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I live in midwest Iowa and my lawn has started to get taken over by Creeping Charlie. After much reading, I went out and bought the Ortho Weed Be Gone to try and kill it off. A week ago I tested by spraying just a few patches in my front yard. After just a few days, it started turning brown and yellow so it appears to be killing it off, just how I wanted.

So yesterday, I went ahead and walked around my ENTIRE yard (1/2 acre) and sprayed every spot/patch that I could find. Now I'm in a wait-and-see step to see how it does.

What's the next step here? I wanted to put down the Scot's Weed and Feed because it says it will "push out" all the weeds because my good grass will grow and take over. But it says that it should only be done in late spring. Should I go ahead and fertilize with this? I don't want the spots that [hopefully] get killed off to be just completely dead, I want my good grass to come in.

Any help is appreciated!

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You must not use Scotts Weed and Feed formulation now for two reasons - one, you've already applied a weedkiller to the entire lawn, and one of the active ingredients, 2,4D, is present in both formulations, which means you'll be overdosing on the weedkiller front. Second, where you live, your first frost date is early October, so feed should not be applied this late in the year. If you finish up with bald patches, you can reseed those this year, you've just about got time - you must wait for three weeks after applying the Ortho B Gon.

There are 'autumn' (presumably labelled 'fall' where you are) feed preparations for lawns available in the UK, not sure about where you are, but they're designed to release low levels of nutrients for six months and do not contain any weedkiller. This treatment will not, however, 'push out' weeds - that claim is based on the idea that the weedkiller content in the Scotts Weed and Feed product will kill off the weeds, and the feed will increase the growth rate of the grass, so that its more likely to fill in any bald patches. In reality, if the bald patches are over 6 inches in size, re-seeding is usually necessary.

I wouldn't recommend using an autumn feed product if you are going to reseed some areas - best wait till late spring and use the Scotts Weed and Feed then instead, because the new seed will have been down long enough to withstand it.

If you feel it would be valuable, you could take a risk and apply a liquid Lawn Food immediately (something like Scotts Liquid Turf Builder), but it does mean walking over the lawn again - it's also dependent on what type of grass you've got as to whether this is a good thing to do at this time of year, but ensure that, if you do this, what you buy is simply a liquid lawn fertilizer, without any weedkillers or other treatments included. Liquids tend to feed instantly with a shorter term residual effect, when compared with granular formulations; these latter wouldn't be appropriate at this time of year.

  • thanks for the response. Sounds like I just need to re-seed, then wait for next year then. – ganders Jul 27 '15 at 14:22
  • Yup, that's about the size of it... – Bamboo Jul 27 '15 at 14:24
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Bamboo's answer is great...just wanted to add a few things. Fall is a great time to grow grasses for lawns. They'll be able to root and become established during the winter season out-competing weeds. Rake those bare spots, use a spreader to apply seed, rake very lightly again and TAMP the seed and soil. This is a good time to aerate your lawn FIRST by pulling plugs of soil out of your lawn and leaving those plugs to disintegrate on their own. Then I'd reseed with a spreader over your entire lawn. Using the spreader again, I'd get some slow-release organic fertilizer formulated for fall. Dr. Earth's lawn fertilizer is worth the extra few bucks!! I'd rent a roller you fill with water and roll your entire lawn to get the best seed/soil contact. Keep patches moist until new grass is at least 4". Next year DO NOT MOW SHORTER THAN 3". Always water deeply (6") and allow to dry (perfect indicator are your footprints on the lawn, grass doesn't pop back up). Water deeply and again allow to dry before watering again. Your lawn should be fertilized a minimum of 3X with formulations to match time of season. Aerate 1X per year, minimum. If you keep your lawn at 3" your lawn will be able to outcompete weeds by shading weed seeds preventing germination and your grasses will be able to produce enough food for themselves because the amount of topgrowth (photosynthesis) will be able to feed their genetically big/deep root systems. Any shorter your grass will always be inudated with weeds because your grass will always be stressed. Stay away from non-organic fast release fertilizers. Don't use Weed and Feed if you can possibly resist! The idea is to get your lawn so VIGOROUS, HEALTHY, DARK GREEN so it can out compete any weed! An established lawn needs watering once per week, 1" total. 3" tall NO SHORTER!! I tried 2 1/2" and did not work. Better than 2"...but at 3" all my lawns (hey, I did this for years commercially) were the darkest green, amazingly free of weeds and mowing took very little off...reducing grass stress even more. Never go longer than one week between mowings. Mowing twice a week is super! "Mulching mowers" have never impressed me...just bag clippings and use for compost! If you've got thatch...well, that's another question. Lawns are the most amazing creature most of us do not understand!

  • Read the Weed-Be-Gone instructions. There might be an amount of time you won't be able to seed because germination will be inhibited by the chemicals. Shouldn't be more than 3-4 weeks. There is plenty of time to reseed...keep that seed and seedlings moist, might take 3 or 4 light waterings each day. LIGHT waterings. Go ahead and mow on HIGH!! Get used to 3"!! Shouldn't affect your new grass on these patches...I'd mow BEFORE THE aeration, seeding, fertilizing and rolling. Allow a good week and 1/2 before the next mow. – stormy Jul 28 '15 at 1:32
  • Woah, that's alot to soak in. – ganders Jul 28 '15 at 3:31
  • What do you mean ganders? I might have missed something...lots of info to absorb and I'd be glad to clarify!! – stormy Jul 28 '15 at 3:56
  • That's just it, lot's of info to take in and process. I'll have to refer back to this for the next year to make sure I'm following fairly well. – ganders Jul 28 '15 at 4:07
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    Hmmm, well it rather depends whether you've got a life or not, in regard to how much work you put into a lawn;-)) But you are right, Stormy, a really good lawn needs a lot of intensive input. Personally, I usually settle for a pretty reasonable area of green, achieved with some basic maintenance... – Bamboo Jul 28 '15 at 9:34

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