My Nighbor's yard has a lot of Chick weed as well as another type of weed
that has overgrowwn and come onto my yard. I basically gave him a choice to
make. Either He allows me to treat his yard at his expense, or he gets a
punch in the nose everytime I have work in my yard. swell he choose the
former. We applied Lesco's Broad leaf weed killer (O O 8) last week and we
can already see a difference. It's says not to reseed for 4 weeks. My
question is,what is the easiest way to pull up the dead weeds that the Lesco
product is killing, Airation, thatching or another. I don't know if this is
important or not But we are located in New Jersey. Thanks
If it was small enough I was going to suggest shaving the organic
matter off with a shovel, but that sounds like too big of a job (might
be what you meant by "thatching").
Maybe you can rent a rotary hoe and plough it all under, once the
whole lot is dead? Or were you just getting rid of *some* of the
existing grass? It's often easier to kill off the whole lot with
glyphosate (Roundup, etc.) and start from scratch.
Yes I was joking... truth of the matter is, he's just not a yard guy, I did
use The Jedi mind trick on him and he allowing me to help treat his yard.
The last few years he really didn't care one way or the other how it looked
and now he turned his view around so I'd like to help him as much as I can
I was told by the LESCO guy that the ground at that time was still too cold
to apply the fertizler that we just used, he said it needed to warm up some.
Here in NJ it's been rather below the adverage temp for a while. And here Al
Gore says we're suffereing from global warming HA!! what does he know.
I didn't know that if we seeded now we can not do it again in the fall. can
you tell me why that is, I always thought you could seed 2x a year. but
then again I'm not a professional, I only play one on TV
If the product your talking about is a weed n feed type, his concern
may have been that the herbicide contained in the product would not be
as effective since many of the weeds were not growing as actively at
that time. Otherwise, there is no reason you couldn't have put down
fertilizer at that time to benefit the lawn.
I didn't say you couldn't do it again in the Fall. I just said, if
you haven't done it yet, I would not do it till Fall. You just
applied a herbicide that says you can't seed for 4 weeks. That puts
you into June. At that point, it's difficult. Sure, you can do it.
But it's going to take a hell of a lot of water to keep the ground
constantly damp. And then you have turf with very little root going
into July/August, which means plenty of water then too. And you have
cool season grass, which prefers to slow down growth or go dormant in
hot weather. And with plenty of water and sparse turf comes plenty
of weeds. And finally, keeping the grass constantly wet during hot
weather is the perfect prescription for fungus and disease. If you
wait till Fall, you have nature on your side. Bottom line, if I had
a small patch to reseed, I'd do it, but not attempt a whole lawn
renovation type project.
Wait till early Sept, then rent a slice seeder and do it right. And
depending on what condition the lawn is in, you may want to just kill
the whole thing a week before. For example, if the existing grass is
of poor quality, rough, not a great color, disease prone, etc, then
I'd get rid of it all, and start over with a good high quality seed of
the appropriate type.
I am waiting a little longer still before I seed. I think it will be done
in 4 to 6 weeks, but doesn't matter when you start, the end is the end.
More than a few times I have tried to get the jump on watering seeds, and
more than a few times I watered at least twice a day for over a month, and
only some came up. I'm in Toronto, not too far from NJ, and I am going to
wait a little longer to put seeds down. If you read the bag the temp has to
stay above 15 C I think, which it is not here yet; but also states a high of
25C I think, it may be other. Anyways, the performance was so poor, and
took so long, that I assumed it was my technique. You can still water seeds
if it is cold, but I think you are almost wasting ALL that time, as the temp
has be in the ideal range, which mother nature takes care of for you if you
wait. You will be waiting anyways. I think the bag says ideal range is
15-25C. When temp is always in there, with the least amount out of that
range I think is the time to do it. Not before, not after, probably. If I
wait a couple weeks more and it doesn't work then, here in TO, then it can't
The weed killer kills the grass seed, not the grass, but not sure for
exactly how long in practice.
It makes a big difference when you start. Early Sept is drastically
different from July.
If you think you should wait another 4-6 weeks to seed in Toronto,
then it is your technique that is causing problems. That puts you
in summer, which is the worst time. For cool season grass to
germinate, you need soil temps in the 50F's. With daytime temps in
the 60's/70's , you have that now. Also, watering 2 times a day may
be OK in late Sept, but it isn't going to keep the soil surface and
seed constantly wet in June/July, which is why that time is prime for
failure. In that period, you would have to water every few hours
during the day to keep it wet. Plus, you then are in July/Aug, high
heat and stress periods with just seedlings. If you seed in Sept, the
plants have 6 mths to establish roots before the stress of summer hot
weather. If you don't have the ability to deliver lots of water,
they're gonna die. And if you do water a lot, you get weeds plus a
prime breeding ground for fungus and disease.
Fall is the best time to seed because everything is on your side.
Spring is second best, which here in NJ would have been a month ago.
Here I'd still seed a couple small spots now, but I would never start
a general seeding at this late date.
While you think your low germination is due to temperature, I'll bet
it's be it's due to other factors, like poor seed/soil contact.
You can still water seeds
You're right, I may need to water more frequently than I do, i.e. more than
twice daily. However I stand by everything I said . Here in Toronto, it
wasn't until the last day or two that the temperature did not drop down
into low single digits consistently for nights (great part of all of our 24
hour periods). That has to be balanced (equally?) with the period above
around 25C, a very small number so far.
Scotts Turfbuilder Kentucky Bluegrass bag says:
"Seed germinates best when temperatures are consistently 15 to 26C
"Seed will not germinate well once temperatures are consistently above 26C."
