New house to me. Fescue lawn with some bermuda. Previous owner didn't put
out pre-emergent last winter, and a family illness prevented us from dealing
with crabgrass as it emerged. Now, there are copious amounts of crabgrass
all over the lawn (the lawn is ~1/2 acre). I figure fully 10% of the area is
I'm not against overseeding this fall with fescue, but I don't see how the
fescue is going to come up through the areas that are choked with crabgrass,
and there is no way I know of to deal with that much crabgrass without
nuking the entire lawn.
If I try and overseed next spring (not the greatest of ideas), I won't be
able to use pre-emergent to block the crabgrass from re-appearing.
What am I missing? Other than a complete rennovation, is there a reasonable
solution that will lead to a nice lawn next summer?
Thanks in advance...
Check with your local county extension service (or like agency if you
live outside the US.) The options change depending on where you live. In
most areas you can eliminate the crabgrass, but I understand that in some
areas it will be difficult.
First off manually extract all the crabgrass you can. It's setting seeds right
about now and the seeds overwinter. Dump the pulled-up crabgrass. Overseed
the bare spots right now.
Pre-emergent treatment in the spring.
And look into "Tall Fescue", not ordinary fescue strains. Tall Fescue
stands up to hot weather because it sends roots down 3+ feet. It drive
enviromentalist whackos nuts to see your green lawn with no obvious
watering going on.
Without heavy overseeding, the crabgrass will come back with a
vengeance next spring. Even if you start all over (Use RoundUp or
rototill the entire lawn) the crabgrass seeds will sprout. Crabgrass
seeds can remain dormant for 20 years. Buy 100 pounds of quality
grass seed and starter fertilizer. Fescue grows (roots) during the
winter, crabgrass does not.
On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 21:56:33 -0400, "Kyle Boatright"
I live in a new neighborhood and we didn't put any pre emergents out the first
spring. Crabgrass was everywhere. We
spent a weekend pulling it out of the backyard. Some of our neighbors just ignored
it. We got tru green to service the
lawn and so did some of the neighbors. The next spring, nobody had crab grass, even
those that didn't pull it out.
We all have bermuda, and it chokes off the crab grass pretty well. I don't know if
fescue does this as well, and you
indicated you have more fescue than bermuda.
Bottom line is, if you can live with it a few more months, then don't worry about it.
It will die back. Don't forget
your pre emergents next year and a little seeding wouldn't hurt.
Thin the worst of the crabgrass by hand or with spot-treating with
Round-Up and reseed the bare spots with fescue this fall. Just leave
anything where the crabgrass is not totally crowding out the lawn grass.
Next spring, use a pre-emergent to keep the crabgrass from coming back.
The fescue and bermuda should fill in.
Have you had success with that product? I've tried two different crabgrass
specific post-emergents. With both, if you apply according to the label,
the crabgrass goes yellow, but doesn't die. Same with a second application.
If you strengthen the mix, it simply kills everything. Sort of round-up by
I was in the business for over 10 years and used it regularly. It can
burn if over applied, but I never had a problem with it. I'm in Canada
though, so it's a different climate. It's southern Ontario though and
the summers are normally quite hot mid-july until late August.
I use Trimec for crabgrass after it has sprouted. Need two applications and
you can plant new grass three weeks later. As for in the spring you can use
corn gluten to prevent crabgrass from coming up but you have to get it down
before the ground gets to warm otherwise it will make crabgrass go crazy.
MSMA is a specific for crab grass, and an all around broad leaf killer as
well. Used in mixture with Turflon it is the only way to go after Kikuyu
grass in particular and warm season grasses in general.
How was crabgrass controlled before the "agent orange" chemicals
became available? I am quite sure that if anyone had told my
grandparents that they had to plow up the lawn, replant it and spend
the rest of thier lives pulling up crabgrass we would be complaining
today about bluegrass infesting our beautiful crabgrass lawn.
What conditions naturally give lawn grasses an advantage over
crabgrass? It must have been simple, low tech and almost certainly
not something that can be done in a single year, but I know many of us
would prefer doing it naturally over chemically.
On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 21:56:33 -0400, "Kyle Boatright"
The corn glutten is a natural way to prevent crabgrass. And it goes does with a
spreader. And best of all it works.
I have used the Trimec many times and it works great but will require two
applications since you have a great deal of it.
The key to preventing crabgrass is to have a full healthy lawn. Crabgrass preys
on sparse lawns.
As stated above some grasses in the south look like crabgrass to us
northerners. So make sure you don't have one of those types of grasses before
you kill the whole lawn.
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