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FAQs / Ask the Expert | Hewitts Garden Centers
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FAQs / Ask the Expert

Welcome to Hewitt’s FAQ page. Don’t see your question answered? Ask our expert!
Don’t forget to check out Peter’s Lawn & Garden Tips.

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How do you get rid of “creeping charlie” in your lawn?

The best weed killer to use for creeping charlie is Bonide’s Chickweed and Clover Killer. Just like all liquid weed killers, Bonide’s Chickweed and Clover Killer is absorbed through the leaves of the weed. It kills the roots too but is absorbed through the leaves. Because of this you need to apply it when rain isn’t expected for the next 24-48 hours. Naturally you won’t want to water it in so you’ll need to shut your sprinklers off for a couple of days. You also need to know that no weed killers should be used on a lawn when temperatures are expected to go above 85° of it will also kill the lawn. Adding a drop of dish washing liquid to the spray will help it coat the weed’s leaves for better contact.

Mark as helpful. 14

HOW DO I RID MY YARD OF MOLES ? HOW DO I RID MY LAWN OF GROUND IVY ?

To get rid of moles from your yard you should apply the repellent Mole-Max. It is a granular product that you apply with a lawn spreader and then water in. Once the active ingredient is in the soil, the moles can’t stand it and leave the area. This is a good time of year to use it since young moles have been kicked out by the mother mole and ore out exploring the world for a place to set up a burrow. Moles like to stay in one place so, once they leave, they’re gone. Of course the Mole Max’s effect wears off by spring so a new mole might set up shop. One application in spring and another in late summer/early fall should keep your yard mole free. Most weed killers do fine with dandelions and plantain since they have individual roots systems. Ground ivy is, of course, a vine so it is a little harder to kill and a stronger herbicide is needed. I’d suggest Bonide’s Poison Ivy and Brush Killer . You can use it on the lawn without harming the grass if you follow the directions. This is a good time to go after the ground ivy since the temperatures have backed off from summer’s heat and the soil is moist..perfect conditions for weed killing. You can find both Mole-Max and Poison Ivy and Brush Killer at your local Hewitts.

Mark as helpful. 12

We use scotts products and do as the bag says, we still have CRAB GRASS and clover what should I do ?? The weed and feed didn’t work.We purchased Chickweed and clover oxalis killer on the clover from you and it didn’t work.First priority is the crabgrass. Thanks, Pt

The directions on Scotts products are kind of vague since they have to cover a wide variety of customers. Since Hewitt’s only has locations here in the Capital District of NY. I’ll assume that you are local and give you this tip for applying crabgrass preventer in this area. The most effective way to stop crabgrass is to apply crabgrass preventer right at the end of the blossom cycle of the forsythia bush right as the flowers are dropping off (just as the lilacs begin to flower). This stops the crabgrass seeds from sprouting and since crabgrass is an annual that grows from seed each year, it is a very effective control. Very often a customer will apply their crabgrass preventer just as soon as the lawn greens up. Since crabgrass only acts on crabgrass during the sprouting phase waiting a bit and using the timing I described above will give better results. Since the crabgrass preventer form a thin film on the surface of the soil it is vulnerable to getting eroded or washed away before it has a chance to act on germinating crabgrass seeds. The opportunity to use crabgrass preventer has passed for this season so the spray is your only option at this point. Repeat sprayings will likely be necessary. The chickweed and clover killer you used will work but needs to remain in contact with the LEAVES of the weed for at least 20 hours (and longer is better). If you watered or it rained within 24 hours of your application then the herbicide was washed off the leaves and it won’t work. Remember, weed killers are absorbed through the LEAVES of the weeds. They will kill the roots but must be absorbed by the leaves.

Mark as helpful. 10

As the snow melts there are many raised trails apparent on the lawn. What causes this and is there a remedy? Also there are crows pecking at the lawn–any connection ?

The trails on the surface are from voles. Those are trail that they used over the winter to search for food under the snow. They will disappear once you rake the lawn and it starts to grow. The mole repellent Mole-Max will keep the voles away as well as the more destructive moles. Crows pecking at the lawn is often an indication that there are Japanes Beetle grubs in the soil. Those grubs eat theroots of your lawn and can cause the lawn to thin out if there are enough of them. Here’s the scoop on grub control: Controlling Grubs As usual every spring, there’s a lot of interest in how to kill those nasty grubs that have had a hand in wiping out some lawns. And, as usual, I have to tell folks that, if they had treated their lawn before the grubs hatched last August and September, they could have saved their lawn from all this damage. There’s so much confusion about grub control that garden centers will sell a much larger percentage of grub control in the spring than in summer when, logically, it should be the other way around. I’m sure that much of this has to do with the fact that the damage that the grubs do in late summer and fall isn’t visible until the following spring. The first step is to understand the life cycle of the Japanese Beetle. Let’s start at the beginning. The female Japanese Beetle, after feasting on your beans and rose bushes all summer then lays her eggs into warm sunny areas of healthy grass. The healthiest grass around is probably the sunny areas of your beautiful lawn that you’ve worked on all summer. She won’t lay her eggs in the shade since soil temperatures are too low to keep the eggs alive. Each female is capable of laying a couple of hundred eggs. These eggs will all hatch within four days after they’re laid. Are you listening? There are no grubs hatching in the spring. None. They ALL hatch in late August or September. After the grubs emerge from their eggs in late summer, they must eat and what they eat are the roots of your lawn. They eat and eat and eat and eat until they are the size that you are familiar seeing when you find them in your garden while you’re planting. As the soil’s temperature drops in the fall the grubs must burrow down below the frost line to avoid being frozen over winter. Naturally, there is nothing for them to eat down that deep in the soil so they survive on all that body fat they put on by eating the roots of your lawn. Finally in spring, the soil’s temperature begins to rise and the grubs (who are ravenous after months in hibernation) burrow their way back to the root zone of your lawn. Now the feast begins all over again. After putting on another round of body fat (compliments of your lawn) they pause and pupate; that is: they form a hard shell and begin the transformation into the adult or beetle stage of their life. They will enter this pupae stage during Early to mid-June. In mid-July the beetles emerge from the soil and the cycle begins again. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve realized that by the time you get out there in spring with your grub killer three quarters of the damage the grubs cause has already occurred. This is a classic case of closing the barn doors after the horses have run off. There’s no way we’ll ever convince the Japanese Beetles to change their habits so, we must try to change ours. The best time to wipe them out is during the hatching period in late August or early September. If you have a severe grub problem you may need to treat this spring just to save your lawn from extinction but you should try to time your grub control application so you can prevent the situation from happening again. If you find that you need to apply a grub control as an emergency measure in spring, you should pick one that is fast acting. The best choice for spring applications would be Dylox (Bayer Advanced 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus). It kills quickly and on contact then breaks down quickly once it’s killed the grubs but, since there are no new grubs hatching in spring, it is of no concern. As with all grub controls, it is imperative that they get watered-in for a couple of hours IMMEDIATELY after application. DON’T COUNT ON RAIN TO DO THE JOB! Rainfall is never hard enough to get the chemical off the surface of the soil and down to the roots where the grubs are. You must realize that all grub control chemicals begin to break down as soon as they are out of their bag. Sunlight and air both begin to strip the chemicals of it’s potency the instant it’s out of the bag. Left on the surface of the soil, it will lose about 33% of its potency every 24 hours. As soon as you put your spreader away after you apply your grub control, get the sprinkler out and soak the area with an inch of water. Use an empty tuna fish or cat food can.

Mark as helpful. 8

How to get rid of mushrooms in your lawn.

Once mushroom spores blow into your lawn they need a couple of things to grow into the mushrooms. First, there needs to be plenty of moisture available…mushrooms love dampness and won’t grow in dry lawns. In a damp year like last year mushrooms seemed to spring up everywhere. In a normal season the lawn usually dries out well between rainstorms so mushrooms are less of a problem. Very often mushrooms are a problem in a lawn that has a sprinkling system installed. Folks with these sprinkling systems seem to like to see them operate and have them set to water the lawn frequently but not very heavily. This causes all kinds of problems for the lawn including encouraging mushrooms and, worse yet, fungal lawn diseases. Properly programmed, a sprinkling system should provide 1″ of water per week in one single watering. This amount of water will penetrate at least 8″ into the soil stimulating deep root growth. It also allows the blades of the grass many day of dryness which makes it much harder for mushrooms and fungal diseases to take hold. Everyone with a sprinkling system should do a test to see how long it takes each zone to put out 1″ of water. This can be done by placing a small tuna fish or cat food can in the zone and run it until the can is full and note how long it took. Then each zone should be set to run for that amount off time just once a week. The second requirement for mushroom growth is the presence of rotting organic matter. This could be an old tree stump rotting below the surface, buried construction debris or something as simple as rotting grass clippings and leaf debris. Removing buried debris and bagging your clipping can help prevent mushroom growth. Mushrooms don’t harm the grass and are actually helping the lawn by breaking down organic matter that the lawn will eventually benefit from. The main reason to eliminate mushrooms is for the safety of small children who might eat them.

Mark as helpful. 7

HELP! Crabgrass has taken over my normally lovely lawn – and I mean taken over – it’s about 25 to 30% covered – what can I do!

The bad news is is that the best time apply crabgrass preventer is in the spring just as the forsythias are finishing up their flowering cycle (just as the lilacs are starting). There are summer crabgrass killers but they need to be applied to a wet lawn and not get watered off for a couple of days (like weed killer). Usually it takes a couple of applications for summer crabgrass killer to work. Even then, the crabgrass plants will probably already produced seed so you’ll need to apply a crabgrass preventer in spring anyway. I’d suggest that you apply crabgrass preventer for the next two to three spring to be sure you’re rid of it. Then monitor the lawn for the next couple of years since seeds may be redepostied onto your lawn by birds and such. Any digging may stir up crabgrass seeds from deeper in the soil to the surface where they’ll germinate into a new crop in that area. Crabgrass seeds buried too deep to germinate can remain viable for as long as 75 years!!!

Mark as helpful. 7

I recently purchased a home that literally has no grass in the yard what-so-ever. I would love to grow some, but I don’t know which kind would survive in our soil. I did a soil test and got a 9.0 on the pH, low levels of Nitrogen, medium levels of Phosphorus, and high Potassium. Our property has pine trees on it. It is even possible to grow grass here?

Congratulations on the new home Jade. The good news is that you can grow a lawn in just about any soil including yours. . . . The results of your pH test are a little confusing though. One would expect a yard with pine trees to have a low ph (more on the acidic side) than you 9.0 which is quite alkaline. There are a 3 reasons I can think of that would lead you to get such a high reading. The first is that the soil is clay which is very alkaline. If the soil isn’t clay then the previous owner might have been spreading lime or wood ash on the lawn without checking the ph and has overdone it. The third reason you might have gotten such a high reading is that you used tap water instead of distilled water when you performed your test. Tap water will contain minerals and chlorine both of which will make your reading come out higher than it should have. Distilled water is neutral and won’t affect your test. If you used tap water or well water then you should redo your pH test using distilled water. . . I like blends and of the blends we have at Hewitt’s, I like the Sandy Blend the best. It has 3 types of deep rooted tall fescue grass types. Tall fescues will have the best chance to grow and thrive in your difficuly area. . . . The next step in starting a lawn from seed is to turn organic matter into the area to be seeded. The more organic matter that is turned in, the thicker and more drought resistant the lawn will be for years to come. Peat moss is the easiest form of organic matter to use for improving the soil before seeding. Peat moss is capable of holding 20 times its weight of water. In very sandy soil, the addition of one 4 cu. ft. bale of peat moss per every 100 sq. ft. turned in to a depth of 6” will be necessary. This sounds like a lot of peat moss (and it is) but it is well worth the effort. For a large area, you should rent a roto-tiller to blend the peat moss and lime (if needed) into the soil to a depth of 6”. Once the soil and peat are blended together, the area should be raked smooth. This is easier to accomplish with one of those extra-wide aluminum rakes. If you can’t borrow one, a metal bow rake will do but it will take longer to get the contour you’re looking for. Next you’ll need to roll the soil with a water-filled roller to compact the soil. If you can’t borrow one, rent one. Again, if you skip this step, the project won’t come out as you’d hoped. After you’ve rolled the soil, take another look at the area to see if it is nice and smooth and has the proper contour. If not, rake and roll the area until you’re satisfied. You’ll be looking at the results for many years so take the time now to get it right. Once you’re satisfied, lightly rough up the surface of the soil with your metal rake. Finally it’s time to broadcast the seed. Consult the folks at your local garden center to determine the best grass blend for your particular soil and light conditions. For late–summer seeding, avoid cheap blends that contain annual ryegrass. Broadcast the seed evenly over the area at the recommended rate. Then roll the seed with the water-filled roller to press it into good contact with the soil. If it is a large area, you’ll want to cover it with straw. A smaller area can be covered with burlap or horticultural fabric. The reason you cover the seed is to help keep the sun and wind from drying it out while it’s germinating. After all this is done, you can start watering and watering and watering. This is the trickiest and most important part of the project. No matter how high the quality of the seed used, it won’t germinate unless the area is kept moist CONSTANTLY. It can’t be allowed to dry out, even for an hour. IF THE AREA DRIES COMPLETELY, THE SEED DIES AND CAN’T RESTART. Premium blends of fescue and bluegrass will take 2 weeks just to sprout so be diligent about watering and be patient. If you use a blend that has perennial ryegrass in addition to bluegrass and fescue, be aware that the ryegrass will sprout a week or more earlier. Even after the ryegrass sprouts, continue watering as if nothing has happened to ensure the germination of the desirable fescue and bluegrass seeds. After the young grass is up, apply a slow release winter or starter type of lawn food to stimulate quick root growth. Look for a starter food with a higher middle number (phosphorus). When the grass finally grows to 4”, mow off an inch (and no more) to promote even more root growth. In spring, apply another shot of the starter lawn food to insure that the young grass develops a mature root system

Mark as helpful. 7

When is the latest that I can plant grass seed in the fall?

