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Weeds....

First of all, first time home owner here, never had to do a day of gardening or lawn maintenance in my life. Now I have to due to HOA R&R.

I want to take a crack at it myself as it is obviously a lot cheaper than hiring a company to do it for me. That said, I am located in colorado springs, colorado. Given that it is not the right time of year to seed, or so I gather from the online research I have done, I am not sure how best to approach this problem.

So far, I've been pulling what I perceive to be weeds, I feel like it isn't a terribly difficult concept. Is it grass? No? Yank that sucker out of there (by the roots if you can). Problem I can see here is there are so many weeds that doing this across my entire lawn would leave a bunch of dirt patches visible until next season when I should begin seeding, right? So there is question number one for ya:
  • How should I deal with the weeds initially? Pull them now, or wait til next seeding season, or WHAT?



I am going to assume the answer to question number one is some variation of pull the weeds out. So Question number two is based off that assumption.
  • What is the optimal timing for my region to do this weed pulling?


Finally question number three:

  • What type of grass should I re-seed with?



Thanks in advance for any advise.












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Posted 2017-07-25T23:59:03+0000  by Tyco Tyco
 
Forgot question number 4:
  • What is the optimal time to seed?
Posted 2017-07-26T00:00:48+0000  by Tyco
Hey Tyco.

With the mild temperatures you are experiencing in your area, it is an ideal time to kill weeds with a selective herbicide like Weed B Gon or Round Up for lawns. You are safe to seed 1 month after putting down one of these weed killers. If there is no grass and the whole lawn is weeds then you could kill everything with a non-selective herbicide like Round Up and seed 2 weeks later. If you have the patience to pull the weeds then absolutely do it now.

Mid August through September is a great time to put down cool season grasses like Perennial Rye, Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. Each of these grasses has its strength and weaknesses.

When you throw down your seed, you will also want to put down a starter fertilizer to help it take root. You will also need to cover it with some wheat straw and water it often. Our professionals at your local Home Depot store can get you set up with everything you need if you just come in and see us.

Tall Fescue




Tall fescue is more prominent up North but can come as far South as North Georgia and zone 7. This grass is an evergreen grass that thrives in cooler weather and struggles in extreme heat. It is not a spreading, self-repairing grass, therefore it is not to be planted in high traffic areas. Over-seeding is occasionally required with fescue. Fescue grass has poor drought tolerance and requires supplemental irrigation in dryer times. In the spring and summer fescue grass prefers to be cut taller and with more frequency than most other grasses.


Fescue is a heavy feeding grass and prefers a pH neutral soil; therefore pelletized lime is needed in acidic soils to correct this. Although fall is the ideal time for over-seeding fescue grass, early spring is also a fine time. Fescue prefers full sun but there are some varieties that can tolerate some shade.


Kentucky Bluegrass 




Kentucky bluegrass is similar to fescue when it comes to its intolerance to shade, foot traffic and drought. It does however, send out underground rhizomes and spread. It is often over-seeded with fescue up North in order to improve a fescue lawns ability to recover. This grass does well as far south as Tennessee. Like fescue, Kentucky bluegrass prefers to be planted in the fall or spring.

 

Perennial Ryegrass


Perennial ryegrass is a clumping grass that does not spread. It is used for erosion control and in areas with high foot traffic. Perennial ryegrass is a great turf grass and forage grass for livestock because of its ability to establish and recover so quickly. This grass is used with fescue and Kentucky bluegrass to give durability to a lawn.  Perennial Ryegrass has better tolerance to drought than the other two.

 

These three grasses do not exhibit great strengths individually but when they are used together then you have a great spreading, evergreen grass that tolerates drought, foot traffic and partial shade.


Posted 2017-07-27T12:47:11+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL
Erodium cicutarium

Greetings Tyco,


Congratulations on your new home, and welcome to the world of turf management!


Now is the time to weed, weeding is an ongoing, time consuming, process, every day is a weeding day, if you see one pull it, they will pop up overnight (I swear)!


Pulling those weeds right now is perfect, you can identify them by their tiny pink flowers, and you are so right to get them by the roots…you are already a worthy opponent in the weed world! Getting the weeds pulled before those flowers go to seed is the optimal approach, if left alone the flowers will dry and spread more seeds, also the root system may spread….then you will have a weed invasion!


Make sure you contain the pulled weeds and put them into a brown, paper refuse, waste bags, until you set up some type of composting heap, just to make sure the weeds don’t spread seeds, or re-root, and take on a life of their own.


Early fall is the best time to start the seeding process, the ground soil is still warm from the summer months for a good, quicker, germination, and the cooler evenings, with much more natural, morning dew to help with the moisture supply. The autumn period will provide time for root good development and allow for a few cuttings before winter comes; most likely, you will need to over-seed in the early spring that is a common practice with fall planting, and in your region, to thicken up your turf in thin spots.


