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fall (almost winter!) lawn care?


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#1 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted November 27, 2017 - 09:56 PM

, OK I got the yard looking the best it has for the end of a season in years.  other than the quackgrass and crabgrass/watergrass that took over and invaded my yard about mid summer. I want that stuff GONE!  I want my yard to look like turfgrass for the entire season not just the 1st 1/2....

 

I mowed for the last time over the weekend, mowed short like I used to years ago, had been mowing higher thru the season and for the last couple of years.... got the leaf harvest DONE (ooh I hate harvesting leaves)  used a (push) mulching mower that I was given for over the  winter season to "get running before spring" for a guy, ( gotta test it out right?)  for the final mow, chopped up everything that was left,  the best I could, then I took the freebie curbside found lawn sweeper that I picked up over the summer, over and over and over my yard until it would not pick up any more crap from within the grass (got a lot more up than I thought I would just by doing that)

previously throughout this year's leaf harvest, I mowed 2x with another curbside find that I got to run, a MTD LT with a "mulch plug"

 

plan is to spread lime, this will be my 1st 'dog-less" winter since I can remember, so I want to correct the damage done by them over the years (my son finally bought a house and got out of his apartment where he wasn't allowed to bring his dog, though I will be looking for another come spring)  have had 2 dogs for many years before my son's dog arrived.... I last put lime down this time of year 2 years ago.  (that was the only other time my yard got Lime'd in 19 years of me living here)

 

next plan of attack is a question mark...I have a power rake that i'd like to run across the yard, I think it might be set a little low as is, sure brings up a lot of dirt in the small test section I did.... better now, before ground freezes? or wait til spring to run power rake? or do it both now and in the spring?  It's mine, no worries about paying the rental yard.

 

I'm also wanting to reseed some areas, one is about 20'X15',  where I used to have a trailer and a general junk pile, and a couple areas that are generally "thin"/  especially under this big maple tree in my side yard (and adjacent to the bare spot from the trailer and junk that I finally got rid of)  stays at least partly shaded all the time, does get some partial sun late in the afternoon til the sun goes down.

 

AND I want to apply something to work on the lawn and soak in good thru the winter, (fertilizer/weed and feed) 

once the ground freezes, it should stay put where it needs to be to do the most good...

 

Do I; power rake now, in the Spring or both?

        put down the lime and weed/feed then power rake, or the other way around?

 

location about 1 hour south of Chicago, I know that location does play a part.... I wish we were like parts of Texas so that I  could mow all year and not have to worry about snow and ice.

      

 

on the side yard where I am looking to overseed/reseed the bare area, I want to put something down that won't burn/kill the new seed that I want to put down.....what's a good product for this purpose?

 

  I have been told that when mowing season is done but before the ground can freeze is best time to reseed/overseed.....is this right or wrong? I have thrown hundreds of pounds of seed at the yard in the spring/summer over the years,  with what I would call poor results.

 

my yard comes up beautiful (except where it is thin) with minimal weeds, til those above mentioned weeds overtake it. IDK how real grass can overtake it and come up nice in the spring but not choke out the crap, all the rest of the season? I want to kill the weeds once and all for good, while they are dormant, without doing a Roundup burndown  on the whole yard and starting from scratch, I get so frustrated with it when it turns to crap that I have thought about doing just that many times.

my lot is 95X160 but when you count the space that the house, shed, garage and (2) driveways take up, I have about 60% of that area to treat.



#2 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2017 - 05:28 AM

Power rake in the spring.
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#3 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2017 - 07:07 AM

ok, so what can I do now to help get my yard into shape so it's better next year and those weeds that overtake my yard 1/2 way thru the growing season, don't do so any more?



#4 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2017 - 07:40 AM

I don't have any answers for you, but I will share some personal experience:

 

We did a major remodel two years ago that ruined a lot of the lawn.  I re-seeded Thanksgiving weekend.  The winter was mild and by February the new lawn was 4" tall.  I don't believe I used any fertilizer, I'd planned to put it on in the spring before it germinated.

 

After that success I decided to replace another section of the lawn that never looks good.  Last August I sprayed that area with glyphosate.  I also treated some areas with Weed-B-Gone.  Apparently I didn't rinse the sprayer well enough because the areas I treated for weeds also went bare.  (Lesson: the concentration listed on the glyphosate bottle appears to be much higher than necessary).

 

Last fall I disced the area I meant to kill, seeded that and overseeded the areas I'd accidentally killed.  Winter wasn't mild and the area I'd meant to replace didn't come in until late spring and was very thin.  The overseeded areas quickly filled with wild grasses.  Most of the summer was pretty dry and that seems to give the wild grass an advantage.