The best time for this project would be mid August through the end of the first week in September. This will give the grass seed a chance to sprout in the last warm days of summer and get mature enough to winter over. While it can be done later you’re gambling a bit. It might be OK if we have a warm fall (and I beleave we will) but it still a gamble.

Mark as helpful. 7

Last year was my first spring/summer in my new house. Not ever owning a home before, I don’t know what to do when it comes to my lawn. Over the summer, a lot of crab grass took route. We applied a fertilizer in the fall. Right now, at the end of March, the snow is gone, the grass has not started to green yet, but I can just see all the dead crab grass and the lawn looks horrible. I know that I should wait to apply the crab grass preventer until when? Late April? Early May? But, what about the dead patches of crab grass that are there now? Should we plant some more grass seed? Will the new grass grow “over” the dead patches of crab grass from last season? If we should plant new grass seed, when should that be done? Thanks!

Crabgrass, unlike most lawn weeds, grows from seed that the mother plant produced the previous summer. The mother plant dies completely over the winter never to be seen again. In early spring the seed germinate and start to grow. Crabgrass preventer is an agent that dissolves and forms a coating on the surface of the soil. ANY seeds that try to sprout and push a root through that barrier are killed. The best way to time your crabgrass preventer application is to keep an eye on a forsythia bush that is growing in your yard or neighborhood. The best time to put your crabgrass preventer down is right as the flowers are falling off the bright yeallow forsythias (right as thelilacs are just opening). It is a convenient coincidence that crabgrass seeds germinate at the same time that forsythias are finishing flowering. Spring weather can be fickle but, if you use the forsythia as your clock, your crabgrass preventer will always go on at the right time. Remember that crabgrass preventer forms a thin film on the surface of the soil so make sure that all your raking is done before you apply crabgrass preventer. If you rake afterward, you will scratch up the barrier and crabgrass will be able to grow.

Mark as helpful. 7

When applying crabgrass preventer,do you water the lawn before or after applying,or doesn’t it matter.

Crabgrass preventer needs to be lightly watered after application. Rain ususally does the job. Weed killer which we apply in a month or so, wants to sit on the leaves of the weeds for a couple of days without watering. Folks get the two confused very often.

Mark as helpful. 7

Peter, We live in Ballston Spa. We are infested with ground bees. Last year we had one nest, put gasoline down it, and it was gone. This year, there are hundreds of holes, and thousands of bees. PLEASE HELP. We cannot even enjoy our yard or garden for fear of getting stung. We love our yard and gardens, but we are stuck inside. I have heard you are the expert on “just about everything” so I am hoping you can help us. Thank you in advance. Kim and Brian

There are a couple of suspects possible. Yellowjackets, which mimic bees nest in the ground. There is one entrance and all the insects would go in and out of the one hole. Yellowjackets are wasps and should be eliminated. I’d mix up some insecticidal soad in some hot water and pour it down the hole at night when the yellowjackets wasps are dormant. Trying this in the daytime would be dangerous. Mark the hole and douse it at night when it is safer. Plug up the hole with a wad of newspaper or a rock to seal them in with the insecticidal soap. There are also ground nesting bees which can appear in large numbers in spring and seem to like sandy soil. These bees stay for only a little while. They are females who dig a nest. Lay their eggs and leave. Later the eggs hatch and they fly off as well. These beneficial bees will be one to a hole but there will be many holes. Below is a description of them from this site: http://www.nybiodiversity.org/summaries/bees/species.html The majority of bees in New York State are digger bees, ground-nesting, solitary bees, such as Andrena, Lasioglossum, and Melissodes. Digger bees comprise roughly 60% of the species of bees in New York State. Species of Andrena are typical of ground-nesting bees in their life history. At the start of the active season (in the spring, summer, or fall, depending on the species) females begin constructing their nests, subterranean systems of tunnels. At the ends of the tunnels, females construct oblong cells which they line with a hydrophobic secretion produced in a gland specifically for this purpose called the Dufour’s gland. After foraging on nearby plants for pollen and nectar, they store several loads of pollen and nectar within each cell, form the pollen into a variously shaped loaf or ball, and lay an egg on it. Larvae consume the pollen/nectar provisions. When larvae complete feeding they may enter diapause (a resting stage) as last instar larvae (the developmental stage just before pupation). Most digger bees overwinter as last instar larvae. Development is completed in the following spring or summer, and adults of a new generation begin the cycle again. Some digger bees (such as Andrena, Halictus, and Lasioglossum) overwinter as adults. This is presumed to allow for the earlier adult emergence in the spring. Other important genera of ground-nesting bees in New York State include Colletes, Halictus, [mentioned above, as digger bee genus] Svastra, and Anthophora. All of these make subterranean burrows, like Andrena. Colletes inaequalis is a common vernal bee in the earliest days of spring. Females construct nests in grassy areas such as lawns, cemeteries, and gardens. Nesting aggregations can be huge (with several thousand nests) and dense (with over 100 nests in a square meter). If you are lucky enough to find these bees nesting in your yard, don’t try to kill them; they won’t sting, and they are probably good for soil aeration. They are also fun to watch! It is possible that you had some yellowjacket wasps in the one spot last summer and are experiencing a temporary outbreak of nesting ground bees. You’ll have to observe them more closely to see which it is.

Mark as helpful. 7

I live in Voorheesville. A 20’x15′ section of lawn is interspersed with obvious dead patches…i.e., no grass where there was grass last year. I dug in a few spots and found grubs. I seem to recall having this problem a few years ago and then no problem for a few years. Anyway, I would like to know when to treat and wonder if I can go ahead a reseed now? Is the damage done for this life cycle or would any new grass just get eaten up by the grubs? Thanks for taking the time to answer…

Go ahead and reseed. The grubs that are in your lawn hatched last year and will have turned into Japanese Beetles before they are a problem for the new grass. You need to treat with Imidachloprid (Bonide Annual Grub Beater) in July. Apply and water in gently with 1″ of water…don’t think rain can do the job, it won’t. Imidichloprid needs to go on in July so it has time to get absorbed into the lawn’s roots before the tiny new grubs hatch in mid August through September. Applied in July and properly watered-in, Imidichloprid will kill 98% of the grubs that hatch. They are tiny when they hatch and easy to kill then before they do any real damage to the roots. You need to apply Imidichloprid every July. Another option is Milky Spore Disease. You apply that twice a year (now and late August) for three years. After that it reproduces itself every year but infecting each new grub hatch. I’m conducting 2 free lawn care seminars today (5/15) at our Guilderland store at 11 AM and 2PM. If you have an hour you’ll learn everything you need to know to take the confusion out of grub control and all other aspects of lawn care.

Mark as helpful. 7

My lawn has a lot of purple violets (I think that is what they are) What can I do to get rid of them? Thanks

Bonide Weed Beater Ultra will take care of the violets in the lawn. Here’s a link to my recent blog post that explains how to use lawn weed killers. http://ourgarden.freedomblogging.com/2011/05/11/waging-war-on-weeds-2/5705/

Mark as helpful. 7

what is the best time to control grub and which product I can use

The best time to apply grub control is once a year during every July.  The product we sell for this is Bonide Annual Grub Control.  It MUST BE watered in immediately with 1″ of water (a lot of water).  Don’t count on rain or a quick spray from the hose to do the job.  Left unwatered, the grub killer breaks down quickly and won’t work.  You put the spreader away and get the lawn sprinkler out.  Put a small tuna fish or cat food can in the area and, when it is full of water, you have properly watered in the grub killer.  If you have a large lawn, do it is sections to insure that the grub control gets watered in quickly after application.  Failure to properly water in grub control is the reason many folks don’t get it to work…always read the directions on the product package and, more important, follow them.

Mark as helpful. 7

Is there anythings to put on lawn that will kill ticks and fleas and not harm the dog?

The best way to treat for fleas and ticks is to use the drops on the animal itself. I use Frontline. The only non chemical flea and tick control is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is like shards of glass on amicroscopic level. It cut the insects and they die. It is harmless to humans and animals when used on the lawn. Here’s a link to an article about using diatomaceous earth for fleas and ticks. http://www.ehow.com/how_2070717_rid-fleas-yard-naturally.html Remember fleas and ticks don’t like the hot, sunny areas of you lawn. They lurk in the cooler, shady areas so focus your efforts there.

Mark as helpful. 6

Best way to grow grass in shade?

Make sure you pick the right blend for shade.  Hewitt’s Super Shady Blend is made of grass types that thrive with no direct sun at all.  Here’s a link on how to get the seed started.  Once it is established, it should be pretty self-sufficient.  If it is growing under a shallow rooted tree like a Maple tree, it may need some extra watering during the hot part of summer since the tree will be hogging so much of the moisture from the soil

Mark as helpful. 6

I am wondering what the wide blade grass is that pops up in my lawn every year about this time. It is a lighter green and seems to grow faster than the rest of my lawn, it will take over large patches. what can I do to prevent this or get rid of it? Thanks, Nate

The bad news is that it is crabgrass. The good news is that it is easily controlled. The bad news is is that the best time apply crabgrass preventer is in the spring just as the forsythias are finishing up their flowering cycle (just as the lilacs are starting). There are summer crabgrass killers but they need to be applied to a wet lawn and not get watered off for a couple of days (like weed killer). Usually it takes a couple of applications for summer crabgrass killer to work. Even then, the crabgrass plants will probably already produced seed so you’ll need to apply a crabgrass preventer in spring anyway. I’d suggest that you apply crabgrass preventer for the next two to three spring to be sure you’re rid of it. Then monitor the lawn for the next couple of years since seeds may be redepostied onto your lawn by birds and such. Any digging may stir up crabgrass seeds from deeper in the soil to the surface where they’ll germinate into a new crop in that area. Crabgrass seeds buried too deep to germinate can remain viable for as long as 75 years!!!

Mark as helpful. 5

HOW DO I GET RID OF THE HUGE NUMBER OF ACORNS THIS YEAR?

Sorry, there’s no good answer other than to rake them into piles and shovel them up. Oaks will produce an extra heavy crop of acorns every 3 to 5 years and this looks like an “on’ year. Worse than all the acorns is the population explosion of destructive chipmunks that has happened due to all the easy food available. Peter Bowden

Mark as helpful. 5

Can you spread grass seed in November so it will germinate in the spring? I planted a new lawn in a shadey area in mid August, and the germination wasn’t what I had hoped for. I chose a shadey mix seed (mostly fescues). I wondered if I were to spread some seed in November on the sparse areas, if it would sprout in the spring. I also wanted to know if it would help to put down fall fertilizer now, or is it too late. I did use a starter fertilizer when I planted the seed in August. If I can put the seed down in Nov., should I mulch it with straw, or isn’t it necessary?

Yes, you can put seed down in November (the later the better). This is called ‘dormant overseeding. The seed will get pounded into the soil by snow and rain and sprout naturally when the soil warms in spring. There’s no need to use a starter food on the area until the grass sprouts in spring. If you are seeding bare ground then a layer of straw will help hold the soil in place over the winter. If there is already some grass there then there is no need to mulch with straw.

Mark as helpful. 5

how do you get rid of creeping Charlie???????????????????

To kill ground ivy (aka creeping Charlie) you need to spray it with Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  Make sure to spray it when it isn’t going to rain within 24 hours or longer.  The longer the spray remains in contact with the leaves, the better it will work.  This will be an ongoing battle if your ivy infestation is come from the neighbor’s yard.  Since it is a vine, it will always try to come back so repeat applications will be required.  Make sure to read and follow the directions on the package.

Mark as helpful. 5

Mr. Bowden [on TV] stated that when cutting the lawn the mower deck should be approximately 4″ above the ground. At least that is how I interpreted it. Did I mis-understand? It was in reference to the dry period we had without rain. Thanks,

Yes, in my garden segment (which you can find on my blog here: http://ourgarden.freedomblogging.com/ I suggested letting the lawn grow to about 6″ and then mowing it back to 4″ during the hot part of summer. These taller blades will shade the soil below preventing it from overheating. If the soil temperature goes to above 85° to 90° for three or four days the roots start to die. In mid August or so when rain gets more regular and the high heat of summerwanes we can go back to letting the grass grow to about 4″ then mow it back to 2 1/2″ to 3″ to encourage side growth and thickening of the lawn through fall.

Mark as helpful. 4

is compost from the colonie landfill good for repairing a lawn?

Thanks for your question John, Yes, the soil (compost) produced by the Town of Colonie will be fine for use on your lawn. The PH is a little high but that will come down quickly.

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Peter: I have a squirrels nest high in the tree in my front yard – so I have tons of busy squirrels coming and going ! Unfortunately they love digging little holes in my lawn and my potted flowers! Is there anything I can do to prevent this? Thank you !!

On the lawn you can use Mole-Max.  It repels moles of course but no rodent will dig in soil that has been treated with it.  That will take care of the burrowing for about 6-8 weeks… long enough for them to find somewhere else.  If they return in late summer/fall to bury nuts, another application will be needed.

 

On the surface of the gardens and on your pots you can use a spray of Bonide Repels All.   It is the smell that repels them.  You notice a slight garlic smell when you spray but that isn’t noticeable once it dries.

Both these products are considered organic but, as always, read and follow the directions and warnings on the labels.

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How do I get rid of brown spots in my lawn?

