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Do I Seed or Weed or Both?

April 12, 2013

For all of you who have this lawn question and to make it easier for you to find the info without going on a treasure hunt through my older blog postings, I am going to make it easier to find the answer.  Click here to read my March 28 post:  Feed, Weed, or Seed?  … My most read posting this spring.

 

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40 Comments
  1. Helen Willis permalink

    I purchased a large bag of weed and feed last Fall, in an effort to get rid of dandelions in my half acre back yard. I was sadly disappointed because they are still in my grass in all their glory. Your comments please.

    • Hi Helen
      I’m sorry to hear you still have dandelions. I am wondering if the product may have gone down to light based on your indication you spread a 15,000 sq. ft. bag (the large size) on a half acre (which is about 22,000 sq. ft.). 15,000 sq. ft. is a little over a third of an acre. To get good weed control the product needs to go on moist foliage when no rain or irrigation is expected for 24 hours. This way the granules can stick on the weed leaves to be absorbed and do the job. Weeds usually die within about 3 to 4 weeks. If your dandelions are over the entire yard now, you could consider Turf Builder Weed & Feed, or if they are only in certain areas, you may consider spraying your dandelions with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer and then feeding your grass with Turf Builder. If you use the weed & feed granules, remember to apply to moist foliage, first thing in the morning is good when there is lots of dew. Good Luck with your lawn.

  2. Brenda Evans permalink

    Hello Ashton,
    Time for me to cure my lawn. I have about an acre and a half, my back yard is a sandy soil some shade, in the shaded area grass does not grow lots of weeds. As we come forward soil get darker grass grows better, but still have dandelions, crab grass and this continues out to the front yard.
    I do seem to have a lot of bugs too. Where do I start ?
    Thank you
    Brenda Evans

    • Hi Brenda
      Let me know where you are located and any info you know about the kind of grass in your lawn so I can be more specific with my recommendations. My suggestions in the Feed, Weed or Seed posts works for many areas, however I want to make sure which approach is best for you. For example, do you live in an area where there is still time to prevent crabgrass. Also, try to estimate how many hours a day sun shines into your shaded area. Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. Amy Stephens permalink

    Hi Ashton,
    I live in area code 45044. I just applied Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer. I already have a lot of crabgrass in my front yard. I was wondering if I applied this too late to see results with the crabgrass? Should I try Ortho Weed-B-Gon, and if so when should I apply this after I’ve applied the Turf Builder?

    • Hi Amy
      I do not think you applied too late, because I would be surprised if crabgrass has germinated yet in your part of Ohio. For example, in Marysville we usually see crabgrass germinate around May 1. The first to sprout would be near a sidewalk where the soil warms first and the seedlingss would be very small. Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer would kill these. If you are looking at mature grassy weeds, these are likely perennial grasses with no product recommended that would not kill your good grass.

  4. Deborah Kilgore permalink

    I live in 20601. On 4-8-13 I applied Step 2 Weed N Feed to the backyard. 4-15-13 to the side and partial front yard (it rained later – not poured). I have moss on some of the front also. I need to apply the moss plus the crabgrass preventer plus some seed for some areas. What do you suggest? How to tackle moss, put seed down in various areas and then tackle crabgrass?

    • Hi Deborah
      From your email I assume the Step 2 was your first application this spring and you did not put down a crabgrass preventer earlier. Because of the rain after your application to your side and partial front, you may get better weed control in the backyard. If you put the weed & feed in areas that you want to seed, you would need to wait a month before seeding which will mean your grass will not have much time to grow before the kind of hot, humid weather you can get in your part of Maryland. So, a fall seeding may be best. If you skipped the weed control in areas you want to seed, you can do seed as soon as possible. Scotts Heat Tolerant Blue is a good blend for your area. If you put down the Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer in the seeded areas that will help minimize some of the crabgrass germination. This is the special crabgrass preventer that will not harm your grass seed. Crabgrass has likely begun to germinate in your lawn already, so the other areas can be sprayed with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer later in May as crabgrass becomes more obvious. Be sure any new grass seedlings have been mowed 4 times before spraying. Regarding your moss, since this is sometimes a sign of acid soil and based on where you live you should get a soil test to see if your soil has a low pH (is acid) If so, lime will help raise your soil pH to a 6.0 to 6.5 desirable range. I know if have given you a lot of info and maybe have raised more questions. Let me just end with one suggestion. Lawns in your area really benefit from heavy fall feedings. Many folks follow a schedule of one spring feeding and three fall feedings in that area based on recommendations from Univ of Maryland. A feeding schedule of Late April (which you just did), Early Sept, Mid Oct and Late Nov. helps to maximize fescue root growth.

