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Want to Seed and Prevent Weeds?

March 18, 2013

I am really excited about a new product that will prevent lots of different weeds from germinating, yet allow your grass seed to grow and thrive.  This product is a big improvement over one we have sold for years.

Click here to read the details about Scotts Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer.  You will find that you can use this special product when seeding Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, Creeping Red Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, and Centipedegrass.  It contains a special food for new grass plants.  And the big news is it prevents these weed seeds from germinating for up to six weeks:   Large crabgrass, smooth crabgrass, dandelion, broadleaf plantain, buckhorn plantain, carpetweed, common chickweed, common lambsquarters, common purslane, corn speedwell, ground ivy, hairy bittercress, henbit, parsley piert, Pennsylvania smartweed, persian speedwell, pokeweed, purslane speedwell, redroot pigweed, shepherd’s-purse, velvetleaf, white clover, yellow woodsorrel, flatsedge, and, yellow nutsedge. 

This six week “weed non-compete timeframe” helps allow your new grass seed to grow stronger without being crowded out by germinating weeds.  This product is especially important if you get a dump truck load of topsoil that was scraped off of a field that was loaded with weeds.

A big thanks to Scotts R&D Team!

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  1. Kevin permalink

    Why is there no label available for this product on Scotts website or anywhere? Why is there no option to read the label on the bag on any store website (Blurred out)? What is the active ingredient? Is the active ingredient a registered herbicide for the state of RI?

  2. kurt wolf permalink

    i have your quick fix mix grass seed in florida put it down a week ago and nothing ,also raked and spread top soil what is wrong ,kurtis..

    • Hi Kurt
      Quick Fix should germinate in 7 to 14 days. When I have had germination problems it is usually because:
      – I covered the seed too deep (I give one pass with an upside down leaf rake to mix the seed very lightly in the top 1/8 inch of soil. Most of the seed is still on the surface after this pass with the leaf rake, which is ok. If the seed has too much soil over top it will likely not germinate.)
      – I let the seed dry out. This is more of a problem on sandy soils.
      – A weed killer or preventer was used in the area that keeps grass seed from germinating. My neighbor down the street had this problem because his lawn service had put a weed treatment down and he seeded with no result.
      – The soil was too cold. I do not think this is your problem.
      Hope this helps.

  3. howard foltz permalink

    I have been using Scotts turfbuilder + 2 for about 3 years and each year
    the weds stay healthy and I can see no positive results.5 or 6 years
    ago I use Scotts and always saw results I was wondering if due to
    epa regulations you had to weaken the product.

    • Hi Howard
      The Turf Builder plus 2 weed & feed has the same active ingredients and amounts now as in the past. There have been some changes to the feeding but not the weed controls used. Not sure why you have seen a change in the results. I know for myself I have found that putting the product down first thing in the morning when there is lots of dew on the grass and no rain is expected for 24 hours is when I get the best control. If the weather has been dry for several weeks I find the weeds do not take up the killer as well as they are not actively growing. Some kinds of weeds are harder to control than others and coming back with a spot spray of Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer will usually do the trick. Good Luck with your lawn.

  4. WHAT is the product name ?

  5. Adrian permalink

    Good morning,

    I have a question regarding weeds. 2 years ago my grass was greener than green, plush, and just a beauty. Next door neighbor’s yard soon became overloaded with weeds. Sad to say is that seeds made it to my beautiful St. Augustine. I am in rebuilding mode now because last year my yard was a mess.
    Will regular feedings eventually push those weeds out and my St.Augustine flourish again. Or do I have to start all over again? (I killed whatever was previously there, layed new dirt and sodded entire yard myself)

    I already fertilized with Scotts (Bonus Maxx i believe)

    • Hi Adrian Bonus S MAX was a good first feeding because it will help with the weeds and help with the insects. I would guess that the weed problem took off when your grass was weakened by insects like Chinch Bugs and Sod Webworms. The good thing about St. Augustine is that it will spread to fill in thin areas when you feed it regularly. Four or five feedings this year will make a big difference in how thick it gets crowding out weeds. The Ortho Nutsedge Killer also can be used to control many weeds in your grass.

