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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:15 PM
81 posts, read 185,708 times
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My suggestions would be to aerate the lawn, and overseed about mid Feb. I would then come back again and overseed at about 2/3 of the normal rate in mid March.

Do not use any pre-emergence herbicide (crabgrass preventer). Even if the grass has germinated, it will inhibit root growth, thus making it more difficult to survive the late summer heat.

In early May make an application of an insecticide that contains imidicloprid (Merit). Not only will this control grubs, but there is data to show it may help in reducing other stresses the grass may have to endure in the summer.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:03 PM
Location: Midtown Raleigh
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Agree with MCLink... no amount of seeding will make the turf look good if you don't aerate. The ground just gets too compacted here. I'd make it an annual chore that you cannot miss to aerate and overseed each September. We missed a year once and it was obvious in the spring. Also, the weeds just took over especially in the bare spots (because healthy grass crowds out weeds more effectively than spraying weed killer on them).
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:32 AM
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Never been aerated...what it looks like before/after overseeding.

You be the judge, did it stick? (sorry for the dog pics they're all I have)

If you had crab grass last year and don't put any down you are screwed. I don't care how thick your lawn is. If you have fescue the summer time heat will weaken and thin it out over the summer, right when crab grass is growing the most. In the pics above my lawn gets 10+ hours of direct hot summer sun.

ETA look for a product called "Dimension" it contains a different chemical to control crabgrass and doesn't inhibit root growth. I haven't tried it yet but might if my corn gluten meal (organic) method doesn't work.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by WeLuvNC View Post
I'm going to try the 'throw the seed down' before it snows this weekend. I have some left from the fall overseeding. Lets see if we can get it to germinate where it didn't germinate in the fall! Thanks for the tip. I wonder if the snow packs it into the ground a bit? Worth a try.
Keep in mind in the north the ground is frozen solid all winter. Here, the snow melts and two days later the soil temp is enough to germinate the seed. Then it gets below freezing again and the soil temp drops, and seedlings die.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:30 AM
Location: Creedmoor
148 posts, read 600,973 times
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We always tell our clients the following regarding Spring aerating and overseeding:

1) You can get decent results in the Spring but Fall is a much better time. If we get a really hot Summer(like 2007), the roots will not be established and the loss will be very high. A mild summer(like 2009) and frequent watering will yield good results.
2) Timing is tricky - seeds need to be put down after the last frost(Mid March or so). Usually the best time is March 15-30.
3) Never put down a preemergent or post emergent fertilizer when seeding. You need to wait 6 weeks after applying. If you are planning to apply a preemergent, do so the first week of February - no later. Wait until May for applying a post emergent.
4) Do not put seeds out before a snow or frost, hoping they will germinate later. This will destroy much of the seed.
5) Put down a starter fertilizer with the seed(18-24-12).
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:39 PM
Location: NW Cary
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These are great tips! Thanks.
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