 

I fertilized about six weeks ago.  The area I meant to replace is starting to fill in.  The wild grasses are gone and turf grass has started to invade the bare spots. Today it's supposed to hit 60 and I won't be surprised if the lawn jumps up another 1/2 inch.  Right now the lawn looks the best it has all year.

 

For next season I'm going to use a pre-emergent to try and keep the wild grass at bay.  I'm hoping the turf grass will continue to fill the areas I accidentally damaged.

 

**

I've pretty much reached the conclusion that the keys to a nice lawn are lots of fertilizer, lots of water and cut it tall to keep weeds from coming in.  Tough to do here because our soil is very sandy, so unless mother nature brings lots of water it's usually pretty dry.  Of course when mother nature brings water the fertilizer washes right through that sand.


Edited by MiCarl, November 28, 2017 - 07:42 AM.

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#5 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted November 29, 2017 - 07:02 AM

weed be gone is largely 2-4D.



#6 mrmd OFFLINE  

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Posted November 29, 2017 - 09:38 AM

Definitely wait till spring. If you do it now you will expose roots to the winter. Apply a winterizer fertilizer now. Early spring apply crabgrass preventer(step 1 in Scott's 4 step program). Never apply fertilizer to seed. Wait till you get leaves starting.
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#7 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted December 01, 2017 - 07:04 AM

Definitely wait till spring. If you do it now you will expose roots to the winter. Apply a winterizer fertilizer now. Early spring apply crabgrass preventer(step 1 in Scott's 4 step program). Never apply fertilizer to seed. Wait till you get leaves starting.

 so you're saying to wait til spring to seed too? It seems that by listening to the weather reports, this weekend is my last chance for a while to do anything for the lawn, at all.  Mid week next week, they are saying the bottom is going out of the thermometer....  after a lot of rain the day before the bottom falls out,

I got about 4 days to do anything if I am gonna do anything to it for this season.  that means I gotta do what I am gonna do this weekend because I go to work in the dark and get home just as it is getting dark during the week....

I was gonna throw some lime down and either seed or fertilizer maybe both, before I asked.  I have had people in the past  tell me that its good to seed just  before snow flies, the snow cover will hold the seed down and allow it to soak into the ground when melting time comes.....and then as soon as spring comes it will fill in and grow really well.    am I wrong there?

 

Many years, I think about doing something to help the lawn at the end of the season for the following year, then seem to forget about it til it is too late....


Edited by dodge trucker, December 01, 2017 - 07:14 AM.


#8 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted December 02, 2017 - 11:18 PM

ok...I got lime spread on most of the yard, had to go back and buy 1 more bag...  also  put winterizer fertilizer on the whole yard including where it got no lime.

I got the "STA-GREEN" brand at Lowes, same ingredients as Scotts and same N-P-K numbers and same size bag as Scotts for $40 vs $48....

I started  the lime application where the doggie toilet part of the yard was, and was able to get the shaded part that stays damp long after the rest of the yard dries out upon a good rain.  the part that bakes in the sun is what was missed... I did get by lowes and get another 40# bag, will be putting that down tomorrow,

had a neighbor stop by and ask me if I had some old L head Briggs parts and along the way told me that his yard had grubs badly this nyear and his yard is "separating" just beneath the roots because if it... he was tearing up the yard today to both combat the grubs and relevel it at the same time...

I know the bag said spring to early summer, but wondering if I oughtta apply some now as a "pre treat" and again in the spring, or just wait til spring?

 

I have had 2 dogs for years, currently don't have a dog, (my son just bought a house and took "his" dog with him)   I limed the yard in the fall 2 or 3 years ago, I should have done so again before now as I know that lime works quite slowly...  in the past we would let the dogs out the back, when we got my son's dog that is now gone, we switched to letting him out front,  the front yard isn't as bad as the back yard had been getting from the years of deposits, but it was starting to show.

Anything else to help it out for next year that I can do now?  other alternative is Roundup + tiller + reseed from scratch. I did the back yard like that about 10 years ago and have done sections again since then like that,  backyard probably the best shape (but still not what it should be)  this would be for the side yard and front yard.


Edited by dodge trucker, December 02, 2017 - 11:18 PM.


#9 ShotgunWedding OFFLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2017 - 09:40 AM

For your crabgrass, just remember that these are bi-ennials, so hit it with pre-emergence first thing as growth starts, and hit it again hard the following year as there are always two years worth that need to be killed.  Forgetting the second year negates the first application.

 

Also, spraying any weed killer such as 2,4-D or Par3 (I recommend Par3) when weeds are not actively growing is a waste. Weeds must be actively growing and readily take up the chemical in their leaves to work.  I like waiting until later spring to give them the chance to come out and grow, then hit them with Par3.

 

Good luck


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#10 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2017 - 11:24 PM

I have never heard of par3.  I have 2,4-D, and plenty of it.....


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