grass.

3)Take an Aerator to the whole lawn

4)Over seed, I live in NJ and in the summer the lawn gets direct sunlight, so I gotta figure out whats my best bet

5)Water as needed

6) 5 weeks after seeding Fertilize with Lesco 18-0-18 Fall and winter fertilizer. Which would put me right around the end of Oct.

After the winter I plan on putting down Lesco 19-0-7 Crabgrass Pre-emergent and just hope for the best.

Thoughts??
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:57 AM
 
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,023,877 times
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This has been mentioned on other threads, but crabgrass is an annual that comes up each year from seed. You no doubt are happy to see it go away this year, but the soil will be full of seed for a long time. That said, your real chance of getting rid of crabgrass is to stop the seed while it is germinating in the spring, which happens once the soil temperatures reach 50 degrees-- basically when the forsythia starts to bloom.

The product you are using is a general weed killer that takes out a lot of broadleaf weeds, like dandelions. It also kills a few grasses, like crabgrass, but also some other lawn grasses so you need to be careful what other grasses you want to grow for the lawn. Looking at the label though, it looks like southern grasses are the most sensitive so you might do okay.

As for fertilizer, since you will have new seedlings this fall, ask if you might be better off with something like 17-17-17 that has some phosphorus for root growth (middle number).
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:54 PM
 
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I have just about given up on having a weed free lawn. One of my neighbors does nothing to combat weeds and with the close proximity of our lots and prevailing winds not in my favor their thousands of weed seeds blow right over here on a regular basis.

So it feels like whatever I do is for naught. Hope at least you don't have that situation.

It's a constant effort and one I'm losing.

When we moved here we had vast swathes of weeds of all varieties. I began a program of hand pulling and post emergents and then progressed to pre-emergents in fall and spring (Lesco) and it helps though I have concluded that much of one's success in weed eradication is dependent upon variables such as what spreader is used, how it is calibrated, if it is applied at the correct time and if it is watered in correctly.

I have followed this regimen and with the neighbor situation I still get hordes of crabgrass and honestly I don't mind it anymore. If it is mowed regularly and the ugly seedheads sliced off then it is green and it looks nice in my yard. Mother Nature WILL have her way.

I will be following this thread. Please share what you do and what your results are!
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:04 PM
 
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It could be a multi year process.

1) DO Not dethatch or aerate until the majority of your problem is gone.
2) Apply a pre emergent for crab grass as early in the growing season but after the last regular freeze.
3) Apply yo your lawn crabgrass herbicide as needed throughout the season. MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW instructions exactly especially with it come to grass height and watering schedules for maximum effect.
4) Wash your lawn mower and attachments in a rock or wash area that won't accumulate back onto the lawn.
5)learn about your enemy and it's growing habits.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now a Rehoboth Beach Bunny
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Or embrace the fact that it is green and understand that you will most likely never have a totally green weed free lawn.
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:06 AM
 
1,064 posts, read 705,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
It could be a multi year process.

1) DO Not dethatch or aerate until the majority of your problem is gone.
2) Apply a pre emergent for crab grass as early in the growing season but after the last regular freeze.
3) Apply yo your lawn crabgrass herbicide as needed throughout the season. MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW instructions exactly especially with it come to grass height and watering schedules for maximum effect.
4) Wash your lawn mower and attachments in a rock or wash area that won't accumulate back onto the lawn.
5)learn about your enemy and it's growing habits.

1) Agreed, Thats why I'm doing all the spraying now, hope that by doing that and waiting a week or 2 it'll kill off any seeds that might get replanted from dethatching or aerating. Fact is, if I try to overseed with all this crabgrass thatch the seeds just aren't gonna take and the crabgrass will just grow right back next year.
2) Yup already part of my plan, it goes hand in hand with the dethatching and aerating as I'm sure some crabgrass seeds will still exist when I thatch and aerate, hope putting down a quality pre-emergent in early spring will prevent those leftover seeds from germinating.
3)Thats the step I'm on now. I've already hit the much larger patches of crabgrass, and I've been walking around each night just kinda hitting each individual spot I see. I'm also doing some general all over spraying. I'm probably working on about 7,500 square feet. Each bottle covers 6,250 sq/ft and I bought 3 bottles so hopefully I get full coverage of my lawn with focus on the really bad spots
4)Didn't think of that. Right now I'm just bagging all the clippings hoping it stops the spreading as much as possible.
5)Thats why i'm here
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:45 AM
 
1,064 posts, read 705,752 times
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UPDATE:

Did my Dethatching on Saturday, heres the progress and tips so far.