The answer to this will depend on what is causing the brown spots. Brown spots in your lawn could be from something as simple as a female dog peeing on your lawn or it might be one of several fungal diseases…without seeing it, it would be impossible to diagnose. In the case of a dog being the problem you’ll have to prevent the dog from peeing on the lawn. If this is impossible then keep an eye on the dog and, once it finishes peeing, hose down the area with at least a couple of gallons of water. This will dilute the urine to the point that it won’t burn the grass plants. As far as brown spot caused by diseases, you’ll need to first identify the disease. Here’s a good site to help with that: http://www.american-lawns.com/problems/sick_lawns.html You should also bring a sample of the brown patch into Hewitt’s and let one of our experts identify it and the proper solution…usually a high nitrogen lawn food or a fungicide. Make sure the sample includes the transition zone from healthy grass into the diseases area. The folks that usually have an issue with fungal lawn diseases are folks that have an underground sprinkling system that is set up to run for a short time each day. A damp lawn is the perfect breeding ground for fungal disease. Your sprinkling system should be set up to provide 1″ of water per week all at once. This will soak the soil at least 8″ deep promoting a stronger, deeper root system. This also allows the lawn to enjoy extended periods of dryness which makes it far less likely that a fungal disease will be able to take hold. To figure out how long a sprinkler zone takes to put out 1″ of water, place a small tuna fish or cat food can within the zone and let it run until the can is full. Then reset the system to run that zone just once a week for as long as it took to fill the tuna fish can. Do the same for all the zones and your lawn will be better for it and you’ll use way less water and save money on fungicides too.

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How do I get rid of voles? As the snow melts I see they’re ruining my lawn. Any suggestions?

You can apply Bonide’s MoleMax when the snow melts again. MoleMax is a repellents that will gat rid of voles and moles which are a bad problem every spring.

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Peter: Can I apply grub killer like Bayer Advanced and milky spore at the same time? Also can I plant new grass around the same time? Thanks Dick

You shouldn’t use chemical grub control if you are using Milky Spore. As the grubs are killed by the MS their decomosing body leaves the disease in a new spot. Over time the entire lawn carries the MS disease so grubs that hatch catch it and die reproducing the the disease every year. If the grubs are killed by chemical grub control they can’t spread the disease. Grub controls have no effect of starting grass seed.

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Peter, My daughter lives on New Scotland Road in Albany and her grass is coming up in large areas as white in color-no green. This seems to be covering more area than last year. I noticed other homes in Albany with the same problem. The grass is thick but no green color. As I said it’s “white” grass. What is this and what can be done to correct it? Last year, we put turf builder on the area(beside the Scott’s 4-step) and it seemed to help, but in the fall and now it’s noticeable again. Help! Thank you. Susann

I see one of these lawns every day on the way to work. This happens when the lawn is seeded with a single type of bluegrass (I think it is a stran called midnight). For this grass type this is nornal. Feeding helps a little but it is the nature of that grass to do this. I’d suggest introducing a blend like Hewitt’s Sandy grass seed blend to add fescues to the lawn. The easiest way to do this is by dormant seeding…put the new grass seed on the lawn in November. It will get pushed down to the soil over winter by snow and rain and sprout on it’s own in spring. If you overseed now, you’ll have to treat it like a brand new lawn which means watering constantly to keep the seed moist constantly. Dormant seeding is much easier.

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I have ‘creeping charlie’ throughout my lawn- first time ever. Is there a way to get rid of it? Too much to pull out.I’m ready to ‘weed and feed’ for dandelions. Will that take care of charlie?Thanks,Judi KozlowskiMelrose, NY

Weed and feed works well against dandelions and other “single weeds but a vine like Creeping Charlie requires a stronger liquid weed killer like Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  This needs to be sprayed on the leaves of the weeds (it will kill dandelions as well) when night temperatures are 45° or higher and when rain isn’t expected for at least 24 hours…the longer the better.  Weed killer enters the plant through the leaves.   Creeping Charlie will probably take a couple of application to kill and regular applications to keep it a bay in the coming years.

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What can I do to rid my yard of nutsedge? A few plants have turned into many plants in several locations.

We sell HiYeild Nutsedge control for this Nutsedge is difficult to control…it may take several applications.  HERE’S a great link with all the details.

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We have a ton of ticks. Our yard is large. What can we use..powder or spray that can help control them? I have heard of plants like peppermint, geraniums and lavender, but it would not be easy to put these in.

We sell Bayer’s 24 hour lawn insect control…it will take care of the ticks as well as ants and other insects.  Just read and follow the directions.  It is granular and is applied with a lawn spreader.

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hey peter just wondering what can i put down to kill off crabgrass this late in august and also is there something i can do to stop the neighbors weed filled lawn from creeping into mine? ( its a shared part of lawn between houses and powerboat in the development) i know its late in the season to kill it but its a thing that came out of nowhere since they neglect their lawn badly. thank you james

There are crabgrass and weed killer combination sprays available for you to use this time of year.  The best way to deal with crabgrass is to use a crabgrass preventer in spring right as the first lilac flowers are opening.  Since crabgrass come fresh from seeds every year (the mother plant dies forever over winter) crab preventers are the best way.  If you apply corn gluten a couple of times a year, this will stop all seeds from germinating in the area…the effect of corn gluten gets stronger as you repeat the applications.  For established weeds coming from roots, the weed killer spray is the way to go until the corn gluten takes over.

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We live in Niskayuna in sandy soil and have grubs in every shovel full of dirt. I heard there are organic grub controls that get applied in June. Can you suggest something.

You are probably thinking of Milky Spore.  HERE’S a link to a blog post all about grub control and the third one mentioned is the one you’re interested in.

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Peter, its me Laura! Hows the office looking? lol two questions…I have literally thousands of tiny hills with one entrance hole all throughout my lawn…. is that from beatles emerging from last years grubs? two.. I have bent grass and want to know the easiest way to get rid of it…. can i kill it with a herbicide, rake the heck out of it and reseed or does if have to be dug up? HELP????

Laura, If The Beatles are emerging from your lawn then you need to start selling tickits!!!! Seriously though, there are several insects that could emerge from the soil as they go from the pupa (cocoon) stage to the adult stage. Japanese and European Chaffer Beetles are among those insects but there are also other beetles wasps and bees that also do this. The fact that there are ‘Thousands’ leads me to believe that it probably Japanese or Chafer beetles that caused this in your lawn. Naturall you’ll want to apply your grub control this month (July) so thre next generation of grubs will be killed when they start hatching in August. To get rid of bentgrass you’ll need to kill it and reseed in mid-august. You can spray the area with Kleen-up then rake off or dug out the dead grass. You could also cover the area of bent grass with clear plastic and anchor the perimeter with rock or something heavy so the plastic is sealed to the ground. The sun will heat the air under the plastic so high that the grass dies. You’ll still neeed to rake off or shovel ot the dead grass before reseeding.

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I seem to have skunks digging for grubbs. It appears to be near an ash tree. Does the ash tree attract the beetles. any solutions?

Ash trees can be eaten by Japanese Beetles but so are many other plants.  If you want to treat for grubs, that is best done by applying Bonide Annual Grub Control in July followed immediately by 1″ of water.  If the grub control isn’t watered in with an inch of water right away the chemical will break down and not work.  Don’t count on rain or a light spraying with a hose to do the job.  Set up a lawn sprinkler and put a small tuna fish or cat food can in the area.  When the can is full, you have applied enough water.  Here’s a link all about that.

In the meantime, an application of MoleMax to the area will keep the skunks and any other rodents away from the area.

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I am looking for a groundcover called bishop’s weed, would like seeds. the area I need to cover is too large for pots to be affordable.

Sorry, we don’t stock Bishop’s Weed since it is considered invasive.  If you see some in someone’s yard, they’ll probably give you all you want.  However, you may regret the day you turned it loose in your gardens.

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Is it too late in the season to plant the grass seed I never got around to planting?

You need to get this grass seed down and start watering it THIS WEEKEND  (9/13-14).  You should have plenty of time to get it established before freezing weather but you need to get cracking.

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I am growing a moss backyard but weeds are growing also. If I increase the acidity of the soil, (how best to do this) would it kill the weeds without damaging the existing moss?

No, increasing the acidity (lowering the pH) will not kill the weeds.  Most weeds tolerate or even prefer a lower pH.  The best way to control weeds will be by physically removing them or by misting the leaves with a liquid weed killer when it isn’t expected to rain for at least 24 hours.  You can lower the pH by applying sulfur to the area but I wouldn’t do that.  If the moss is doing well, it will create the level of acidity it prefers on its own over time.

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weed and feed spring

Yes, late spring…Here’s a link all about that.

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We have grubs in our front lawn and they have killed it totally. What should we do?

You’ll need to apply Bayer 24 Hour Grub Control right away and water it in with a full inch of water from your sprinkler…don’t think a quick spray or rainstorm will do the job.  That will kill the grubs that are in your lawn now that you should’ve killed last year.  Then you’ll need to re-seed the area and keep it moist until the lawn is up and established…about 6-8 weeks.   Here’s a link about lawn seeding…it was written for end of season seeding but the procedure is the same.  Then you’ll need to treat for the grubs in July with Bonide Annual Grub Beater.  This will kill the grubs as they hatch in August and September.  This kills them before they do all the damage and you won’t ever need to treat in spring again as long as you continue the July treatments every year.  Here’s a blog post all about the proper time and way to treat for grubs.

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my question also have to do with browning. this is a new lawn that i was so excited with because until now, i have not had a lawn for some years. i followed the directions on seeding and watering, making sure it did not get dry. the seeds sprouted and i havent cut it yet. now it is starting to brown. should i stop watering it everyday? will i lose my lawn yet again?

Yikes!!! Stop watering it every day! The requirement for constant moistness is for the grass in its seed form. Once it sprouts you can stop watering it every day. Sure, the lawn only has tiny roots but you need to encourage those roots to go down into the soil to get moisture. Let it dry out and only water when it starts to look wilty. A really good idea would be to apply a grass starter lawn food like the Fas-Start that we sell at Hewitt’s. This food will feed those roots to help get the lawn established. Aplly and water in the starter food on a cooler day or apply it before a cool rainy stretch. Don’t feed your lawn (or any lawn) during a warm spell where temperatures can go above 85°. In other words, take a break from watering and let that new lawn enjoy some dry weather and sunshine so it can grow.

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Good morning – This morning I woke up to 5-6 “dead spots” on my lawn all around the same area (under a tree). It literally happened overnight. I do have 2 dogs, but they don’t spend any time in the front yard so I ruled out pet damage. The only thing I can think of is either insects or fungus. I attached a picture – would you mind offering some assistance on how to kill and prevent it from happening again? The only thing different I have done with my grass since the weekend is water it. heavily. The last watering was on Monday, for about 3-4 hours starting at 8am. This is actually the only time I have watered it all summer. PH and other nutrients are at good levels and I aerated it in the Spring of 2009. Any ideas? Thank you so much for your help, Robert

Robert, Considering the time of year, the speed of onset and the fact that you recently watered the area heavily, I’d suspect that you have an outbreak of Summer Patch’ which is a fungal disease. Here’s the address to a Purdue University pdf file describing the disease and suggestion on what to do about it. . . . www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/BP-115-W.pdf . . . It looks like your watering may have played into the hand of the disease and that’s why it appeared so suddenly after your watering. We have a couple of fungicides ‘Bayer Lawn Disease Control’ and Bonide’s ‘INFUSE’. Both have the same active ingredient ‘propiconazole’. These products can cure many diseases but with summer patch it is suggested that it be used starting in mi-May as a preventitive. In your case I’d start using the Bonide Infuse since it is in a throw away hose-end sprayer. A liquid application will get deeper into the soil and get at the disease at the root level. This should prevent the disease from spreading too much farther. Make sure to start using Infuse as a preventative in next spring May as suggested since you know you have the disease present in your lawn. Peter Bowden

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Peter – I had some patches of lawn in my back yard in Glenville which has low spots which have been filled in. Some typical weeds are growing in – so its “green” for now but I’d rather have grass. What is the protocol for fall planting of new grass – i.e. when to seed, when to fertilize, use a rye for 1st year growth or go with regular seed r mix of both?. Areas are partly shady with sandy soil with one area under 60 foot pine trees.

The shorter, cooler days of late August and early September make it the ideal time to make permanent improvements to the condition of our lawn. Turf experts agree that this is the best time of year to start a lawn from seed. This is the best time to tackle this project but the window of opportunity is a small one so don’t put it off. The first step in starting a lawn from seed is to turn organic matter into the area to be seeded. The more organic matter that is turned in, the thicker and more drought resistant the lawn will be for years to come. Peat moss or peat humus are good choices. Peat moss is capable of holding 20 times it’s weight in water. In very sandy soil, the addition of one 4 cu. ft. bale of peat moss per every 100 sq. ft. turned in to a depth of 6” will be necessary. Peat moss must be turned into the soil so the soil will retain moisture where the roots are growing. This sounds like a lot of peat moss (and it is) but it is well worth the effort. For a large area, rent a rototiller to blend the peat moss into the soil to a depth of 6”. Once blended, the area should be raked smooth. This is easier to accomplish with one of those extra-wide aluminum landscape rakes. If you can’t borrow one, a metal bow rake will do but it will take longer to get the contour you’re looking for. Once the area is raked smooth, tamp the soil down with the back of your shovel. For a large area, you’ll need to roll the soil with a water-filled roller to compact the soil. If you can’t borrow one, you can rent one. Again, if you skip this step, the project won’t come out as you’d hoped. After you’ve tamped or rolled the soil, take another look at the area to see if it is nice and smooth and has the proper contour. If not, rake and roll until you’re satisfied. You’ll be looking at the results for many years so take the time now to get it right. Once you’re satisfied, lightly rough up the surface of the soil with your metal rake. Finally it’s time to broadcast the seed. Consult the folks at Hewitt’s to determine the best grass blend for your particular soil and light conditions. Broadcast the seed evenly over the area at the recommended rate. Most folks overdo it and put down way more grass seed than is necessary. Finally, tamp or roll the area to press the grass seed into good contact with the soil. If it is a large area, you’ll want to cover it with straw. A smaller area can be covered with burlap or horticultural fabric. The reason you cover the seed is to help keep the sun and wind from drying it out while it’s germinating. Now the tricky part After all this is done, you can start watering and watering and watering. This is the trickiest and most important part of the project….here’s why. No matter how high the quality of the seed used, it won’t germinate unless the area is kept moist CONSTANTLY.It can’t be allowed to dry out, even for an hour. If the area dries out completely, the seed dehydrates and dies and it won’t restart. If that happens you’ll have to buy more seed and start all over again. Premium blends of fescue and bluegrass will take 2 weeks just to sprout so be diligent about watering and be patient. If you use a blend that has perennial ryegrass in addition to bluegrass and fescue, be aware that the ryegrass will sprout a week or more earlier than the other two. Even after the ryegrass sprouts, continue watering as if nothing has happened to ensure the germination of the desirable fescue and bluegrass seeds. Finish up with a good meal After the young grass is up, apply a slow release starter lawn food to stimulate quick root growth. Starter foods should have a higher middle number (phosphorus). Phosphorus stimulates root growth, and that’s what’s needed for a new lawn. The stronger the root system, the quicker the grass gets established and the better it will come through winter. Avoid high nitrogen lawn foods on a newly sprouted lawn. It will stimulate excess blade growth that the young root system will have a hard time supporting. The roots are the foundation of your new lawn. Just like building a house, you need to start from the bottom up. Keep the young grass tall but mow frequently When the grass finally grows to 4”, mow off an inch (and no more) to promote even more root growth. In spring, apply another shot of the starter lawn food to insure that the young grass develops a mature root system before summer heats up. By midsummer your new lawn should be well established, and you can start feeding and mowing it in the same manner as the rest of your lawn.

