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u/mitchell486 · 6 pointsr/lawncare

I'm by no means an expert, so please take this advice with a grain of salt. Also, this is a bit long so I made a TL;DR at the end. I live in Southern Indiana, but I've recently taken an interest in fixing our new front yard. I will do my best to keep this advice as general as possible. I think you might have a week or two left to try my steps, if you want to take this approach. I think your temps are still low enough that the grass hasn't hit the spring "growth and changes" yet. However, if you can't get it in the next few weeks, you might have to plan out your fall steps during this summer, and then around Sept(?) you could dethatch, rent a plug aerator, overseed, and cover the seed with some top soil and wait. Over winter those seeds are supposed to lay dormant until next spring. However, I'm not about fertilizer in the fall, so you'd have to look up info on that.

My general rule is to try to follow the overall starter advice from The Lawn Care Nut, which is mainly "know your lawn square footage, and break it into zones", "have a plan and try to stick to it", and then "mow extra high and very often" (most important one, IMO). For me, it's 3 zones of Front, Side, and Back. It's ~13,000 sq ft total, but this year I focused on the side (~1,750 sq ft), and the front yard (~3,600 sq ft). So a little over 5,300 sq ft when I'm talking about effort/hours/costs/etc.

Be aware if you do follow these steps, your yard will look like CRAP for a few weeks... But after 14-21 days, I REALLY think it will turn around!

As far my spring starter-plan/steps, I used:

  • Mow extremely low as you get into the first few mows of the year (with bagger on, so no clippings or grass are left that you'd have to pick up anyway)
    • Don't do this if you have already mowed more than 4-5 times in the regular mowing session... Any later and it means your grass is already in the initial growing stage and it won't help that much. If that's the case, you'll have to wait until next year.
    • From your pictures, it looks like it hasn't hit that "missed your window" stage, so I think could still try these steps.
  • Dethatch and clean off all the debris
    • I had a gift card for amazon, so I got the $100 dethatcher. Use the recommended gauge for extension cord size and this thing really does work!
    • You can rent a power rake, or a pull behind dethatcher.
    • You could manually rake the yard too, but ohhh boy do I recommend against that unless you're an athlete or crazy.
    • The key here is to get down to where you see at least MOSTLY dirt in the bare patches, and make sure that you don't have areas of covered dirt where grass can't grow. New seed won't take, and existing grass would rarely want to spread to that area and break up the thatch/matted stuff, so exposing it is key.
  • Use bagger mower or leaf blower to remove thatch!
    • I found this tip online and I REALLY recommend it. Raking it by hand is EXTREMELY difficult and time consuming. I'm not "in the best shape", but I'm not in the worst shape either... 31 years old, and sure I like beer when yard working, but HOLY CRAP that's rough. I only did manual raking for the 1,750 area and I was sore for days. My bagger mower worked really well for cleaning the front yard. It almost creates a vacuum to pick up the stuff so it worked well.
  • Rough rake up a few bare spots
    • I then applied higher quality soil in a few lower holes/areas. (~3 bags of this stuff. As a spot-fill type situation. Good quality soil, but I wouldn't buy a lot of this for an entire yard, because of price.)
  • Overseed the HECK out of it.
    • My rule was that I would rather spend $40 per big bag of seed, and overseed TOO much, rather than underseed and regret it for an entire year. I think it worked well.
    • I used this Landscapers Mix because it had the best blend of Tall Fescue and KYB. I read somewhere that if you want a tall fescue filled yard that works well, you need a blend with at least about 20% KYB so that early germination helps.
  • Fertilizer
    • I used this one that I found at Menard's and used based on the very high Nitrogen content (35-0-6)
      • I recommend learning about the numbers on fertilizer so that you can safely and properly fertilize moving forward. Yes, a soil sample would probably be VERY beneficial, and eventually should be done.... But if you have never used any fertilizer on your yard, it's more than likely at least missing Nitrogen. I highly suspect that our previous owners had NEVER fertilized, so I knew any/high Nitrogen would be better than nothing. Also, it's my understanding that nitrogen is not replenished naturally in soil without something to help it. So that's why most fertilizers focus on it as the main key ingredient.
  • Cover any large bare spots with high quality top soil or something to help keep the seeds safe!
    • Damn birds... They're vicious when you put out seed!
  • Water, water, water...
    • Water immediately after, and then daily after that.
    • I watered at least once a day. I never watered more than 2 times a day, but I got lucky with rain... I have to temporarily travel daily for work, so I'm away from the house for 11-12 hours a day during this time. Even so, I've been able to water it at least once a day with good results.
    • The watering phase should last at least 7-10 days, at minimum. But, I still water it pretty freely and it's been 18 days. I will probably keep it well watered for the next month or two, so that it doesn't ever truly "dry out" more than an inch or two that is exposed to the sun/heat. I want to ensure proper growth, even if it means mowing a lot more.
    • I have had success both when watering in a morning, or if I was forced to water after work. I rarely get home before 7pm, so watering happens right around dusk, or even after dark depending on how tolerant my wife is about letting me get outside and get things done. :) I've not had any bad things yet. Maybe I've gotten lucky, but without an irrigation system, I am just doing the best I can by watering when I get the chance to do it.
  • Mow high and VERY often!!!
    • I mow on Wednesdays and Weekends. (Move it a day in either direction if i have to for weather)
    • I use my push mower for these 2 front/side areas, and I keep it on the highest setting. I bag my clippings, because I know really just how much thatch I pulled out of these two areas... I want a good healthy lawn established before I even think about putting any clippings back on there.
    • Just a general ol' push mower, nothing fancy. I sharpened the blade at the start of March(ish), and will probably touch it up again in a few weeks.

      Other than that, I simply try to spot check weeds. I did learn a few things that I will keep using throughout the year. This includes overseeding again in the fall to make my spring start a bit easier next year. I do also plan on re-applying some mid-strength (10-10-10, maybe?) fertilizer in about 6-8 weeks... I think it will need to be a lot softer/lighter of an application because of the heat we can get during Indiana summers.

      I think your temps are/have been fairly close to ours in Indiana. So if you're willing to put in a few evenings or a weekend of some pretty hard work, then remember to water it all afterwards daily, I think you can turn your yard around!! Below I will put a few before(ish) and current/"after" pictures to help give you an idea of the "bad times" and then also how great it can also turn out!


      Before picture. I only took pictures after dethatching and picking up the excess grass/thatch. This was April 27th, 2019. -

      During, which was about 14-15 days in... Regular spring growth and I already had little germination sprouts! This was May 11th, 2019. -

      Taken yesterday. Not much change from the 11th, but it still looks like it's growing, in my opinion. May 13th, 2019. -

      For posterity, this is most of the front yard. Work was done May 4th-6th... Taken May 13th, 2019, at 9:21pm, sorry for the low quality. -


      I hope this helps! I know I feel very proud of my progress so far, especially being the first year. Normally it's about a 2 year process to turn a yard around, IIRC. I think I got lucky with mediocre spring temps and decent amount of rain so far!



      TL;DR - If mid-late spring temps and rain allow, mow on lowest setting, dethatch until you see bare soil in patch spots, rough any bare spots that you won't cover with soil, overseed the HECK out of it, fertilizer with high nitrogen (35-0-6 worked well for me in Indiana with a "never before fertilized lawn"), cover as many bare spots as you can with high quality soil, and water water water! (At least once a day for a few weeks, if not more. I think the more you water "evenly", or at least once daily, the more chance your grass will grow like crazy! At least that's my theory...)
u/Workross922 · 1 pointr/lawncare

I would get the below, should make it way easier and have some left over - again, judging the size of the lawn by the picture. Although you might buy only 32oz of a liquid product - make sure to check the label/bag rate application as this will tell you if you are buying a concentrate or a diluted product. Concentrate will serve you best in terms of cost/performance for multiple applications but you might not want or might not be able to store excess chemicals - decide which method is best for you but I would stick with liquid applications because your yard is on the smaller side and you wont have to worry about storing heavy bags of product. I use liquid on the front of my lawn because thats my $10,000 view and granular on my side and rear lawn so that I can spread my costs and also be efficient with my time since I have a wife and kid haha.

