growing grass

Can anyone tell me the best way to put down grass seed? I live in NJ and I was wondering if I can just put it down with a spreader? Also my lawn is almost weed free, should I be using a weed control product to stop the existing ones from getting bigger and spreading? Thanks.
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Are you seeding a new lawn? If not why do you want to put down seed?
Depending on the size of the area you are seeding, I suggest just using your hands, or a broadcast spreader.
Your best defense against weeds is a good healthy lawn that is properly cared for (including cutting height)
If you have only a few weeds I would not consider an overall weed killer. Spot weed control would be ok and likely work better. I use a mix of spot chemical control and hand pulling. About five minutes a week works fine.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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If you are seeding a large area you can use a fertilizer spreader, however you will have to play with the settings and thin the seed down with some very dry sand or it may spread the seed too thickly. I have done this and it works well.
By the way, hand weeding a lawn is only for people with miniscule lots, if I tried it, it would not take five minutes a week, more like five minutes every hour of the week, and they would be sprouting before I could get back again.

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This is Turtle.
If your going to do this. What % of dry sand to Seed would you suggest? I'm thinking about lightly seeding my lawn before the winter in some spots. I have Carpet grass and have a few thin places.
TURTLE
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I have about a half acre.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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glen wrote:

Depends. If you have a mostly weed-free lawn, that covers nicely, you should be able to just drop a light spread and it will increase the variety and coverage before fall sets in, with a good start on next year.
If you have specific bare spots you should thatch, seed, then rake, and make sure it gets plenty of water until it grows in.
Weed free lawn? A seed with weed control probably won't hurt, and might help keep it that way, but you're probably better off with spot sprays and weed killer on the bad areas.
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Grass is completely out of habitat in most places, just like tropical plants in Los Angeles which need to be artificially sustained. The only reason we grow them is because the British brought the ridiculous tradition with them 400 years ago, and now we're stuck with the idea. As long as we're stuck with them, try not to make matters worse by using weed killers. Keep the lawn vigorous through proper cutting and watering. The competition will take care of the weeds. If neighbors comment on the few weeds in your lawn, tell him to go get some rope and hang themselves.
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Buy the best quality seed possible. Use a broadcast spreader to distribute the seed, using two passes. Feed with a STARTER fertilizer so you don't burn the seedlings. If you are oversseeding, mow close just before you lay down the seed and fertilizer. Use straw if there is bare ground. Keep moist for 3-4 weeks and don't mow until the grass is over 3" high. Do not use weed killer for 60 days before and after applying seed. Spring is the best time to treat weeds, when they are young and actively growing.
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Like others, I try to avoid widespread use of chemicals unless absolutely necessary. I agree that the best defence against weeds is healthy grass. Some types of grass are more able to combat weeds than others, so every year at freeze-up I add a little seed of vigorous grass broadcast over the lawn to improve my lawn the following spring. The type of grass that will do best varies with your area.
Some weeds are easily hand-picked but others especially dandelions are very difficult to kill without chemicals. I use a hand squirt bottle to get precise application.
I have a problem with clover. Some of it is good for a lawn but I have some patches where it has taken over. Some such patches I have actually dug up and turned over and reseeded, others I spray with a weed-killer.
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glen wrote:

and mowing practices. You must already be doing that. Keep in mind that some weeds bear hundreds or thousands of seeds, so each one you pull by hand is a big dose of "prevention". We rehabbed a large lawn in our condo, got it down to almost no weeds. When I was outside, I'd often just pull a few weeds and put them in the trash. Weed seed persists for 2-3 years, at least, so you may still be fighting what has been there a while. For the really stubborn ones, difficult to pull out, I would get an old brush and paint them with RoundUP where there were just a few.
In our southern lawn, St. Augustine Grass, there are two main types of pest weeds - grassy and broadleaf - which take completely different treatment. SA grass can be killed by some broadleaf weed killers, and many grasses suffer temporary damage. You are way ahead if you have the weed indentified at the extension service or garden expert and select a product and method appropriate for the weed. Our lawn guy was amazed that we got rid of dollar weed, which was almost entirely killed off by one application of a broadleaf herbicide. After one application to the entire lawn with a hose end sprayer, it took just spot treatment with a spray bottle to finish it off. Occasional spot treatment when it shows up again. The nastiest pest we had was, I believe, goose grass, or something similar to crab grass. Need a pre-emergent grassy weed herbicide and perfect timing to have a chance of eliminating it. Impossible to pull it all up.
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