The Q&A Archives: Lawn repair

Question: I have about 1/2 acre of lawn. Part of the lawn is doing fine, but parts (especially the parts that get
sun all day) are not so good. I am going to dethatch, but what to do next is the problem. If I don't apply a weed killer, I will have big problems.
But planting grass seed after weed killer is a no-no. What can I do to accomplish both tasks?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to your problem. You might try running some basic soil tests and checking that the pH and fertility levels are adequate for lawn grasses. This will help the existing grass stay healthy and grow vigorously. Then follow a good mowing routine for the growing season, meaning mow high in summer at three inches and mow often enough that you never take off more than one third the height of the lawn at a time. The higher grass should help shade out weeds during the summer. You could also spot treat with glyphosate (read and follow the label directions) if there are noticeable patches of weeds and then reseed just those patches. Then, in the very early fall, reseed if needed. That is actually the better time of year to seed. ANd then you could use a weed and feed next sprin gif you still need a weed control product. Hopefully the combination of improved growing conditions and weed control this summer will result in a better turf quality by next spring. YOur local county extension should be able to help you run the soil tests interpret the results and also recommend appropriate lawn grass varieties for your local soil and weather conditions. Good luck with your lawn!

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