  5. Brian V permalink

    Ashton, thanks for the link. How would you define good grass? I don’t have many bare spots at all, just some yellowing spots and thin spots. Since I only have the Snap system I am thinking of using Scotts® Snap™ Fertilizer with Crabgrass Preventer this weekend in ZIP 10710. Also how often do you water once you drop the food?

    • Hi Brian
      Good grasses in your area are: Ky. Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Fescues. Put your Snap Fertilizer with Crabgrass Preventer as soon as you can as you are in prime crabgrass germinating time in your area right now. Water after putting down for at least 30 min. Your grass will do great with about an inch of water a week from rainfall or irrigation. Get a rain gauge to monitor your rainfall and you can place it in your lawn when you turn on your sprinklers to measure how much you have watered to get an inch a week. If you are not getting rainfall, irrigating a half inch twice a week is better than watering every day.

      • Brian V permalink

        Thank you for the detailed and prompt reply. I am going to drop some tomorrow night.

      • Thanks Brian Glad to help out. Good luck with your lawn and your new SNAP spreader.

  6. Pablo N permalink

    Hi Ashton,
    I live in Pflugerville TX 78660 and I have a back yard that has several types of weeds but the grass is weak and have some bare spots. Looking for advice should I broadcast bermuda seed with some feed and weed control?

    • Hi Pablo
      Bermuda likes sunny areas, so if you have shade the grass will be thinner. St. Augustinegrass can tolerate more shade. This is a good time to seed Bermuda. Put down some Bermuda seed and some Starter Lawn Food and don’t let the area dry out for long periods of time. If you have only a few bare spots to take care of, the Scotts EZ Seed with Bermudagrass is a good way to go, as the mulch helps to keep the seed moist. Stay away from the weed controls in the areas you are seeding. Feed again with Turf Builder for Southern Lawns a couple of times this summer. Once your new grass has been mowed 4 times, you can spray your weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer, however pick a day when the mid day temps are not in the 90′s or above.

  7. Paul Mitri permalink

    Hi Ashton, I live in area code 14047. My lawn a former field and or pasture has many weeds and bare spots. I have no idea what type of grass it is and don’t know where to start. Please HELP! Paul

    • Hi Paul
      You need to decide whether you should kill off everything and start over or to improve what you have. Since the kill off everything and start over option is best done in Late Aug/Early Sept, you have two options. The first option is to nothing till late summer when you start the process by killing your lawn with Roundup. The second option, and the approach I have seen others take in your situation is to feed your lawn a few times to see how much good grass you have (you may be surprised). Then make a decision on what to do next in late Summer. If you decide to do this, feed now with Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer and then again in about 6 weeks with Turf Builder Weed & Feed. You can then decide if you want to keep improving your existing lawn by feeding two more times in fall or to kill it off and start over with new grass. I will be happy to guide you with the proper steps… check back with me around mid August.

  8. Laura permalink

    Paul,
    I live in 05452. We have very sandy soil which was taken over by crabgrass last summer. Not even sure where to start? What are your thoughts, when do I do what? Also what are your thoughts on aerating? Thanks. Laura

    • Hi Laura
      Timing is perfect in your area to put down Scotts Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer. Folks with sandy soils like the slow feeding they get with Scotts Lawn Food since it does not break down too fast. Aerating is a good idea if you have a thatch problem greater than a half inch. Cutting a plug out of your lawn to see a side view can show you how thick the thatch layer is. If you aerate in spring you need to do this before you put down the crabgrass barrier, not after. Lots of folks do aeration in the early fall in combination with seeding and feeding.

      • Laura permalink

        Thanks for the info. So if I do the crabgrass preventer this week when should I try to grow grass in the bare spots and what products should I use? Also any recommendation on products and timing of grub control?Thanks.

      • Hi Laura You can seed your bare spots with Scotts EZ Seed. Be sure to skip those spots when you put down the Turf Builder with Halts as this will keep your grass seed from growing. Put down GrubEX in mid May.

  9. Jason Sanders permalink

    Hey Ashton, I applied Bonus S Southern Weed and Feed on 3/31 how long should I wait to put Bermuda seed down? Or should I go with the Tall Fescue Mix? I live in 39560 about a half mile from the beach with a pretty sandy soil comp. and my yard has full sun, no trees.

    • Hi Jason
      Bonus S Weed & Feed is for St. Augustine, Zoysia and Centipede lawns (which all grow in your area). It is not for Bermuda or Fescue lawns. Bermuda grows well in your area, however you are probably too far south for a good fescue lawn (except maybe in shade). Now for your question. Per the info on the label you can not seed any kind of grass for 6 months after putting down Bonus S. This would put you into a less than ideal time of year to seed Bermuda. Fescue can be seeded that time of year, however my experience with our Heat-Tolerant Blue blend is further north (like the Atlanta area). Sounds like you have good growing conditions for Bermuda or Zoysia.