  1. Sprayer (This comes with the humic acid I talk about in #3 but the sprayer, although cheap looking, is quite good to keep for future liquid application)

  1. Aeration liquid:


  2. Humic Acid (Apply this annually - this makes it so that the fertilizer or any lawn additives you put on the lawn can uptake the nutrients easier, wait until your lawn has become established around 6-8 weeks - this one also adds seaweed which is dense in micronutrients (consider it the equivalent of a multivitamin).

    Some really good youtube references is to watch: The Lawn Care Nut, Ryan Knorr (He does a few complete overhauls - so this would probably be your best bet), GCI Turf Academy (Pete is my favorite), and/or The Pest and Lawn Ginja (He has a smaller yard so might also be a good reference)

    Here is an example video, I started following this guy because he has a bigger yard:

    (ignore where he said don't restart your lawn... because you have no lawn haha - otherwise its good)

    Note: Your number one concern before all of these additives is to make sure the grass holds and establishes. So spend your CAD $ on good grass seed (Turf Type Tall Fescue is my favorite for my area but check with U of T for recommended blends for your area) and a good price for a 50 lb bag of seed is in/around $150 US - you will likely need 8-10 lbs per 1K square feet for new seeding - other grass types will vary in terms of application rate but it will be on the bag, good starter fertilizer (key word "starter" - regular fertilizer could burn your new grass), and a top dressing to hold the grass seed and keep birds/wind at bay (Peat moss is great but at $10 for 3 cubic feet here in the US it could add up fast - so again U of T soil science center is a great reference to refer to on cost effective ways to seed a new lawn)
u/patl1 · 3 pointsr/lawncare

Okay so. Here's what I'm thinking. I only saw the picture you posted, so it looks like you have 1,000 square feet or less, yes? That makes it kinda easy.

First we'll need to know which zone you're in. That will help pick your grass type. It looks like you have cool season grasses, which means you'll be choosing among various fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, etc. That's kind of up to you. Do a little googling and see what you come up with.

Second, you have a lot of weeds in there. It looks like you have either poa annua (annual bluegrass) or poa trivialis (Hell on Earth), or possibly both mixed in there. Those are seriously not good. Not only do you have a lot of weeds, it looks like you might have a significant mix of grass types, and I'm not positive that it's worth saving. Here's what I would do. Keep in mind that this might be overkill for you.

From now until July:

  • Get a soil test. Your local agricultural or state university will probably have a soil test program. This will help you figure out how best to treat your soil with fertilizer when it comes time to grow real grass. (~$30)
  • Kill off basic broadleaf weeds with a 2,4-D product before they can drop seeds and make next year worse. This one is probably one of the easiest. Your choice. (~$10)
  • If you're feeling like you want to care for your soil, throw down some Milorganite. Not exactly necessary at this time cause we don't know what your soil test will come back with. (~$14)

    Sometime in July:

  • Spray a glyphosate product to kill everything. I use this one, but you can also use RoundUp from any hardware or big box store. The active ingredient is the same. (~$30)
  • It will take ~2 weeks to see results from the glyphosate. At roughly the 14 day mark, hit everything else that's green with another application.
  • Optional but recommended: level out your soil and make sure it's flat, to help with a uniform look.
  • Not recommended: tilling. It helps stir up weed seeds and encourages weed growth at the same time that you're trying to plant grass seed.

    Mid/late August:

  • Seed with your given grass type. Do this at least 7 days after your last glyphosate application, 14 days afterwards is preferable. I suggest seed as opposed to sod because it's cheaper. Seeding is kinda its own post because you may need to cover with topsoil, flatten ground, irrigate, yadda yadda yadda. We can talk more about that when the time comes. ($10-$100)
  • Add a starter fertilizer with your seed. Whichever fert you choose will be based off of the results of your soil test. ($10-$30)

    After a couple months, you should have a pretty healthy crop of baby grass, and then it will go dormant for the winter. Not a problem. Once spring hits, start following this lawn care schedule from the Lawn Care Nut. Most of that guy's videos are gold, and I strongly recommend that you watch them.

    It will take a little time and more than a fair amount of patience, but I'm pretty sure all of that will (at least for the first year) come in under budget, and it will end up with the results that you want. Especially in the long run.

    EDIT(s): Forgot to mention a couple things. I had a little more whiskey than I thought.

    Geographical zone will be in the sidebar.

    Also go with a pre-emergent in the spring if you aren't adding seed. The most popular 3 brand names are Barricade, Dimension, and Tenacity. Their generic names are prodiamine, dithiopyr, and...tenacity? Honestly I'm not sure if there's a generic for Tenacity cause it's not legally usable in my state. But seriously a pre-emergent will cut your weed problems down by SO MUCH.

    Estimated cost for the first year is $214 (minus water, topsoil/peat moss, and possibly tools such as a hand pump sprayer and a broadcast spreader) at the most, and $114 at the low end.
u/ag11600 · 1 pointr/lawncare

So for a real answer, yes, you can improve it but it will take time, effort, money, and commitment. The hardest thing will be establishing new grass (unless you sod) and keeping the dogs off of it for ~2 months so it can grow in thick as a nice base.

I would definitely mix clover into the seed mix (~10-15%), it does better with providing low height cover and dealing well with iffy soil and wear. You need to find a high traffic / wear resistant turf that can self repair. So seems like a kentucky bluegrass/self reparing TTTF mixture (~20/80) will be for you.

It will need intense care both with resources (fertilizer, water, maintenance) and time (mowing, dethatching, aerating), but it will be possible to have a very nice yard. You will get worn spots, thing spots, maybe brown urine spots, but overall you can make it look very good on your own.

Start in the spring and plan this all out. This is optional but I would use glyphosate (roundup) and kill all the existing grass to start new. Probably will take 2-3 applications 5-7 days apart (need 7-10 days before putting grass seed down). Then remove all that dead material with a rake or dethatching tool. Either rent, hire someone (~$40-100), or hand core aerate next. I would absolutely add 1/4-1/2 inch of quality top soil for a nice base. Then lay the seed down (and gently rake into the top soil) then add starter fertilizer. Get bulk peat moss and spread it out thinly (~1/4 inch) over everything. Peat moss will help retain mositure, prevent birds from eating the seed, and just protect it will it germinates. Then, water, water, water. Goal is to keep the seeds moist (not soaking wet). Water 2-3x a day for 10-15 min. Just to get the ground nice and wet and keep it moist. Do this for 2-3 weeks until the grass is growing. The fescue should sprout in 3-10 days, and the bluegrass can take up to 25 days or longer, but be patient. Mow when it starts to get too talk and looks like it will fall over. This will actually stimulate rapid growth and allow smaller grass to get light and fill in. Once all is good you will need to water once a week minimum for 25m or so to keep it alive and from going dormant. For fertilizer, easiest is to use an organic slow release like Milorganite or other organic fertilizer 4x a year (or follow their label for application times).

It's tough, but you will need to stay off of it as much as possible. If you start getting grass growing and they're still thin and small blades, the dogs will trample, kill it, and ruin your efforts.

This will be a heavy commitment as you can see and you'll really need to evaluate if it's worth your time, effort, and money. It's also not a guarantee the dogs won't kill it still, but to me it's worth it, especially when it's wet outside so the dogs are muddy/dirty all the time.

You can also have sod laid down ($$$) but you still need to care for it with watering and nutrients so the roots take hold. The wear from the dogs is also likely to hinder it.

u/lanmansa · 2 pointsr/lawncare

This is the liquid aeration stuff I was talking about. From what I've seen people really like it. I think it works best after long-term usage. I've used it a couple of times, along with my own concoctions that I've made mixed with humic acid and dish soap (look up the benefits of surfactants if you want to learn more about that) but basically it's the idea that you are breaking water surface tension on your soil allowing better absorption of chemicals, nutrients, and water. Combined with humic, fulvic, and/or sea kelp mixes it "conditions" your soil. If you really want to go down the rabbit hole on that topic check out the Youtube channel Lawncology he's like a soil expert. But the TL;DR is this may or may not replace mechanical aeration depending on how bad your soil is but it should improve the soil condition over time.

Milorganite can be applied with a the same spreader but at different settings if you want the full application rate. If you intend on applying both ferts at the same time you can do that but you may only be putting down about half the recommended rate of Milorganite at a time, which is still beneficial just not as much nitrogen going down which you may not even need since the Scotts has that. Personally I would apply them separately because the Scott's broadcast spreader you will want to drop Milorganite down at about a setting of 6.5 if I remember correctly, and the Scott's fert is probably around a 4.

