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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
For those who are interested in the best lawn, read this.
on March 3, 2015
First off Scotts Turf builder lawn food with crabgrass preventer is designed to kick off the season. It does two things. One is it prevents crab grass, and two it fertilizes the lawn, and everything in it. They have a hard time developing a product that outright kills live crabgrass without killing everything else with it. The best way to stop crab grass is before the seeds turn into crabgrass. That is why it is called a pre-emergent deterrent. If you don't do it early enough to get to the seeds before they spread it is too late.
So okay this stuff works when applied as instructed. I have been using Scott’s products as well as others for a lot of years. I learned about how to do things the wrong way which is the best teacher; now people tell me I have the nicest lawn in the whole neighborhood, and it isn't a lot of work. So excuse me while I ramble on.
I live in the Northeast so the magic day around here is March 15th or very soon thereafter. That is what the pro landscapers use as the best time to get your crabgrass preventer down, and mulch your beds. Many weeds are sunlight dependent so by using a 3 or 4 inch thick hardwood bark mulch on the beds you are all but eliminating the weeding chore. Anyhow back to the grass.
Next item up for bid is the 6 week later Weed and Feed. My poison and feed of choice is the Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer with Plus 2 Weed Control (Liquid Lawn Fertilizer plus Dandelion, Clover & Other Lawn Weed Killer) 32oz. It is a spray that you attach to your hose. I need to cover 5,000 sq. ft. so I buy two of them. The advantage to the spray is that you are guaranteed to get a wet solution of it right on the broad leaf weed leaves. The granular stuff sometimes tells you to wet the lawn first, and then spread it on with the hopes of it sticking to the leaves and dissolving. With this stuff you not only guarantee that to happen you also can avoid missing areas which within two weeks shows up as a light green lawn patch next to all your dark green thick stuff.
A note of caution for those who wish to over seed their lawns. You have the right idea it is just that you really want to seed in the fall not in the spring for two reasons. One is that early grass has a tough time surviving the super-hot, and often dry month of July so it is almost a waste of time but not entirely. Secondly you can't put down fresh seed into soil that has been treated with chemical fertilizers. They are too strong. The baby shoots get burned out.
By the way don't even think about trying to grow seed in July. I tried it. I even used burlap over it in order to protect it from the suns strong July rays; it just burns it up. After removing the burlap which did the job, and now the lawn was 3 plus inches long, as soon as I removed the burlap it was burned to a crisp in one day. So between the need to get rid of crabgrass and the need to get rid of the spring broad leaf weeds your lawn it made of hot soup that burns out new seed. On the other hand in the fall when you don't even need to feed it, or better yet you are using a special formulated fertilizer for fresh lawns you can put in some quality perennial seed, and it will not only spring up, but the roots that stay warm long after the cool fall air can permeate it, and those roots keep digging deeper where the soil is moister, and warmer. So a fall seeding makes for a great lawn in the spring.
The real problem with getting a heart throb lawn is that both crabgrass, and broad leaf weeds like to hog the patch. In plain words they block out the grass from growing there. So you have to contend with that by destroying them first. What that means is that for the first year you are really dialing back by destroying all of the weeds. Then in the fall you plant fresh seed by over seeding, and don't scrimp on how much seed you use, the more you use, the thicker your lawn. Some lawns get thicker over time like the zoysia I have which sends underground roots, and in full sunlight will choke out weeds. In partial shade it helps but the weeks need to be treated if you want shaded areas weed free.
BE SURE AND READ THE DIRECTIONS to see what type of grass is compatible with any lawn product. When I was growing up a neighbor put some weed and feed down that killed all of his zoysia. He had a brown lawn all summer lawn that year.
Another tip is that if you are seeding in the spring you can use an annual grass which is inexpensive, it shoots up really fast as in one week it looks like you have a mature lawn, but it is only an "annual" so unlike the permanent perennial grass it usually doesn't survive the winter. So even if you go light on the weed killer type of fertilizer in the spring so you can grow fresh it is best to use annual in the spring, and no matter how good your lawn looks in the fall, over seed it with a good perennial seed. And when over seeding realize that no one no matter how meticulous you put down the seed is not going to have missers; you know the area that needs more seed. It is such a little bit of work to put down seed that having to go out a second time a week or two later and cover the thin areas is like next to no work at all.
When using all of this stuff be careful around your shrubbery, or any kind of plant you want to protect. I made it a habit to spray over the beds on the south side with the Scotts 6 week’s later spray and it leveled all of the weeds in the patch. But if I so much as got a tiny bit of overspray on a lower branch of an evergreen I would either snip that branch off, or give it a good rinse with a hose.
Another important thing is that after reading all of this you can see that part of a great lawn is beating back the weeds. Well when you buy grass seed different manufacturers have different levels of weed seeds right in the grass seed bag. Then harvesting the tall grass seed they can't exactly go in and weed out the weed seeds. The bags usually have the contents written on them, and what percentage of the contents contains weed seeds. Isn't that a trip? You go to all of this trouble to get rid of weeds and then buy cheap lawn seed loaded with weed seeds. Now that's funny.
I will finally say that a lot of people can't be bothered to nurture their lawns, but once you do it, and you see how relatively inexpensive the treatments like crabgrass preventer are, and how reasonably priced the equipment is, and most especially the half hour tops it takes to treat your lawn unless you are living on the Ponderosa, you will quickly develop a love for a gorgeous lawn, and wonder why everyone doesn't bother to do is.
Scotts is great stuff. Get your turf builder crabgrass preventer right away. The third and fourth week of March is right around the corner. If you put in on too late it will still feed your lawn, but once the crabgrass seed splits and starts to grow it is too late to do anything about it.
Just to wrap this up in case we got lost in the details.
Step 1. End of winter use Pre-emergent crab grass preventer and turfbuilder like this Scotts.
Step 2. Then 6 weeks later or thereabouts use a general weed and feed for broadleaf weeds when they emerge. That stuff goes right on the leaves and gets absorbed into the weeds that way.
Step 3 is to use a bug killer treatment but I have heretofore skipped that step unless I have any obvious signs of bug manifestation. Normally I just spread some dry chemical lawn food and the lawn gets thicker and dark green again instead. I'm concerned about the worms getting nailed; I like the way they naturally aerate the soil.
Step 4 is to overseed in the fall unless you already have a thick lawn then all you do is use the fertilizer only again. Some people believe that the fall feeding is the most important, but you have to balance that with needing to overseed, and seed doesn't like being overfed so you can use some baby grass feed instead which I am sure the regular grass likes it as well.
Finally get some before and after shots of your lawn so next year you can come back to Amazon and share your results. Although you don't have to worry about showing off. You'll get all the satisfaction you want just looking at it, not to mention the comments from your neighbors when walking by. The lawn is the single largest object in the appeal of the house. It makes your beds and your home look like it is wrapped in wall to wall carpet. It is probably the least expensive overall, and most significant home improvement you can make.