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My husband and I are having serious differences about when is best to give the lawn its first raking. I think it should be when all frost danger has passed — he says NOW! Who is right?

There’s no reason I know of to wait to rake the lawn until after the danger of frost. I have to agree with your husband. You can do a better job with less effort if you rake he lawn before it starts to grow so get crackin’! You two must have a great relationship if this is all you have to have a serious difference about 😉

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I want to spread fast acting Lime-when is it a good time and do I water it in?

You can spread lime anytime and you can water it in if you wish or just let the next rainstorm do it for you.

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I am somewhat confused about when to apply grub control on a lawn, Moles are active now and it was my understand to apply lime in the fall to kill grubs. What product should be applied now (spring) for control of moles and other insects that want to eat my lawn?

I am somewhat confused about when to apply grub control on a lawn,

The best time to apply grub control is in July…”apply in July when the beetles fly”.  Here’s a link that explains grub control.

Moles are active now

Treating for grubs may discourage moles but moles also eat earthworms so, using grubs control doesn’t automatically mean your moles will move on…they won’t.  The way to rid you lawn of moles is to use a mole repellent like MoleMax.  Here’s a link that describes methods of mole control.

 

and it was my understand to apply lime in the fall to kill grubs.

Sorry, lime doesn’t kill grubs (or anything at all) but is used to correct soil acidity.  A pH test should be done before applying lime.  Here’s a link to all you need to know about soil pH testing and lime applications

What product should be applied now (spring) for control of moles and other insects that want to eat my lawn?

The only insects to possibly be concerned about are ticks and ants.  These aren’t a problem for your lawn but, if you want to treat for them there’s this.

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How do I get rid of Bermuda grass without killing the other grass in our lawn?

Bermuda Grass isn’t something we have here in USDA zone 5 of upstate NY so I have no direct experience with it.  Iyt appears that there is a spray available that will control it without harming your other turf grasses.  It is made by Bayer  HERE’s a link.

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About 3 months ago we moved into our new house. We sodded the yard with st Augustine grass. We have had more wasps in the yard that I can ever Remember. Is there something I can use that is pet friendly to rid the yard from them

I’m not familiar with southern turf problems but it sounds like you might have Digger Wasps.  HERE’S a link to more on them.  If they are Digger Wasps then you’ll want them to do their thing since they are actually helping your lawn.  If you can identify the wasp, that woud be a great help since many of the are helper and not hurters.

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Should the grass be cut long or short on the last cut before winter.

Short during the cool damp days of spring and fall..long during the hot, dry days of summer.  The last cutting can be a low mow…2″ or so.

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Do acorns affect one’s lawn?

Acorns will slightly acidify the soil and cause nutrients to be unavailable to the plants.  Regular testing for soil pH levels and applications of limestone can overcome this.

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does bonide crabgrass and weed preventer kill clover

Crabgrass and weed preventer prevents weed seeds from germinating but won’t kill clover or any weed that is coming up from and established root system.  As the name implies, it is a weed “preventer” not a weed “killer”.   To kill established clover and other lawn weeds, you’ll need Bonide Chickweed and clover KILLER.  It will need to be applied when the weeds are actively growing…usually mid-May or so.

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My pool cover was spread out on the grass to dry. The side of the cover on the ground was the side that rested in the water (and pool chemicals). Needless to say, the grass is now brown. What should I do to the ground in order for the grass to regrow in that area?

It may have been the pool chemicals but more likely it got so hot under there that it overheated the grass and top layer of soil and cooked the grass to death.  Now you’ll need to rough the area up with a rake and reseed and feed with a starter lawn food.  Keep the area constantly moist until the grass is well established and keep it mowed no lower than 5″ all this summer.  Next spring you can start treating life the rest of your established lawn.  I would dry the pool cover on the driveway next time.

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Peter : i have a patch of my back lawn that turns yellow in the fall the last 2 years. I do not think that the grass is dead because it turned green again in the spring. any ideas? Thanks.

There some grass deeds that were popular in the 1980s, the “midnight” strains of bluegrass, that do this.  they also look dead in spring until they green up in late May.  I’d consider overseeding the area with a modern blend so you have a green lawn early and late in the season.  I’d suggest our Sandy Blend.  You can use a little trick called “dormant overseeding”…read more about that HERE.

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Peter – I need to start using organic lawn fertilizers and foods for my yard due to the fact that I’m getting Mason bees for pollination and fun. What do you suggest for a yard of about 5000 sf.

That’s great!  We sell just what you need.  Espoma Organic lawn food as well as Organic Foods for all your landscape plants.  HERE’S a link to their lawn food line and you can explore their site for the rest from there…great, high quality foods.  They’ve been making this stuff for a long time….my favorite organic nutrients.

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Hi Peter. I have recently applied scotts turf builder weed n feed. Do I have to wait to apply mole max and scotts green max. Thanks

There is no problem applying Mole-Max after lawn food.  We don’t sell Scott’s Turf Builder or Green Max so you should probably ask the folks where you bought that about that.  We sell a much better lawn food made to our specifications…you should check them out…the Country Estate line of lawn food and grass seed products…much better than Scotts.

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Peter, crabgrass has completely overtaken our lawn in Latham. Are we better off letting it die this fall and then dormant seeding in the late fall or putting down a crabgrass killer now and then waiting 8 plus weeks to seed?

The best plan would be to get you grass seed don now and water it as need to get it up and established now before winter.  Then, in spring, you can use crabgrass preventer and your new grass will be mature enough to withstand the crabgrass preventer.  If you wait until Nov./Dec. to dormant over seed, the crabgrass preventer will also prevent your over seeded turf grasess from sprouting as well.

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Besides the grub killer in Step 3, is it a good idea to treat your lawn with grub killer early spring if you know there are grubs?Thank you

There should be no reason to treat for grubs in spring if the July application was done correctly.  Failure of the July treatment can usually be traced to a failure to properly water in the application right after application.  Sadly many people water lightly or count on rain to water in their grub control.  There is a spring treatment but most of the damage is already done and you’ll need to apply in July again anyway.  More on grub control HERE.

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Hi Peter, we have recently applied step one of the Country Estates four step program. We have some bare areas and wanted to know if we put down grass seed, will it take? Thank you!!!

No, the crabgrass preventer will also prevent the grass seed from growing.  I’d wait a couple of weeks for the crabgrass preventer to work then rough up the area and put your grass seed down.  Roughing up the surface of the soil disrupts the crabgrass preventer barrier and will allow your turfgrass seeds to germinate.

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why can’t I buy Ortho Nutsedge killer in New York?

Probably because it is in a pre-mixed spray…illegal in NYS.  We do sell a nutsedge killer…not the Ortho brand that is legal but you’ll have to mix it yourself.  Always read and follow the directions on the label.

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We moved into our house 5 years ago and, at the time, we were pleased to see a large area of established raspberry plants all along the back of our yard. At the time, we did not realize how weedy and overgrown that patch was. Every year, we spend hours weeding. We have given up and decided to get rid of them. What would be the best way to get rid of the raspberry patch and plant a new lawn in its place?

Ugh.  You should get out there now and chop them to the ground.  They will put out lots of ne leaves when it warms up.  Sometime in early June, spray the area with Round-up (follow the directions on the container) to kill everything in that area.  Wait another month and, if more shoots come up, spray the area again.  Once you are sure they are total dead you can rototill the area and rake out the roots of the dead berry plants.  In early September, you should get your grass seed started.

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Each year, after the snow melt, the dinner plate to garbage can sized brown spots become more numerous. This year, after raking out, it actually killed the grass. I have determined it is snow mold (white fuzz on top). Aside from the ridiculous suggestion to shovel the snow off the lawn (internet!), what can I do to prevent this next spring? I have a lawn service that fertilizes and I mow the grass to about 2″ in November. Thanks!

With all the late and heavy snow we had this year, it isn’t surprising that the snow mold is bad.  Our damp, cool April is lending a hand to the snow mold as well.   Raking to fluff up and dry out the lawn break up the white fuzz is a great idea.  Keep an eye on those patches, they will often fill in quickly once the weather warms up and dries out.  If they don’t then you may need to repair the spots with some grass seed.  Naturally raking the lawn in fall will help and you may want to skip a fall feeding.  I’m not a fan of feeding a lawn any later than the first week of September.  Late applications of nitrogen will benefit the mold.  Here’s a link to some information you should find helpful.

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Hello,My lawn is in terrible shape due to moles/ voles. Last fall I put down mole max, but we still have moles. I thought that I had read that I needed to treat grubs I order to get rid of them, so a couple of weeks ago I put down a product you had suggested Grub Buster I believe. I watered well. Then, today I was reading your column and I guess I need to apply Mole Max again? Help! I’m confused.P.S. I do plan on using the Milky Spores at some time as an organic treatment for grubs. When should I do this? Can it be put down at the same time as the Grub Buster?Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

MoleMax doesn’t last forever so it needs to be applied every year and now (Sept) is a good time. Moles do eat grubs but they also eat other insect larvae and earthworms too so getting rid of Japanese Beetle grubs doesn’t automatically get rid of moles..that’s what the annual treatment of MoleMax is for.  This (Sept.) would also be a good time to get started on your 3 year program of applying Milky Spore…more on that HERE.

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when is the best time to put down crabgrass preventer in CT

Same as it is here…right as the forsythias flowers are falling to the ground which is right as the very first lilac flowers are opening.  Use these two shrubs a your clock…not a date on the calendar.  That way your timing is correct no matter whether we have an early (like 2012) or late (like this year) spring.  Trust the forsythia and lilacs in your area. Here’s a link to blog post all about that.

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Im concered about my beagle and putting herbicides on my lawn. I heard that corn gluten is a safe product to use on your lawn that will not harm dogs? Is that true. Thanks PTF

Corn Gluten is certainly safe for the dog.  However, corn gluten is a weed preventer not a weed killer.  It will prevent seeds from germinating.  Weed seeds, crabgrass seeds…all seeds including good grass seeds will be prevented from germinating.  It WILL NOT kill existing perennial weeds, like dandelions that are growing from an already established root system.  For those, you’ll need to use an actual weed killer.  Liquid sprays are the most effective.  We sell Weed Beater Ultra.  This is a spray that you’ll spray on the leaves of the weeds.  It is absorbed through the leaves of the weeds only.  It kills the roots but has to enter through the leaves.  It is still too early to use weed killer sprays (4/30/14)…it is a little too cool still.  Night time temperatures want to be 45° or above for the weed killer spray to work.  Since it is absorbed through the leaves, it needs to remains in contact with the leaves for at least 24 hours.  Don’t water after application and don’t apply when rain is expected within 24 hours.  These liquids are safe for pets as you don’t let the dog walk on the lawn while the spray is wet.  I’d keep the dog off the treated area until rain has washed the weed killer into the soil.  The nice thing about the liquid spray is that you can treat the lawn in sections and don’t bother spraying areas where there are no weeds.  As always, always read the label before using and follow the instructions to the letter.

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i live on a busy road in glenville, several years ago i planted spruce trees to allow for privacy, they have since overgrown. i would like to replace them with something that might cut down traffic noise and leave some privacy (on front lawn), is there anything you might recommend? would veriegated dogwood shrubs work? thank you!

Sure, variegated dogwood can make a nice privacy barrier but it loses its leaves in the winter so it will only be a seasonal barrier. If this is OK with you and the area gets full sun then you should also consider weigela, spirea, lilacs, burning bush and a whole host of spreading flowering shrubs that can make fine hedges. If you’d prefer a year-round barrier then there are arborvitae and upright or spreading junipers. If you wish to keep the spruce trees, you could prune off the lower branches and plant spreading junipers to fill in below for a very dense barrier.

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Had a company come out a few weeks ago and put down fertilizer mixed with crabgrass and weed control. It’s it okay to plant grass seed now (to fill in empty patches where moss once was)? Will the pesticides keep the seed from germinating?

The crabgrass preventer barrier on the soil should be gone by now.  When you rough up the area prior to seeding, that will make it impossible for what’s left of the barrier to hinder the seed.    Get that seed down right away!

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The recent draught has been tough on my lawn. I am interested in overseeding my lawn. From what I have read clover is the way to go, and white clover is superior to the red variety. Clover fixes nitrogen, is heat tolerant, and it resistent to pet spots. What do you say? Please describe the optimal procedure for overseeding with the variety of seed that you recommend.

