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Slim, tks 4 asking. Overseeding + fertilizing timing?

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Slim, tks 4 asking. Overseeding + fertilizing timing?

Postby VEFF on Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:19 pm

Funny that you mention the lawn care tips.
I have a relatively simple question, that you might be able to assist me with, based on your knowledge and experience with lawn care.

I would like to overseed my lawn this spring.
Should I
a) overseed first then apply the spring lawn treatment (fertilizer with crabgrass preventer)
or
b) apply the fertilizer first and then overseed?

I believe each requires about two months before the other can be applied, which leaves me in a quandry:
If I overseed first, then by the time I am allowed to apply the spring fertilizer, especially the crabgrass preventer it will be too late by the time the 2 mth wait is over.
If I fertilize first, it will be too late (too warm) to overseed by the time the 2 mth wait is over.

In addition, even if I squeeze both in, it will push everything else back.

Thanks!

I see Ian is selling his place and could use some tips, so maybe we can all benefit from those tips.
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Postby Ian on Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:59 pm

Yeah, I'm having the same problem. I need to fix a bunch of bare spots in the back and make the existing grass look as good as possible. I can't do the later if I seed. Also, when should I seed and apply lawn treatment?
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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:07 am

10-4 Guys,

Ok, for now the answer is that the crabgrass preventers, aka pre-emergence, put down something that is like a barrier on the surface of the soil that prevents seeds, both good and bad, from germinating.

So you can't seed or reseed for a number of months after application.

If you lay it down on a you lawn and also cover bare spots, raking or scratching up the soil will break up the barrier and germination may occur after seeds are spread on the scratched up area.
But I would not count on this too heavily.

I use this twice a year because we also have ugly annual bluegrass that sprouts in the cold season. So I use it around Oct and Nov for that and March or April (soon) for the summer crab grass.

It really works well. I use it front but not in the back because of the dogs and you can really see the difference.

It is dark and rainy out tonight. I'll go out in the AM and read the package and get back with what it says.

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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:38 pm

Thanks for reminding me, Guys.

I'm out of the stuff so I'll pick some up at Orchard's this afternoon on my back from the optometrist. I'll post back.

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Postby smartin4 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:25 pm

I'm not a lawn care expert, but I just bought some grass seed, I am going to use some of it to overseed the front yard, and the rest will go on a patch that I am going to spread some topsoil on.

I was in Lowes and was going to get Scotts w/Halts Crabgrass preventer, but I saw the same fertilizer in a starter fertilizer. The starter fertilizer goes down right after you seed (though w/o looking at the package in the last week, I can't remember the exact timing, but I know it's not months, maybe just a day or two)?
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Postby Ian on Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:27 pm

I might have to go and find some of that starter fertilizer.

What if I don't use crab grass preventer? Can I overseed the lawn and then fertilize?
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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:09 pm

Yes (Ian), no worries and a starter fertilizer might be better as it would be gentler on new seedlings.

You could use a starter as directed (smartin, I don't know exact timing after reseeding but you could check scotts.com) and then follow with the preventer in two months.

Now if you see at that time a lot of crabgrass already up, then it is probably too late for the preventer this season.

But crabgrass likes the hot weather, so it all depends how long spring is and when the warmer weather starts. And it would be later in Wisconsin that Kentucky.
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Postby Ian on Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:24 pm

We should hopefully be out of this house by the hot months. I'll let the new owners deal with the crab grass. :D
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Postby CowboySlim on Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:54 am

Save a link to this thread for the new house. :D
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Postby VEFF on Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:41 am

Thanks Slim.

I think I'll have to wait for the overseeding and use the crabgrass preventer.
It is sort of 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

I can either overseed to fill in bare spots (mostly in the backyard anyway) or I can fertilize with crabgrass preventer.

Last year it was too late for crabgrass preventer and I didn't get too much crabgrass fortunately.

I think my main problem may have been not watering enough, which I will remedy this year, assuming I don't decide to sell...
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Postby Ian on Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:09 am

The big question now is when can I seed? I read somewhere that it had to be like 60-75 out first so that the ground was at least 50 degrees. Is this true? Also, should I seed first or fertilize?
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Postby CowboySlim on Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:10 pm

I can't help much with that one.
Out here, there is no out of season for seeding grass.
I think most times of the year all season blue grass can be seeded but winter is probably least effective.

Some have hot weather turf such as bermuda grass which goes brown and dormant during our cooler, winter months. Many of these overseed with a heat intolerant variety of blade grass in the fall and winter.

Which is really non-answer for those in the polar zone of the upper midwest. :P
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Postby VEFF on Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:56 pm

In case it helps, I ended up finding a specific fertilizer with crabgrass preventer that is safe for use when seeding or overseeding.

It is called 'Preen New Lawn Crabgrass Preventer Plus Seed Starter Fertilizer' (not cheap, but, hopefully, worth it).
I applied that directly after applying some Scott's Premium Sun/Shade seed blend (supposedly their best grass).
I used a Scott's spreader, so it was easy to apply both products.

The biggest pain is having to water it twice daily for the first 1 - 2 weeks, until seedlings have established themselves.

In my case this specific Preen product was not readily available (not at Lowes, Home Depot, KMart etc.), but their support is very friendly and they can direct you to a local supplier.

If anyone else tries it, please post your results.
I applied it just over a week ago; didn't want to apply it too late.


PS: The Patchmaster worked pretty well, despite the mistake of using fetilizer too soon (mentioned here last fall).
It takes a fair amount of time to prepare the soil and to apply properly, so I would not recommend it for very large jobs; nevertheless I used it for a decent size bare patch and the effort required wasn't excessive IMO.
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Postby CowboySlim on Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:23 pm

Thanks, Veff, that's good to know.
I'll try that in the future when I use up the rest of the bag of Scott's that I have.

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Postby Ian on Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:15 pm

I noticed today that my new grass is actually growing in the back yard. Unfortunately, the patch I had in front got washed away in the last storm. I'm just gonna put some sod down there instead.
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