Since you asked what I use, like I said I put down Milorganite twice a year, but around this time of year I like to really push my lawn hard since this is the best time for growth and spreading and making it healthy. I really like Lesco fertilizers. This one is excellent. It has iron in it just like Milorganite so you still get that dark emerald green color with it. Otherwise check out the Purely Organics 10-0-2 I've been meaning to try that one as well it looks like a winner.

EDIT: I did a video applying the Lesco fert (slightly different than the 24-0-11 in this video I applied an 18-24-12) but same procedure and here is a video I did a while back applying Milorganite with the Scott's spreader maybe that should help give you an idea!

u/buttgers · 18 pointsr/lawncare

I'm just up a bit north in MA 6B, so I can help.

I just read through this entire thread. You're doing it all wrong.

  1. You can seed till the cows come home, but you're just committing turf genocide with your routine.
  2. You put 60lbs of Scott's stuff for 1000 sq ft. Either you're measuring your yard incorrectly, or you just dumped waaaay too much synthetic fertilizer on your lawn. And you did it only once all season. Shame. I have about 10000 sq ft of yard, and 60lbs of synthetic is plenty enough for the spring. Nevermind, I read incorrectly. You still need to fertilize more than once a season.
  3. You need water. Cool season grass (which is what you likely have) needs water in the spring, lots of water in the summer, and water in the fall. Water it no more than 3 days a week. The amount you're watering each day depends on how hot it is. So, it might be 10-20 minutes in Apr May, but it'll be closer to 45-60 minutes in June-Sept.
  4. TTTF = mowing height of 4". KBG = mowing height of 3".

    What you need to do is fix your thinking. Want lush, green, thick grass? You need to spend money on water and fertilizer. Want to save money on watering? You need to accept that your yard will be full of weeds and patchy brown grass. You also need to accept that the lawn will go dormant in July and August. That's fine. Let it go yellow, but keep it alive with water 1-2 times a week.

    Here's the plan:

  5. Get a smart irrigation timer. Rain Machine or Rachio. Pick one. It'll save you on your water bill way better than a manual timer. If you're just using a hose, then ignore the fancy timer. Water 2-3 times per week, and eliminate 1 day for every 1" of natural rain you get that week. When you water, make sure you do it enough so that the soil is soft. Not sopping wet, just moist and soft enough that you can drive a screwdriver down 4-6" easily.
  6. Prep soil and seed. Seed and drop starter fertilizer (dosed for your lawn). 1 month after germination drop another round of fertilizer. So, what kind of seed? North facing - that's typically not a sunny spot, so pick a northeastern mix or one that has fine fescue mixed in with it. You can also get shade friendly KBG mix. Really, a TTTF and FF mix will probably better suit you. It's what I put on my east facing side that has a tree shading it. All other parts of my lawn are a TTTF KBG mix, since they're sunny and South facing.
  7. Follow proper mowing and watering guidelines. If you want your grass to go dormant, then water just enough to keep it alive during summer heat. That's probably about 1x per week DEEEP.
  8. Fertilize your lawn according to how it's supposed to grow/sleep. If you want it green, it's growing. So fertilize it Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day if using synthetic. If using Milorganite, fertilize it monthly. If you are going to allow it to go dormant, then only fertilize it with Milorganite Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. The reason is if you feed a sleeping lawn it's going to try to get out of dormancy. Same thing with water. Too much water, and you get your lawn out of dormancy. What you don't want to do is get your lawn to go back and forth too much. It stresses it and wastes nutrients that it's trying to store for survival. So pick one and stick with it. Dormant vs green.
  9. Since the lawn is young, you want the roots to go deep and establish for the winter. You also want to bring in reinforcements to replenish casualties of summer. In late August or EARLY September, overseed with a slit seeder. Water daily enough to keep the soil moist for the seed. Drop starter fertilizer and again at 1 month after germination. Water and fertilize rated for growing grass (e.g. 2-3x per week deep enough to stick a screwdriver down 4-6" easily.
  10. In the fall, mow it lower and more frequently. It forces the grass to spread and establish root depth.
  11. Just before the first frost of the season (usually around Thanksgiving) winterize your lawn. Put down a combination of Milorganite AND fall fertilizer. It'll feed the lawn w/o growing it and get it boosted for the winter.
  12. DO NOT WATER AT NIGHT. Water super early at 4-5am or by 9-10am at the latest. Watering early will minimize water loss from hot air since it'll have soaked into the soil before the hot sun bakes it off. Watering overnight will allow it to keep the leaves wet and promote fungus, since no sun dries off the leaves.
  13. Minimize your use of weed killer on young grass. Not until its 2nd month after germinating should you use weed killer.
  14. Use a pre-emergent before crabgrass breaks through. Plenty of topics on that subject, but I use Tenacity. It's pricey, but you can put it down, then drop seed over it w/o negative effects on your new seed. Other pre-emergents will prevent germination.

    So, what do I do?

  • I seed in the spring (or do dormant seeding in the winter).
  • 1 dose of starter fertilizer in the spring.
  • Milorganite or Bay State Fertilizer every 2-4 weeks.
  • Water 3x per week deep during the spring and fall, 1x per week deep during the summer. I use a Rain Machine to figure out the rain adjustments to my watering.
  • I overseed in the fall if I have casualties.
  • I hand mostly hand pick my weeds, and use 2,4D only if I have to.
  • I use tenacity to control my crabgrass and poa annua.

    Choose your adventure, and good luck.

    Edit: fixed details that I misread about your routine.
u/wino_tim · 3 pointsr/lawncare

You are too late to seed. There is no way around this.

That said, if I were you, I would approach things in one of two ways:

- If your lawn is good enough that you can tolerate another 10 or 11 months of looking at it:

  1. Apply fertilizer now. Do not apply anything organic (Milorganite, etc.), you want to go full synthetic here. Some Urea that you buy from a garden shop would probably be best, but you can probably get away with something like Scotts Winterguard. Apply at 2# per thousand square feet. (If you haven't measured your lawn, time to do that now). Wait two weeks. Apply another 2#. Use a spreader.
  2. Optional - spray weeds. Most of your weeds are going to be on their way out due to cooler temperatures. Most of those that aren't will soon be joining their dying cousins. Very few will make it through the winter. But if you are new to lawncare, now might be the time to buy a decent sprayer and get out there and get used to spraying. Weed B Gon 16 oz. Chickweed, Clover, Oxalis is a good place to start. SpeedZone is more of a professional product but is a personal favorite.
  3. Mow. Ideally every three to four days.
  4. Water. If you aren't getting enough rain, get your sprinkler out there.

    - If your lawn is so bad that you can't tolerate it :

  5. Buy both Tenacity + Round Up. Have Tenacity shipped next day air, if you need to. Mix the Tenacity in your sprayer as per the label directions being sure to add a surfactant. Spray the Tenacity on parts of your lawn where there are weeds but also good grass. Spray the Round Up on parts where there is no good grass and only weeds. Be careful with Round Up - it will kill basically anything green it touches. (If you can't get the Tenacity within the next day just skip it and leave those spots be).
  6. Buy whatever seed you can that has the most rye. Rye will germinate much faster than bluegrass or fescue. Seed literally the same day you spray the weeds. Realize that you can do this with both Tenacity and Round Up, but not with many other herbicides. Use your spreader when seeding.
  7. Rent a lawn roller. Roll your seed into your turf. This is important as your weeds won't be dead and you want good seed to soil contact.
  8. Cover the seed with a very light coating of peat moss. Hay is bad and will bring weeds next Spring. If you need something for a hill and are set on something hay-like use EZ Straw instead.
  9. Water. Use sprinkler timers or ask for favors from friends and family but do whatever you need to keep the soil moist. For most that means watering two to four times a day for a few minutes. Because it is colder you can get away with watering less.
  10. Pray. Doing all this is the equivalent of a hail Mary pass in football. It likely won't work but it will give you a chance. You want warm weather and for as long as possible.

    Good luck!
u/dleonard1122 · 3 pointsr/lawncare

OP this lawn looks like a pretty manageable size for a renovation. I can't tell what percentage of desirable turf (actual grass) you have in the backyard versus weeds, but the only things surviving in the front yard is almost 100% weeds so I wouldn't bother with fertilizing that.


What I'd recommend is to leave the backyard go for this year. Maybe apply some fertilizer if there's a decent amount of surviving grass back there. But focus on the front yard. That looks worse, is more manageable to renovate, and frankly it's what people seed outside your house anyway.