While we are having a hot summer and there have been many extended periods of dryness, your lawn shouldn’t have suffered much damage if you’ve been mowing properly. As June winds down, make sure you start raising your mower’s blade. By July (our driest month) you should have a lawn 4″ to 5″ tall and only mow it back to 3″. This keeps the soil cooler and the lawn will come back just fine. As far as clover is concerned, you are right in all you say…it can be a great addition to a lawn as long as you like it. The only other thing to take into consideration are the clover flowers. While you might like the flowers be aware that they will attract bees. If you have small children or someone who live there or visits regularly who is allergic to bee stings then you’ll want to think twice. I’d broadcast the seed really early spring right after the snow melts. Spring rain will pound the seed into good contact with the soil and it will sprout with the first warm weather in late April or early May. You can also use this procedure for grass seed. I always like to suggest Hewitt’s Sandy Blend since it has deep rooted tall fescues as a majority of the blend. Modern tall fescues are fine bladed but deep rooted for better drought resistancy.

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I bought some country estate winterizer fertilizer and have a republic ez rotary spreader and need to know what setting to use. (its the same as the old ortho rotary). thanks

Joe, As it happens, I still have one of the old Ortho rotary spreaders. On the Country Estate Winterizer (and all CE foods) you’ll see a setting for a Cyclone spreader. That’s the one to use and the setting for Winterizer is 3 3/4. Thanks for your question.

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My front lawn has been taking over about 75% by crabgrass so I am starting from scratch and going to reseed. I also had a problem with grubs. I have thatched the lawn to get up all the dead crabgrass but a couple of weeks ago I put down weed and feed as well as Grub and insect control. I plan on putting down 1-2 inches of new topsoil as well as fertilizer. Since this is my maiden run at this my question is will the weed and feed keep my lawn seed from growing? Thanks.

I hardly know where to begin Doug. My best advise is to send you to Hewitt’s to talk to the manager about your project. I wouldn’t do a thing untill you have the new soil in place. Then put your grass sees and starter food downand start watering to get the seed to sprout. If you cover crabgrass seed with 2″ of soil then it won’t sprout anyway. I’m not sure what grub control you used but the best time to treat for grubs is during July with Bonide’s Annual Grub Control. The weed and feed was put down WAY too early so the weed killer won’t do anything and isn’t effective against crabgrass anyway. Crabgrass Preventer is made for that. The answer to your question is: No, your weed and feed won’t keep your lawn seed from growing since you’re covering it with 2″ of soil. Before you go any further with your lawn, you need to learn more about it since you are wasting a lot of time and money applying the products improperly or at the wrong time. Either visit one of the Hewitts and have the manager there set you on the right course or come to one of my lawn care seminars. Here’s the schedule: http://www.hewitts.com/meetpeterbowden.html

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Is there any plant or product short of putting up a fence that will act as a deterrant for neighbors dogs from doing their business on my lawn and killing the grass. I am in the process of reseeding and don’t want all of our hard work to go to waste. Thanks.

“Fences make good neighbors.” There is a dog and cat repellent that can ‘help” dissuade the dogs from using your yard. It is called “Go Away Rabbit, Dog and Cat Repellent” by Bonide. It is a combination of white pepper, cinnamon oil and Thyme oil. You’ll apply the product around the perimeter of your yard so they will smell it and go the other way. Problem is they’ve already claimed your yard as their dumping ground so the product might not work as well as you’d hope. Also, rain washes the repellent away so you’ll need to reapply frequently. A fence would be the only sure fire way to solve this problem. In the meantime, if you see the dog peeing on the lawn, soak the area down right away with a couple of gallons of water. That will dilute the urine enough that it won’t harm the grass.

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My yard is being over run by wild oregano how do I get ride of it.Thanks for your advice.

Any broadleaf plant growing in the lawn can be killed with a lawn weed killer such as Weed Beater Ultra. If it is growing among other plants or shrubs it will need to be pulled up. Twice a year applications of corn gluten will keep seeds from sprouting in the future.

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What is the best thing that I can do at this time of year for grub control? Are there some products that are more eco-friendly?

The only eco-friendly grub control is Milky Spore Disease. Milky Spore is a disease that only affects white grubs. It won’t hurt earthworms or even a bird that eats a grub that has the disease. Milky spore needs to be applied two or three times a year for three years to reach “epidemic” proportions in the soil. Milky Spore is best applied in spring and fall and must get watered in heavily right after application just like the other grub controls. After that the grubs that hatch into your lawn will contract the disease then die reproducing the disease and spreading it throughout the soil. Milky Spore is more expensive up front but will last at least 20 years once it takes hold. Not a bad investment really. Over the years it will actually save you money to say nothing about the time you won’t need to spend spreading chemicals and running sprinklers.

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I want to overseed my lawn and I have both sun and shade areas. What is the best type of seed to get? I was in the EG store and saw sun, shade and sturdy grass seed. Which would be best? Also, my lawn was treated about 1.5 weeks ago and won’t be treated for another few weeks. Can I seed now? Thanks.

I would use Country Estate Sandy Mix which is a blend of fescue grass seed. Fescues grow equally well in Sun, Shade, Sand or Clay. Fescues have very deep root systems, which make them tolerant of drought. Ask the Store Manger for seeding and fertilizing intructions, and most important, be sure to water daily until the seedings being to sprout.

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bouht 7 yards of top soil so I could cover roots and reseed barespots. there is a lot of stones and glass chips in soil. will I be able to grow grass?

Try to rake out as much of the glass and stone that you can. If this is not possible, I would try to put down a layer of clean sifted topsoil and then proceed with your overseeding. I would still be leery of letting little ones or dogs run on your lawn dependent on the size of glass involved

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Do cherry blossom trees weather well here in new Latham. If so do you have the ability to get them.

Cherry Blossom Trees do very well in the Capital District area, and Hewitts’ carries a couple of different varieties. Weeping Cherry and Kwanzan Cherry are among the most beautiful flowering Cherry Trees, with long lasting blossoms, provided that we dont get a drenching rain storm. Any one of our locations will have these trees in the spring. The weeping variety will sell between $80.00 and $150.00 apiece, while the Kwanzan sells between $30.00 and $75.00 dollars. These trees carry the Hewitts’ Lifetime Guarantee as well. We are currently running our end of the year clearance sale, where you might be able to locate one of these trees at a deep discount, however, they are not covered by the guarantee..

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What’s the difference between weed preventer vs weed killer?

Weed preventer like Preen or Corn Gluten prevents weed seeds (or any seeds for that matter) from germinating but will not kill existing weeds that already have a root system.  Weed killers DO kill existing weeds but won’t stop seeds from germinating later.  There are weed killers on the lawn that will kill the weeds but not the grass and there are plant killers like Round-up and Kleen-up that kill ANY PLANT that they are sprayed on including your lawn or flowers…use these with caution.

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I have recently had a large maple tree removed from my lawn. I got a little impatient and decided to sod instead of seed. I usually put down a weed n feed from the dandelions. The sod has been on the ground for two weeks and I have noticed the sod has started to grow a bit. Can I put down the weed n feed on the new sod or should I hold off?Thanks… Seth

The weed and feed won’t hurt the sod although there probably aren’tany weeds in the sod so you don’t really need a weed and feed there.  A starter lawn food like our Country Estate Winterizer/Seed Starter blend would make more sense.  Also, it is still too cool (5/6/14) for weed and feed to work…it is still too cool for the weed killer to work…we want night time temperatures to be hovering around 45°- 50° before applying weed killer liquid or weed and feed.

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do you have sod and do u deliver it i would like 30 pieces delivered to albany zuo cide 12208 tu

Yes, we do stock sod.  Deliver will be up to the store you are purchasing the sod from so inquire about that when you go to make the purchase.  There is an additional delivery fee.

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My neighbors tree is always dropping some sort of seeds from it now I have which looks like forms of little tree like stems in my yard. What is this and how can I rid my lawn of them

Assuming it is tree seedlings, they will probably be killed simply by mowing them.  Certainly spraying them with a lawn weed killer like Bonide Weed Beater Ultra will wipe them out.  Make sure to spray them when rain ISN’T expected for at least 24 hours after you spray the area.

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trying to get rid of voles. Any vole poison?

I never advise poisoning voles since you are also going to poison anything that may feed on the dead vole.  This would include cats, dogs, owls, hawks, ravens and other carnivores.

 

I’d suggest using a repellent like Bonide Mole-Max to drive them from the area.  It works quickly.

 

You can also bait regular mouse traps with peanut butter and place them in the vole pathways and kill them that way.

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Do you carry a lawn fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio

No.  By law, you will not find a lawn food with any phosphorus (the middle number) for sale in New York State.  The closest we can come to your formula would be the Espoma Lawn Food 18-0-3

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Is clover a bad idea? We’ve tried for years to get grass to grow in our lawn. Long story short, it only works in some areas, not all – and so we have some beautiful sections of lawn surrounded by small patches that don’t grow. We’re sick of spending the time/money to keep trying and just want something low maintenance instead. Would clover work? Or should we assume if the grass won’t grow, the clover won’t either? Thanks

Clover is often used in difficult location.  I have to wonder why you haven’t been able to grow grass.  Perhaps the soil is very acidic and you need to do a soil pH test and apply lime.  Even clover will struggle to grow in the area if the pH is very low (high acid).  Before giving up I’d do a pH test to see if that is a problem.

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Is the any type of reliable treatment you can put on you lawn to minimize or even eliminate ticks?

You can minimize ticks in your yard with an application of Bonide Ant, Flea and Tick Killer.  Make sure to follow the directions.  There is no product that can totally and forever rid your yard of all ticks.

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est grass seed or sand

A blend of turf quality tall fescue like you’ll find in our Country Estate Super Sandy Grass Seed Blend

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Is there anything to put on lawns that kills ticks but does not harm pets?

Bonide Ant Flea and Tick Killer will work and is safe as long as you read and follow the directions on the label.

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I aerated and overseeded this past labor day weekend, 9/1/14. I used the Country Estate mix with Ryegrass, two types of fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass (I think it was the Sturdy Mix). This particular area had been hurt by snow mold and a lot of voids were created that resulted in crabgrass over about a third of this particular area. I pulled a lot of it to create room for new seed prior to aeration. I’ve been watering three times a day since (for a minimum of 20 minutes each time). Some grass has definitely come up (the Rye did right away) and there is certainly an improvement, but many of voids and bare spots are still somewhat bare, with just a blade or two of grass here and there. It’s now 10/2/14 and I was hoping for a slightly better result. I put some starter fertilizer down right away and we also have a lawn care company who put some more down a couple of weeks later. The beginning of September was unseasonably cool, but warmer weather has happened in the last couple of weeks. Could this have something to do with a delay in germination? How long does it take to see the full result of fall overseeding? I’m hoping the moderate amount of new grass germinated is taking good root and spreading underground preparing to wow me next year!

All the seed you put down should have sprouted by now.  It sounds like you watered it plenty…possibly so much that the seed floated around into some areas leaving others without seed.  Hopefully the lawn care company didn’t use any weed killer with the lawn food application as that will kill young grass as well.  In either case that was way more feeding than necessary.  You can over seed the area in spring in late April or early May is it still seems sparse.  The small plants you see now will each become a much larger patch of grass as they mature.

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My front yard is infested with ant hills and crabgrass. What do I do to eliminate both at the same ensuring they will not return. Also what do you suggest I do to start a new lawn. Thank you laurie

You can kill the ants with Bonide Ant, Flea and Tick Killer.  Crabgrass requires the use of crabgrass preventer for a few years to prevent the crabgrass seeds from germinating.  It is a little late to do that this year since the seeds have already sprouted.  You can use a crabgrass killer spray but that is not as effective.  There is no real “forever” solution to these problems.

HERE’S a link to all about starting grass from seed.  The blog post is from last August but the procedure is the same.  Get to your lawn seeding right away.  The longer and hotter the days become, the harder it is to keep the seeds watered and moist.

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Hi Peter,Is it too late (September 13th) to kill grubs this year? Should I just wait until next summer? Thanks for your advice!

This late in the season you’ll have to resort to the contact killer from Bayer called 24 hour Grub Control.  Apply it and water right after with 1″ of water…don’t count on rain, it wont be enough.  Next year apply Bonide Annual Grub Control in July and water that in with an inch of water.  It is more effective that the contact killer and is a safer chemical to use.

 

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Where can I purchase extra strength vinegar locally in the Capital District Area?

No where that I know of.  I assume you are wanting to use it for killing plants.  Since 20% vinegar is much stronger than food grade vinegar, it generally not available to the general public.  You might try searching for it on the internet if you are really set on using it.

We do sell an organic plant killer from St Gabriel Organics called BurnOut II.  I is a combination of Citric Acid and Clove Oil and will kill plants much like Round-Up does.  Make sure you’re not using this product on the lawn since it kills everything it touches…weeds or grass.  Make sure to read and follow the direction on the package since, organic or not, it must be used correctly to be safe.

 

 

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When do I put insect control down?? When do I put grub control down???

Insect control for ants fleas and ticks can be put down anytime as needed.  Grub control is best put down and watered in with 1″ of water in July.  HERE’S a link to a blog post all about grub control.

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ground ivy

To kill ground ivy (aka creeping Charlie) you need to spray it with Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  Make sure to spray it when it isn’t going to rain within 24 hours or longer.  The longer the spray remains in contact with the leaves, the better it will work.  This will be an ongoing battle if your ivy infestation is come from the neighbor’s yard.  Since it is a vine, it will always try to come back so repeat applications will be required.  Make sure to read and follow the directions on the package.

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I have a weed that I haven’t found on the internet, and I have no idea what it is, and what would kill it, is there any way you could identify, it for me?Thank you, Carolyn

Call the nearest Hewitts and find out when the manager will be there and bring in a sample for them.  They can then suggest option for killing it.  If you can send a good picture and description of it and where it is growing to peterb@hewitts.com  I’d be happy to assist.

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How do I get rid of crabgrass all under and around my full grown Nelly R Steven Hollies?

