Scotts Weed Control Fertilizer Killed Our Lawn!! HELP!!!

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Every year, we try to do the cycle of Scotts Fertilizers on our lawn ( Crabgrass Fertilizer, Weed Control Fertilizer, Summerguard Fertilizer, Regular Fertilizer, and Winterguard Fertilizer), and usually have no problems.
We usually do the "Scotts Weed Control" one around Memorial Day weekend in May, but this year my husband didn't get around doing it until a few days ago.
Because its so late into June, we were going to just skip the "Weed Control", and just do the "Summerguard", but we opted to still do the "Weed Control", because our lawn was OVERRUN by clovers this year.
We usually have clover throughout the yard every year, but this year was the WORST, and we have never seen it this bad!!!! On one side of our house, where we use to have nice grass, the clover spread like wild, and the whole side of the house was just one big field of clover. When you walked on the side of the house, you weren't walking on grass, you were walking on pure clover.
But anyway, we watered the grass to get it nice and wet ( so that the fertilizer sticks to the weeds ), just like the bag instructs, and we set our "drop spreader" to the 5 1/2 setting like the bag says, and applied the fertilizer.
Well, the next morning when we went to the window, we were horrified, as we saw that not only was the clover dead, but all our beautiful Green grass is now a Yellow eyesore!!!!!
The clover started to turn Brown, and slowly die off, but the grass was all Yellow the next morning!!! Now all the neighbors have nice Green lawns, and our lawn is all Yellow.
So, did the Scotts "Weed Control" kill the lawn?? So far, we have gotten two different opinions.
We talked to a neighbor, and he told us that "clover" is high in Nitrogen, and that the Nitrogen from the clover, and the Nitrogen from the fertilizer was probably to much for the grass, and it just killed everything.
The sales guy we talked to at our local hardware store, said that we probably put down the Scotts "Weed Control" to late in the season, and that the high temperatures ( mid 80's in our area ), caused the "Weed Control" to burn the lawn. According to him, he said that "Weed Control" is suppose to be applied BEFORE June 1st???
If this is true, then why do they still have it on the shelfs!?
So is there any truth to the above two explanations?? And now the important thing, how do we fix/repair the lawn??? According to the "Scotts" bag, you CAN'T put down new grass seed until 4 weeks after applying the "Weed Control"???
What if we were to spread around some new topsoil ( Topdressing I think they call it? ) first, and then reseed?? Or do we have to wait the full 4 weeks???
We have watered the lawn "deeply" for the past couple of days, but that didn't really help. The grass is still all Yellow.
Any help and or suggestions about what to do now would greatly be appreciated!!!
Thanks!
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

... Last first...
For starters, leave the fertilzers (all of them) on the shelf in the store unless and until you've done soil testing to determine what, if anything the soil needs.
Clover isn't "high in N", it's a legume that sets N taken in from the air in nodules on the roots that serves as a natural source of N. Far from a weed, clover is a very beneficial component in a lawn and will ebb and flow in cycles depending on soil fertility. That it expanded in coverage is generally indicative of a lack of N and certain other trace minerals so it would have been far better in all likelihood to have simply let it go and naturally add its N far less expensively and far less susceptible to burning.
I've not looked at the actual product label but assuming the product you used is a post-emergence broadleaf weed killer, no, the weed killer itself didn't kill the grass (at least unless the application rate was _far_ over recommended).
Most likely this product is mostly a quick-release N fertilizer and you did simply over-fertilize for the time of year and possibly the setting on the spreader isn't accurate or despite the setting the opening was too large owing to a mis-operation or other failure in the mechanism.
What to do is to keep watering and perhaps it will gradually recover from the roots rather than having actually been killed off entirely. If that doesn't work over the next month, at this point the only real practical alternative is to wait until cool weather and overseed at that point and reestablish the lawn.
Again, before adding any more product of any type, I can't over emphasize the need to take soil samples and find out what your soil conditions actually are.
--
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

Not knowing the type of grass or conditions, it is hard to venture a guess. The broadleaf weed killers I have used (on southern lawn) caution about applying when the lawn is stressed (hot/dry weather) I would water deeply 2x week, not mow unless at least 4" high, and hope for the best. You might have killed lots of the leaf but not the root, so there is a chance it will recover. Your local extension service can probably help, especially if you know the variety of grass. Scotts probably has a help line, too. Weed B Gone has been great to use on our lawn, and got most of our heavy weeds on first application. It is to be used when weeds are actively growing, so always did it a week or two after fertilizing. Scotts is expensive stuff, from what I recall. Slow release nitrogen is best for environ. and lawn.
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On Wed, 1 Jul 2009 15:40:37 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

Stop all application of the product. Give the lawn a rest period (several months). And as mentioned, test the soil (after that).
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Oren wrote:

Yes...good point to delay that until at least a significant fraction of the existing application is gone.
I'll note as it's convenient here another observation--
If, as the OP says the grass was deeply yellowed and the broadleaf components were strongly showing stress as soon as the next morning and the temperature is only in the 80's they rate of application imo was definitely _way_ over the recommended. That's just too quick a response otherwise.
Didn't by any chance do other treatments on top of this at the same time???
--


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Thanks for all the answers and info. so far, I really do appreciate it! For those asking, the Scotts "Weed Control" label numbers are "28-1-4", and it says on bag "Won't burn lawn guaranteed!".
On the back of the bag, they have a little "calender" thing for when to put down fertilizer, and for the Scotts "Weed Control, it says April-June. So we figured that this meant ALL of June, as it doesn't say a specific June date.
The monthly calender schedule reads as follows:
1) Early Spring: February - April
"To prevent crabgrass":
Scotts Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer
2) Late Spring: April - June
"To kill weeds":
Scotts Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control
3) Summer: June - August
"To kill bugs":
Scotts Turf Builder with SummerGuard
4) Early Fall: August - September
"For Fall root growth":
Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer
5) Late Fall: October - November
"For a thicker greener lawn now, and next spring":
Scotts Turf Builder Winterizer
Also, just so you know, on the back of the Scotts "Weed Control" bag, it says "Do not apply if temperatures are below 60 or ABOVE 90". When my husband applied it last week, it was like between 82 and 84 degrees out, plus it rained the next afternoon. So we followed all the directions EXACT to the "T", but the next morning when we woke up, all the grass was Yellow, less than 24 hours after putting down the Scotts "Weed Control".
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

That's high N, low everything else. What's missing is whether it says anything about "slow" or "fast" release.
It's also guaranteed to not burn at the recommended rate and assuming the existing level of N isn't at or near a critical value.
As I noted elsewhere, if it had such a marked effect in such a short time, it's almost guaranteed the application rate was quite a lot higher than the recommended for whatever reason.
As someone else suggested, take the amount of the product you used and measure the area and see what the actual application rate was--I'd wager it's greater than you think.

Those are general dates; earlier south, later north in the general time frame. A lot also depends on local soil conditions, what the grass varieties is/are, etc., etc., etc., ...

You have to remember Scotts' _primary_ purpose is to convince you to buy product--whether your lawn really needs or can use it effectively or not is of secondary concern.
I _never_ fertilize a lawn; it simply causes the need for excessive mowing and a need for more water unless there is a very specific soil deficiency.
If there's a specific problem of weeds and/or insect or poor stand, etc., then treat that specific problem. But, _know_ what you're treating and what you need before just spending money. Call your local extension office; they'll have a lot of area-specific information from your State land grant ag school and won't have selling product as their first objective.

As noted, that's a dead giveaway the application rate was, in fact, _way_ too high.
--
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

You have warm or cool season grass (northern or southern clime)? If the ground was somewhat dry, the grass was already stressed. Too much nitrogen will dehydrate grass further, just like when we eat too much salt.
I live in a condo, so it's been a few years since I shopped for lawn care stuff. When I did, I found Scotts to be a big rip-off. You should not need more than one appl. a year for broadleaf weed killers, and that might be too often. Slow release nitrogen 3x year in warm climate is enough; for "high maintenance" lawns, do 4 (more growth, more mowing). You might be way ahead with time and money if you get some lawn care info from local or county extension service. With proper mowing, watering, and feeding, weeds should be few and far between. It can take two or three years to get weeds under control because of seed residual. Once gone, spot treatment should be all that is required. You should follow the schedule your lawn requires, not what is printed on a bag of expensive stuff, esp. for insecticides.
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We try to keep the lawn the lawn as "natural" as possible, as last year we ONLY did the Scotts "Weed Control", as we had a problem with Dandelions EVERYWHERE throughout the yard. Not like 1 or 2 Dandelions, but hundreds!!!
This year, there was hardly any Dandelions at all, just TONS of clover growing everywhere at a rapid rate. Our whole side yard, was almost nothing but pure clover.
2 years ago, we only used the Scotts "Weed Control" for the Dandelions, and the "SummerGuard", to kill the fleas being brought into the yard by chipmunks and squirrels constantly running through our yard.
Also, yes, the grass was wet when my husband applied the "Weed Control", because the directions on the bag say that "the grass should be wet so that the fertilizer particles can stick to the weeds".
My husband uses a "Scotts Accu-Green 1000 Drop Spreader", and its about 10 - 12 years old, so could it be possible that the spreader is defective, and too much fertilizer came out???
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

That's not a problem--it'll come and go and it's a natural N fixer; much cheaper (and as you've learned) safer than commercial fertilizer. When the soil gets built up again, it'll wane and the grass will come back in, all automagically if you don't get excessively obsessed over it.
...