You are right on schedule; continue to remove weeds, and you will  be ready for the seeds soon, a couple weeks before labor day is a great time to put down the seed. Watering is very important at that time; there is a possibility of extreme temperatures well into September. I have checked your local weather forecast in Colorado Springs, you are cooler than I would have expected and your chance of rain is strong almost every day…..the perfect scenario for new seed.


I have to say that if you have the opportunity to continue with the weeding process, do it! Stop by your local Home Depot, speak to a garden associate for the recommendation of the best blend of perennial seed for you region, believe me they will know what grows best in Colorado Springs. Here in New England, Home Depot offers a North East Blend, by the Pennington Seed, the seed is phenomenal, everyone that tries it loves it, each region is different so check with your local Home Depot garden associate for a specific blend for your region, vendor availabilty is different as well. Your in zone 5a-6a, (not too different from Boston). 


 

I do recommend picking up a bag of Starter Fertilizer for New Lawns Plus Weed Control, this is a great product; it promotes great root product, greens up, and feed any existing turf, and puts down a pre-emergent barrier for weed seed. This will help control the weed population and allow more space for the turf to take over crowding out and space for weeds to grow…the best defense against weeds is a thick, healthy, turf allowing no space for weeds to grow.


Let me tell you this is an ongoing process, results take time and can be a bit discouraging, but every effort will amount into success. I have customers that dedicate their entire season to turf management, a bit obsessive, I think.  You are new to this, so take it slow. I am so happy to read that you are pulling the weeds by hand, it is tedious but you are in control, and you are learning about your land, your part of the earth. Home Depot has numerous weed control products to help manage your weed problem, but nothing say control like pulling by hand. In addition, you may meet your new neighbors while you are working your land.


Click on this site to help you answer question that you have not even thought of yet….irrigation? How to read a fertilizer label? Do I need a spreader?


Pick up a dandelion puller when you are at your Home Depot, it is a great tool for the fight against weeds!


While I was doing a bit of research about Colorado Spring, I noticed an Environmental Center in your area that sometimes does lectures that may interest you, knowledge is power and meeting and chatting with experience gardeners is invaluable.


The above images is what I found to be: Erodium cicutarium , wild geranium, looks like your culprit!


Congratulations once more on your new home, let us know if you have any other questions, we are here to help!    Maureen

 

Posted 2017-07-27T14:54:58+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS

Hi Tyco.

 

You have some great information from Ingar and Maureen. For your planting zone, it looks like Buffalo Grass will be your best choice.  Once established, it will require lower maintenance, but regular care will give you a great looking lawn and keep the HOA happy as well.


I agree that pulling the weeds by hand will give you the best result.  It is easier to pull the weeds when they are green than it is when the weeds are dry and brittle after spraying a herbicide on them.  You will have to contend with the leftover weed seeds after your new grass has come in.  I would say definitely pull the weeds out now and seed if you have the time.  The longer the weeds stay in the ground, the bigger they will get and the more weed seeds they will drop.

 

A couple of tools that will help with this project will be the dandelion puller that Maureen mentioned as well as a Garden Fork. The Garden Fork will also help to loosen up your soil and make it easier for you to add soil amendments.  The Scotts Lawn Soil and the Kellogg Topper can be used for this also.

 

Blue grama and Wheatgrass also received high marks for your area as well. Perennial Rye Grass and Kentucky Bluegrass were at the bottom of the list I am afraid.  Fescue's were in the middle of  the grasses that do well in your area.

 

Colorado State University

 

csu.org 


None of the Buffalo grasses will tolerate shade however.

 

Preparing for a new lawn is labor intensive but your reward is worth it.  You do not have a lot of time to get your project going.  The ideal planting time for Buffalo Grass is late July.  Be sure to use a spreader to apply your seeds so that you will get a good and even coverage.  Do three passes when applying your grass seed.


 


When applying new seed, apply it liberally so that you will have a nice dense lawn and then cover it with no more than ¼ inch of a good topper.  Do not use steer manure, it is loaded with weed seeds.

 

Kellogg Topper is a great choice, as is Scotts Lawn Soil.

Be sure to keep your newly seeded lawn watered.  Do not let the surface dry out, just keep it damp and you should see results in about 10 days.

 

After about 4 weeks, you can add the Scotts Starter Fertilizer to get even better results from you newly planted seed.  Be sure to water right after application.  

 

Be sure to take some pictures of your lawn-seeding project and share them with us at:

 

http://community.homedepot.com/signinandregistration?startURL=%2Fapex%2Fpostquestion

 

You will need to register at the site but it will only take a few minutes.

 

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

 

Rick_HD_OC
Posted 2017-07-28T16:55:19+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
 
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