Weed b Gone not working, other suggestions? Also - overseeding ?

May 3, 2009

Hi - I need some advice on how to proceed with my lawn. Last year we had some stumps removed which tore up most of what we had in the front. We were advised that the dirt would settle over time, so that we'd be best to just thow some seed down and let that grow - then if we decided to put down new loam and hydroseed, etc., it would have less bumps and irregularity.

So we did that - results were as expected - grass grew, but irregular, weeds, etc. It's far from perfect, but a "got what you paid for" result.

It was really over run with crab grass. We've always had a problem with it, and we use the step 1 - applied before the forsythia, but it doesn't seem to help much. This year, I explained the situation to the Agway guy, and added that we wanted to overseed soon, and he recommended Crabgrass Preventer Plus New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer. We put that down, earlier than we have the other stuff, and it has really worked! I have seen a couple tufts of crab grass, but nothing like in previous years. However, we have a horrible dandelion problem - really could make wine from the number we have. We also have lots of other weeds - broad leaf cabbage-looking things and clover and some reedy-tall grass like weeds.

I bought the LARGE jug of weed b gone, and started spraying. The next day, most of the dandelions I had sprayed were wilted, but some had blossomed new flowers and looked perky as could be. I shot them again. I'm kept shooting. I know I've been over some of them at least 3 times. In the mean time, some of the flowers have been able to go to seed because they didn't die.

So, one of my questions is - does anyone know of a weed killer that works?

My second question has to do with the lawn and overseeding. Some spots are bare or have very sparse grass or just weeds. DH says just throw seed down on the whole lawn and hope that it grows. Our neighbor used a slice seeder, and I am thinking we need that, at a minimum, to get the seed into what has become hard packed dirt. I started raking - trying to loosen the dirt layer, but it is tough, and there is still a lot of dead crabrass that is not coming out.

I just don't know what to do - let me say that DH and I are not "lawn" people. We want it to look decent, and are willing to wait 3 or 4 years of giving it a 4 step fertilizer, and live with the results, but right now it looks pretty gastly, and I'd like to be able to make the most of out any effort that we do put into it.

DH's idea is to just take one small section and rake it up, put seed on it, water, and move on. At that rate, it will take us years to get the front to be in the low maintenance mode. (not to mention how much worse the other spots will get as they wait for their "turn" and how the first spots could turn back to a trouble spot in the mean time). I'd like to take advantage of spring grass growing - don't want to spend a lot of money. A slice seeder rental is $80 a day here - but also a PITA to pick up and drop off (have to borrow brother's pick up). Another option is to get some loam for the bad spots - $25 a yard - I don't know how many yards we would need. I had already bought a large bag of grass seed - enough to over seed the whole lawn.

Ok, and one last data point, last year, part of the lawn that hadn't been impacted by the stump removal, and was well established, just died in the middle of the summer - it was as if something had attacked it - I know grubs comes to mind, but we didn't see them and didn't see the japanese beetles, what else could it have been. And, if grubs, what is your recommendation?

Thanks in advance for reading all this and if you feel like you can give me any advice.

Here are some pictures of the lawn as of last weekend:


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