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nofishfisherman

Here's my plan...is it a good one?

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Ok, so this is the second year at my house and will be the first year that I really work on the existing grass. Last year we let it go as is and focused on other projects and seeded parts of the lawn with zero existing grass.

So here is my plan in order of when I plan to do it.

1. Put down pre-emergent when the ground temp reaches the low 50's. As of Sunday it was 40 degrees. We had some areas of crab grass last year, probably 15 feet x 15 feet area with some other random weeds mixed in throughout the rest of the lawn.

2. Wait 6 weeks for the pre-emergent to do its stuff and then thatch the lawn (everywhere excpet the areas that I newly seeded last season.) I don't think the lawn has been thatched in the prior 5-10 years as the previous owners thought mowing was excessive when it came to lawn care.

3. After thatching I plan to overseed the entire lawn and fertilize.

4. Water, mow, water, mow, water, mow...

5. In the fall I will likely see how the new seed took and then overseed the bare spots again.

Last summer we took out a large pine in the front yard and trimmed another large pine in the backyard and put seed down in these areas since absolutely no grass was growing there. The lawn looked good in both spots at the end of last summer but just a little on the thin side. So thats why I plan to overseed again.

What kind of fertilizer should I put down if any and when should I do it? I am planning on going all organic with fertilizer and pre-emergent. Any suggestions on what products are out there?

This is my first lawn so I am hoping to make it a good one.

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If you want all organic, look up corn gluten meal.

If you're tight on budget, you're going to have to go a different direction than organic.

As for an organic pre-emergent, I'm not sure of one.

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Corn Gluten Meal is the organic pre-emergent option that I found. I saw some at Linders in St. Paul last season and from what I remember I didn't die from sticker shock. I have a very small yard so I will not be needing large quantities. Maybe if I were in the burbs with a large yard I would reconsider my organic plans.

Does my timeline and order for my plans look about right?

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The thatching part.... usually I do it mid=spring to get matted material from the turf.

Others say do it in the fall.

You'll be doing it late spring / early summer.

The thing that you're going to do then is, remove the layer of thatch that's beneficial to holding the moisture in.

Think of it as a thin towel on your skin. In the summer your skin will dry off quickly when you get out of the pool (rain on your lawn) but if you keep a towel on, it will hold that moisture in and the towel will dry out.

You're removing that towel, and removing the layer that holds moisture.

Thatch isn't a bad thing. There are tools that look like oversized straws or the tools that one might use to pull soil samples and that'll tell you the thickness of the thatch.

If you don't have more than 1/2" of thatch, I personally wouldn't worry about it.

If you do, then yes, your timeline looks fine.

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Try aerating your yard and then fertilize. I have never used pre-emergent. Use weed-b-gone to kill weeds. You will have to spray more than once.Don't over seed.

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The pre-emergent will work for crabgrass. Weed-b-gone is for broadleaf weeds, although I know they now tout there's some with some post crabgrass germination control.

If you want post crabgrass germination control, find yourself some Drive 75.

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