What should I do first, put down seed or kill my weeds? This is the question I get more than any other this time of year. Here is the way I try to layout the options: Do you have less than 75% good grass with bare spots larger than a few inches in diameter? Answer: If… Loyalty Lawn Care provides the St. Louis area with professional lawn care services.
Feed, Weed or Seed?
What should I do first, put down seed or kill my weeds? This is the question I get more than any other this time of year. Here is the way I try to layout the options:
Do you have less than 75% good grass with bare spots larger than a few inches in diameter?
Answer: If lots of larger spots, then seed this spring. Be sure to use a special Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer that is compatible with grass seed (the regular crabgrass preventers will keep grass seed from growing). If you do not prevent weeds when you seed, you are likely to be very disappointed as crabgrass and other weeds will germinate and choke out your good grass before it has a chance to take hold. A machine called a slit-seeder will help make sure the grass seed comes in contact with the soil. You just select the Turf Builder Grass Seed blend that is right for your conditions, such as sun, shade, heat-tolerant, etc. If you only have a few bare spots to take care of, consider Scotts EZ Seed. I think this is the best bare spot repair product we have ever sold! Spread the Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer after you put down the seed. Feed your lawn again in one month after seeding with Turf Builder Lawn Food. Once your new grass has been mowed 4 times, you can kill weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer OR Roundup For Lawns.
Do you have more than 75% good grass however your lawn is thin and weedy without widespread bare spots?
Answer: You may be surprised how your good grass will fill in with four feedings a year at 6 to 8 week intervals. Here is a schedule for the year: Feed your lawn now with Scotts Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer. In 6 to 8 weeks after your first feeding, feed again with Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed if you have lots of weeds or if you only have a few weeds, your second feeding can be Turf Builder Lawn Food and spot treat your weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer. Put down Scotts GrubEx sometime in May or June. In 6 to 8 weeks after your second feeding, feed again with Scotts Turf Builder with SummerGuard to control insects. In 6 to 8 weeks after your third feeding, in late summer/early fall, feed with Turf Builder Lawn Food.
If you have questions during the year, the Scotts Help Center folks will be happy to help you.
Do Not Seed in Spring Because of Pre-emergent
Whether your lawn is a small patch of grass or several acres, it’s important to take care of it properly to keep it healthy all year long. The pros at Loyalty Lawn Care know the tips and tricks to keep your lawn green. But what about grassy weeds like crabgrass and foxtail? These pesky plant pests can overtake an otherwise healthy lawn and cause problems aside from the obvious visual concerns. The best way to ensure that these grassy weeds don’t ruin the look or health of your lawn is to use pre-emergent.
What is pre-emergent?
Often used alongside fertilizer, pre-emergent is not fertilizer itself. Instead, it is an herbicide that works to prevent grassy weed seeds from germinating. The reason that it is used in conjunction with fertilizer is because the latter is an effective carrier agent for the pre-emergent to bind to. This product is often referred to as weed and feed.
Should I add pre-emergent to my newly seeded lawn?
In a word, no. Because newly seeded lawns are still germinating, the pre-emergent can affect germination in the process. More mature lawns are sturdier against the herbicide, so it’s best to wait at least 4 months after planting the lawn to apply the pre-emergent. If you are unsure about the best timeline to follow for your lawn, don’t hesitate to reach out to Loyalty Lawn Care with your questions.
When should I apply pre-emergent?
Like many things when it comes to your yard, pre-emergent has seasonality to it. It’s most ideal to apply a pre-emergent herbicide before the temperature of the top 4 inches of soil reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 5 days in a row. This translates to daytime highs of the upper 60’s to mid-70s for the same amount of time. We recommend considering a pre-emergent application in the late winter to early spring to maximize its effectiveness.
Every pre-emergent product is a bit different, but you can expect a single treatment to last approximately 3-5 months.
Can I overseed after applying pre-emergent?
While it is best to over seed in fall, after applying your preemergent, it’s important to give your lawn some time to for the product to lose its effectiveness before moving on to the next step. Therefore you shouldn’t be overseeding immediately after applying this herbicide – it’s best to wait at least 4 months between. If you must seed sooner some detailed prep work must be completed to assure you have a quality seed bed that won’t be harmed by the pre-emergent herbicide.
Have more questions about your lawn and the intricacies of keeping it green? Contact Loyalty Lawn Care with all your lawn care questions today.