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Lawn care - Weed and Feed?

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Topic by Cindy posted 02-23-2011 09:43 AM 2282 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cindy

346 posts in 1427 days
hardiness zone 6

02-23-2011 09:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question zone 6 grass lawn weeds

I have a question about lawn care. I spend all sorts of money and time on my gardens, but my yard is a mess! It’s full of plantain, crabgrass, and wiregrass. I’d guess I have 80% weeds and 20% grass! I live in a mobile home park and the landlord laid down the cheapest grass seed he could get, I think. This was over 15 years ago. He insists the grass can be no taller than 3-1/2 inches, although I get away with growing mine taller. The end result is we all have weak grass that burns to death in the summer, and weeds that thrive. He won’t allow scraping it all up and resowing the lawn. This year I’d like to start caring for the lawn. I have an excellent compost source, and I’m going to scatter some on the lawn as well as the gardens. I’d like to use Weed and Feed or a similar product. I’ve been advised to spread grass seed now, and after it’s first mowing apply Weed and Feed. He told me Weed and Feed has a pre-emergent that will prevent the grass seed from sprouting, if I treated the lawn first.
What do folks here recommend? It’s in the 50’s during th daytime here now, but I don’t know how long that will last – I’m in the Appalachian Mountains of Viginia (in the Blacksburg area, if anyone knows it)
Thanks!
Cindy

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~



View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1790 days
hardiness zone 10b

02-23-2011 04:39 PM

Cindy – don’t know that I could be much help as my conditions in Florida are different then what you encounter, but here goes. Spreading compost sounds reasonable. You could mix that with some top soil or other type of dirt to help your compost go further. You could even get manure and spread it too. Depending upon the amount of yard you have, you could be talking a lot of work. Might recommend plenty of beer for when the job is done!!

As for the weed and feed. I’m not certain about the pre-emergent, but it would make sense. Make certain that your get the right product for your type of grass. Herbicide (the weed part of weed and feed) come in two basic variety; selective and non selective. The non selective mean exactly what is sounds like, it does care what it kills as it is designed to kill everything. The selective breaks down into two additional types; broad leaf or narrow leaf. So your weed and feed will come in two variety, a basic fertilizer (the feed part) with a herbicide to kill either broad or narrow leaf. So before you spread your weed and feed, make sure you know what type of grass you have and buy the product that will feed that grass and kill the weeds growing among it.

If all else fails simply remember this. A weed is a plant that is growing in a spot you don’t want it in! Should someone comment that you have lots of weeds in your yard, just tell that that you actually have a lot of different plants in your yard!!

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

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MsDebbieP

14688 posts in 2716 days
hardiness zone 5b

02-24-2011 08:33 AM

how big is your yard? If it is relatively small, maybe you could tackle one space at a time… do some “container gardening” and when everything is dead underneath the container, move it and say, “oops – a bald spot.. better plant some grass seed there to fix that up” :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Cindy

346 posts in 1427 days
hardiness zone 6

02-24-2011 12:03 PM

Thanks for the replies! I should have gone into more detail…I live in a mobile home on a lot that’s 40’ x 120’ (4800 sq ft), my mobile home is 14’ x 80’ (1120 sq ft) and my gardens – all raised beds – take up a total of 1150 sq ft! Minus another 1200 or so for the patios and porches, and I only have (blissfully) approx. 1330 of yard. Almost all of that is on one side. My goal since I moved here nearly 18 years ago was to have as little grass to mow as possible – lol. I use a gas mower, but a have a reel mower that I love, but it can’t tackle the plantain. I get a gorgeous cut, but with thousands of plantain stem “flags” waving in the breeze. I couldn’t get away with “spot planting” to kill areas of grass ; ) On a side note, I’ll be posting a forum question later about posting photos – basically I’ll be asking why we can’t browse our hard drives for all catagories – like blogs, forums – like we can on LJ, rather than entering code. I don’t use a photo host and don’t plan to, and I’ll miss sharing pics…oh well. Thanks again for the tips! Cindy