Scalp your front lawn by cutting as low as your mower will go. Aerating is a good next step as long as you can rent/have access to a core aerator. Since you had to dig into the yard, there's bound to be some uneven spots. Get a few yards of quality topsoil from a local landscape supplier and use it to level the front yard. After that, throw down some seed and a light layer of peat moss over top. Then some starter fertilizer. I'd recommend this Scott's Starter Fertilizer with Mesotrione in it. The starter fert will help your grass to grow once it germinates, and the Mesotrione is the same active ingredient as is in Tenacity which is a new-seed-safe herbicide you'll hear discussed around here a lot. It's a 5,000 sqft bag, so you'll certainly have some left over for the back yard too if you want to throw that down in the areas where you have grass back there. After that, water enough to keep the top inch of soil moist until you're outside of your germination window (depends on the seed type you use.)


You've got to act quickly because we're nearing the end of our seeding window in parts of 7a. But, realistically for that front lawn you could do this all in a single day this weekend and you'd be fine.


If you do this and have good results, you'll know what to expect and be better prepared to tackle the backyard next year. Best of luck OP!

u/mattinthega · 1 pointr/lawncare

Haha sorry!

So you do have grass there. It's dormant from the cold. Now is the time to prepare it for the transition to summer. The best offense against the weeds that come with summer is a good defense. A pre-emergent, like the name suggests, stops weeds before they have time to emerge/germinate. A weed control, also known as a post-emergent, is used to control the weeds that are currently visible.

The active ingredient in this product is Atrazine (always check the package label to make sure Atrazine is the listed active. Image for nuts edge is imazaquin which is not what you're looking for). It is a dual purpose herbicide that prevents and controls weeds to come and those visible. You can purchase it in a garden hose attachment form which makes application easy.

This is a pretty good tutorial. He's spraying ppre emergent but you can substitute any herbicide or pesticide. Measurements are key to a successful application. Measure the area of your backyard. If you have a 4,000 soft back yard, and the product calls for 1oz/1000 sqft, then you know to mix and apply for 4oz of material. Sometimes you'll see 16oz/acre ~ 16oz/44,000sqft ~ .4oz/1000sqft ~ 1.6oz/4,000sqft.

While Atrazine does a good job, it does not do a great job, and it is not your only option. Were it my lawn, I would use a half rate of Atrazine + a regular St Augustine rate of speed zone southern.

The Speedzone will catch more weeds that Atrazine will leave behind. And for a pre-emergent, I would use Barricade ( Prodiamine).

You can purchase it in WDG form (water dispensable granules) which allows you to dissolve it in water, mix, and spray it, OR you can apply it as granular with a spreader. You can buy it for a very high prices in flowable liquid form as well. Anytime you can spray pre-emergent either with WDG or flow able form, you will get consistently better results than granular.

One application of these three products will have you in the right direction. Mid May I would fertilize with a slow release fertilizer with iron (4.0% or higher iron content. Check the bag for percentages). You're safe to use a higher nitrogen blend like a 24-4-8 or a 34-0-4. The important aspects will be the iron and the slow release. You want to apply this at 3-4lbs/1000sqft.

Let me know if you have anymore questions. By the way repeat the pre-emergent process come September. You'll need to do pre-emergent applications every fall and spring otherwise, see original lawn photos.

u/thatsnogood · 4 pointsr/lawncare

Hey! I'm in Denver too. I'll give you my plan which has worked well so far.

Your lawn isn't terrible its just dormant. It won't come out of dormancy for another few weeks. Here is what you can do in the mean time. First check often. As long as the average soil temp is below 50F you really aren't going to have much growth of weeds or grass.

Until you hit that temp if you want you can water the grass but it won't grow much until probably next month. Most places suggest 1" a week, but in Denver depending on what kind of grass you have you won't need quite that much.

In Mid-late April throw down an application of fertilizer. You can use the step 1 Scotts stuff since it has crabgrass pre-emergent in it. Once you throw down some fert You'll want to probably overseed in Late april-early May. I like Turf Type Tall Fescue blends and I go to a garden center(not homedepot/lowes) to get them. The Scotts seed is mostly coating by weight so you don't as much grass seed per bag. If you want you can order seeds online and get lots for cheap. is a good one. Pick a seed that works with your sun/shade levels. Certain seeds need full sun, while others need a mix. You'll have to figure out how much yard space you have and put down the right amount of seed for that square footage. You can use google earth to do that or there are websites where you can measure out your yard from google maps. Put down some seed in mid-late april, but make sure soil temps are above 55F and water water water until your overseeding starts to pop up. Once they pop up you can go back to watering once a week with deep watering or twice a week. Remember long waterings once a week >>> watering a bunch of small times a week.

Planting in the spring is not optimal but you're mostly just doing repair work here so even if you don't get full seed germination its fine and a lot of it will be repaired over the spring/summer/fall by itself.

Now that you've made it through spring the rule of thumb is a fertilizer application on every major holiday: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor day and then if you are going to reseed/overseed in the fall do it in late September for Denver. I am going to use milorganite to fertilize on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. You can't really fuck up milorganite since it's organic and you don't have to worry about burning your yard.

You may also want to send a soil sample to a lab so you know what your soil is lacking otherwise you'll just be guessing on fertilizing. Normally in Denver you'll be lacking in Nitogen, and probably slightly acidic. Soil Savy is a really easy kit. You only need to test like once every other year or so but it isn't required, just helps guide your fertilizer applications.

Do not fret we are still really early in the season here in Denver despite it being warm we are still having cold cold nights and it's not quite growing season.

If you want a way to remind yourself when to do the fertilizer applications and the levels you can sign up for a site like it can send you reminders.

u/DoesItFitHere · 3 pointsr/lawncare

In that first picture I'd take a chainsaw to some of those low branches. That'll allow for more sunlight to what looks like your front yard, and also will encourage more upward growth for the tree. It'll make the tree nice and slim. This will also give you much more sunlight to the grass in the surrounding area.


The fact that your house is neighboring a forest is going to be a constant issue in terms of weeds, but creating a little separator should keep that in check. It looks like the area by the fence used to be a big mulch bed and the rocks are there to contain the mulch. You'll want to spread a new layer of mulch there and keep the grass/ weeds from growing in there. Round-up is a great tool.


Now in terms of the grass/ weeds. The first thing you'll want to find is a nice 2 gallon sprayer and some broad-leaf herbicide. I personally use lesco eliminate-d broadleaf herbicide. I had a big problem this spring and using this herbicide vs pulling weeds out manually was a lifesaver. I used it alongside a surfactant and it was simply magical. Usually 3-4 days after you spray your yard at the proper rate you'll see all the weeds that the herbicide targets to wither and die. I understand that you have dogs and that might not be a great approach for you. If you can keep the dogs indoors and out of your yard for a few days it'll be a lot easier than pulling the weeds by hand. Now get a good mow in and the weeds should be gone. From there it depends what you want to do with your yard/ how much time and money you want to throw at it.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Here's how I would attack it:

Weed Control

  1. Mow high, mow regularly for the rest of the summer.
  2. Once the weather starts cooling down, hit it with fertilizer. Like a 30-0-8 and water it in well. This should kick the grass and weeds into a growth spurt.
  3. 3-4 days after laying down the fertilizer, apply a selective herbicide such as Trimec, 2,4D etc... Wait a few days, then do it again.
  4. Use multiple applications of Tenacity in a pump sprayer to take care of your crabgrass and any remaining weeds.
  5. Any weeds that survive the above are going to need more specific help.

    In the spring, lay down a pre-emergent product to prevent the crabgrass and any other weed seeds from coming up.


    Now that we've eased the weed pressure on your lawn, you are going to want to start thickening it up as you will suddenly have a large amount of exposed dirt.

    This fall, I would make sure to overseed with an appropriate seed mix for your climate. Makes sure to rake out any thatch to expose bare soil. In areas where the remaining grass is still fairly thick, you don't need to cover the new seed; if it's fairly exposed, rake it lightly into the dirt. Ideally, exposed grass seed should have ~1/8" of soil covering it.

    Keep the seed moist until it has full germinated (several weeks).


    Surpisingly, I am keeping the fertilization step for last, because it's arguably the biggest topic depending on how you want to go, and what your available time involvement and interest is.

