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grass seed and weed preventer

Chemical weed preventers, also called preemergent herbicides, are usually granules or liquids, but both require water to work. As the preventer soaks into the ground, it leaves a residual film in the top 1-inch of soil. Because most seeds germinate at or just below the soil’s surface, these preemergent herbicides remain active against any germination processes for up to four months, depending on the chemicals involved. Organic weed preventers work in a similar way. With many weeds being members of the grass family, all seeds, including desired lawn species, fail to germinate and sprout after you’ve used a weed preventer.

Spreading seed is an inexpensive way to grow a lush lawn, but exposed soil between germination and establishment makes it vulnerable to weeds. Although chemical weed preventers have different mixtures and instructions, you should not apply them while seeding or immediately afterward. You must allow one to four months between applying this type of chemical and spreading seed.

Preventer Science

Avoid the need for weed preventers by keeping your lawn healthy. Once established, only water your turf once a week during the growing season. Up to 1 inch of water during this watering session allows roots to search deeply for moisture to create strong grass. Shallow grass roots die in stressful conditions, like drought, and allow weeds to grow in thinned spots. Allow your turf to grow to a healthy height as well, typically between 1 and 3 inches, depending on the species. Long grass blades mean the grass can produce enough energy to stay healthy and compete with weeds. In short, healthy and well-maintained grass has less problems with weed growth.

Cool-season grasses are usually seeded, as opposed to warm-season grasses that usually need to be grown from sod or plugs. Because cool-season grass seeds germinate best in fall, apply your chemical preventer in spring to actively kill off weeds in spring and summer. In general, temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit are good for weed preventer application. Hot days often cause the chemicals to vaporize into the atmosphere, reducing their effectiveness. By the time fall seeding weather arrives, the chemicals are no longer active and the grass seeds will be able to sprout.

Even if you time your weed preventer and seeding periods correctly, you need to do the job right to get an even lawn with no bare patches. Apply seeds uniformly across your yard using a drop spreader on a mild fall day. Spread up to 1-inch of organic mulch over the seeds to conserve moisture and encourage germination. Water the seeds at least twice a day for short, 10-minute sessions. You do not want to wash away the seeds, but they need consistent moisture to grow. Hand pull any weeds that appear while the grass seedlings develop. Do not apply any chemicals for weed control.

You want to get one with the active ingredient “dithiopyr”, usually found under the trade name “Dimension”. 

It is a good choice  for a follow up application if your crabgrass season is stretching out and you need more protection after the Tupersan wears off. 

Weeds on the other hand, tend to be naturally tough, more resistant to assault, and more prone to find a way to survive. Plus, crab grass seeds will be at different depths and prone to germinate over a long season. 

QUESTION 2: Already Applied
Pre Emergent.  Can I Reseed?

Sta-Green Crab Grass Preventer specifies that the product can be effective up to 4 months, and recommends that you wait at least 12 weeks after application before reseeding. 

To clarify, do NOT reseed until you are certain that the weed preventer is no longer active. 

A final note, any pre emergent needs to be watered into the soil, (best within 3 days), to get it activated in the soil. Schedule your application to take advantage of a light rain (not a gully-washer) if you are not able to irrigate. About ½ inch of precipitation is usually required. 

Different pre emergent chemicals can have a residual effect that ranges from 8 − 12 weeks after application, and even longer depending on the strength of the concentration. 

( we have the generic which is cheaper FYI)I will throw this one in real quick because it’s a little different. We recommend this product for a pre-emergent application at the time of seeding. It will suppress certain weeds in your grow in. If you are new and inexperienced, DO NOT think you have to use this – your results will be ok without it. But if you do use it, people think they can just spray it anytime they want and this is not true.

First one is quinclorac . This is the first choice active ingredient that kills crabgrass that you may be seeing. If your lawn is covered in crabgrass like a carpet – especially through the middle or meaty part of the lawn, you will want to kill it off or at least stunt it really well before seeding.

So that is my first clue as to the reseed window – it comes from my experience.

ABOUT US

Use the down arrows in that window to “scroll” through all the instances where that word appears. As I did this, I found the following very quickly.

So we can see that for certain types of seedings, this product won’t cause any harm at all but we have to scroll down to the tables 1 and 4 to get the details. Table 1 is going to tell us the grass types that are “highly” and “moderately” tolerant and table 4 will tell us the timing of the applications for ANY seeding.

The formulation most of you have is the “DF” which stands for “dry flowable” which means it’s small granules that you put in water to make a solution to spray. The concentration is 75% quinclorac.

Reading The Label – Speed Zone – Red Label