All reasonable advice would be appreciated.
I have a big amount of lawn approximately 10,000 square feet. Location
Northern California. The lawn was established when I purchased the
house. It is a thin blade grass. I use the 'Scotts' fertilizer plan
and water regularly. The lawn was absolutely beautiful a few months
ago (April & May) but recently it has turned brown in spots and looks
dry and has lots of crabgrass. Please advice, what can I do to get my
beautiful lawn back. I also aerote twice a year.
Most likely when you aerated your lawn you turned crabgrass seeds to the top
and now crabgrass is starting to take over your lawn.
I'm far from being an expert, but it seems to me you don't need to aerate
nearly as often. I've aerated my lawn only once in the 8 years that I've
lived here and my lawn is doing very well. I don't intend to aerate my lawn
again for several more years, or at least until my lawn really looks like it
would benefit from it.
I would suggest you stop aerating, start spot spraying the crabgrass with a
good herbicide and overseed your lawn this fall.
Hmmm. If you had a beautful lawn then but not now, what are you
Crabgrass needs lost of sun and will quickly establish itself if there
is any bare gorund. Crabgrass produces seeds that will remain
dormant for 10 years or more, waiting for the right conditions. There
are some (new) products out there that will kill crabgrass in lawns or
you can pull the crabgrass out by hand. At the minimum, do not allow
it to go to seed. Make your lawn thick by overseeding and patching
the bare areas. Use a "Starter" fertilizer when you plant.
Since you have a crabgrass issue, apply a pre-emergent at the right
time of year for the next two years, and be careful to apply it more
than 3 months before overseeding.
No need to aerate unless you are sure your ground is compacted. I
have a beautiful lawn, and have never aerated. But I do have plenty
of earthworms to do the job. A mulching mower adds organic matter to
your lawn and will encourage worms. Mulching mowers do not cause
thatch (amazing how many folks believe otherwise).
Pre-emergent crabgrass killer needs to be applied *every* year.... and no
matter how diligent you will still have some crabgrass, and if you have
neighbors who don't treat their lawns you will have a lot of crabgrass...
whatever is in your neighbor's lawn will end up in your lawn. Once
crabgrass is growing in your lawn the best way to remove it is to dig it up
with as much root as possible, spot killers will also prevent lawn grasses
from growing and in fact the crab grass will return first.
How often to aerate is mostly determined on soil composition, how much
traffic, and lastly earthworms.
Earthorms don't eat grass clippings, earthworms eat the organisms that break
down organic matter. The earthworm population will remain constant in a
particular patch of soil regardless how you mow, if you mow, if you don't
mow. When you sprinkle bread crumbs on your soil earthworms will arrive,
but they are not attracted to the crumbs, they are attracted to the
organisms that arrive to feed on the crumbs. Most earthworms live deeply in
the soil, many feet down, very few earthworms are damaged from digging in
soil... earthworms multiply much faster than one can chop them up by tilling
their garden... birds and other creatures consume far more earthworms than
one can kill with a rototiller. The earthworm population has been constant
on the planet from millions of years past. The earthworms on the planet
weigh more than all other living creatures combined, including all those in
All mowers create some thatch. But mostly thatch is composed of the grass
plant itself that dies naturally as part of its life cycle. All lawns
benefit from regular de-thatching, at least once a year.
As usual, Shelly is showing his full gamut of ignorance. The earthworms
may return, but their work is destroyed. The galleries that they created
allow for aeration of the soil, and its drainage. Treat your earthworms
right and you will have healthy soil.
Could we have a cite on this? With less top soil, there should be fewer
Shelly is obviously into his cups already. Take any of this advice with
a cup of salt.
Racial injustice, war, urban blight, and environmental rape have a common
Crabgrass is an annual. The only way to prevent it emerging is to apply a
preemergent crabgrass killer at the proper time in early spring, this
prevents last years crabgrass seed from germinating. You also need to water
deeply and regularly or lawn grass will suffer but weeds of many types will
not only survive but will flourish and crowd out lawn grasses. You also
need to mow regularly and to the correct height (no less than 2" and remove
no more than 1/3 the height of grass at a mowing), mowing too short will
harm lawn grass and encourage weeds, especially crabgrass. No matter how
diligent crabgrass will still emerge in spots, it's best to dig it out with
as much of its root as possible... spraying with spot killer will only
create a bald spot which is much more likely to host weeds before lawn
grass. You are obviously not following the Scotts program or you'd have
laid down preemmergent crabgrass killer with your first fertilizer
application in early spring (Scotts Halts +2). And the best thing one can
do to keep one's lawn healthy and weed free is not to walk on it... if you
permit kids to play on your lawn then you had best resign yourself to living
with crabgrass. If you don't trample your perennial shrubs why would you
trample your lawn grass and expect it to survive.
You don't say what kind of grass it is, if it is fescue it will naturally
a period of years and will need to be over seeded to maintain a thick lawn.
Any thinning that occurs gives weeds and crabgrass an oppurtunity to
If you use the Scott's plan, you were probably late with the crabgrass
pre-emergent treatment. Don't use Scott's myself as I think they overdo
it. I do use a pre-emergent that costs half as much and put it on early
or in my part of the East before the forsythia blooms.
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