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Lawn Care - New Jersey (08816)

Hello, new home owner here in New Jersey (08816). I am confused on what to apply first.. over seed or fertilizer/weed control? There are some bare spots that definitely could use some seeds, but I also want the entire lawn to be "thicker".  Any tips would be appreciated.

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Posted 2013-04-04T14:46:23+0000  by teamelusive teamelusive

Hi there neighbor, I’m Jen, from The Home Depot, in Rhode Island. 


This time of year, it is tricky to be able to seed and fertilize.  Here in New England, crabgrass is a very invasive weed that you must try to  block its growth in early spring.  Most of the chemicals needed to block the germination of crabgrass will also block the germination of new grass.


The Scotts Company has created a starter fertilizer plus crabgrass preventer that can also be used when seeding. 


 For best results, follow these steps.


1.     Now, use Turf Builder with HALTS on all areas of you lawn that you will NOT be putting any seed down.

Turf Builder Halts.jpg


2.     On the areas that are sparse, scratch the surface with a rake about 1”- 2” deep.  Then apply Starter Fertilizer with Crabgrass Control. 


Starter Plus Crabgrass.jpg



3.     Next, apply the grass seed and water.


Timing is a little tricky because in order to block the germination of the crabgrass, the HALTS will need to be applied BEFORE the crabgrass germinates.  Crabgrass begins to germinate when temperatures in the soil reach 58-60 degrees for about five days straight.  Now is a good time to do that step, while it’ still cool. 


To grow grass, the temperature needs to be consistently warmer with the air temperature of at least 60-75 degrees for several days.  The soil temperature should be in between 50-65 degrees for best growing results.


By following these steps, you will be on your way to a thicker lawn.  Stop by your local Home Depot for more information about other fertilizer applications throughout the growing season.  Or, just let us know here on the forum and we’ll be glad to help!

Posted 2013-04-04T17:11:17+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Thank you for the information! I will be stopping by my local HD for sure.

Posted 2013-04-04T17:31:31+0000  by teamelusive

I took some pictures of the lawn just so you have a better idea of what I'm dealing with and to see if you suggest another plan...




Let me know what you think.



Posted 2013-04-04T22:17:16+0000  by teamelusive
Any other thoughts?
Posted 2013-04-05T18:23:16+0000  by teamelusive

Hello again,


Sorry for the delay in my response.


Lets first take a look at the picture with the tree. I can see sand that was probably left behind from snow plowing this winter. The soil looks compacted and the roots from the tree might compromise your chances of growing grass there. Here are a couple of options for that area specifically.


1.Skip the grass idea and mulch around the tree. You can still plant grass in the other section of lawn there.


2.If you really want grass, start by scratching the surface with a rake and then you will need to add some lawn soil.

Scotts Lawn soil.png


This will contain starter fertilizer and will help with the growth of the new grass. You may want to look into a shade or part sun seed because it is under a tree. Even by following these steps, this just might not be the best area for grass to grow.


Next picture, the area next to the tree. It looks pretty thin to me. I would apply the starter fertilizer with crabgrass control and re-seed that area. Do the same here with the rake and scratch the surface about an inch or so. If you see a lot of sand from the winter, then add some lawn soil here also.


The last photo, with the car in it. Go ahead and use the Turf Builder plus Crabgrass control in this area. It looks a bit thicker than the grass by the road and I think you will have better luck here.


This will not bounce back overnight but you will see results gradually. Sometimes, it can take up to a year or two to get just where you would like it to be. So, don’t give up.


Go ahead and lime all areas as well. This will help your lawn absorb the fertilizer properly.


Let me know how you make out!

Posted 2013-04-10T21:47:14+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS
Please check out for all of your home services and maintenance needs. We are currently serving New Jersey with plans to expand to New York and Connecticut over time.
Posted 2017-04-07T20:21:09+0000  by TruFixed
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