  6. Adrian permalink

    That is correct on the bugs.
    Do you only recommend Bonus S MAX for feedings? On the Ortho Nutsedge Killer, when do you recommend applying that? (I fertilized 3/16/2013)

    Thank you

    • Hi Adrian Yes, Bonus S MAX gives a good feeding. As long as you have weeds, you could do another application of Bonus S MAX 6 weeks after your first application. The OrthoNutsedge Killer can be used anytime the weeds are actively growing. This would be a spot spray. Check the weed list on the package to see what it controls. Once your weeds are under control, your best choices for feeding and thickening up your grass are Scotts Southern Turf Builder or Scotts GreenMax. In summer you would want to consider an application of Ortho Bug B Gon MAX or Ortho Fire Ant Killer for the insects. (Your next application of Bonus S MAX will carry you until summer for insects.)

      • adrian permalink

        Ashton, I’m sorry I used Green Max on 3/16 not Bonus S. Do you suggest Bonus S or Green Max when I feed again late April?

        Sorry about the confusion.

      • Hi Adrian In addition to your next feeding, you would get some weed control and insect control with Bonus S MAX or weed control with Bonus S. You could put either of these down as early as mid-April.

      • adrian permalink

        I also just layer 32 squares of sod alongside sidewalk where it had just died.

      • Hi again Adrian Keep it watered. If you can you can speed up new root growth by feeding this new area with Starter Lawn Food.

  7. Stephen permalink

    We just seeded/established a new lawn last fall and after reseeding some thin areas applied Scotts Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer March 30. I am desperate to keep my neighbor’s crabgrass from creeping into our new lawn – every year they have tons of crabgrass. I understand Scotts Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer affords 6 weeks of prevention from crabgrass and some other weeds. What do you recommend to apply after that 6 weeks in order to keep control of crabgrass through the fall? I am in the midwest, Chicago area.

    • Hi Stephen
      You have two options: If you are suspecting big crabgrass pressure, you can put down Scotts Turf Builder with Halts about 6 weeks after your Starter Food for New Grass plus Weed Preventer application. The other option is to feed your lawn with Turf Builder and then spot spray any young crabgrass (as well as other weeds) with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer if the problem arises. If your lawn if relatively thick and you are mowing at a taller mowing height (2-1/2 to 3 inches after the cut), the second option may be just fine because your thicker, stronger grass will shade out most crabgrass seeds that try to grow.

  8. Volney McLeod permalink

    I just overseeded my lawn and used Scott starter fertilizer. How soon can I use the scotts turf builder?

  9. Greg permalink

    The active ingredient in this product is mesotrione which suppresses annual bluegrass. It seems like there is enough active ingredient for Poa Annua suppression. Any way to check on this? It would be a real plus even if this product suppresses a portion of Poa Annua seed. Thanks!

    • Hi Greg
      I think the best option for Poa Annua prevention is to put down Halts or Turf Builder with Halts around sept 1.

      • Greg permalink

        Thanks but I am seeding my lawn this year and planned to give this product a try. Can I apply it again in 4 weeks after my initial application?

  10. Hi Greg
    6 weeks is the suggested interval between applications. Poa Annua is not listed on the weed list. Halts does prevent Poa however you can not apply until your new grass has been mowed 4 times.

    • Greg permalink

      Hi Ashton,
      Just wanted to let you know that I used this product for my Kentucky Bluegrass renovation this past August. I put it down at seeding and again 6 weeks later. It is by far my favorite Scott’s product. Not only did it keep the weeds out but suppressed the Poa Annua as well. Mesotrione, the active ingredient, has been known to suppress Poa Annua when seeding new grass. Many people have used the liquid form of Mesotrione to suppress Poa with success. Compared to my lawn care friends who used the liquid, the Scotts granular product did as good of, if not better job at preventing both weeds and Poa. I’m guessing because the granular is so easy to use and get the dosage correct while the liquid product is very difficult to apply. Anyway, I think Scott’s should test this product for Poa Annua suppression so they can add it to their label. Regardless, I’m thoroughly convinced it works for Poa suppression as I had a total of 3 Poa plants in my 12,000 square foot renovation. Having so few Poa plants germinate in a renovation this size is simply amazing, as those who have battled Poa Annua while seeding can attest to. Thanks again for recommending this great product!

      • Hi Greg
        Thanks for passing along your results and suggestions.

      • For Greg /Ashton Ritchie,

        Greg, I came across your post regarding Poa Annua. In which you used Scotts started fertilizer with Mesotrione (Tenacity). Are there any updates on your sustained KBG lawn, and did Poa come back or is it still at bay?

      • Hi dave.
        See my other response to you. Maybe Greg has more info.

      • I’m a tad confused, your reply says “seee my other response to you.” In addition to seeing if Greg may have more info. Where can I find that if you commented on my question?


