What's the proper order of things?


Old 04-04-09, 05:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 117
What's the proper order of things?

Spring has sprung, as the saying goes, and I want to get a jump on my poor abused lawn. The Scotts web site tells me that now's the time to start, and this weekend is reasonably warm enough for me to do things.

I've already cleared out all the leaves, sticks and twigs from the lawn and under the bushes, and removed two shrubs that are too out of control. Last week I got a pH test done on my lawn and it is acidic, so I need to spread lime. I bought two bags (40 lbs each) of pelleted lime to do the job, which according to the math is about 10 lbs more than I need but I figured better to be a little over than a little under.

I also have a minor crabgrass problem in the back yard, and large areas of the lawn need to be reseeded. To that end I bought enough Scotts TurfBuilder with crabgrass control. I suspect I'll also need to lay down some fertilizer at some point too.

My lawn has started growing and could probably due with a cutting. There are still some leaves on the lawn, not enough (IMO) to go nuts raking the whole lawn. I have a mulching mower so I figured I'd let the mower take care of the stray leaves.

So, here's the things I have to do:

* Spread lime (and water).
* Spread TurfBuilder (and water).
* Mow lawn/mulch stray leaves.
* Spread fertilizer (and water?).

My question is: What is the proper order and timing for these things?
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Old 04-04-09, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 386
I am not an expert at this but I would imagine:

1. Mow---if you mow and mulch later you could move around everything you dropped down. When I mowed my mower threw a lot of my fertilizer in places I didnt want it.

2. Crabgrass preventer. Crabgrass comes up early and once its established you are going to need an army to kill it.

3. I dont know if your lime can be put down at same time as crabgrass preventer, but seems reasonable that it could. I do not know for sure.

4. Fertilize... not certain.

If you could list your state or region that might help someone who knows more about this than me. I know I dont need to mow yet where I live. Grass is still dormant.
Old 04-05-09, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New England
Posts: 5
I would like to piggy back on this topic. I live in New England and after this winter my lawn is hurting to say the least. I plan to fertilize with crab grass control included but I am concerned that this will kill the young grass that I have growing. Should this be a concern? When I say young grass it is not anything that I planted this year. I plan or fertilizing with crab grass control then plan new seed in about 2-3 weeks. Please help if I am way off base. thanks.
Old 04-05-09, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 386
Every bag of crabgrass preventer I have ever had always said you had to wait before planting new grass because it can stop the growth of new seeds--does not let them germinate. Once you have small shoots of grass I do not know if it slows them down or not.
Old 04-06-09, 12:12 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 117
Follow-Up: "What's the proper order of things?"

I was out in my back yard almost all weekend. I'm nowhere close to golf course green, but it looks a helluva lot better than it did on Friday evening. I removed several dozen bags of mulched leaves and about two dozen bundles of sticks to start. Clearing out the dead undergrowth from our bushes enabled me to clean out huge piles of dead leaves and makes for a much nicer looking area. Now that it's more easily accessible I expect it to remain nicer, longer.

Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand...

I spoke with a couple of people including two contractors and a retired senior citizen who has been doing her own gardening for about 45 years, all of which were shopping at Lowes so that worked out well for me. They all agreed: Clean up the sticks and such, mow, lime, water, let it do its thing for at least 2-3 days after watering, then crabgrass preventer, water, wait anywhere from 2-6 months (depends on which preventer being used), then anything else I want to do (fertilizer, new grass seed, etc).

So, this weekend was clean up, mow, and lime, and today it's raining so the watering is done. I think I'll skip the crabgrass preventer until later in the summer (apparently it can only be spread in early spring or late summer) as my back yard desperately needs grass, and the preventer will also block emerging grass seed. If the weather report is at all accurate (har har har) then Thursday or Friday I can lay down the new grass seed and fertilizer.

With any luck I'll have a green back yard rather than a brown one this year.

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