This spring I need to do a heavy overseeding because my grass is extemely thin, but if I don't apply preemergent at the same time I will have a yard full of crabgrass. I have read that I can accomplish this objective by using Tupersan, a preemergent that allows grass seed to germinate at the same time. However, Tupersan is not organic. Is there an organic alternative to Tupersan that will allow me to seed and put down a preemergent at the same time this spring?
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm Posts: 2884 Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
The problem with the turf type tall fescues is that each seed grows one plant and that plant does not spread out to carpet the area. Crabgrass, on the other hand, spreads nicely to fill in every gap you have between your fescue seeds. The only way you can have a nice, dense fescue lawn is to overseed until you get it.
A lot of people will mix Kentucky bluegrass seed in with the fescue when they overseed. The KBG looks like fescue and performs very much like it, but it also spreads out to fill in the gaps. There are four newer varieties of KBG coming on strong. Those are Midnight, Midnight II, Bewitched, and Bedazzled. These are fine bladed and very dark green in color. Unfortunately I don't have a source for them, but if you search the Internet you can find one. Or try your local garden supply store to see if they carry them.
By the way you really get what you pay for with seed. Look for seed with the following on the guaranteed analysis: 0.00% Other Crop and 0.00% Weed Seed. Some of the other crop type grasses they allow into seed are the size of dust particles and can amount to a significant amount of seed if there is any at all. You'll pay more for the 0.00 numbers.
Once you get your lawn established with some good density, the only things you should have to do are water infrequently and mow at your mower's highest setting. These two things will keep the crabgrass out. Of course the other thing you need to do is fertilize regularly. I use ordinary corn meal at a rate of 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet on each of the national holidays starting with Washington's Birthday and ending on Thanksgiving. In cooler climates those start and end points might be adjusted.
If for some reason your lawn does not get fully established this spring, continue to maintain the infrequent watering and mowing high. Treat your lawn as if it was the perfect lawn. Then in the fall go after it with the seed again. Crabgrass dies out in the fall so the grass seed has a better chance of taking over. Then you will have all winter to establish good grass roots in preparation for the heat stress of summer. Seed sprouted in the spring often does not make it through the heat of summer simply because the roots are not developed.
_________________ David Hall Moderator Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum
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