I have been trying to upgrade my front lawn. Last month I reseeded a
10'x10' bald area, and it's starting to look pretty good. I might even
mow the area for the first time next week. I've been reading that one
has to fertilize the lawn regularly to nourish the lawn and discourage
weeds. Someone suggested that the best fertilizer would be a 16x16x16
mix with lime. Is that right? Would it be ok to apply it to the newly
reseeded area too? I live in Western Washington, where we get more rain
than most. In fact it's drizzling right now. Thanks for any advice.
Fertilizing is seasonal and regional. Scotts (which I think is
excessive) has a 4 cycle schedule which includes premerg fertilizer for
crabgrass control, fertilizer with grub control, weed and feed and
winterization. Best advice for your area would probably come from a
local garden shop.
US grass growers seem to be obsessed with crabgrass. Just about every post
on fertiliser mentions a pre-emergent for crabgrass. Is it really a big
problem in the US? Are fertiliser companies selling you something you do not
I have some grabgrass in my lawn but it is not rampant by any means. More of
a problem is couch and other creeping grasses and paspalum.
Crabgrass can be a problem but there are ways to control it. It can
be tough to get rid of crabgrass if you let it go, but a thick healthy
lawn has very few weeds nor crabgrass. Probably the worse product
people buy in the US is weed and feed.
Overseed your lawn and you will croud out the unwanted grasses.
It is somewhat of a problem for me. I also find the premerg keeps out
some other annual stuff. If you let it grow and try to kill later you
either have to dig it out or use an arsenical herbacide.
I addressed original post because I have 3 sons with houses that ask me
the same question.
When I first moved to my present house, I knew nothing about crab grass
and allowed crab grass to establish themselves before I realized that
they were weed. And they spreaded out quite fast. The first year I
had a hard time removing them: I tried hand pulling them and they
seemed to come up again in the same spot; I tried spraying Round-Up to
kill them and I ended up killing off the surrounding grass that I meant
to keep, and the empty spots that were left invited other weeds to move
in. In the second year, I applied pre-emergent for crab-grass, and
this kept the number of crab-grass under control. After this
experience, I would not forget to apply pre-emergent for crab-grass in
There may be something in my lawn that invites weeds like crab grass.
Between thin top-soil, and not enough watering in hot dry summer, the
native blue grass may not be in a good shape in summer and that may
allows crab grass to spread. Hopefully by mulching the lawn instead of
bagging, top-drassing with top-soil in fall, and watering regularly in
hot summer, I may be able to gradually strengthen the blue grass well
enough to withstand the invasion of crab grass. But I have a feeling
that this will take a while. Meanwhile, I need to help the blue grass
along using pre-emergent to keep the crab grass away.
I think it would be nice to have a lawn of all fine bladed fescue &
Unfortunately I don't believe that will ever happen on my little homestead.
If I were to kill off all the crabgrass, clover, dandylions, and buttercups
that grow on my roughly 2 acres of mowed areas, I think all I would be left
with was barren clay with a little green here & there.
"McMansions" with pristine expanses of perfect lawn are pretty much the norm
where I live, ( Northwest MD suburbs of Washington DC), and a whole thriving
community of lawn care service companies make major bucks keeping those
McMansion's lawns weed free.
As it is, I have a lot of green surface. Too much time involved in perfect
grass. I'd rather spend my allotted gardening hours on the flower & shrub
beds, and just mow those mixed green "lawn" areas. And, spend my hard earned
income on something that gives me more pleasure than a weed-free golf coarse
PS. I fertilize it with relatively cheap "Lesco" fertilizer in spring &
Do a soil test, including a pH test. That will tell you what you
need. Fall feeding is most important. Weed killer products are harsh
on seedlings, so it is best to hand weed your new 10x10 area or wait
until next year to start spot treating the weeds. Your frequent rain
is probably what the grass needs the most.
On Mon, 22 May 2006 23:33:10 -0700, tenplay wrote:
Good day tenplay. No, 16-16-16 is not correct. Your looking for a 21-7-14
fertilizer. Depending on where your located, go to the local farmer's
co-op (cenex store) and get your fertilizer there. Way cheaper that the
big box stores and they will have what you really need.
I have a page on fertilizing lawns for Washington. It can be found here:
To be honest, you really running out of time for fertilizing around here.
Be sure not to over apply the fertilizer as it can burn if your not the
type to do summer waterings. We are about done for the rain now and after
this week it may not rain again untill fall. Un-likely but could happen.
I fertilized my lawn for several years after I planted it, back in
1961, but I haven't fertilized my lawn, or watered it, in 20 or 30
years, but I still have to mow the damn thing every week! I live in
central PA, about 40 inches of precip per year.
My lawn doesn't look like a putting green, but I have no crabgrass and
very few dandelions. It's not very different from my neighbor's lawn,
though he has Chemlawn treat it.
I mow it high, three inches, with a mulching mower.
By not watering, I've encouraged the roots to go DOWN for water,
rather than stay near the surface. My grass stays green through the
periodic droughts we get here.
I should explain I did not post that to boast of my extraordinarily
green thumb. Far from it! My point was that under normal
circumstances, grass will grow without our spending a lot of money on
fertilizer, as Scotts, et al, want us to do.
I'd recommend that everyone experiment with not fertilizing the lawn
for a year to see how it responds, and decide for himself if he wants
to buy fertilizer.
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