A reader is wondering about combining overseeding and feeding a lawn in the autumn. overseed and feed, or feed later. Find out the answer and more … Weeds can ruin a lawn, and adding weed killer at the wrong time can ruin it. Learn how long after weed killer can I plant grass seed, to give you a great lawn Loyalty Lawn Care provides the St. Louis area with professional lawn care services.
Question: Overseeding and feeding a lawn?
I received this question in August 2017 from a reader called Max. He is wondering about combining overseeding and feeding his lawn.
I am a complete beginner with lawn care and am sorting out a neglected lawn.
The lawn was fed in mid July and is going to be fed again 10-12 weeks later as recommended on the feed bag.
I am wanting to do some over seeding and I believe September is the best time to do this. I have read though that you should feed the lawn when you over seed so my question is if i overseed in September should i feed it early at the same time or overseed and just do an autumn feed in October as planned.
Thanks for the question Max.
It seems that have a good lawn care regime and are feeding the lawn regularly. Well done.
Overseeding a lawn should not interfere with a lawn fertilisation programme. You say that you fed the lawn in July and that the feed will last 10-12 weeks. I do not recommend feeding too soon or you risk over feeding your grass.
Therefore overseed your lawn as in September as planned. It is the best time of year to get new grass established. The new grass does not need any additional feed for the first few weeks of it’s life anyway as everything it needs to grow initially its contained within the seed. However, an autumn feed in October will help it to gain nutrients to put down a good root system and stay strong over the winter.
Overseeding and feeding: Things to note
If you are planning on overseeding and feeding a lawn, take note of the following:
- Do not put down a herbicide soon overseeding your lawn. Most lawn herbicides advise leaving at least 6 weeks before application on new grass. Read the label. Avoid weed and feed mixes. New grass is very vulnerable and a herbicide applied too soon may kill it. If in doubt, just stick to feed only. Any weeds can be dealt with in the spring.
- Be careful on new grass. If your grass is not ready for mowing, it is probably not ready for feeding. New grass is fragile, so make sure it is strong enough to be stepped on before walking all over it to feed it. If in doubt, just keep off it. The grass will be fine allowing a few more weeks to toughen up.
- New grass benefits from Phosphorus. Applying fertiliser with some extra ‘P’ will help the new grass establish a good root system and aid cell division.
Follow these tips and you will have a lovely thick lawn for the following spring.
How Long After Weed Killer Can I Plant Grass Seed
One of the main things that stands out in a lovely garden is a lawn that looks lush. You can cut these on a regular basis, you can add fertilizer, and you have a sea of green that looks well-tended to and healthy.
A beautiful lawn makes a great place to spend time in the garden, for kids to play, and to hang out during the summer.
Unfortunately, there is one thing that can ruin this appearance, and that is the emergence of weeds. Treating these isn’t straightforward for several reasons.
You can find different kinds of weed killer, the time you need to apply weed killer can change, and knowing when you can sow your lawn after using any weed killer products is vital.
Getting any of these wrong can ruin your lawn, or you can find you sow your lawn, and the seeds don’t grow because of weed killer traces.
Here, we look at seeding grass after applying weed killer, and anything else you ought to know about growing a healthy and vibrant lawn.
Lawns and Pre-Emergent Herbicides
When spring comes, it is this time when weeds begin to raise their ugly heads. It is a chore that every gardener faces, and can be a frustrating one.
Tending to weeds comes at precisely the same times when gardeners want to seed their lawn to fill in any thin patches or to ensure they have good growth before the lawn mowing commences.
One of the significant issues with pre-emergent herbicides is they don’t care what plant they are sprayed on. They will prevent grass seed from growing as much as any weed.
- A natural weed killer Made from ocean salt water, commercial strength food grade vinegar and soap.
- Our non selective ready to spray Natural Weed & Grass Killer is not normally used on the lawn.