  10. brandon permalink

    I live in Alabama and my yard always gets dandelions and various other weeds. In the past I’ve used the Turf Builder Weed and Feed. It will normally burn all the dandelions out, but I continue to have other weeds. Is this the right one I should be using? Also, should I always bag the clippings?

    • Hi Brandon
      You can get a broader range of weeds by spraying with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer. You can allow your clippings to go back on your lawn as there is some nutritional value in them. Then you can feed as needed with Scotts Southern Turf Builder or Scotts GreenMAX.

      • brandon permalink

        So should I use the Ortho first and then do the Turf Builder? How long in between the spraying of Ortho to spreading the TB?

  11. brandon permalink

    So should I use the Ortho first and then do the Turf Builder? How long in between the spraying of Ortho to spreading the TB?

    • Hi Brandon Feed your lawn with Turf Builder then a week later when your weeds are growing real good, spray them when no rain is expected for 24 hours.

      • brandon permalink

        Ok, great. Thanks for your help and quick replies.

  12. Bart Brigidi permalink

    Killed off my lawn last summer and fall to start off fresh this spring and to get rid of a partial lawn of zoysia grass. Dug out and got it ready this week. Want to lime, seed and fertilize now, using all Scott’s products. In a small portion of yard found some grub worms. My question is when I put the lime, fertilizer and seed down can I put the grub stuff down at the same time or should I wait until the seed takes hold?

    • Hi Bart
      Those particular grubs are likely ready to shift to the non-eating pupae stage so they can turn into beetles. (A pupae is kind of like when a caterpillar goes into a cocoon prior to becoming a butterfly.) So, I would not worry about treating now. Once your lawn is established in late May you can put down GrubEx to protect against the next generation of grubs that will show up in late summer.

      • Bart Brigidi permalink

        Thank you so much. I will do that and attack them in May. I’ll send you some pictures when I get the lawn in. Hopefully, it will come in as well as I expect. Thank you again! Bart Brigidi

      • Thanks Bart… good luck with your new lawn!

  13. Angie N. permalink

    Ashton, I have been reading several earlier posts and have a combined mixture of several posts. I live in the 32259 area code. In our backyard we wanted to seed but had too many weeds. We started with Round up to start from scratch but still had quite a few weed grasses after waiting the recoommended time frame and needed to re treat before seeding when I noticed quite a few lawn harming bugs. We do have the Scott’s Turf Builder Bermuda seed and the Starter fertilizer ready go after fully raking the yard. Should I have waited till late summer to Round-up making it too late to seed now that it’s geting really warm? Also, should I treat the soil first to rid the pests (grubs, sod webworms and other bugs I see on the product packaging common to my area) that may prevent the new grass from growing?

    • Hi Angie N
      This is a good time to seed Bermudagrass in your area. You can put down Ortho Bug B Gon MAX granules a week prior to planting. Water after spreading. This product will not prevent the new grass seed from growing.

  14. Bart F. Brigidi permalink

    Live in the 08360 zip code area. Like to know is it too early to put down Scotts weed & feed or should I wait til the middle or end of May? I have a nice front lawn but it starting to get some weeds in it. I like to head it off if I can.

    • Hi Bart
      Scotts Weed & Feed kills weeds that are in your lawn now (rather than preventing new weeds from growing). The mid day temps need to reach 60 degrees for those weeds to be actively growing to absorb the weed control. You should be consistently getting those kind of temps now in your area. Pick a day when rain is not expected for 24 hours and apply to moist foliage. If you have recently fed your lawn, you may want to wait a minimum of 4 weeks (6 weeks is ideal) between feedings.

      • Bart Brigidi permalink

        Is there a Scott’s product for existing weeds
        And preemergent ones or is that separate
        Apps

      • Hi Bart These are separate applications. Your options for preemergent: Halts (preemergent only, has no lawn food), Turf Builder with Halts (lawn food and preemergent), Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer (is compatible with grass seed). Your options for existing weeds: Turf Builder Weed & Feed, Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer (weed control only with no lawn food).

  15. Scott Meyers permalink

    I live in the 75212 zip code area. I just bought a house with a lawn that has many different weeds including crabgrass, dandelions, and several others that I cannot name. It appears that there is some bermudagrass scattered throughout the weeds. There are several dirt patches in the back yard as well. I would like to get the bermudagrass growing well without all the weeds, but am looking for a fairly cheap and uncomplicated way to do so. Is there a way to get my yard in better condition without digging everything up and starting over? Thanks!

    • Hi Scott Meyers
      Your Bermuda should fill in thin areas when feeding. Feed with Turf Builder when you see about 50% or more green growth in your Bermuda and then feed a total of 4 times this year at 6 to 8 week intervals. You can spot treat weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer. (It is too late to put down a crabgrass preventer in the Dallas area for this year.)

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