    In short, your turf will need a certain amount of nitrogen and other nutrients. However, to go into more detail will require more time than I have right now - hopefully someone else will pick up the ball on fertilizers here.

    As a touchpoint, my personal fertilizer schedule is to hit it with 20lb of alfalfa pellets / 1000ft^2 four times per year, plus a 1lb / 1000ft^2 application of urea late fall as a winterizer, but your mileage may vary.

    Soil Test / Amendments

    If you are really serious about a good lawn, I would recommend taking a soil test and submitting it to Logan Labs for analysis. You can find better instructions here. That will let us give you much better help about how to amend your soil towards optimal conditions for turf growth.
u/therealjedi · 1 pointr/lawncare

I had the same experience with it. It seems like it helped, then it just came back. I have to agree about the watering. I'm currently doing it for a short time twice a week. Everything I've been reading about St. Augustine is against that method. I'm going to try, and sweet to the longer run like everyone says (but I'm pretty sure that's what helped spread it in the first place)..who knows. I also think the city water I have isn't great for the water. Like you, the rain makes my grass way better than any watering I've been doing. I think it's a mix of the city water fluoride or whatever else the filter out (or add) vs. the rain water. I also saw the same thing with mine when I pulled it up (I put some fresh pieces down to get some new runners out there). Haha, yeah the grass is still trying to learn who it is. It's currently in the rebellious phase, and it's winning. I think I'm also going to try this Soil test kit, I'm hoping that one magic ingredient is missing and everything will get better once I figure that out.

u/MichaelApproved · 3 pointsr/lawncare

As you do more research, you'll be tempted to till your lawn. Don't. Using a power rake and core aeration is a better option.

You can rent a power rake but it was cheap enough on Amazon to buy one for future use, so I went for that.

This is what I bought last year for $100.
Sun Joe AJ801E 12 Amp 12.6"...

SunJoe is a good brand. I had an issue with the first one I bought and they sent me a warranty replacement without a hassle.

Core aeration machines are too expensive to buy (couple thousand dollars), so renting or hiring someone to do it is the best option. The machines are big and heavy, so make sure you have room in your car before renting it.

When you buy battery powered tools for your lawn, consider the whole system the company sells. You want to find a brand of tools you'll buy everything from, so the tools can share batteries. Sometimes the battery and charger is half the price of the tool. If you already have a battery from a different tool, you can buy a version without the battery and save that money.

Look at GreenWorks line of lawn tools. They have a good range of products. Once you have a charger and battery, you can buy the other tools without that and save. Though, I like to have two batteries in case I run out of juice in the middle of a task.

u/EngineerDave · 4 pointsr/lawncare

I'm sorry, but I do not trust Pennington at all when it comes to turf recommendations, especially since they list Kentucky-31 as a proper turf grass.

Unless you have a fescue type that is designed to be cut that short, you really shouldn't be under 2.5". Even if you follow the 1/3rd rule, you'd need to be cutting as soon as the lawn reaches 3" if you are trying to maintain it with a 2" cut.

Clemson recommends 3 - 3.5" as a general rule of thumb depending on the time of year. (warmer climates compared to Penn St.)

Iowa St. recommends 3".

University of Maryland recommends 3-4" for Tall Fescue.

Of course there's also always Pete from GCI turf on the ol' Youtube who has arguably the best looking Fescue lawn I've seen, and he likes 4.5 - 5" for hit cut height.

I used to work in the industry, and I know how to treat brownpatch. The article you linked is correct as I said that retail stores themselves don't really keep decent fungicides stocked.

However here's what you can get online for it:

Group 1

Clearys 3336F Fungicide

Group 3:


Eagle 20EW



Group 3 and 11:
Armada 50 WDG Fungicide

Group 11:


Other (group M):

For Brown patch prevention when conditions first appear that favor a fungus outbreak (Lots of rain, followed by hot humid temps) A preventative application can be applied, and is good for 28 days.

For curative it's a bit more work. It typically takes up to 4 applications, 2 of one group, and one of another group, and then one of either the same group or back to the first group. All 14 days apart.

Typically my fungicide treatment revolves around the cheaper group 3 and group 1 products, with group 11's thrown in for rotation to prevent resistance from developing. If I'm doing Group 1 for my primary, my secondary application will typically be something like Armada. since it has both Group 3 and 11, if I'm using a Group 3 as the main application I'll use something like Heritage for my group 11.

You have to be really careful about where you get your information, as a lot of magazine articles or brochures are written by people who haven't really done the research. I don't trust Turf Mag or sales media to inform me on turf, the same way I don't just the verge to teach someone how to build a computer.

u/justiceorjustus · 3 pointsr/lawncare

I'll look into this. I have already invested in 2 separate timers and I'm not too interested in buying more, but this may be the best solution. My only concern is the distance they would have to be going from the spigot... more hoses for my hose collection!

I think something like this may be the best solution?

u/mnkjoe · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Im in the same battle. This stuff worked wonders for me. weed b gon

I applied it to my yard using a tank sprayer. It was a slow pain in the ass but if you follow the directions perfectly it works miracles. My whole yard was creeping Charlie and I was amazed at how this worked. It’s not quick but after a month my yard is almost completely clear. Good luck man let me know if you have any questions.

u/preventDefault · 1 pointr/lawncare

Yeah I'm assuming to run more than 1 sprinkler at a time, especially when daisy chained, would probably need some pressure behind it to be most effective.

There are timers with multiple outputs that could turn each sprinkler on independent of eachother, which sounds like it would be useful in a situation where your water pressure is limited.

If I had the water pressure I would daisy chain some sprinklers up, but I imagine the more you attach on a line, the less coverage each one provides. It's quite the pickle.

It may not be the most cost-effective, but if I had a large area to water and not alot of pressure, maybe 4 of those tripod things hooked up to that 4 zone timer (so only 1 was running at a time) might be the best solution.

I think if you have to walk on a seeded lawn though, it's best to do it before they sprout. So I'd try not to be in the business of moving sprinklers multiple times per day if at all possible. I've walked on newly seeded grass (after it sprouted) and I couldn't see any difference afterwards, but I imagine repeated abuse would probably beat it up a bit.

Someone else might come up with a better solution though.

u/entropywins9 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Actually $85 new is as low as its been in over 12 months, and within $5 of all time low price sold by amazon directly.

Got mine from amazon warehouse few weeks back, for $90 with tax, 'used' but was actually pristine. Works great, I would simply not have been able to clear out the years of thatch buildup without it. You do need a good 14-16 awg extension cord.

But yah, the affiliate spam is getting out of hand here.

u/IbEBaNgInG · 1 pointr/lawncare

I have the Sun Joe, they're nearly identical from watching the Test and Lawn Ginja on you tube. He has a couple of reviews. Good stuff. I love mine, especially for the money with what it can do. The sun joe comes with an interchangeable scarifier attachment in addition to the dethatcher it ships with. The scarifier attachment is awesome for planting seed. Could not be happier for 125 bucks. Apparently it's a hot item since the price is up to 158 -

u/JimmyEatYou · 1 pointr/lawncare

Where do you live? It's hard to make recommendations without knowing this information but I can give you my knowledge from my experience. I live in the northwest US and about a year ago I completely re-did my backyard. Here's basically the process I used:

  1. Cut grass as short as you can.
  2. Use herbicide with 41-Percent Glyphosate like this.
  3. Wait 2-3 weeks. Rake out dead weeds/grass. May need to till depending on soil.
  4. Most people will tell you you should get a soil test done in case you need to amend the soil. Not always necessary though.
  5. Amend soil as needed.
  6. Rake soil flat. You may find something like this useful. Remove any remaining large chunks of dirt and grass.
  7. Wait until early-mid September, throw down grass seed. It is recommended to have ~20 seeds per square inch, but that's actually quite a bit so just do your best to put a lot down, evenly.
  8. Lite raking to mix in seeds with dirt.
  9. Put a good 1/4-1/2" of peat moss over-top of all seeds.
  10. Water. Don't let the seeds dry out. First 2-3 weeks you should water 2-3 times a day depending on weather.

    Let me know if you have any questions, I'll do my best to help you out.
u/spinuzer · 1 pointr/lawncare

There is only one type of Zoysia that can be seeded in that is Zenith I believe. Every other one is sod/plugs.

