Replacing a lawn that's infested with crabgrass

I'm about to replace a my girlfriend's lawn that's heavily infested with crabgrass.
What's the best approach to doing this? Some of the different suggestions I've received are as follows:
- Spray the lawn as it is (without digging it up first) with preemergent and then cover it with a tarp for several weeks before digging it up - Remove the top layer of grass before spraying it - Not spraying it at all
I guess I have two basic questions - do I really need to take off the top layer of dead grass before spraying it and do I really need to tarp it after spraying it? Any and all suggestions will be helpful.
Christopher
P.S. I live in Northern California if that makes a difference.
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I'm about to replace a my girlfriend's lawn that's heavily infested with crabgrass.
What's the best approach to doing this? Some of the different suggestions I've received are as follows:
- Spray the lawn as it is (without digging it up first) with preemergent and then cover it with a tarp for several weeks before digging it up - Remove the top layer of grass before spraying it - Not spraying it at all
I guess I have two basic questions - do I really need to take off the top layer of dead grass before spraying it and do I really need to tarp it after spraying it? Any and all suggestions will be helpful.
Christopher
P.S. I live in Northern California if that makes a difference.
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I'm about to replace a my girlfriend's lawn that's heavily infested with crabgrass.
What's the best approach to doing this? Some of the different suggestions I've received are as follows:
- Spray the lawn as it is (without digging it up first) with preemergent and then cover it with a tarp for several weeks before digging it up - Remove the top layer of grass before spraying it - Not spraying it at all
I guess I have two basic questions - do I really need to take off the top layer of dead grass before spraying it and do I really need to tarp it after spraying it? Any and all suggestions will be helpful.
Christopher
P.S. I live in Northern California if that makes a difference.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Crabgrass is an annual. Just keep it mowed this year and put up with it. Next spring, apply a preemergent herbicide to kill the seedlings. (I've never used a preemerge herbicide before, but I have one little strip of lawn next to my driveway where I'm going to try it next year.)
If the crabgrass has totally taken over, that's a sign that the lawn is not healthy. You may be cutting it too short or not watering properly, etc.
Best regards, Bob
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I agree, put it down when the forsythias are in bloom. I did it this past spring and what a difference! I used Scott's with Halt's for crabgrass.
"Follow lable directions" as Ralph Snodsmith always says!
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Johnny Borborigmi wrote:

Does that have a broadleaf weed killer (2,4-d, etc) in it? I don't use broadleaf herbicides except to occasionally spot-treat dandelions and elm or walnut seedlings that got too big to pull. I don't use 2,4-d *at all* in the back yard where the dogs go.
Bob
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We just got thru rehabbing a horribly neglected lawn (not that I like a lawn and soon there will be less lawn) but it is at our rental property. big bald spots and more weeds than grass. We made a mistake in using pre-emergent. dont. start with weed and feed, watering every day or every other day. cut the grass. then after a couple weeks overseed with good fresh grass seed. at least up here in zone 5 the temp is ideal right now. we just reseeded. Ingrid

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On 27 Aug 2006 10:26:11 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

Seed needs to be in direct contact with soil for it to sprout. The seed will not sprout if you apply a preemergence. You can use RoundUp to kill the grass, then remove the dead grass. Use a lot of seed to get to get a thick lawn which crabgrass won't grow well. Apply a starter fertilizer at the time of seeding. Protect the seeds with straw and keep the ground moist.

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I would spray with something like roundup to kill all the "grass" first. In about 7 days I would till the area and rake any clumps out and smooth the soil. I would then wait a couple weeks and see if anything sprouted. If it did, I would spray that with herbacide. I would then sow grass.
wrote:

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Christopher,
The only thing I can think of would be to till and improve the soil over the entire lawn, ignoring what is growing there. Get it ready for turf, compacting it, etc. THEN allow whatever wants to grow to get a good head start. At that point it would be ready for Roundup. After the Roundup takes effect, *without disturbing the soil* put the sod down and water as you normally would.
This sounds like a lot of trouble and it sure would be. The only other option would be to have someone entirely remove the top few inches of lawn and soil and start over, but you never know what you get with purchased topsoil.
Or you could do what I do, which is to keep turning parts of the lawn into garden, gradually, and learn to ignore crabgrass. My philosophy is "If it's green, it's a lawn."
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This is the way to go! Use a long-handled weed tool to reduce the work and strain on your back. Google 'lawn conversion native plants' and 'weed tools' for help.
Sparky Organic wrote:

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