Fertilizing a lawn

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.
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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. Frank
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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 need?
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.
rob
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wrote:

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.

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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.
Frank
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George.com wrote:

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 each spring.
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.
Jay Chan
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I think it would be nice to have a lawn of all fine bladed fescue & bluegrass.
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 type lawn.
David
PS. I fertilize it with relatively cheap "Lesco" fertilizer in spring & fall.
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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.
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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:
http://resources.ywgc.com/info/lawnfert.shtml
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. Good luck.
--
http://resources.ywgc.com/info /

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It doesn't have to be 21-7-14. It can be any number. It should just be a 3-1-2 ratio.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Western Washington lawns should be fertilized with a fertilizer that has a 3-1-2 ratio.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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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.
vince norris
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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.
vince norris
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