I would just plug it if the holes aren't too large or you aren't impatient. I have Empire Zoysia that has been established for about 7 years and it's near indestructible besides our dog who has dug it up here and there. But every year I can repair it easily.

Any of those dug up spots or spots that for some reason weakened, I use a sod plugger. What I do is take it from the healthiest most dense part of the lawn in the growing season and put it in the bare spots. Then I keep it watered like new sod for 2 weeks or so. During the dead of summer is not good though. Mid June is probably the latest.

The holes left from the plugger are undetectable after a week or 2 of growth. I fill the holes with just some compost and soil I pulled with the plugger. With the transplanted area, I use the tool to make the holes, salvage soil/sand from it, mix it with compost and push the plugs in on top. I will also spot add liquid fert (like miracle grow for lawns) just to kick start it's growth to establish much faster. It does create a greener spot but that will dissipate. - That's the plugger I use.

Good luck!

u/2mnykitehs · 1 pointr/lawncare

My understanding is that core aerators work much better than spike aerators. You could get one of these, but I've heard they can clog pretty easily, especially if you have a lot of clay in your soil. For me, it was actually cheaper to have a lawn care company come out ($50) than it would have been to to rent an actual plug aerator.

u/guccigaroppolo10 · 2 pointsr/lawncare

No, I don’t think so. But this will kill most of the weeds on your turf right now. I would need to see a closer picture of your grass to tell you what type it is.
Edit: honestly this will probably leave a lot of bare/yellow spots throughout the yard so you may want to look into overseeding. Go to ( I honestly recommend this site so much, I look like a paid bot lmao) type in your zip into the tool and it’ll give you a nice blend of very high quality grasses specifically for your area. And if your going to seed/ over seed put down the Bayer Advanced first (Post Emergent), then remove the dead weeds, overseed/ fix bare spots(look up some videos on YouTube, they’ll explain it better than I ever could), and when you put the seed down put this down to help the new seed/grass: Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food - Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer, 5,000-sq ft (Starter Lawn Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass, Dandelion & Weed Preventer) (Not Sold in FL)

u/Valet37 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Thanks for the advice! That is very helpful. I'm planning on getting this from amazon, it's cheap enough that it looks like I'll be able to spray the entire lawn with it and have enough left over for the entire summer since it's supposed to be diluted 2 tsp/gal.


For the Nitrogen would you recommend going with something that is pure nitrogen like this (46-0-0), or some other type of mix like a 10-10-10?


u/colonelk0rn · 1 pointr/lawncare

If you want to grow bermuda in the back, the tree has got to go. Shade = bermuda death. Otherwise, there's a couple of options that are left open to you, and are completely do-able with a little effort and time.

I've always said that if your desired yard is more than 50% crap, you need to renovate. The cost of money that you spend on selective herbicides to try to salvage the desirable grass outweighs the cost of killing off everything, and starting fresh, whether with seed or sod. Whatever you do, if you decide to go this route, don't till up the ground; when it settles in, you'll have a bumpy as hell yard, and you'll be bringing dormant weed seeds back to the surface to compete with your new seed/sod.

It's a good thing put out the pre-emergent, so you won't have to contend with nearly as many summer weeds, just make sure you put down a Fall PreM, so you won't have poa and other nasties next winter/spring.

>I would love that golf style turf and easily maintained. This mowing every other five days has gotta stop.

Hate to break it to you, but golf courses mow every day. I mow my bermuda lawn every other day during the summer, when I'm not using a growth regulator. Bermuda loves to be mowed low and often.

If you want a low-maintenance option, I'd suggest centipede. It requires low inputs (mowing, fert) grows pretty thick, like St. Aug, and is pretty affordable.

The other option you could do is get a ProPlugger, and start taking plugs from your front yard, kill off a section in the back, and transplant the plugs to the rear. Much less expensive, and you'll get the same grass type all over. I've used this method with great success in my back yard, where the dogs run all over, and I'm not ready to renovate that area, but still want some turf to take over where weeds used to be.

u/CasualElephant · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Thanks /u/Ed-k! Is there a brand/type/specific something or other that people recommend for Prodiamine? I just searched for it on Amazon and this came up:

Do I just order this and spray the whole yard with it? Is there somewhere/something better to get? Appreciate the insight.

u/LeSuperNova · 3 pointsr/lawncare

nope, it's a special tool, very similar to a slit-seeder but without the seeding capability. Think of it basically tilling up your soil without ripping out your turf. It cuts into the soil just enough to allow seeds to fall past the turf\thatch and onto the soil, which is essential to effective germination.

You can either rent one or buy one. I opted to get one 2-years ago and I feel like my purchase has been worth it.

The collection bag is completely useless.

I actually just saw that the Lawn Care Ginja did a review on this -

TLDR of the video: it doesn't compare to the commercial version, but for ~$130 compared to ~$3000 it's totally worth it, he came away impressed.

u/AmishGypsy · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Dish soap and baby shampoo work. I've never used either, but I think you need them to be as plain as possible. Quick google search should tell you what to look for/avoid. I'm a fan of this surfactant. I'd also like to second his thought on Triclopyr. I used Ortho CCO and saw amazing results after 2 applications.

u/TarinMage · 1 pointr/lawncare

Liquid Aeration on Amazon

Is this just as good as Air8? I like I can get it on Amazon. Also, would you recommend I put down a granular pre-emergent right now? I need to start getting a hold on the thousands of weeds as well. Is this something I should just go get from Home Depot or Tractor Supply?

u/HomeownershipIs_____ · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Appreciate the quick response.

Here's what I'm ordering from Amazon - 41%

Is that strong enough?

Thanks again.

u/tege0005 · 8 pointsr/lawncare

So he loves cutting the grass or prides himself on a beautiful lawn?

If the latter, try this: Toro lawn striper

Or you could get him a broadcast spreader so he can lay down fertilizer/overseed/etc.

If he just likes cutting the grass, perhaps bluetooth headphones for some tunes while mowing?

u/Hiroaki · 1 pointr/lawncare

Great, I just did a round of Milorganite, and used this stuff on my weed spots:

Thanks again for the help.

u/philty22 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Get a soil test done asap. I like this one on amazon, it's pretty simple... Soil Test they also give you a recommended fertilizer and it will also tell you your soil pH/Ca levels for applying lime and gypsum....

The first weed is a type of thistle, the second weed pic looks like either speedwell or chickweed (both can be eliminated with a herbicide with Trifloxysulfuron or Chlorsulfuron)

u/hollywoodtlb · 1 pointr/lawncare

not familiar one with them but yeah there is one sort of close to me. I can't get speedzone, but something like looks much stronger than the product I bought.

u/konnerbllb · 2 pointsr/lawncare

I have a hand held spike aerator and I can't really say that it helped or did much of anything this season. I've since bought a core aerator with a good grip. I usually have a core aeration service do this but I would also like to have something onsite to do this whenever necessary. It works really well for my soil actually.

u/top_gear446 · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Lots of good questions here!

> I put down a scotts crabgrass preventer and lawn food a few weeks ago and am aware I should fertilize again in the summer I think?

Yes but it depends on temperature. Synthetic fertilizer can stress the lawn when it is very hot. You can apply an organic slow release like milorganite or ringer which is lower in nutrients and is less likely or won't burn your lawn in high heat.

> I've though about aerating or dethatching but don't want to disturb the preemergent layer and am not sure if I need it. How do you tell if should dethatch or aerate?

Unless you can run your hand through the lawn and scrape up a fist full of thatch, you don't need to dethatch right now. You can dethatch and aerate in the fall as part of your winter prep.

> I've sprayed almost 2 gallons of roundup weed and grass killer on it over the last few days and there is still a lot of green, should I just give a week or so to see what all dies (I thought it would be faster acting)?

About 1 gallon per 300 square feet is sufficient so you've potentially more than doubled what you needed to put down (assuming 40% glyophosate strength). Hold off on applying anything else. Water this area really well. Roundup (glyphosate) is absorbed through the green leaves so it will be slow to act if the target plant is not actively growing. Give it three weeks before you reassess. It takes time.

> From reading online I'm thinking I should put down a broadleaf preemergent on the old mulch soon and also apply some kind of fertilizer to all the shrubs and bushes before the mulch gets put down.

You can use Preen either on top of the new mulch or on top of the old mulch before new stuff goes down. It's activated after the first rain or watering I believe so it will make it's way into the soil. It works by stopping root development in new plants so it won't effect established plants. Its safer than spraying a broad weed killer or pre-em since that may damage some shrubs.

