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How Long to Wait to Seed After Crabgrass Preventer?

April 27, 2017

I hear this question quite a few times this time of year asked in two ways:  “I put down my crabgrass preventer earlier this spring, how long do I need to wait before I can seed?”  OR, “Can I prevent crabgrass and seed at the same time?”

If you have already put down Turf Builder plus Halts Crabgrass Preventer the directions state that you should not plant grass seed for 4 months after application.  This would mean you will need to wait until the end of August to seed.  You may be able to get around this if you only have a few small areas you want to seed.  I have seen folks break the crabgrass germination barrier in those spots by cultivating the soil to a 4 inch depth (to disrupt the crabgrass barrier), then mixing in an inch of compost like Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Soil, and then seeding with Scotts EZ Seed.  This is not practical if you want to seed a large area, so you will need to wait until early fall to put down your grass seed.

Crabgrass seedlings about a week after germination.  These seedlings quickly choke out new grass seed that is trying to germinate at the same time.

If you have NOT put down your crabgrass preventer yet and you want to seed this spring you should use Scotts Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer instead of Halts.  (Note:  this is a different active ingredient that does not last as long as Turf Builder plus Halts, however it is your best choice if you want to seed in spring.)

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2 Comments
  1. Question: I put down Scotts halts weed preventer? I purchased 8 bags of Scotts soil can I put it down ? What should I do? Real mess

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Hi lenleone1
    I remember from last year you are located in Mass. and had a problem with Nutsedge and Crabgrass. If you put down Halts earlier this spring this will help prevent crabgrass in your lawn this summer. If you did not use the Halts with the Turf Builder in it, I suggest you feed your lawn Turf Builder to help your existing grass continue to fill in any thin areas by spreading from the root system. Were you intending to spread the Lawn Soil because you plan on putting down grass seed? If so, the Halts will interfere with new grass seed growth. You could spread a very light coating of lawn soil onto your lawn and your Halts would still help prevent crabgrass. Just refrain from doing any heavy raking as this will break up the crabgrass prevention barrier you have applied. The key thing for your lawn based on your location is to feed 3 or 4 times a year: Early Spring, Late Spring, Late Summer, and Fall.

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