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

View Xeolyte's profile

Xeolyte

28 posts in 1420 days
hardiness zone 8b

02-24-2011 12:34 PM

I had the same problem when I bought my house. The lawn was mostly crab grass, dandelions and in winter totally henbit. I started cutting high and used a weed & feed for the first go around in Spring and for Summer I used Turf Builder. Since the henbit grows in winter, I would be mowing it when it got tall enough to mow and bagging it with the lawnmower so it couldn’t make seeds. Also, you need to get a Weed Hound:

http://www.amazon.com/Hound-Dog-Products-HDP1-6-Weed/dp/B0000DI835":http://www.amazon.com/Hound-Dog-Products-HDP1-6-Weed/dp/B0000DI835

I can’t live without mine. It’s a brilliant easy way to get rid of weeds with central cores like crab grass, dandelions etc. For the first year I was out every evening pulling up weeds with it Winter too. It’s actually fun to use and works astonishingly well! I got mine at Home Depot. It took me 2 years of hard work to finally get a lawn to a desirable state. Now I used my Weed Hound mostly in late Winter early Spring when the dandelions and crab grass start showing up.

-- Never do what you can't undo, until you have considered what you can't do once you have done it. Robin Hobb Assassins Apprentice

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MsDebbieP

14688 posts in 2716 days
hardiness zone 5b

02-24-2011 12:39 PM

photos: patience, Cindy.. patience :)
GT has been slower to take off than LumberJocks, which affects the addition of services.

as for your yard—well, the size really does make a difference, doesn’t it :)
I love the look of the little plantain stems waving in the breeze
check this out: http://urban-arcadia.com/permaculture/edible-wild-plantain-permaculture
and this might help you love the plants more: “Yarrow, chicory, comfrey, plantain are all great dynamic accumulators to help the growth of the plants and trees around them.”

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Cindy

346 posts in 1427 days
hardiness zone 6

02-24-2011 02:42 PM

Ok, now you’re really messing me up! lol Maybe I should transplant the plantain into the garden beds and around the crabapple trees…I saved both of the links you sent me, Debbie – they are fascinating. I’d love to learn more about edible wild plants. The idea of drying plantain to make a poultice is very cool. I’ll have to find out if it’s toxic to cats – I have an indoor cat that fights a constant battle with “rodent ulcer”, a chronic ulcer of the inner muzzle. My vet used to give her Depovera shots, but wants to limit the “toxic medicines” she gets (good vet) so now we do a new laser treament. It’s non invasive, a wand that transmits the wavelenths is gently rubbed over the ulcer. It is working quite well. If plantain is safe for cats, I can bring some in for her to eat (since there will be no chemical deposits on/in it). I don’t use man made chemicals on my gardens, and I’d prefer to avoid using any at all, so I think I’ll get a weed hound and try it. I’ve looked at them for years, but I never knew anyone that used one so I didn’t know if they really worked. I think I’ll forego the chemicals this season, try a weed hound, use compost (I also have unlimited access to rabbit manure) and see if there is improvement. If so, I’ll follow that plan for as many seasons as it takes to get the yard looking better. Now I don’t see the plantain as an evil enemy! Thanks everyone for the ideas ~ and I’ll be patient, Debbie – you made me think of an old TV show; “Patience, Grasshopper” – lol

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

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MsDebbieP

14688 posts in 2716 days
hardiness zone 5b

02-24-2011 03:01 PM

from plantains to grasshoppers :D
isn’t gardening interesting!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Cindy's profile

Cindy

346 posts in 1427 days
hardiness zone 6

02-24-2011 03:11 PM

LOL While trying to research toxicty to cats, I found that I have 90% English, or Narrow Leaf Plantain. Some Broad Leaf, too – I didn’t even know they were related. Found out that rabbits love the stuff. Since I always let the clover have free reign in the yard, it’s no wonder I have a bumper crop of bunnies in my tiny yard all year long. But they never bother my gardens. The deer are another problem, but I found Liquid Fence last year, and that put an instant end to the deer troubles. Mostly putrified egg, but it only stinks to humans while wet. Considering this is a fairly large mobile home park (by the local standards, 187 units) we have an abundance of wild life. Even a black bear or two…once I had a really cool snake that I didn’t identify, but I think it was a dark phase of garter snake. I love snakes, unlike most of my friends! Had a resident chipmonk move in last year, but never had any squirrels. I’m happy about that…

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14688 posts in 2716 days
hardiness zone 5b

02-24-2011 03:20 PM

you can keep your slitherer – I’m ok with them as long as I don’t have to see them :) (Always ends up with hours of nightmares at night. A childhood thing)

Anyway, how lucky that the rabbits leave your gardens alone. Lucky you! !

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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