New Lawn overtaken by Crabgrass - Knowledgebase Question

twinsburg, Oh
Question by jennbragg66
September 8, 2010
My boyfriend paid to have his yard prof weeded & seeded.He now has a yard of crabgrass/weeds...maybe 5% grass.The service provider is not standing behind guarantee. We can't afford to pay and have redone.What is my best option to help him get rid of the crabgrass and re-seed this yard? Do we kill everything and replant in spring?plant now?use winterizer? *sigh-frustrated* Thanks so much for help!


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Answer from NGA
September 8, 2010

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How annoying! You can eventually get your lawn weed free and looking nice, but it will be an ongoing battle until the lawn grows thick and lush enough to crowd out new weeds. Crabgrass is an annual weed so it will die down this winter - but it will leave hundreds of seeds in the soil which will pop up next spring unless you use a pre emergent herbicide next March or April. At this point, the best approach is to use a weed killer on the lawn to kill the existing weeds. A contact herbicide with no residual action will allow you to rake out the dead weeds and overseed the entire lawn. If the weed killer has some residual action it may keep grass seeds from sprouting until after the waiting period. Be sure to read the label on the weed killer to see if there is a waiting period between killing the weeds and overseeding the lawn. Once you've killed the weeds, rake them out of the lawn and rake any bare areas so they are rough and can hold the grass seeds you're going to apply. Then overseed your entire lawn, top the seeds with a light coating of peatmoss or compost to help keep them moist, and water the area well. You'll need to keep the seeds moist until they sprout which may mean watering several times a day. Once the grass sprouts and you've mowed it 2-3 times it will be well established and strong enough to endure an application of fertilizer. Use a winterizer type fertilizer to help the grass survive the winter weather. In March or April apply a pre emergent to keep crabgrass from sprouting. A product such as Scotts Plus Halts contains both fertilizer and a pre emergent so I'd vote to using it or a similar product. Best wishes with your lawn.

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