- No Mixing, No Glyphosate and No Hormone Disrupting Chemicals
How to Add a Pre-emergent Weed Killer
One of the reasons gardeners seed their lawns is that thick grass can help to retard the growth of weeds.
The weed seeds are prevented from reaching the soil, and thus, they can’t proceed with their germination.
Here we will see how you can apply a pre-emergent herbicide week killer to your lawn.
Items You Need
- Garden hose (Find the best garden hose here)
- Garden spreader
- Grass seeds that are the same as your current grass
Rake your lawn so you can remove dead grass and roots. Preemergent’s should take care of any weeds before they take hold. You need to apply this in the spring before the temperature reaches the range of fifty Fahrenheit and above.
You will need to wait for the required period before you reseed your lawn.
Check the seed packet for the over-seeding quantity.
Add half of the recommended quantity of seeds to your seed spreader.
Moving backward and forward in rows, walk across your lawn. Once you have done this in one direction, add the remaining half of the seeds. You can now spread these in a perpendicular pattern to the first to complete your overseeding.
You also need to spread a thin 1/4-inch layer of topsoil across the top of your lawn and make sure it works its way between the current blades of grass.
Take your garden hose, but be careful not to drag it across your lawn. Water your lawn to a depth of two inches. (Learn How To Plant Poppy Seeds)
Do this daily, until new grass blades grow. At this point, you can reduce watering to twice per week. The depth also only has to be one inch deep.
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How Many Times Can I Use Weed Killer on My Lawn?
The answer to this will depend on the weed killer you use. You must read the labels at the time of purchase and before use. You can find some weed killers that only require one treatment per year.
However, some single-use weed killers, you can use in combination with another. By doing so, you can treat your lawn twice in one year. Doing this does apply to the entire lawn coverage and not spot treatments.
Aside from this, as long as you select weed killers for your lawn that comes with different active ingredients to each other, you can have another couple of treatments each year.
By following these treatments, you can find you only have to do so for the first couple of years. Treatments to this extent can tackle establish weeds, and possibly form the third year onward, a treatment in September or the early fall can be all you need to do for a full treatment.
Spot weeding will be required with a spot weed killer in the spring and summer. For a well-established lawn care practice, you may see you don’t need to do an all-over treatment for several years.
If you sow feed on your lawn first, you will need to let the feed work for one to two weeks before you treat the weeds.
One other thing to do is be sure not to water your lawn after you use weed killing products. This dilutes it and prevents it from doing its job.
How Long Do Weed Killers Last in Soil?
It doesn’t matter if you are sowing grass seed, laying turf, or spot weeding. You do need to know how long weed killers remain in the soil. This can affect plants, grass seed, or anything else that is growing in that particular area.
A period will follow, where you can’t do anything. It is here the weeds should be dying. There aren’t many plants, which are hardy enough to survive a good dose of weed killer, and grass can have a much tougher time.
If there are any traces in the soil, you will find nothing will grow. It is for this reason they have designed most weed killers to evaporate within twenty-four to seventy-two hours. In theory, and if you follow the directions, it is possible to seed your lawn, or plant anything after two or three days.
In fact, by law, most of the commercially available weed killers you purchase from a local garden center are required to break down in the soil inside two weeks.
One example being glyphosate, where it can break down in a shorter period of two days or up to the maximum depending on the product.
Using Roundup On Your Lawn
One of the most common weedkillers you can purchase is Roundup. It was introduced to be a broad-spectrum herbicide.
Its aim was to kill weeds while being safe to use, and it wouldn’t remain in the soil to prevent further growth.
One of the primary ingredients in Roundup is glyphosate, which in its own right, is one of the most widely used herbicides in near enough every country.
The solution is pre-mixed, so it is a matter of spraying. This may come with a spraying wand depending on the pack, and it does help with directing the herbicide where to go.
One of the crucial things for gardeners who want to use it on their lawn is how they use it, and how often they apply it.
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How Long After SprayingCan I Plant Grass Seed?