Of course, almost anything is possible and given the symptoms it's highly probably either it malfunctioned or perhaps wasn't set as was thought.
For the third time, look at how much you used, measure the area and you can determine precisely what the rate applied actually was which is the significant thing to know--although by description it's pretty easy to tell it was too much, at least for the conditions.
Anyway, just chill, give it a few months and it'll probably (mostly) come back. Even if not, wait until fall and overseed and by next spring you'll be fine.
--


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call scotts and ask for advice, perhaps you got a bad batch?
but beyond that all this applying chemicals to lawns can poision our environment.
birds rabbits chipmunks live in that chemical soup so many apply.
I think dandelions are a nice splash of color.
these chemicals made my sisters dog very ill giving it a permanent seizuree disorder, that requires daily pills for life.
is it really worth it?
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call a landscaper, who can remove the contaminated soil, replace it and after preparing the soil install a nice green lawn of sod.
pricey but perhaps its worth it to you?
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bob haller wrote:

Good grief! How about nukes?
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wrote:

obviosly you never had this happen to you............
I did it as a kid:( under 12 years old.
Wiped out near the entire front lawn for over a year, when it finally came back it was lush green grew so fast it had to be cut every few days.......
no i didnt have a spreader. my family wanted to kill me.
resseeding anytime soon will see new grass shoots germinate and die..........
I speak from EXPERIENCE
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bob haller wrote:

I once had a yard that had stunted - really, really small - veggies in the garden when I moved in. I had 1" carrots and a ripe watermelon about 2" in diam. Next year, after planting my own veggies, I couldn't dump on enough fert. to get anything growing decently. Young and inexperienced :o) It had very sandy soil and probably pH off the scale.
My daughter has a yard with, probably, the best soil that can be found. Zinnias 6' tall, wonderful flowers and no bugs. No fert. added. The OP may have soil with pH that allows plants to take up max N.
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

Fleas? Never, ever experienced that outdoors. When I lived up north, I didn't pay attention to lawn insects (a luxury :o) Here in FL, our little buggers seem to be very cyclical. Among the ugliest of pests, the mole cricket eats anything and everything vegetative. Then the fire ants multiply and eat the mole crickets and termite larva. Carpenter ants come and go.
I can buy bags and bags of stuff to treat the entire lawn (per the label) for fire ants, but a very small amount of Amdro, sprinkled along pavement, will get rid of all signs of fire ants (proved by being able to work on sprinkler lines without being swarmed).

Weed B Gone is a very good broadleaf herbicide. When we used it, our lawn was about 25% dead (bare soil) and heavy weed growth. WBG knocked down about 95% of the weeds on first appl. That, along with proper mowing, fert. and watering, got our St. Aug. lawn back on the road to recovery. We had one nasty, tough, persistent grassy weed left to battle by hand, but when the grass filled it, it didn't leave much room for weeds. Mowing too short might be something that encourages clover. It also allows lawn to dry more quickly and give weed seed sun to germinate. Cutting or pulling weeds before they go to seed also helps win the war :o)

Could very well be. I calibrated ours long ago, but I think I ran about half strength until I was sure it was going at the right rate.
The nastiest chemicals for lawns are the pre-emerg. crabgrass killers, and timing is critical for those. Also among the poisons that should be used sparingly, not as part of a schedule on a bag.
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

As other have said, it may take several months for your lawn to recover.
As to what you can do TODAY, visit a lawn store. There are grass dyes available to cosmetically alter your lawn. If you color your grass, perhaps the neighbors will quit pointing at your house and shaking their heads in pity.
Invitations to neighborhood cook-outs may even get renewed.
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On Jul 1, 2:40pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

Or your spreader was set wrong and I bet you dont even know if its calibrated right, I have one that needs to be calibrated it puts out to much. Measure sq ft of lawn, calculate what you used to see if it was overdone.
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Scotts "Program" is just a marketing gimmick. I use a plan for my lawn, but it is geared toward my specific location and type of grass. Weed-and-Feed is harsh, very harsh, so it should ONLY be used when absolutely necessary. Clover is not one of those "weeds" to be overly concered about. Back off on fertilizer during hot weather and apply fertilizer when the ground is damp or rain is in the forcast.
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Does it say this on the package? "Do not use on dichondra, St. Augustinegrass, creeping bentgrass, bahia, or centipedegrass lawns." Next do you know what type of grass you have?
A setting of 5.5 is extremely high, especially if your husband applied like the package says to. With a drop spreader, you criss-cross the yard. You _MUST_ cut the application rate in 1/2 when you apply per instructions.
What is the sq.ft of your yard, and how much fertilizer did he go through?
Have him set the drop spreader on the curb and go buy a rotary.
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