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I want a decent front lawn instead of the weeds and bear spots I now have.  I am new at this and  need to know everything:  how soon can I prepare the soil, type of grass seed (not too costly), when to sow the seeds, etc.   I am in zone 8 (phenix city, al) 85% full sun and 15% shade from large tree in yard.   I will try to tackle this project myself!    Wish me luck.!  Thanks for your help.

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Posted 2013-02-01T16:55:14+0000  by Dyanne Dyanne
Thanks for the info. I will contact the Certified Nursery Consultant in early spring to see when I need to start.

Best Answer

Posted 2013-02-05T06:20:33+0000  by Dyanne

Hi Dyanne,


Welcome to The Community!!!


I'm Travis, in Atlanta. We're pretty much located in the same climate zone. The factors that affect your lawn are all connected to your large tree.


If the tree is a hardwood tree, such as an oak tree, it also has a shallow root system. Tree roots are capable of taking water from the soil much faster than grass can, so there is little moisture left for the lawn.


The shade produced by a hardwood tree is dense. There might not be enough light to support sun loving grasses like Bermuda or Centipede. In these areas, shade tolerant fescue grass might be a better choice.


Fescue grass is best planted in the fall. September and October are the prime months to plant fescue seed in zone 8. This is also when trees begin to drop their leaves. Just as the new grass begins to sprout, trees drop their leaves enough to smother much of that grass. 


Bermuda grass can be planted in the spring, but if the area cannot provide a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, the lawn will not grow at its best. Sod can be laid anytime and seed Bermuda after April 1st. in your zone.


Both Bermuda and Fescue grasses will grow in the sunnier portions of the yard. Neither grass will grow well under the canopy of a large shade tree. Pine Islands and mulch beds are a viable option for the shade. You can plant grass outside the dripline of the tree and expect great results with several types of grass seed, or sod.


You can begin controlling weeds anytime they are present by spraying Weed-B-Gon or any other selective broadleaf weed killer. Apply any weed killers several weeks before planting seed or sod.


Areation will also help prepare the soil. Adding compost or any other organic matter to the lawn will improve soil texture. Till the bare areas, but to preserve the existing grass, spread the compost and then aerate to incorporate it into the soil.


The type of grass you choose determines when you can plant it. The Certified Nursery Consultant at your local Home Depot will assist you when the time comes.




Posted 2013-02-01T19:03:19+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL

Hello Lawnranger,

I have an issue with weeds in my Bermuda grass! I mean a bunch of weeds! 

So many I have to cut my grass all winter because the weeds get so tall!

I also live in Gwinnett county outside Atlanta. 

Now I don't have a bunch of money to have a company come out once a month to get rid of all of them. I am bearly keeping the house with my curreant situation!  But since the grass is somewhat dormant could I use something strong like grass and weed killer to kill the weeds because the weed killer really doesn't work that well! 

What could I use to get rid of these things?

What is the best weed killer to put in my spreader for the yard.

If it was your yard how would you get kill these? 

Thank you again for your help,


Posted 2013-02-12T13:09:20+0000  by Joshbiz

Good morning, Josh.


I will never apply non-selective herbicide to my dormant Bermuda again! It survived, but that spring, my lawn was the last lawn to green up in my neighborhood.


Herbicides are available in both dry and liquid forms. The dry forms that we sell at The Home Depot are less effective than their liquid counterparts. Most of these are 2,4-D based weed killers and are safe for most grasses. The best product for your Bermuda is not among these 2,4-D based chemicals. Image Nutsedge Killer is only for use in Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede lawns.


Image Nutsedge Killer targets all of the weeds that are currently green in your dormant Bermuda. Image is safe to apply to Bermuda all year long. It kills henbit, spurge, chickweed, wild onion and grasses that are green in winter while your Bermuda is dormant.



It only comes in liquid form, so apply it with a garden hose. It needs 24 hours to dry onto the lawn. After that initial 24 hour period,but within a week, the Image needs to be watered into the root zone of the weeds. If no rain is expected, set a sprinkler to accomplish this. It needs to be watered in, 1 to 7 days after application.


Image is the best product for this job, at this time, in your area. By using it correctly, you avoid wasting time and money on products that don’t work.


Follow up with pre-emergent to prevent weeds from encroaching. Bermuda never needs to be over seeded, so pre-emergent every 3 months gives you uninterrupted weed protection.


Now, in February, apply pre-emergent without nitrogen (0-0-7). When the grass becomes green in spring, apply fertilizer (nitrogen) with pre-emergent (19-0-7). Reapply the same fertilizer in July to continue feeding and protection through the summer. Apply the 0-0-7 in October to prevent poa-annua weed, as well as other winter weeds.


This regimen, along with regular mowing will keep your lawn weed free.


Please let me know if there are any questions about the timing or selection of products listed here.


Thanks for asking.



Posted 2013-02-12T16:15:50+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL



I live in Norther Virginia and need some help with my lawn. It is pretty small (maybe 20' x 30'), but is in pretty bad shape. We have a lot of bare spots and weeds and some grass. Becasue of the small size I was thinking I would pull the weeds this weekend and seed whatever bare spots are left. Is this right? Assuming it is, befor seeding should I spread out some fresh dirt?



Posted 2013-04-10T13:32:14+0000  by kjschoembs
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