      • Hi Dave
        The only Scotts product labeled for Poa Annua is Halts with Pendimethalin. Best time to apply is early Sept.

      • I added some lawn photos to my biz website. My front yard blend is Prosperity, Moonlight SLT, Midnight, Blue Velvet and Bewitched. 100% Elite KBG. First 2 photos are from Spring 2015 (season following my renovovation). Last 2 photos are from 2017. Please keep in mind that this wasn’t my first lawn renovation and I learned much from experience.

      • Hi Greg
        You have a truly beautiful lawn! Thanks for posting pictures and sending us a link to view them.

      • Greg R permalink

        Hi Ashton,
        Thank you for the kind words!

      • Greg permalink

        Hi. I understand you’d like an update. My KGB lawn is doing great. I did find the Scotts Starter with mesotrione to be extremely effective stopping weeds at seeding time. I do think it may have suppressed some Poa Annua but Ashton is correct in that the only true Pre-Emergent for Poa made by Scotts is Halts with Pendimethalin.
        I had Poa pop up the year following my KGB renovation & every year since, however, the rate of Poa germination & growth is quite minimal compared to 10 years ago. Why do I have less Poa now? Well having a thick lawn helps but I spent several years prior to my renovation (and after) digging out the baby Poa plants before they dropped their seeds. After manually removing the Poa I filled the holes with clean topsoil and threw down some straight Halts (without fertilizer). I also applied Halts (without fertilizer) every August to prevent Poa germination but I attribute my success to being vigilant about removing the Poa manually. It paid off over time. This Spring I pulled 3 Poa plants from my Front KBG lawn which is 12000 square feet.
        If you are planning a renovation I still would recommend the Scott’s Starter with Mesotrione. I would also recommend fallowing the area which is a process where you water the area each day for a couple weeks to germinate Poa & other weeds. Then kill them with glyphosate prior to seeding.
        Good luck! I’ll provide a link to some photos later.

      • Hi Greg
        Thanks for your very detailed update telling us how you dealt with Poa Annua.

      • Greg & Ashton (if you can see this post)?

        Thanks for the info on your Poa issue with your KBG lawn. I’m not currently in a large seeding/overseeing my front lawn. It’s actually torn up from mAjor sewer line repair. I will wait on advice from many, to lay SOD next spring, as my large dirt pile, has to properly settle. Anyway enuf on this. I just wanna give you some background on my Poa HX. My front lawn has had CONSTANT increasing Poa for at least the last 10 years straight. I only have have about 1,000 sq ft front. I have tried just about EVERYTHING to combat this evil annual grass. First and foremost, many years of peroperly times pre emergent Application of straight Halts in the spring, with no noticeable improvement in reducing Poa at all. I forgot to mention that I killed. H entire lawn TWICE I think and reseeded, and it still came back!!!! I’ve round up spots and reseeded other years. I’ve pulled small Poa plants and have tried to relentlessly cutting seed head off the grass blades. I’ve blow torched Poa plants. I’ve stopped nitrogen fert applications during peak Poa germination time. I have researched and read up on a Poa more than most I am convinced. I could go on and on. The bottom line is the Poa seeds lay dormant in the soil and will eventually germinate, no matter what! That being said Greg, I’m shocked the success

      • Greg R permalink

        Hi David,
        When you renovated your lawn did you disturb the soil using a slit seeder or Core aerator? If so you pulled viable Poa seeds to the surface. I did not disturb the soil during my last 2 renovations. After scalping & cleaning up the debris I moistened the soil a little bit, spread bluegrass seed with spreader, then rolled the seed into the ground using a half full lawn roller. I then top dressed with a light layer of peat moss and rolled again.
        I was hesitant to use the above approach. It seemed to contradict conventional wisdom but I was assured by people who used this approach that they had great results. They were correct. I never had better germination that I did during my “do not disturb the soil” renovations.
        If the area is loaded with Poa then you may also try watering your dead lawn for 10 minutes, 4x daily for 2 weeks. You’ll find that plenty of Poa & weeds will germinate. Kill them prior to seeding. The more that germinates during this process, the less Poa you will have come in with your renovation.
        The 3rd thing you can try is Tenacity or Scotts Starter with Tenacity. Tenacity will suppress Poa germination but it’s not a true pre emergent for Poa so follow up with Halts once the grass is established.
        Finally, come Spring you will still have Poa that you can manually remove. It hopefully will be manageable at this point.
        Renovating a Poa infested lawn is no easy task but it can be done using techniques that will limit & inhibit Poa germination.

