depressing lawn

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  #1  
Old 04-26-08, 10:21 AM
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depressing lawn

hi, i live in a house that is a year old, with a "lawn" about the same. right now its a mix of crabgrass, clover, small rocks, and a little bit of grass. i've recently sent samples of my soil for testing.

i'm expecting that the results of the soil test will indicate the need for a lot of improvement. i'm wondering in the meantime if it makes sense to throw down some more seed. if so, is there an enviro-friendly starter fertilizer available? if i use that, aren't i just fertilizing the crabgrass too?

any help is appreciated.

thanks!
 
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Old 04-26-08, 10:34 AM
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Sounds like you need to start over from scratch. Often is the case with new construction, the builder has removed top soil from construction site and left the homeowner with subsoil.

The soil test will tell you what amendments need to be made. You may need to bring in some top soil. In the meantime, kill all vegetation with herbicide. Repeat applications may be necessary.

If top soil is required or not, you will need to till all and work in recommended amendments. Your local Cooperative Extension Agent can recommend the best seed or sod variety for your area. He can help with interpretation of the soil test and make recommendations for amendments.

In addition, the agent can provide you with a lawn maintenance schedule for your area. This will include info on mowing, watering, fertilizing, crabgrass and weed prevention and control, and annual maintenance. If you have a cool season grass in a cooler climate, fall maintenance is important. Annual core aeration should be included to open up the soil to allow moisture and nutrients to reach grass roots. For warm season grasses, this is done in the spring.

"i'm wondering in the meantime if it makes sense to throw down some more seed. if so, is there an enviro-friendly starter fertilizer available? if i use that, aren't i just fertilizing the crabgrass too?"

1. No. Proper soil prep with amendments is recommended. Not enough existing grass to justify throwing down more seed. Condition of soil is too poor.

2. Yes. There are starter fertilizers available. These are used when seeding. Scott's Step 1 with crabgrass preventer and fertilizer is popular. Crabgrass preventer is applied prior to emergence. If you kill all vegetation in preparation for tilling and adding amendments, you will not need the crabgrass preventer. It has already emerged. The herbicide will kill existing crabgrass for this season.

3. Yes. If you fertilize, you will provide nutrients to all vegetation in the lawn. If you kill all vegetation in preparation for new lawn, you will eliminate the crabgrass for this season. Crabgrass preventer can be applied next spring.
 
  #3  
Old 04-26-08, 10:53 AM
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thanks a lot for the response. i was afraid i'd need to start over.

i assumed the scotts products weren't very eco-friendly, but based on your answer, i guess that's not the case.

i started looking for eco-friendly herbicides. anyone have any experience with any? here is the one i've found that looks to be the best: http://www.marroneorganicinnovations...tsavenger.html
 
  #4  
Old 04-28-08, 01:41 AM
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The link you provide is a non-selective herbicide. If you are not familiar with herbicides or non-selective herbicides, you will find that none are like those products from the old days. It takes repeat, repeat, repeat, applications.
 
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