I’d spray the crabgrass with a product from St. Gabriel’s Laboratories called Burn Out.  It is a blend of Citrus and Clove oils.  It will kill anything that you get it on the leaves of so be careful with it.  Spray when it is not breezy.  Read and follow the directions on the label.

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I have Red Thread on parts of my lawn and am told it is because of a lack of Nitrogen in the soil. Is this true? I have a lawn care company fertilize my lawn, shouldn’t they be applying enough Nitrogen Based Fertilizer to prevent Red Thread? This never happened when I had a different company fertilizing my lawn. Also do you do ph and Nitrogen soil testing? Thank you.

Yes, timely applications of nitrogen can eliminate red thread.   You should talk to you lawn care company to see what they have applied and what they plan to apply.  I’d have to assume they’ve been applying nitrogen.

We sell test kits for testing pH and soil nutrient levels but do not perform the tests.

 

Here’s link to a good fact sheet on red thread:

 

https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/BP-104-W.pdf

 

 

 

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hi my lawn has turned like hay looking all dried out and has a yellowish white color to it all in the last month while i was away i cant figure out what happenedto it .i cut it just before i went away . wonder if grubs are eating my lawn.there are no extreme bare spots either . can you tell me anything i should know ?any lawn eating diseases that i should know about that could bedestroying my lawn? thank you so much please email me back at tjhgram@aol.com

It is tricky diagnosing lawn diseases without seeing the problem or knowing whether the lawn is in sun or shade and other environmental conditions.  HERE’S a link to an overview of the common lawn diseases.

 

To me it sounds like you might have an outbreak of Powdery Mildew.  This is based on your mention of “yellowish white color”.

 

If this turns out to be the case, I’d suggest applying Bonide Infuse fungicide using the instructions on the label of the product.

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red thread

Red thread is a lawn disease

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I recently bought a home and half of the front yard had no grass and tons of weeds and crabgrass. I rotatilled and planted new seed and layed Scotts starter fertilizer. The grass is grown great but now there’s still crab grass and clover growing back in. Is there any thing I can use to get rid of it and not harm the newly grown grass.

The thing to do would’ve been to use the starter food with crabgrass preventer that will prevent crabgrass from germinating but not your lawn grasses.  It costs quite a bit more but prevents your problem from happening.  The best thing to do at this point would be to let it all grow all summer.  You can use Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer on the area once temperatures are correct again in September (used now in the eat and on young grass it will kill the grass as well as the weeds).  Then, next spring, apply Hewitt’s Country Estate Lawn Food with Crabgrass Preventer when the lilacs are just starting to flower to prevent the crabgrass from returning.

 

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What is the best way to kill clover in my yard without harming my dogs. They both eat grass but the clover has taken over on almost my whole yard.

You’ll need to spray the area with clover with Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  You’ll need to spray where rain isn’t predicted for a couple of days.  The killer needs to sit on the leave of the clover and other weeds for at least 24 hours to work.  It kills the roots but is absorbed through the leaves.   After the two days, you can water the area heavily which will wash the herbicide into the soil.  Since your dogs eat the clover, I’d keep them off the lawn for  the week and a half or so that it will take the herbicide to kill the clover.

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How do you get rid of low red moss or some kind of low growing flowers

If it is moss then you’ll need a moss killer.  If it is a low growing flower the an liquid weed killer spray should do the job.  I need more to go on that what you’ve provided.

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Can I use iron sulfate to reduce moss in lawn with acidic soil?

Iron (or ferrous) sulfate is the active ingredient in many lawn moss control so the answer is “yes”.   This will not correct the conditions that allowed the moss to take hold so there is more you need to do to get your lawn to thrive in that area or the moss will bounce right back.

 

You’ll need to do a pH test to see how much lime you need to counteract the acidity that has built up in the soil.  HERE’S a link about pH testing.  You’ll need to rake out the dead moss and then put down some grass seed to crowd out any moss that attempts to re-establish itself in the area.  This is the perfect time to start grass from seed.  HERE’S a link to more on that.

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I have an accu green drop spreader. According to the instructions on the bag of Country Estates Winterizer I should use a setting of 4.5. It doesn’t seem that this applied anything to my lawn. Is this setting correct?

I’m not familiar with the setting on that spreader.  Your CE lawn food should be applied at the rate of 4 lbs./ 1,000 sq. ft.  The instruction manual that came with the spreader should give you a setting for that rate.

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Peter, I have a growing patch of yarrow in my front lawn. The previous owner had a flower bed, and had planted this. I thought it would eventually just fade away with time. WRONG! Spreading, and hardy 🙁 Please advise best way to rid lawn of this. I heard I was hard to get rid of. Rotterdam, NY

You can kill yarrow with any good lawn weed killer like the Bonide Weed Beater Ultra that we sell.  It is too hot right now to apply it (late July).  Wait until mid August when it gets below 80° in the daytime before you use the weed killer.  If you spray during hot, dry weather, the weed killer may kill the grass as well.  Also make sure that the lawn is well hydrated before you spray since a dry lawn can also be damaged by weed killer.  Once you do spray make sure it doesn’t rain within 24 hours of application and don’t water the lawn for at least 24 hours after.  Read and follow all the directions on the product’s packaging.

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(Help!) Thanks for all the educational online info. I’m trying to restore a lawn that was neglected for far too long. After recently applying much weed killer, I’m left with many bare spots and some dead grass on a sandy/sunny front lawn in Ballston Lake. The pH level is currently 6.0. I want to apply lime in the next few days (late July) to bring the pH up to 7.0, then plan to scatter seed at about mid-Sept. After reading about making sure to get the lime deep, I’m wondering whether I should just roto-till everything after applying the lime. What would you recommend?If roto-tilling would be best, have you any helpful tips about how to avoid buried cables whose approximate locations are known?Many thanks!

For the lawn, a surface application will be fine especially since your pH is close at 6.0  40 lbs. of pelletized lime per 1,000 sq ft should do the trick.  I’d suggest our Super Sandy Grass Seed Blend whether or not you have sandy soil…it is great in any soil.  It is a blend of grasses that can put roots 2′ deep into the soil making it very hardy and drought resistant once it is established.   Keep the seed moist the entire time it is sprouting and getting established and use a good starter food…the best is our own Country Estate Winterizer/seed starter.    Your plan and timing sound good.

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Good evening. Does Hewitt’s still carry the Nematode spray for the end of a hose? My daughter has pets and her lawn is being dug up by the neighborhood skunk and moles. I assume she must have grubs. When is a good time of year to treat this problem?

No, nematodes have been found to be ineffective in controlling grubs this far north.  Her best be is to apply Milky Spore, a non-chemical control 2 time a year for 2 years starting now.  Make sure to water it in with an inch of water right after applying the product.  We do sell milky Spore at Hewitts.

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I have bent grass on my lawn and want to know the best way to get rid of it and if after getting rid of it should I put down sod? Do you actually do this work and if so how much?

You’ll need to kill the bentgrass with Round-up spray and till the area before the sod goes down.  Sorry, we don’t do landscaping or lawn work.

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When is the best time of the day to water the lawn?

Very early in the morning so the water can soak in instead of evaporating away in the heat of the day.  This also lets the lawn dry out during the day so it doesn’t have wet blades overnight.  Wet blades are the perfect place for fungal diseases to take hold.  When you water, water heavily.  You lawn needs an inch of water a week all at one time..more on that HERE.

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My entire back yard is crab grass. What do I have to do to get a decent looking lawn. We have sandy soil. Thank you!

I’d suggest seeding the area with a good grass seed now.  Water constantly to get the seed to sprout among the crabgrass.  Then, in spring, apply crabgrass preventer at the right time to stop the crabgrass from returning.

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When is the best time to put winter lawn seed down?

HERE’S A LINK to a blog post all about late fall/winter lawn seeding…called “dormant overseeding”.

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what’s the best way to get rid of bent grass? i have an area of about 3′ x 10′ of it in my front lawn

You’ll need to kill the bentgrass with Round-up spray and till the area before starting grass from seed or laying down sod.

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Peter – Is it too late to apply Bonide Grub Beater? Thanks. Joe

Joe, you are at the ragged edge of being too late.  Apply it this week (8/18) and water it in right after application with 1″ of water…don’t even think rain will do the job for you…it won’t.  It is best to apply in mid-late July.

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Hi Peter,What is the best fertilizer to use in early fall and then again in late fall?Thank-youmromano63@yahoo.com

Country Estate Lawn Food.   One application between now and the end of the first week of Oct is all you’ll need.  Let the lawn rest after that without excess stimulation from another feeding.  Late feeding stimulates late growth that is more susceptible to damage from freezing.  Feed now then let the lawn rest.

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how to deal with moles

The best way is with mole repellent…HERE’S A LINK to a blog post all about mole control.

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what to use for grubs milky spore

Here’s a link to everything you need to know about grub control.

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How can I get rid of the clover taking over my yard?

Mow the lawn taller to discourage it but to wipe it out you’ll need to spray it with a clover killer like Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer

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Will granular crabgrass preventer kill ferns or hydrangea bushes?

No, all crabgrass preventer does is prevent all seeds from sprouting or germinating.  Plants coming from an already established root system are not affected.

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Hi Peter. Last summer my lawn, which for years has been quite well shaded and in clay soil (Rexford), seemed to dry out and turn almost white – looked like hay. This occurred during very hot weather and while we had some trees removed from the yard – which now gives the lawn more sun. We tested the soil and applied lime to raise the pH – but it didn’t seem to help. Now that the snow is melted, there’s been no improvement. Most of the front lawn looks like matted down dead hay! Any ideas what this may be or how I can find out what it is?

The types of turf grass types that grow in shade will have a hard time in full sun.  I’d suggest overseeding right away with something more suited for full sun…something like our Sandy Grass seed blend.  It is the best for sand or clay…difficult soils.  You’ll need to keep the area moist constantly by watering lightly once or twice a day (when it doesn’t rain.for the next month while the new grass gets established and, when it sprouts, feed it with a good starter lawn food like our Winterizer/Seed Starter Food.

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It looks like something has gone crazy under my lawn .With tracks about 2″ wide with no grass on. Is something eating the grass roots?

If the tracks are under the lawn in the soil as you say, then it is probably moles.  If these tracks are on the surface and have only become obvious since the snow has melted then it is voles.  Either way, an application of Mole0Max rodent repellent will chase either pest out of the area.  Neither of these critters eat grass roots though.  The voles might have nibbled the blades off but the roots are fine and the grass will grow back quickly.  Moles don’t eat plants, just earthworms and soil grubs.

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We are fairly new to working with a lawn, and while we recognize there are some issues with ours, we don’t know what we should be doing to it and the timeline in which we should be these things. We have crabgrass and dandelions, as well as grubs and a few bare patches. Plus, we’d just like to have a full, green, beautiful lawn! Can you provide a first-timer’s guide to fixing a neglected yard – maybe even with a calendar for applications? Thank you!

Here are some links to blog post that should help you get a handle on lawn care through out the season.

These are in order from spring through fall.

 

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/the-real-step-1-of-lawn-care/6197/

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/time-to-wake-up-the-lawn/6224/

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/waging-war-on-weeds/683/

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/grub-control-apply-in-july-when-the-beetles-fly/6389/

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/wise-weed-control/6419/

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/a-cool-time-for-lawn-work/6433/

 

 

 

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looking to see if you carry pink flamingo lawn decorations in my area?

None in stock right now but, if you drop in to any store, they can order as many as you’d like and have them for you in a week.

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Now that the snow is melting I’m seeing clumps of dead grass in piles on my lawn in some area, that resemble grass clippings from a lawnmower. Most of the areas are where large piles of snow were made from the snowplow. Below that the soil looks relatively bare, in these areas but that could be because it’s only March. Is this fairly typical? Should new grass come out in these areas once spring finally springs?

Plow damage..pretty commom.  If the grass has been scraped off with the roots attached then those bare areas won’t come back.  I go through this every spring.  Once things thaw out, move the sheets of sod that the plow scraped up back to the bare area and lay them flat to cover the bare area.  It will start growing again as soon as the weather warms up…grass is pretty tough.  If there are still some bare areas left, just sprinkle some grass seed on those area to fill in.  You can do this any time now…cold and freezing won’t harm grass seed.

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Is it time to spread Crab Grass Preventer?

The best time to apply crabgrass preventer is when the forsythia flowers are falling to the ground which is the same time as the first lilac flowers are cracking open.  keep an eye on those shrubs and your timing will always be correct…more on that HERE.

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I am spreading Bonide grub and insect killer on my lawn. what settings would i set my spreader, which is a Swisher 10272. The manufacture recomends 1.2 to 1.8 lbs. per 1000 square feet of lawn.

Your owners manual for thjat spreader will give you setting for spreading a material (in this case grub killer) at 1.5 per 1000 sq. ft.  You grub control should actually be applied in July, not now…WAAAAY too early to do anything at all.  More on grub control HERE.

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The roots on our lawns rate very shallow. When the dog runs he skuffs up pieces of the lawn. The lawn has always been like this. Tried fertilizers last year but this spring same problem. What can we do to solve this problem.

About the only thing you could try would be to introduce a deeper rooted type of grass like tall fescue…this is our Hewitt’s Sandy mix.  Of course you’ll have to keep the dog off the area for a few weeks while the grass get itself rooted in and established.

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We have a large patch of lawn where our little dog urinated during winter. What is the best way to green that back up and get it healthy again? It is so unsightly and not merely a small “spot.” Thanks for any advice.

If the area doesn’t green up when the weather warms, you’ll need to rough up the area and reseed.  Id suggest our Sandy blend (whether the area is sandy or not) for a good durable lawn.  keep it well watered, never letting the seed dry out until it a well established section of lawn.

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I have grubs and crabgrass in my lawn. Should I treat the grubs first and then the crabgrass? Thanks.