> What kind of fertilizer should I use and how much?

You can use all-purpose miracle grow liquid which is easy to mix or use in the hose spray bottle. Another option might be Osmocote which is a slower-release all purpose fert in pellet form.

> I have some bags of composted steer manure I was thinking of just putting a mound around each plant underneath the weed barrier fabric.

That can work too.

> The old mulch I should say isn't very thick so I am just planning on leaving it.

No problem.

> Can I do all this without collecting, sending out, and paying for soil samples for each of these areas?

Yes. You can also get the diy soil test kit probably not as accurate as a lab but will give you an approximation.

*Edit - also yes, it will feel overwhelming and you won't get all of it done in the first year. Maintain what you have an improve in small chunks. It will come together.

u/senpairabbit · 1 pointr/lawncare

Thank you so much for you help. I am sending out a check for the local extension office for their soil report.

All of this is new to me. I usually just go to Lowes and by something that says crabgrass for a pre-emergent. Are these OK?

Dicamba 2,4 d
[Surfactant] (
Backpack sprayer

u/highwest13 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Yeah for sure. Buy something like this. You'll get an idea if your lawn is depleted of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, or Potash. You'll also get a measurement of the soil's pH level.

I'd fix the soil first. Thick, lush grass depends on healthy soil.

u/Earguy · 2 pointsr/lawncare

/u/skippingstone recommended Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer - 2-in-1 Formula - Fertilizes New Grass and Prevents Weeds like Crabgrass and Dandelions

I had to special order it from my local Ace Hardware, but it came in two days. Aerated, overseeded, and put down the fertilizer. My backyard was nothing but crabgrass and sedge. Here's a link to my situation. And now the grass seed is sprouting and the weeds are looking pretty sick.

u/Madox9 · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Aeration has it uses like on a golf courses or you drive heavy equipment across your yard. Normal use yards don't get compacted enough to warrant the use. I use a soil conditioner and it really helps.

Pre emergent in the spring can't use it now cause it would block your grass seed from growing. You can use
Pre and post seed but read the directions 3 times to make sure you apply it correctly. It will cause your grass to whiten but it will come back. It's a little pricey but it will knock out a lot of weeds.

In the spring use something like this
Or anything with dimension in it.

u/DyslexicHobo · 1 pointr/lawncare

The Amazon price is what I'm referring to. For example, this 1 gallon glyphosate product (41%)
is only $20. If we compare that to this RoundUp Pro Concentrate 2.5 gallon 50.2% glyphosate product, the RoundUp is still much more expensive per gram of glyphosate. Is the RoundUp better for other reasons, or is the cheaper stuff just as good, assuming you mix the end-product to the same concentration?

u/congocross · 2 pointsr/lawncare

As a new homeowner, I too took an interest in my lawn this year. I find dethatching (I did it by raking) helps A LOT in getting rid of debris and allow the water to penetrate the soil. With the debris gone my grass filled up all the empty/bald spots with ease. I didn't need to overseed. Instead of renting an aerator, I hired a person who came and aerated my lawn, the cost came up to only $25 more than a rental.

I purchased a special rake for about $25 that is too heavy to be use

I used this rake instead and found it much easier.

Also, I did a round of Bonus-S which fertilize and killed some weeds. (Manually pulling up the big weeds gave me the best results)

But a month ago, I purchased a dethacther machine but has yet to use it

u/fender104 · 3 pointsr/lawncare

Take a look at liquid aerator. It's basically a surfactant that allows water to penetrate the soil easier. Ryan Knorr did a good video on and and you can buy it for $30 bucks on Amazon.

Ryan Knorr- Does liquid aerator really work?

Amazon- Liquid Aerator

u/vhostnet · 8 pointsr/lawncare

Seems to be an issue with newer builds (built post 1990 or so) when developers started scraping off the black dirt from a property they intended to build many houses on, piling it up, and reselling what they didn't use for "rough/final" grading. Might not be your situation, but that's what I'm used to around here.

I've had success with this:

  1. Aerate both in the fall and spring, twice a year seems excessive, but it has worked.
  2. After aerating spread a lot of gypsum (i.e. your fertilizer spreader is set to "all the way open")....both fall and spring, every year
  3. After spreading gypsum, get on a fertilizer plan (4 or 5 step, skip the pre-emergent or post-emergent if seeding and use just a straight fertilizer or it will kill the seed/germination)
  4. Overseed (leave fert spreader "all the way open") or slitseed after fertilizing (do not use weed/feed or crab grass pre-m, I cannot say this enough). I started using this seed last year (zone 5, Chicago) and it's been awesome (looks just like kentucky blue/rye, but it's fescue, also has a yellow jacket coating that seems to prevent birds from eating it): (they have a "where to buy" section of their website).
  5. After the seed germinates (~ 2 - 5 weeks around here depending on the soil temps) use something like this: to spot spray the weeds with a 2 gallon sprayer (it gets mixed ~ 1.5 oz/gal). I prefer speedzone because the weeds seem to die quicker, and it also handles harder to kill weeds better than regular trimec (you can likely buy this also from the same place you get your seed if it's not a big box store).

    It seems to take ~ 3 years for the lawn to really turn around. Once the lawn looks healthy, you don't have to overseed or slit seed except in areas damaged from winter, dogs, etc., so feel free to move to using pre and post emergents (crabgrass preventer and weed and feed as they're commonly called).

    Gypsum and aeration should be a yearly thing.

    Buying 1 bag of 50lbs of seed should last you a few years depending on lot size, do not buy the seed they sell in big box stores, get it from a wholesale distributor that typically sells to professionals. You lose ~ 5%-15% germination per year it sits (store the bag in a plastic container so rodents don't get to it), so figure after 3 years it's toast.

    Hopefully this helps, best wishes with a future healthy lawn!
u/timothy53 · 1 pointr/lawncare

learned it from the lawn care nut. He has great videos on the subject

you can rig something up for your mower but I just went and bought a kit

u/domesticpig · 3 pointsr/lawncare

soil test, amend as needed. clay is usually acidic, require lime added but there's only so much you should add each time so it might take a while to get it just right.

add compost. lots and lots of compost. you can till then add compost and till again, if you're buying enough. otherwise you can just dump on top like 2 inches, which is still going to be a truck load.

for drainage, look into dry wells, including building a trench dry well--essentially a trench with stone.

then once you establish a lawn, aerate on a regular basis and never let it dry out completely. continue to soil test and amend as needed yearly.

edit: also, once you do your soil test, you can either amend the soil to grow what you want OR just plant what grows in the soil you have. Daylilies generally grow well in clay.

Rapitest 716756 1601 Test Kit for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash
Learn more:

u/ImYoungxD · 3 pointsr/lawncare

Get this on Amazon. The HD link is OOS. Make sure you saturate your lawn to easily get the cores out. 1 to 1.5 hrs of watering would be good.

u/anderhole · 1 pointr/lawncare

I used this to kill

I didn't keep exact track of everything but some of the supplies I ordered on Amazon and my friend sold me the seed for $40 so I'm guessing that was a deal. I have the bag still so I need to look it up and find what it would have cost.

u/von_sip · 1 pointr/lawncare


You nailed it! It’s creeping charlie. It’s notoriously aggressive and resilient, but I had a lot of success with this last summer.

u/Dexinthecity · 1 pointr/lawncare

Would it be better to use something like this

Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener- Aerator Soil Conditioner- No Mechanical or Core Aeration- Simple Lawn Solutions- Any Grass Type, All Season- Great for Compact Soils, Standing Water, Poor Drainage.

Before I do humic and kelp mix?

u/mr1337 · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Awesome! Make sure you read the label - it will tell you exactly how much to mix with water for spot spraying. You also might want to add a surfactant to break down the surface tension. In a pinch, a little dish soap will do, just make sure it's not antibacterial.

Here's the one I use:

Southern Ag Surfactant for Herbicides Non-Ionic, 16oz, 1 Pint

Once you have the herbicide, surfactant, and pump sprayers - they should last you a few years and save you money over buying bottles of diluted weed killer.

u/jlc767 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Thanks. I was just going to buy a soil test on Amazon. Something like this. Not good enough?

u/SayWhatIsABigW · 1 pointr/lawncare

What 2,4-d product do you recommend? Something like this?