      • Hi Greg R.
        Thanks for passing along your very good tips to David and myself.

      • Continued… you had in virtually eliminating Poa, except that I may have the types of Poa that is a true annual? These seem to be immune to herbicides, or im now to the conclusion I need to try diffent pre emergent herbicides. On a side note, I planted a new back lawn last fall with TTTF (improved) from seed. It came in perfect last fall, but had Poa coming in all over a few weeks ago. I’m really starting to wander if the soil brought in for my renovation, contained Poa seeds? I had some Poa prior on that site, but not much and I used a brand new mower that was never exposed to Poa. I didn’t use the Scott’s starter with Mesotrione, wish I had, but thought I was set. My hope is SOMEDAY in my lifetime, thee will be a true Poa Pre and post emergent that actually works.

      • Hi Davud
        After reading about your continued struggle with Poa Annua, I am going to pass along some other thoughts. There are perennial bluegrasses that also put out seed heads in spring that can look similar to Annual Bluegrass. The big difference is Annual Bluegrass is more of an apple green color and pulls up from the ground easily since it does not have the kind of root system you find with perennial grasses. The perennial Poa grasses that produce heavy seed heads in spring are Poa Trivialis and dwarf-type Kentucky Bluegrasses (seed heads below the mowing height). The key to preventing is to put down Halts around September 1 (not spring). The first year you hope to prevent 75% of germinating seeds, after three years you can expect to have a pretty good control. Here is a link to one of my blog postings about Poa Annua:
        Hope all this helps and good luck!

      • Ashton and Gregg,

        First off sorry for all the typos in my past posts. I totally forgot that I have used actual Trancity liquid maybe 3 straight years. I have used aggressively during the fall and even spring. I get the proper whining on the Poa, but year after year it comes back and MAYBE had put a small dent in the Poa, but not much. And no I typically didn’t disturb the soil renovating at all. Did some similar things like Greg in round up and scalped the turf, then oversseded with some good soil mixed in for a seed bed (just a light coating or sometimes just into the scaLped turf. I’m aware of
        Poa trivalis etc Ashton and I know Poa very well is what i primarily have. So I come to this, this is a super informative “blog” conversation that we have had on this vital problem for my turf, so I graciously thank you both for your time, information and experience!!!! Ashton , please answer this, is there ANY way at all To over apply straight halts, by either applying a higher rate than spreader seething? OR applying it a few weeks apart (fall 2-3 times late August thru October)??? I have done this at Times in hopes of aggressively stopping POA germination ie If heavy rainfalls came in the fall. Again in spite of all your suggestions, I think culturally I have done just about all to minimize the spread and germination of the AB seed. My lack of results with Halts still
        Concerns me. I can’t seem to find many reviews etc on the efficacy of Pendimthalin on reducing Poa Germination. I look forward to any comments from you both on my this new post of mine. Thanks again!

      • Hi David
        I feel your pain! Here is a link to a report about pre-emergent resistant strains of Poa Annua:
        In other cases there have been reports of Poa Annua strains that have shifted to becoming more perennial in growth habit with stronger root systems that survive hot weather, especially in damp areas that are frequently watered. There is a fact sheet from Clemson University that recommends two applications of pre-emergent in fall. If you go with two applications, I would recommend the first one to go down around Aug 15. Here is a link to the fact (note that they say that it is almost impossible to completely eliminate Poa Annua with pre-emergent): Hope this additional info helps.

      • Ashton,

        Yes that’s what I’ve been essentially trying to get at in previous posts, that my efforts to eradicate Poa from my turf have not worked likely due to the Poa types, not my efforts. Hence unfortunately Halts may not work on all Poa is my conclusion based on my extensive experience.

        All I’m left with is experimenting with different pre emergent herbicides year to year. Is really my main hope of possibly finding one that had less resistance to my Poa seeds. I may have given up on my liquid Tenacity as a post emergent. I will likely give Halts a try on my new back lawn late summer and try a couple applications of same.

        Please keep in Touch If ANY new develoments in Poa research or products are on the horizon, it truly is nice speaking with you as you seem to share the same passion about turf as I do.

      • Hi David
        Here is a link to info for golf superintendents that are looking for alternative poa annua prevention:
        Hope this helps.

      • Ashton,

        Wow, I’m so appreciative of you sending me this link on Poa. I’ve looked it over and certainly there is some take away regarding various pre emergents I can try, basically mixing it up from what I’ve done. I will keep you updated going forward.