BUT it does also say
Early spring, when temps are 5-21C (40-70F) is the ideal time to seed."
You may think you have won, but I reject your reality and substitute my own.
But I'm in a diff place (Toronto), I am looking at the temps here, and my
past experience. I think temps will be consistently too high soon. I think
it will take a month, start to finish, before all watering can stop. Thats
under the very best of circumstances. Anything else not being as they are
(starting now) would only add to this month.
It says to water twice daily to keep the top 1cm of soil damp until all
seedlings are up, then water once or twice daily until the lawn is fully
established (6-8 weeks). I am sure I kept up my watering for the
recommended time, but my dissapointment was obvious. This is why I have a
different feeling on this topic now.
For fall, it says temps best when consistently below 26C (actually late
sumer in many areas), & seeding should be completed 6-8 weeks BEFORE temps
are expected to fall below 5C. It stated the seeding itself takes 6-8
weeks so, in fall, start 12-16 weeks before a 5C is expected (" before
temperatures are expected to fall below 5C"); not consistently below 5C.
Thats 3, up to 4 months. It hasn't been 3 to 4 days yet here.
Just a note, your local governement environmental agencies keep records of
all precipitation and temps for the last (....150 years or so), and can be
bought, or researched in several different package forms from their offices.
Or it may be available to the majority, possibly online, possibly by zone.
Here's what Scott's website has to say on the subject:
"basics: renovation and repair
How to Seed Bare Spots And Thin Areas
Summer heat and drought usually cause thin brown spots in the lawn.
Luckily, fall is the best time to seed and it's EASY! Follow the
simple steps below and you'll have a thick, green lawn:"
So, at the very least, Scotts is giving conflicting advice. And
Scotts is hardly the only authority on the subject. Do a Google
search of fall seeding and you will find lots of hits, many of them
from state agricultural extension services, which have no commercial
interest or axe to grind, that say Fall is the best time. For
example, here's one from Minnesota, which is a fairly northern
climate, approaching your own:
"While spring lawn seeding is a possibility, mid-August to mid-
September seeding is usually more successful."
I'm sure you can find some hits tha say Spring is best, but if you
look at the agricultural services and turf experts, the overwhelming
consensus is Fall is the best time, followed by Spring.
Now, I may have misunderstood your earlier comment:
"I am waiting a little longer still before I seed. I think it will be
in 4 to 6 weeks, but doesn't matter when you start, the end is the
I took this to mean that you are going to seed in 4-6 weeks. If you
mean you're going to seed sometime real soon and the grass will be up
by that time, then what you're proposing makes more sense. But, I
would get the seed down immediately.
Here's the problem with your idea of where your past problems with
poor results were. You think it's because you put the seed down too
early. In fact, the seed should have still germinated, it would just
have taken longer. Grass seed isn't like setting out tomato plants,
where if it's too cold, they die. In fact, there are some who believe
that seeding in winter is effective, and do it that way, because the
seed will work into the soil a bit and germinate when it warms up.
As I said earlier, I'd wager that your real problem with poor
germination is elsewhere. I didn;t see any response about how you
seeded, ie, did you get good soil/seed contact via a slice seeder or
other method, or did you just throw some seed around. Getting good
soil contact can make a huge difference in germination rates.
So, you plan to seed sometime in the coming weeks, then water for
just a month? Now that is a prescription for disaster. How do you
expect seedlings to survive in July/August? The watering should be
backed off gradually. And going into summer, with new seedlings, I
would expect to water continuously every 2-3 days or so in hot
weather, if it hasn't rained.
May start today. Not really sure how long it will take, but if it takes
longer than 6 weeks, that is a very narrow window, but thats what I'm
This is interesting, as I suspected, I wonder if there is deception for
profit involved. Just pointing out what is working for me, in Toronto.
Oops, not really sure if it works yet.
I break up the surface of the existing lawn soil, and spread that around
evenly, loosened. Depending on how deep or quality that area is, I may add
Top Soil (I have used different soils, and suspect using "Garden Soil" was
part of my problem - like to know more about what should-shouldn't use &
why. I think peat and moisture materials are good in the soil for
germination, but soon after there is nothing for roots to live in) and
spread it around evenly. Then I'd sprinkle seeds with a handheld broadcast
spreader. Then I'd hand and/or shovel bomb some more new "Top Soil" ("Top
Soil is the name of the newest bags I'm trying.), and maybe spread it
around. May do a little patting, with end of 8" garden rake. What I am
going for is a little layer below, and a little layer above. I try to water
lightly to not expose the seeds, and may add soil after. I rely that the
watering compacts the mix a bit, but can't say I've tamped it down; covered
it up in a tight packing. If it were obvious a large number of seeds were
sitting right on the surface of the soil I'd add more soil. I don't have a
roller handy, and that'd probly trek everything everywhere. However I could
make a tamping plate if I need some compaction.
If I was gonna stop watering, obviously (to me) all the grass that was gonna
grow would be showing. I'd keep an eye on it, and make sure it wouldn't
die, which in turn would show up any new grass if it did decide to come up,
which I would also take care of. In Scotts Kentucky BG common #1, I am not
sure if anything could just start coming up after that first period, i.e.
after the first 5 weeks, or even later in the season, or another season(s).
Wow, how big of an area are you doing that it could take so long?
Instead of all that work, why not just mow it short (if needed), and
rent a slice seeder? You can rent one for around $50 for a half day,
$80/day here. Might want to core aerate it first, which can be rented
for similar amount. You can easily do 1/2 acre or an acre in a day,
smaller lawn in 1/2 day, instead of killing yourself. And the seed
will be in the soil at the right depth, where you will get excellent
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