Do I spray the entire lawn or on the individual weeds?

u/Bobarhino · 1 pointr/lawncare

I just don't understand why people try to take care of onions with chems when the solution is so
I guess most people haven't heard about this.

u/eZGjBw1Z · 1 pointr/lawncare

You need to be using a non-ionic surfactant with the Tenacity if you want it to work best as a post-emergent.

u/jdsmn21 · 1 pointr/lawncare

This is the exact stuff I used, however I paid about $16 USD for a US gallon at Menards, one of our regional big box home improvement stores.

I tried to look up glyphosate using - not having the best of luck. Is Roundup legal up there?

You may be right - and seems logical. However, the saplings and vines I used it on haven't shown green growth since applying this spring.

u/XxSchismxX · 1 pointr/lawncare

I bought this electric dethatcher and it works great!

Well worth the money for the time it saves and back pain it prevents.

u/NJPhillips01 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Proper mixture rate for Tenacity (generic...Meso 4 SC)

I am trying to figure out the best way to determine how much Tenacity to add to my tank sprayer for my yard. Between mixture ratio of tenacity per acre, my specific size yard, and my specific sprayer, I am not sure the ratio to use and how heavy to spray...i.e. how much should my sprayer cover?

The sprayer I am using is the Field King Professional...which holds 4 gallons, and sprays .25gpm.

u/kur1j · 5 pointsr/lawncare

Prodiamine is great. Use it.

Here is a pump one for < 75$

If your yard is very large (>10-15k sqft) probably get a battery powered one instead.

u/ssarouynikcid · 1 pointr/lawncare

Thanks! I also found this on Amazon! Let me know your thoughts:

Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener- Aerator Soil Conditioner- No Mechanical or Core Aeration- Simple Lawn Solutions- Any Grass Type, All Season- Great for Compact Soils, Standing Water, Poor Drainage.

u/albeebe1 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Liquid Harvest Lazer Blue Concentrated Spray Pattern Indicator - 1 Quart (32 Ounces) - Perfect Weed Spray Dye, Herbicide Dye, Fertilizer Marking Dye,

Southern Ag Surfactant for Herbicides Non-Ionic, 16oz, 1 Pint

u/heeph0p · 2 pointsr/lawncare

So I’m brand new to this stuff, but would this be considered fertilizer or grass seed?

Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer - 2-in-1 Formula - Fertilizes New Grass and Prevents Weeds like Crabgrass and Dandelions - Covers 5,000 sq. ft.

u/tatanka01 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Get one of these:

It's like running a vacuum cleaner over your lawn (easier than a mower because it's so light).

u/jimmyqex · 1 pointr/lawncare

You could rent one but that would likely be overkill for 900 sq ft. You could buy a manual one like this:

u/DetroitHustlesHarder · 1 pointr/lawncare

For manual stomp aerator, are you talking about something like this? I was told that things like this are essentially worthless because they don't pull any plugs.

What about this for a dethatcher?

u/Fuddit · 1 pointr/lawncare

On sale right now for $79.16 on Amazon. Price will jump up to $100+ in August or September.







You are welcome.

u/chochy · 3 pointsr/lawncare

Looks like fungus. Try using this product.
Or this

u/amayain · 1 pointr/lawncare

Yep, this thing. In general, it wasn't terrible, but some of the compacted solid required a bit of force and my hip was jacked up for a few days afterwards.

u/Unabomber007 · 1 pointr/lawncare

Here's the idiots guide to fertilizer:

N-P-K is what fertilizer bags have and it will be three numbers such as 10-5-10. These state the amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Every yard uses/needs 1lb/1000 sq ft of N 3-4 times a year, so that value is pretty much a given. The P and K portions really needed tested and you can either buy a kit and research what to use if values are low or get something like and it will dumb it down for you and state you should buy XX lbs of X-X-X fertlizer and it does all the work for you.

So to do it right, you need a soil test. You can throw down what you like today, but if you are going to keep fertilizing, you should get a soil test.

u/pasher7 · 3 pointsr/lawncare

You might consider this to move the grass in the ankle breaking holes. Put a plug in the middle or a few in it. It will help the grass fill in faster.

u/justwanttolurk · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Seems like this is posted every couple of days...

Here is a direct link (without the affiliate ID from the OP) to purchase:

u/tamari_almonds · 1 pointr/lawncare

I have about the same size lawn also with trees and other obstructions. I was considering putting together a temp watering system when I go to overseed in the Spring. Used the Orbit sprinkler design tool online to get an idea of placement and what it would be like. I was going to use zones with this 4 zone timer, alternating one after the other so water pressure stays up and more of the lawn gets watered without moving sprinklers around much.

u/doppelganged · 2 pointsr/lawncare

> Should I just buy a core aerator and do it manually?

I would. (Assuming you are talking about something like this:

u/DaveInPhilly · 2 pointsr/lawncare

Yeah you can rent an aerator, but looking at your yard you might be able to get by with a manual one like this.

I wouldn't mow now. I know we're seeing some crazy weather now, but it won't do you any good until your lawn comes out of dormancy and that's still a bit away.

u/scoobydoobiedoodoo · 1 pointr/lawncare

I was recommended Barricade or Dimension so I want to prepare for the fall to get my lawn ready for the spring but both had this disclaimer on some listings. I'll try to see if I can find one that does not have this warning. Thanks

u/0Slppls0 · 1 pointr/lawncare

If you want to go nuclear, there is a relatively new product called Tenacity that will selectively kill bentgrass. I haven't tried it but reviews are good.

Tenacity Turf Herbicide - 8 ounces

u/SlapDiggity · 2 pointsr/lawncare

It will make the droplets smaller and stay on the leaves. Creeping Charlie has a waxy skin which makes it tough for liquids to stick. This helps.

u/Andy_Onymous · 1 pointr/lawncare

This is what I have used -

Fellow Michigander here. You have plenty of time to get your yard off to a good start. I brought in soil but it is not always needed. Check and see where you are after the test.

u/Wilco10815 · 1 pointr/lawncare

I'd suggest buying one with a couple of neighbors - it's what I did. I heard the blades are worthless. Dethatching regularly in the fall is good for your yard. I also aerate and it does nothing for the thatch. We bought this one. It works great. It's corded so that's a bit of a pain.

u/Mowron · 2 pointsr/lawncare

This for a smaller yard. Spikes compact the soil more by simply pressing it to the sides and down, a core aerator pulls a plug out on top on the grass.

u/cujo195 · 1 pointr/lawncare

I paid about $120 for the Greenworks model on Amazon, link below.

After I bought mine, I saw a similar model from SunJoe with a scarifier for a similar price. I would consider that also if it's still available.

u/Barack__Odrama · 1 pointr/lawncare

Logan Labs provides the most comprehensive test but they don't provide recommendations. Alot of people on here use Soil Savvy and they do provide recommendations.

u/mfinn · 2 pointsr/lawncare

No you want it professionally done.

If your local AG extension office doesn't do it, you can buy a test kit from the US and just mail it here...just make sure you choose one that provides online results.

Soil Savvy - Soil Test Kit | Understand What Your Lawn or Garden Soil Needs, Not Sure What Fertilizer to Apply | Analysis Provides Complete Nutrient Analysis & Fertilizer Recommendation On Report

u/HukIt · 1 pointr/lawncare

Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash

u/slightlyintoout · 2 pointsr/lawncare

> see

As an alternative to this test, check your local coop extension. They'll likely do a test for a similar amount, but it will be much more accurate. They'll also make recommendations on how to rectify any deficiencies.

u/RedwSmoke · 1 pointr/lawncare

I put down some pre emergent earlier this year and so far no poa annua.

but I'm not overseeding either.

u/cd6020 · 5 pointsr/lawncare

I've used this stuff. The 14oz bottle goes a long way.

Amazon link but probably available elsewhere

u/JoeyOhhh · 3 pointsr/lawncare

It's a sand-filled roller, basically. Check it out.

u/genericscissors · 1 pointr/lawncare

Scotts has a weed and feed for new seed. check it out here

u/neuroticelite · 1 pointr/lawncare

I was planning on aerating and slice-seeding but then when I looked into it basically everyone said you can skip aerating if you slice seed. This is the product:

u/TheShadyGuy · 2 pointsr/lawncare

You may find a used one on Craigslist or similar for around $1000. These seem to only really be made for the commercial market. You can buy a manual one, though.