I rented a dethatcher/powerrake from Homedepot. I did my quarter acre front lawn in about an hour, so the 4 hour window they give you is plenty. I put it on the half way setting, as any lower was really chewing up the ground leaving nothing but dirt. I can't even begin to tell you the amount of thatch this thing pulled up. I was amazed I still had a lawn after.

Once the dethater was returned I came home and sucked everything up into bags on my riding mower. This actually ended up being the most time consuming part of this. My bags were literally filling every 2 mins. I imagine I had to dump both bags 15-20 times, no exaggeration.

Next I put down a starter fertilizer following the directions on the bag. Once that was evenly spread I ran the sprinklers for 2 mins on each cycle just to be sure the fertilizer was hitting the soil and not resting on patches of dead crabgrass.

Next I put down 25lbs worth of rye grass seeds, which is about 2.5lbs per 1,000 sq/ft. I would have gone more, but I plan on doing a "frost seeding" come the first day of spring, and I just want to be sure this is going to work lol.

After that I gave the sprinkler a good 20 min run in each zone.

I've been watering 3 times a day for 5 mins each zone (recommended to start seed germination), I can already see what little grass I used to have popping back through where the crabgrass was choking it out. I hope to see the new seeds start growing in the next 2-3 days.

(Next I'll lay a winter fertilizer in 8 weeks, do a "frost seeding" end of March, and crabgrass pre-emergent in early May)

The pictures show dethatching half way done, you can see all the dead areas that used to be loaded with crabgrass and just how much thatch was coming up. The next picture shows me starting to suck up all the thatch in the mower. And finally you can see I still actually have some lawn left. My goal is to look like the neighbor across the street.. he's really showing me up! haha.
Attached Thumbnails
Help getting rid of Crabgrass-screen-shot-2015-09-21-12.29.05   Help getting rid of Crabgrass-screen-shot-2015-09-21-12.29.18   Help getting rid of Crabgrass-screen-shot-2015-09-21-12.29.31  
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:26 AM
 
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,023,877 times
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Sounds great! You have discovered what most people have not. A person needs to have a good plan and stick with it. Each seedling is a living creature and needs to have its local needs met. It usually doesn't work to just throw down a bunch of seed then water it a couple of time. No, you need consistency to get a good healthy lawn started. Bravo to you.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:40 PM
 
1,064 posts, read 705,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Sounds great! You have discovered what most people have not. A person needs to have a good plan and stick with it. Each seedling is a living creature and needs to have its local needs met. It usually doesn't work to just throw down a bunch of seed then water it a couple of time. No, you need consistency to get a good healthy lawn started. Bravo to you.
Absolutely.. I didn't put down any top soil, I'm hoping the powerrake loosed the soil enough to let the majority of the seeds settle with just regular watering. There are a few spots where I still see the seeds resting on top of the soil. I'm not going to panic just yet, we'll see what the next few days and constant light watering bring. (I honestly just can't imagine laying top soil by hand over 1/4 acre)

I also imagine a good amount of crabgrass is going to grow back with my newly planted rye. This is just the reality of the process. Right now my focus is just getting the new seed to germinate and grow deep strong roots for the winter. I'm hoping in the spring with the use of a quality pre-emergent it'll get my crabgrass problem somewhat under control.

I specifically chose rye because of the speed in which it grows, hoping it'll stop a lot of crabgrass from germinating by shading the soil quickly.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:50 PM
 
1,064 posts, read 705,752 times
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So day 3, not really seeing anything sprouting just yet. It was cool and overcast all day today so I only only watered twice each time for 6 mins. Tomorrow is going back up to 80 and sunny. I'll likely water in the morning, set the timer for noon and I'll hit it again at 6pm when I get home. Rest of the week looks to be cloudy again so I'll probably go back to just watering twice a day.
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