It is currently too cold to treat for either.  Once the lawn greens up and seems to be growing, that will be the time to treat for the grubs…grubs you should have treated for last July.  Apply 24 Hour grub control and water it in with 1″ of water (yes a LOT of water) them apply Season Long Grub Control in July and water that in with an inch of water.  Without the heavy watering, neither of these grub killers will work.  Then treat every July to kill the grubs as they hatch.  More on that HERE.

 

Likewise it is too early to apply crabgrass preventer.  Learn how to time your crabgrass preventer HERE.

 

There is no problem using grub control a crabgrass preventer within a few days of each other.

 

 

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When should I fertilize my lawn for the first time?Should I use a crabgrass killer at the same time?When should I use a moss kill?Does lime help “kill” moss?

You can feed your lawn anytime but I’d suggest waiting until it is greening up on its own. This insures that the soil is warm enough for the lawn to take advantage of the food. If you want to use a lawn food/crabgrass preventer combo product then you’ll need to wait until the lilacs are just starting to flower to apply that. More on that HERE. Moss likes acid soil so ongoing pH testing an lime applications will help keep moss from getting started but, once it has, lime can’t kill it. More on pH testing HERE. Here’s a link to more on using moss control…something that should be done in the cooler days of late April/early May,

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Will weed and feed kill fleas?

No…it feeds the lawn and kills weeds not bugs.

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Is it time to put down the fertilizer in this area. Schenectady

You can feed the lawn but it is too early 4/17/15) to apply crabgrass preventer or weed killer  More on that HERE.

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Is it a good time now to apply lawn food plus crabgrass preventer? And any restrictions? Ex. After rain, before rain, wind, etc.

It is still too early for crabgrass preventer (4/17)…HERE’S a link to all you need to know about timing your crabgrass preventer.

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What product can we use to get rid of moss spreading throughout our lawn?

When it warms up a bit, apply a moss killer to the area according to the directions on the package.  Once the moss is dead, rake it all out to expose the soil.   Next, do a pH test and apply the amount of pelletized lime that the test indicates to get the soil to a pH of 7.0 (neutral).  The reason to moss got started is because the soil was never checked and lime never applied.  Put down grass seed to fill in the area and keep it moist until the seed sprouts and then apply a starter lawn food to the area.  In early fall, check the pH of the soil again to make sure you lime application in spring got the pH to 7.0…apply more lime then if necessary.  Check the pH every couple of years and apply lime as necessary to keep the soil pH at neutral (7.0).

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We have three dogs and our grass in the yard needs some serious help. We have a lot of brown spots. Can you recommend anything???

Where the dogs pee the urine is so concentrated that it kills the grass.  If you see them pee and you soak the area with a couple of gallons of water right away, the urine will be diluted and not harm the grass.  The dead spots will need to be roughed up with a rake and reseeded or replaced with sod.

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Peter, I live in Schoharie, is it too early to apply the crabgrass preventer? You talked about the forsythia bush…are they in bloom yet?Thanks for your feed back…love your comments on tv.

Chances are that it is still too early in Schoharie (4/20/15)  The forsythias should start blooming this week but you need to wait until the end of the flowering cycle to apply your crabgrass preventer  More on that HERE.

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how do I get rid of moss in my lawn

When it warms up a bit, apply a moss killer to the area according to the directions on the package.  Once the moss is dead, rake it all out to expose the soil.   Next, do a pH test and apply the amount of pelletized lime that the test indicates to get the soil to a pH of 7.0 (neutral).  The reason to moss got started is because the soil was never checked and lime never applied.  Put down grass seed to fill in the area and keep it moist until the seed sprouts and then apply a starter lawn food to the area.  In early fall, check the pH of the soil again to make sure you lime application in spring got the pH to 7.0…apply more lime then if necessary.  Check the pH every couple of years and apply lime as necessary to keep the soil pH at neutral (7.0).

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middle to late summer last year grubs than moles took over the lawn, the planting beds and did a lot of damage. How and when do I treat the lawn and planting areas to get rid of the grubs/moles? Jmjoe6151@gmail.com

As you have found out, getting rid of the grubs doesn’t automatically get rid of the moles since they eat earthworms as well.  You should apply MoleMax now and then in September then every September so you don’t have therm every spring.  More on Mole control HERE.

Grub treatment should be applied in July followed immediately by getting watered in with 1″ of water…a very heavy watering.  If it isn’t watered in, it doesn’t work…this is where most people screw it up.  Don’t think rain or walking around spraying the lawn is enough…it isn’t.  More on grub control HERE.

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What is the best grass seed for a heavily shaded area in the Rotterdam Junction area? Thank you.

Hewitt’s Shady Blend of grass seed…needs no direct sun at all.  All winter hardy perennial grass seed in the blend.

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PeterI have many large maple trees in my yard and under them I have always had grass growing under them till a few years ago. Slowly the grass disappeared and I have tried to grow more grass but no luck. Last year I tilled a few inches with a mantis and tried again but still no luck. The lowest branches are at least 12′ above ground and most of the trees are 14 to 16″ wide at the base. Can you help. ThanksTed Soroka

A couple of things are probably going on.   Under maples and other hardwoods, the soil becomes acidic faster than out in the open.  I’d suggest doing a pH test to see if this is the case  More on pH testing HERE. 

The second problem is that Maples have a VERY shallow root system and can draw up enough moisture to actually make the soil too dry for grass to survive.   If the area is bare, I’d suggest getting enough topsoil to cover the area with 3″-4″ and then reseed with Hewitt’s shady mix.  Keep it moist while it fills in and feed it with our Winterizer/Seed Starter Lawn Food to get it established before summer.  Once summer arrives each year you’re going to have to water more under the maples to compensate for the moisture they are taking from the surface.

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Is grub beater safe to use on the lawn with dogs?

Yes, as long as you follow the directions and water it in with an inch of water right after application.  Once the watering is done and the lawn dry, the dogs can go right out onto it.  If you don’t water it in properly (heavily) the grub control won’t work anyway.  More on that HERE.

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Voles have destroyed my lawn. Have used Molemax

Vole damage occurs under the snow in winter.  An October applications of MoleMax may minimize the damage but not completely over a long winter with deep snow such as we just had.  A spring application of Mole Max has long since worn off by the following fall.

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Our lawn is being dug up at record speed – skunks feeding on grubs. Will using a product like Grubex (problem areas are close to our well) contaminate the well? If so, are there other natural products which are safer?

The first step is to apply some Mole-Max repellent to the area.  Skunks or any other rodents won’t go near the area.  You’ll want to apply Milky Spore to the area and water it in with a full inch of water twice a year for three years (Spring and September).  After that the disease will reproduce itself in the soil and lasts for at least 20 years.  None of this will affect you well.  HERE’S a link to more on grub control and ANOTHER  on Mole Max. 

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What is the best type of grass seed for a lawn in Perth, New York?

It depends on the light.  My favorites are Hewitt’s Sandy (regardless if you have sany soil…it is great in clay soils too) for areas with full sun to as little as 30% sun.  For total shade then it would be Hewitt’s Shady Blend.  These are blends of the types of seed best for this area (including Perth).  Blends are the way to go.

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Good Morning. We have thatched the lawn and now wonder what comes next. Seed the bald spots, Grub control or Fertalizer with crab grass control…. Help…. Desperate for a pretty lawn.

If you need to seed, then that would be next followed by frequent watering the area so the seed will sprout.  It cannot be allow to dry out at all until the grass seed is up and growing.  Then feed it with a good starter lawn food.  If you are putting seed down then you must NOT use regular crabgrass preventer since that will also prevent your lawn seeds from growing.  There is a crabgrass preventer that will stop the crabgrass but not your grass seed…ask for that at Hewitts and they will direct you to the proper product.  Grub control should go on in July of every year.  Here’s some links that might help you.

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/lawn-care-timing-is-everything/6608/

 

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/grub-control-apply-in-july-when-the-beetles-fly/6389/

 

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I have huge broadleaf plantain infestation. How do I get rid of it? There are too many to pull by hand.

The same way you kill dandelions.  HERE’s a link to a post about the proper time for weed killer applications…the same rules for plantain.

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Do I need to water in lawn food pellets once applied to the lawn

It isn’t critical like it is with grub control but it won’t start feeding the lawn until it is.  You don’t NEED to but it would be a good idea to.

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can you apply grub killer and weed killer at same time

No, not a good idea since the grub control needs to be watered in with 1″ of water and weed killer need to sit on the leaves of the weeds for at least 24 to 48 hours to work before it gets washed off.  Id apply the grub control first then do the heavy watering.    While the lawn is still wet from that watering, apply the weed killer.  This will help the granules stick to the leaves.  If you are using liquid weed killer, you can apply it anytime the nighttime temps are 50° reliable and when rain isn’t expected for at least 24 hours after application.

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Does grass grow around pine trees?

Gras can grow around pine trees but often struggle because pine trees make the soil acidic more quickly than other areas of your yard.  A simple pH test will determine if that is happening and how much lime you need to apply to correct the soil pH to the level (7.0) that grass prefers.  HERE’S a link to more on pH testing.

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I put down the first bag ( grass preventer etc) you recommend on Sunday. Unfortunately it hasn’t rained yet. How long do I have?

The crabgrass won’t be sprouting until we get some rain so everything is fine.  The rain will dissolve the crab preventer and cause the crabgrass seeds to attempt to sprout at the same time and will be killed when they do.

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I purchased the Country Estate 4 step lawn care treatment bags. What are the dates/timeframes to apply bag #2, #3 and #4?Thanks

Step 2 or weed and feed should be used now before the weather heats up.  HERE’s a link to using weed killers.

Step 3 which is grub control which should be applied in July and watered in heavily.  HERE’S a link to all about grub control.

Step 4 is you final lawn feeding of the year and mid to late September is ideal for that application.  No special watering is need for that.

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Its the beginning of the season, I have raked it, its grown and ready fro it 1st cut, however I haven’t put my weed and feed down yet. Should I hold off cutting it and put it down and wait a few days. or cut it then put the Weed and Feed down??? there are alot of Dandelions also.

Weed killer is absorbed through the leaves of the weeds so mowing it before applying weed killer will decrease the leaf area making the weed killer less effective.  Also the weed killer needs to sit on the leaves of the weeds for 24 hours before getting washed off so the showers in the forecast are a problem.

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Hi Peter,I was doing a spring feeding with Country Estate Lawn Food this past weekend on my established lawn, and I also used it on a new area of lawn that I had just seeded (I prepped with peat moss and top soil raked thoroughly into our sandy soil). Will the no phosphorus content in the Lawn Food damage the new seed? I realize now I should have used the Country Estate Winterizer on that new area…. Thanks!

No the regular food won’t harm the seed at all.  The Winterizer/Seed Starter would have benefitted the new grass more though.  You can apply the Winterizer/Seed Starter about a month after you applied the regular lawn food for an extra boost then nothing more…except LOTS of water…until late summer/early fall.

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where can i get some soil tested in albany area of new york

Cornell Co-operative Extension will, for a small fee, do a complete soil test for you.  You’ll want to contact you county’s extension service.  http://www.cce.cornell.edu/Pages/Default.aspx

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How do I get rid of moss that is spreading in my lawn, even in very sunny areas?

Moss can grow in sun or shade (there’s more than one kind of moss).  What happens over time is that the soil gradually becomes acidic and, if you don’t do  pH test and add the correct amount of lime to counteract it, the grass struggles (grass needs pH neutral  (7.0)soil to thrive) and starts to die leaving bare spots.  Moss, which thrives in acidic soil then starts and creates acidity at an even faster rate so the grass retreats and the moss takes over.  Regular pH testing and lime applications would have prevented this.  More on that HERE.

Now that the moss is established, you need to kill it with moss killer.  Once the moss is dead, rake it out and do your soil pH test (easy) and apply the amount of lime the test indicates you need.  Reseed the area (no problems with lime and grass seed together) and keep it moist until the grass is established.  Test the soil again in fall to see how you did correcting the pH and apply more lime then if needed.  Check the pH every couple of years to prevent his from happening again.

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I live in Colonie and my hard has become all sand, what do I have to do to be able to grow grass. I would like to order hundreds of yards of top soil. Would this work.

You can grow a lawn in sand but it will take lots of regular watering.  Start with Hewitt’s Sandy grass seed.  This is a blend of tall fescue grass that are fine bladed but have a deep root system.  Keep the seed constantly moist while it is germinating…NEVER let it dry out, not for a minute.  Once it is up and growing, Feed it with our Starter Lawn Food.  Keep it well watered all summer and feed it again in September.  Don’t mow it any shorter than 4″-5″ this entire summer while it is getting a root system established.

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I have grub worms in my Bermuda lawn…..I put medicine down yesterday afternoon and we had a big thunderstorm last night….I am afraid the rain washed the granules away. What do you think??

I think that, if you had watered it in yourself right after application with an inch of water with your sprinkler as you are supposed to, then the grub killer would have been down in the soil already and the heavy rain couldn’t have washed it away.

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How do I get rid of weeds that are going in the middle of my salvia plant, along with that, there are tons of bees surrounding it?

You’ll need to pull the weeds.  If the bees are a problem, you’ll need to pull the weeds after the sun has set when the bees are all in for the night.

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How to remove white clovers from the lawn

You’ll need to wait for a dry spell when conditions are right and spray the clover with Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  Read and follow the directions on the package.

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On my front lawn I have some sort of creeping weed. It smells similar to mint and it is multiplying fast…What can I use to get rid of it

You’ll need to wait for a dry spell when conditions are right and spray the clover with Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  Read and follow the directions on the package.

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I aerate and seed every year. Do I need to thatch also?

No, a lawn that is being properly mowed and watered will never need dethatching.

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I recently use Bayer Advanced Lawn Weed and Crabgrass killer on my very healthy lawn (perennial rye, tall fescue, red fescue, and bluegrass) About 3 days later there was a brown spot everywhere we used the product. I live in central PA and we have had lots of rain this year. The lawn was thick and healthy. The product said it was safe to use on lawns, but it turn mine brown. What caused this and how can I restore the green.

