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Crab Grass Out Of Control

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by trippinants on May 02, 2006 01:09 PM
First off, I would like to thank anyone that is willing to help me. A friend sent me a link to this site and said maybe someone here can help.

Brief History of my Lawn.

I live just outside of Atlanta, GA. 1 1/2 years ago, we planted Bermuda Sod in September 2004. The lawn looked great. The summer 2005, we had some weeds, but not much and the lawn was nice.

This spring, a friend warned me about crab grass so I paid extra attention to the lawn. At the first sign of it, I went out and spread Scott's Crabgrass Preventer with Halts. 2 weeks later, the Crab Grass multiplied by 10. I went back to Lowes and the guy said to reseed the Crabgrass Preventer with Halts.

Now, over half of my lawn is Crab Grass. Is there anything I can do? It is very discouraging to see what was once a beautiful lawn turn into this garbage.

I really appreciate any help.

Thanks
Andy
by johnCT on May 03, 2006 01:07 AM
quote:
Originally posted by trippinants:
I went back to Lowes and the guy said to reseed the Crabgrass Preventer with Halts.
Well, this is your first mistake.....looking for advice from employees at Lowes or HD. [Roll Eyes] [Big Grin]

I don't really follow the statement quoted above, though. Do you mean "re-apply" the product? If that's what he told you to do, you should really go back, talk to the garden dept. manager and demand your money back. That product is a fertilizer with a pre-emergent herbicide incorporated into it. So, first of all you over-fertilized. Second, pre-emergent, without getting into too much detail, is only effective if applied PRIOR to the germination of the crabgrass seed. If you applied it after you noticed the crabgrass already coming up, you did nothing but enocourage it to grow by giving it a shot of fertilizer. Further, if this guy at lowes told you to re-apply it, he has no business working in the garden dept. Pre-emergents need to be applied in early spring before the soil temps get above 55 degrees. Of course, this is not your fault. You did not know any better and many people make the mistake of looking to the garden "professionals" at the big box stores for advice.

quote:
Originally posted by trippinants:
Is there anything I can do?
Yes there is. There are selective post-emergent herbicides for grassy weeds like crab. Ortho Crabgrass-b-Gon works well and comes in a hose-end spray bottle that you just attach to your hose. Just READ the label before you use it. Do apply it soon, though. You need to knock the crab down before it sets seed and creates next year's crabgrass problem. In addition, you need to apply the pre-emergent herbicide early next spring to prevent next year's crop from germinating. Crabgrass is really easy to control using a few basic principles. Good luck.

* * * *
John - Zone 6
by trippinants on May 03, 2006 08:16 AM
You are not the first person who laughed at me for asking the guys and gals at lowes.

i went into lowes and said "Hey, I just noticed some crabgrass coming up. What would you recommend" the guy said Scotts with Halts...

second time, "hey, i came in here a couple weeks back and said I have some crabgrass, the dude told me Scotts with Halts. Now I have tons of it. What should I do" the guy said, reapply Scotts with Halts, but double the dose"

clearly, i will never ask their help again. thank you for the response and I will work on it today.

There is also one spot of my lawn that isnt growing...kinda brown looking. Someone told me I need to plant some grass seed to thicken the whole lawn and to help this spot out. Any truth to this?
by johnCT on May 03, 2006 08:33 AM
quote:
Originally posted by trippinants:
Any truth to this?
Maybe if you went to Lowes to ask, that's what they'd tell ya. [Big Grin]

No, there's a reason why the grass isn't growing there. You need to determine why first, before wasting money on seed. If you could offer some more details, maybe we could figure out why. Is it in shade? A wet area? You shouldn't really need to re-seed bermuda. It will spread and thicken all by itself.

BTW, you didn't really double the fertilizer dose, did you? Sounds like you really applied a LOT of fertilizer.

* * * *
John - Zone 6
by The Plant Doc on May 03, 2006 02:22 PM
Save your fert and crabgrass preventer until next season. It is a "preventer", not a control product. You need to get it down before the crabgrass emerges from the soil.
If you need to re seed, do that in the late summer or early fall. Disturbing the soil (such as seeding) in the spring will just pretty much assure that you will have a wonderful crab grass crop.

I am not sure how far along the crabgrass actually is down there in Georgia at this point. Up here in Cheeseland it has not even sprouted yet. The post emergent control only works until the 3rd set of leaves come out on each individual plant.
Like John said, read the label and DO NOT over apply that product as it will take out your good grass too if you use too much.
When checking the label it should tell you to what stage you can spray the plants effectively. If it is beyond that stage, you are just going to have to get used to the weedy grass or pull it out by hand.

* * * *
 -
Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by johnCT on May 04, 2006 01:44 AM
quote:
Originally posted by The Plant Doc:
The post emergent control only works until the 3rd set of leaves come out on each individual plant.
I'm not sure what herbicide you're speaking of, but most post-ems work at any stage of plant development after germination as long as the plant is actively growing. This is true of Dimension's post-emergent control qualities(2nd tiller stage). But after all, Dimension IS primarily a pre-emergent herbicide.

* * * *
John - Zone 6
by The Plant Doc on May 05, 2006 01:09 AM
John I am speaking of any post emergent control for crab grass. Even the RUP's (restricted use pesticides, which can only be used by a licensed applicator) has that on the label.
You can go against the label and mix the products up strong enough to kill the crabgrass if you want, but the main idea behind it is to do it with out killing the good lawn surrounding it.
A lot of times in products available to home owners this information is hidden in the fine print so the consumers continue to purchase the product.

* * * *
 -
Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by johnCT on May 06, 2006 12:52 AM
I have never experienced any ineffective control with either the pre-mixed Ortho CBG or the concentrate which is what I primarily use to spot treat areas at the label recommended rates.

* * * *
John - Zone 6

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