        On a separate note, another long nesmesis I’ve had for many years in the summer is Sod Webworm every year damage. This is definitetly way more practical for me to handle on a year to year basis than Poa Annua. Can you please guide me on a best time to apply scott’s Grubex for the most effective season long control of sod webworms. I live in buffalo New York area (zip 14223). I understand there a few life’s cycles in a growing season for the webworm, so I’m again I’m looking for a good window to apply said product, not too early in the season and no too late bsed in their life cycle? Thank you Ashton!

      • Hi David
        Thanks for giving me your location. Before I get into Sod Webworms, one additional thought on Poa Annua. Based on where you live, the earlier application of pre-emergent in mid-August makes a lot of sense. Also, since your summers can be milder and wetter than areas further south, your Poa Annua will likely hang in there and be more like a perennial, especially if you are providing frequent irrigation. (Our Poa Annua here in Atlanta does not make it thru the summer.) Your GrubEX application should be in May to optimize grub control (which can be a big problem in upstate NY). You will pick up some Sod Webworm control from that application, however if your problem has been major in the past, I would also come back with an application of Ortho Bug B Gon (with bifenthrin) about 5 to 10 days after you see peak lawn moth activity during the late evening prior to dusk. This will likely be sometime in early to mid-summer. Hope this helps.

      • Ashton,

        Ya as far as Poa, I’ve tried last few years or so, to cut back on watering, and to focus on deep infrequent watering so the shallow Poa roots can’t get the water. I can’t get to the point of letting my turf go dormant in the summer. I’ve also tries to cut back on high nitrogen fert applications during growing season, espicially during peak Poa germination periods, but again a challenge as want to keep good grass thick.

        Thanks for info on webworms, I’ll see how this summer goes and treat as needed.

        Have a nice Menorial Day!

      • David Coffey permalink

        Hi Ashton,

        Can you please give me some feedback on application timing for a Fungicide preventative application for my cool season grass (Turf type tall fescue), zip code 14223.

        I’m primarily targeting Rust that I had last year. I typically get rust in August At some point. I understand it’s dependent on environmental conditions, but looking for a general rule of thumb.


        Sent from my iPhone


      • Hi David Coffey
        Thanks for giving me your location. You are correct that the typical time for Rust lawn fungus in your area is early fall. In some areas like the west coast Rust can also be a problem in early spring. Feeding your lawn can help minimize Rust problems and since Late Summer thru Fall is the ideal time to give Fescue in your area at least two feedings, this can help. Scotts new DiseaseEX Lawn Fungus Control provides prevention/control of a larger number of diseases than the older product Scotts Lawn Fungus Control. Several types of leaf and stem rust are now controlled by this new product. There are two application rates: a lighter rate for prevention when applied prior to the typical time the disease shows up and a heavier curative rate for application after the first signs of disease. Here is a link to product info:

      • Thanks Ashton, but unless i missed it, can you give me a suggested time frame of when to start applying a preventative application? I was hoping to try one application before typical onset of disease, but how far out should I do so? This sound like a good plan? I read some stuff indicating to start applying preventative fungicide starting all the way back in the spring? Was hoping not to with my toddler son playing back lawn etc

        Thank you

      • Hi David
        Since rust typically shows up in early Fall in your area, you should apply closer to the beginning of the activity. So I would apply around the time of your first fall feeding which would be late August. The alternative is to wait until you notice the first rust color dust on your shoes or lawn mower and then treat at the curative (double) rate. Since I like to experiment, if it were me, I would treat my front lawn with a prevention and then go the curative route in my back yard if needed to see how this works out for future reference based on your particular grass and growing conditions. When you read about spring prevention treatments, that is mainly aimed at the spring diseases like red thread, leaf spot, and dollar spot. Hope this helps.

      • Thanks for your reply Ashton. That is a help on the guideline you suggested. And yes I’m aware there is trial and error in turf management in my own experiences, so I know what you mean.

        As always, appreciate your advice/info.

  11. Since our last conversation, areas 2×2 to 3×6 feet brown/reddish spots have appear on my lawn. What is going on? I last used the bonus s with bugs b gone last week.

  12. Hi AJ
    Not sure what you are dealing with. The feeding/weed control/insect control you just did should set your lawn up for improvement. There is a lawn fungus problem on St Augustine called Brown Patch this time of year. The patches are circular brown with a darker area around the edges. You might wait a week or so to see how your lawn is doing before treating with Scotts Lawn Fungus Control.

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