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Lawn trying to regrow
Lawn trying to regrow  

More lawn regrow area
More lawn regrow area  
Dear Ron:
I have been hacking at my lawn with a claw hammer removing large areas of crabgrass and bermuda grass.  I planted some old seed, but I think more weed came up than seed, because there was a lot of weed seed in the mulch I put down over the seed.  I think I'll get some fescue seed at Walmart and try again.  I don't like fertilizer.  I just want the mulch/compost to let the seed come up naturally.  I hardly ever freezes here, but since it is November now, any lawn that does come up will only come up slowly.  So that's my general situation.  One questions is can I put seed over the areas where there is a lot of crab grass and expect the fescue seed to beat out the established crab grass or is that kind of a ridiculous approach.  I've heard of overseeding.  Isn't that what that is?  Or should I just keep hacking out the crab grass areas and planting in their place.  I also have a nice old plug tool and I can take plugs from the areas where the old fescue is still thick and put it into the areas where there is none.  I am trying to stay away from chemicals and being a vegetarian too, I have a gopher issue, but am loathe to kill gophers.  I know I might seem hopeless, but any ideas would be appreciated.  See attached photos.
Thanks.
Michael Roth
Riverside, CA
PS My wife just says use Scotts weed and feed and I think she might be right.  But I keep trying the organic way.

Answer
Whether you put down seed or sod or plugs, you must clean out the area and cultivate it a bit. You want to make it easy for tiny new roots to grow down and anchor the plant.
Regular and light watering is essential for the first 3 weeks or so.
Do not stop the watering program when you see the first leaves of the seedlings.
You must make quite sure that the seedlings are firmly rooted in. 8 weeks is not unusual for this to happen.
It is better to do a small area that you can handle rather than tackle the whole and have it get away from you.

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Ronald B Persaud

Expertise

Florida (Central and South) lawns maintenance and troubleshooting.

Experience

Work experience in Garden and Technical Sales (Ace Hardware and Lesco). L&O Spray Technican/Horticulturist/Tree permitting (Local Municipality). Commercial Landscape Maintenance (Condo complex and Shopping Mall)

Organizations
Past member Florida Landscape Maintenance Association (Pinellas County).

Publications
On the 'Gardenweb' under the pseudonym "Ronalawn82"

Education/Credentials
CPO certified (L&O) Florida. Hons. Graduate: Eastern Caribbean Farm Institute (now Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry), Trinidad WI.

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