Being a systemic herbicide, the leaves of the weeds will absorb Roundup, where it circulates through the weeds until it reaches the roots.
The manufacturers claim there is no leeching into the soil, and any of the chemicals that washes into the earth won’t last for more than 24 to 48 hours.
The issue with Roundup is it is a non-selective herbicide, meaning gardeners do need to take care of where they spray it.
If there is any wind, this can blow it across a lawn, and it will have a detrimental effect on the grass it lands, as well as where it was applied.
One thing to note is there are other Roundup products, which contain diquat, which is a pre-emergent herbicide.
If these products are used, then growth can be almost non-existent for nearly four months.
Re-seeding your lawn can be a waste of time, and you may not find out until it is too late. (Read Can Grass Seed Go Bad)
Gardeners can also apply this weed killer at certain times of the year, depending on the kind of grass they have. Along with this, you can find it affects how quickly you can get to reseeding your lawn.
If you are planting cool-season grasses or turf, the best time for doing so is in the fall or early spring. Warm-season grasses, on the other hand, you ought to plant grass seed before August or September.
If you apply Roundup in the fall, you will need to wait until the following spring before you seed warm-season grasses.
If you are planting cool-season grass, you proceed with seeding your lawn after using Roundup in the summer, in October once the weather cools.
For the most part, the chemicals found in weed killers aren’t a problem for the home gardener after they have evaporated. Most weed killers used to come with a relatively short residual life.
However, you do need to read the label, directions and warnings on the packages before use.
Manufacturers will provide instructions on how to apply the weed killer, and when you are safe to grow plants or planting grass after killing weeds or preventing weed seeds from growing altogether.
Do Not Seed in Spring Because of Pre-emergent
Whether your lawn is a small patch of grass or several acres, it’s important to take care of it properly to keep it healthy all year long. The pros at Loyalty Lawn Care know the tips and tricks to keep your lawn green. But what about grassy weeds like crabgrass and foxtail? These pesky plant pests can overtake an otherwise healthy lawn and cause problems aside from the obvious visual concerns. The best way to ensure that these grassy weeds don’t ruin the look or health of your lawn is to use pre-emergent.
What is pre-emergent?
Often used alongside fertilizer, pre-emergent is not fertilizer itself. Instead, it is an herbicide that works to prevent grassy weed seeds from germinating. The reason that it is used in conjunction with fertilizer is because the latter is an effective carrier agent for the pre-emergent to bind to. This product is often referred to as weed and feed.
Should I add pre-emergent to my newly seeded lawn?
In a word, no. Because newly seeded lawns are still germinating, the pre-emergent can affect germination in the process. More mature lawns are sturdier against the herbicide, so it’s best to wait at least 4 months after planting the lawn to apply the pre-emergent. If you are unsure about the best timeline to follow for your lawn, don’t hesitate to reach out to Loyalty Lawn Care with your questions.
When should I apply pre-emergent?
Like many things when it comes to your yard, pre-emergent has seasonality to it. It’s most ideal to apply a pre-emergent herbicide before the temperature of the top 4 inches of soil reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 5 days in a row. This translates to daytime highs of the upper 60’s to mid-70s for the same amount of time. We recommend considering a pre-emergent application in the late winter to early spring to maximize its effectiveness.
Every pre-emergent product is a bit different, but you can expect a single treatment to last approximately 3-5 months.
Can I overseed after applying pre-emergent?
While it is best to over seed in fall, after applying your preemergent, it’s important to give your lawn some time to for the product to lose its effectiveness before moving on to the next step. Therefore you shouldn’t be overseeding immediately after applying this herbicide – it’s best to wait at least 4 months between. If you must seed sooner some detailed prep work must be completed to assure you have a quality seed bed that won’t be harmed by the pre-emergent herbicide.
Have more questions about your lawn and the intricacies of keeping it green? Contact Loyalty Lawn Care with all your lawn care questions today.