Weed killers should not be applied when it is hot out…above 80° or so.  The weed killer can burn the grass if applied during hot weather.  Water the lawn to wash away the weed killer and the lawn may recover.  July is a bad time to apply weed killer due to the potential for high temperatures.

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my lawn is full of crabgrass and weeds. There is so much more than ever before. We used weed and feed in the spring, but this summer the lawn is a mess. What can we do

To treat for crabgrass, you need to use a well-timed application of crabgrass PREVENTER to stop it from starting.  Killing crabgrass once it is up is nearly impossible.  More on using crabgrass preventer HERE.   Later in late spring (or better yet in September) it is the best time for weed killer.  More on properly using weed killer in spring HERE. and in September HERE.

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what is creeping charlie

A very common lawn weed:  http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/creeping-charlie/

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I have a lawn full of crabgrass and weeds. I just moved in & don’t know how to fix my lawn to just have green grass.

I do lawn care seminars in spring so that’s the best way.  In the meantime, here’s some links that will give you the basics:

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/time-is-short-for-lawn-repair/6685/

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/lawn-care-timing-is-everything/6608/

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/winning-the-war-on-weeds/6652/

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/give-the-lawn-and-yourself-a-break/6678/

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I have two big patches in my lawn where nothing will grow but a little moss and a few weeds. Other sections are OK. One spot is under a tree but the other isn’t. Could there be a problem with the soil?Thanks for your help.Jack G.

All soil gradually becomes more acidic over time.  Under trees, this is accelerated due to debris from the tree rotting into the soil.  Unless the pH of the soil is checked every few years and corrected, the grass will struggle and moss, which prefers acidic soil, takes hold and chokes out the grass (which prefers neutral soil).  Most weeds aren’t too picky about pH so they can thrive there too.  HERE’s a link to more on checking and correcting soil pH. 

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I used 5percent vinegar to kill clovers in my lawn will my grass recover.

Ooops.  Probably not.  You’ll need to reseed in about 3 weeks or so once several heavy rains have washed away the vinegar.

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my neighbors crabgrass is creeping into my lawn. what can I do

Crabgrass is an annual; so the plants that are encroaching now will die over winter.  A well timed application of crabgrass preventer in spring will stop any crabgrass seeds that the plants dropped from sprouting.  HERE’S more on that.

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what type of fertilizer should I use now

The Country Estate Lawn (22-0-8) would be perfect.

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suppose mushrooms appeared repeatedly in only one small part of your yard. what would this indicate about the soil in that area?

It probably means that there is the slowly decaying root system in the soil in that area…possibly from a tree that was cut down in that area sometime in the past.

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I attended one of Peter’s lawn seminars in May. He suggested September as the best time to kill young weeds. Does he have aRecommended product to use that will allow us to winterize our lawn soon too?

This would be a great time to put the lawn to bed with a last application of lawn food.  It is also a great time to use weed killers so you won’t have weeds next spring.  Just make sure to water the lawn heavily the day before you apply weed killer since weed killer can kill the grass is the soil is very dry when you apply weed killer.  Here’s a blog post all about late summer/early fall weed control.

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Do you recommend any organic lawn fertilizer. I was told to use something with seaweed and fish meal ? Do you carry it

We have seaweed and fish meal plant foods but not for the lawn.  We do sell Espoma Organic high quality lawn food.  You can read about that HERE.

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Hi Pete,When should I seed my lawn to thicken it up for next year? When is the last date to apply winterizer? Thanks.

It is too late to get a lawn started from seed but too early for dormant seeding…more on that HERE.

By law, I can only recommend our Winterizer/See Starter Lawn Food be applied to newly seeded lawns or lawns that test low for phosphorus…you will have to make that determination yourself.  Having said that, the final feeding with the appropriate food, should be made right away so the lawn can use the food and then go dormant.   Feeding later than this will stimulate the lawn right as it should be going dormant.  Fresh root growth too late in the season can be killed by freezing rendering the last feeding pointless.

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I want to plant some grass should I put straw over it and do you have straw thank you

It is too late in the season to start grass seed.  If it gets partially sprouted and then freezes, it dies.  You might try dormant seeding as described HERE.  Otherwise wait until May and put your seed down then.  More on that HERE.  Covering the seed with straw helps keep the sun and wind from drying out the seed.  Grass seed needs to be kept moist constantly to germinate.

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I live in Geyser Crest Saratoga Springs, the soil is very sandy my yard looks like crap, would you have any suggestions for me on how to improve what little grass I have and grow some in the areas where it isn’t ?

The first step is to get a handle on the pH to create conditions that grass can thrive in.  More on that HERE.  Then you’ll likely need to get some grass seed going…use our Sandy Grass Seed Blend…there is none that even comes close for quality grass in sand.  HERE’s more on growing a lawn from seed.   In sand, watering extra is necessary so make sure you do that correctly.  More on that HERE.  While you’re getting the lawn restored, you’ll need to feed aggressively…probably 3-4 times.  Make sure to use a high quality food like out Country Estate brand made just for local conditions with nutrients and micro-nutrients that you don’t find in any other brands.

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I purchased country estates fertilizer #22-0-08, but the directions are very vague. when should I apply it, are there any weather restrictions, and what should I set my rotary spreader at? Thank you!

Straight lawn food (without weed killer or crabgrass preventer) can be applied anytime the lawn needs to be fed…generally spring and late summer/early fall.  If your spreader isn’t listed on the bag then consult your spreaders manual and choose the setting that will apply 4 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.

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Looking to put milky spores down to start controlling the grubs on my lawn. Is that something you recommend?

yes, the St. Gabriels Milky Spore we sell.  You need to apply it twice a year, spring an fall for three years and then it will go on living in your yard for at least 20 years.  Make sure to water it in right after application since sunlight can kill it…best to apply and water it in just before dark.

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I live behind Hewitts in Guilderland. Today is 10/12/15. Is it too late for me to aerate and overseed now that I see temps overnight are expected to be below freezing

Go ahead and aerate if you need to but, at this point, you may want to wait and do “dormant overseeding” which you can learn more about HERE.

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I live in Albany and have sandy soil. Long needle pine, silver maple and red maple in the from yard…..How can I revive my grass w/o using chemicals?

The first step is to do a pH test to determine the need for limestone to get the soil to the correct pH for grass.  More on that HERE.  If the pH is acidic, which is likely with all those hardwoods and pines in your yard, the grass will struggle.   This is a great time to apply lime if needed so it will have all winter to neutralize the acidity.  You’ll need to add grass seed either now for DORMANT SEEDING, or in the spring using THIS METHOD.

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Hi, We live in Delmar with sandy soil and our lawn which is slightly sloped facing south is really looking bad with many large bare spots. I did a soil test on these and it registered 8…the few grass areas left registered about 7. The recommendation was to add sulfur and water in. Will the bag give me a chart as to spreader setting and how much to buy to lower the ph?? Does it make sense to you that this is so high in sandy soil? Thanks

If you have been regularly applying lime without checking the pH then you could have driven the pH (alkalinity) up.  Honestly, 8 isn’t that bad and, given time, it will gradually come down.  The bag will tell you how much to apply and the instruction manual will tell you what setting to use.  I’d not bother since it will come down over time anyway and it isn’t hugely off.  A better investment might be dormant overseeding with our Sandy Grass Seed Blend to introduce grass types that will thrive in sand.  Follow this up with an application of starter food in the spring (but NO Crabgrass preventer).  HERE’S A LINK to more on dormant overseeding.

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Should you leave grass long or cut it short for winter in upstate NY

Real long isn’t ideal since it will mat down over winter.  Matted grass is a good place for fungal diseases like snow mold to start.  4″ is a good final height for the lawn when it goes dormant in fall.

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Our turf rotted so we laid seed which came on lovely then in the winter it all rotted again would it be something in the soil

Probably not in the soil.  perhaps you are watering it too much.  If you were soaking it every day and never letting it dry out and breathe, it may be that you are drowning the grass.

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Should I rottotill my yard if I have a lot of roots in yard from pencil trees?

The only “pencil tree” I know of is a tropical plant.  This isn’t something that grows in our area (USDA hardiness zone 5).  If you have suckers popping up in your yard from nearby trees like Locust trees then rototilling will do no good.

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I have a recurring problem with moles in my lawn. What can I do in early spring to prevent and eliminate the problem.

There is no permanent solution to moles.  The best way to keep them away is to apply MoleMax Mole repellent in September.  More on Mole Control HERE.

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We applied our early spring pretty emergent and feeding on the lawn. Now it will freeze. Does it have to be redone?

Wow, you really jumped the gun.  Feeding the lawn before it greens up and starts growing is a waste and also illegal…applying lawn food in NYS is illegal before 4/1.  Most of the food will be washed away and into the waterways with spring rain…which is why it is illegal.  The crabgrass preventer won’t work because the chemical will be broken down and long gone by the time the crabgrass seeds begin to sprout.  You were about a month early  HERE’S A LINK to help you understand how to time your crabgrass preventer application.  Yes, it will need to be redone at the proper time.

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My yard is filled with wild strawberries. Can you tell in early spring where the main root is

There is no “main root”.  They spread from multiple runners and each little plant has its own root system.  Once established, each little plant sends out its own runners to spread.

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I have moles tunneling and poping up in mounds of dirt all spring-fall.How can I kill them or force them away???

It is a little too early to do anything about them now, but when you see fresh damage in April Mole-Max can be very effective when used properly.  More on that HERE.

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I live in Clifton Park we had lots of leaves come down in the fall. My grass has died off and I am wondering if I need to put lime down to sweeten the soil. Does Hewitts sell soil testing kits to see what is wrong with my Soil

We do sell soil test kits and you should do a pH test so you’ll know how much lime to apply.  HERE’S a link to a post on pH testing.  Adding some grass seed to the area in late April will help it fill in.

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Hi Peter;Late last fall we noticed small mounds of dirt appearing in our dooryard need the area of our leach field. we assume that we moles. I understand that a reason for having them is that they are looking for grubs. What do you recommend for getting rid of the grubs so the moles will vacate and hopefully not come back.ThanksBonnie

It sounds like moles alright.  Moles do eat grubs but they also eat earthworms so it is possible to have a mole problem even though you don’t have many, or any grubs.  Getting rid of whatever grubs you have won’t get rid of the moles.  There is no way to get rid of moles “for good”.  Annual treatments with MoleMax mole repellent is the best approach.  HERE’S a link all about moles and how to best discourage them.

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can I apply Boost 1-1-1 in wet conditions

It would be best not to.  In any event, it is illegal to apply any lawn food in New York State until April 1st or after.  Applied too early, before the lawn has thawed out and started to grow is a waste since the grass plants can’t use it.

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when is the best time to use grab grass fertilizer is New York State.

Crabgrass Preventer should be applied when the bright yellow forsythia flowers are beginning to fall to the ground…Probably 6 weeks or so from now (3/9).  Applied too early, it won’t work.  No lawn food may be applied before 4/1 according to NYS law.  Here’s a link all about crabgrass preventer application timing.

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with the nice weather, thinking about lawn care; for example: when should grub killer go down…how about seed; looking to sell home starting in April/May but would like to replant front lawn to enhance look.

Grub control should be applied in July so that is off the table.  You could put down a fast growing blend of perennials rye anytime now but, by NYS law, lawn food will have to wait until after 4/1.  HERE’S a link to starting a lawn from seed….it is from fall but the procedure is the same for spring….other than waiting until after 4/1 for the starter food.

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Hi Peter. I purchased some Country Estate Crabgrass preventer lawn fertilizer last weekend. I have a Lesco Commercial Plus spreader. Can you please advise me of the correct setting to use for this fertilizer. Thanks!RM

Check your spreader manual but the CE Crabgrass Preventer needs to be applied at 4 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. and it looks like your spreader should be set at 28 to spread at that rate according to this information I found online.

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get rid of creeping charlie

It will take repeated applications of Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer once temperatures at night are above 45°, generally late May/early June.

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Have moles and crabgrass. Treat them both at same time?

No.  HERE’S A LINK to help you understand the timing of you crabgrass preventer.  HERE’S ANOTHER LINK to help you understand how to best use mole repellent.

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I read your lawn care brochure-excellent, thanks! However, all I saw regarding grass planting was in the fall. I have some bare areas that need attention this spring. When is the best time to start that process?

You can start anytime but, with a cold snap on the way, there is no rush.  It looks like late April will be fine this year.  HERE’S a link to a blog post about grass seed starting.  It was for September seeding but the procedure is the same for spring seeding.

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how do I get rid of moles

Here’s a link all about mole control…you can get rid of them for awhile…timnig is everything

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Can I put dow crabgrass preventer if it is going to rain the next day

Yes, crabgrass preventer needs to be dissolved to work.  However, it is too early for it to be applied.  Applied too early, it is broken down and gone by the time the crabgrass seeds are sprouting  HERE’S a link all about Applying Crabgrass Preventer and, later on, weed and feed.

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Do you sell a crabgrass preventative with either Dimension or Barricade? Also, do you have a grass see that is a northeast blend that has something like Kentucky Blue/perennial rye/red fescue?

For Crabgrass preventers we have Pendimethalin ((Scott’s Halts),  Mesotrione (in Scotts Starter Lawn plus crabgrass preventer for new seedings) and Prodiamine (in County Estate Lawn food plus Crabgrass Preventer.  Our “Sturdy” grass seed blend is the closest to what you are looking for…it also has some turf quality tall fescue in the blend.

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Do you carry any All natural Pesticide and Weed killer that is safe for pets and kids?

We carry a wide selection of organic products.  Any product, organic or otherwise is only safe if it is used in the manner described on the packaging.  There is no “organic” weed killer.

 

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What lawn fertilizer is safe for dogs……thanks Gail

All lawn foods are safe for dogs when applied as directed.  You’ll want to keep the dogs off the lawn for a few days if you apply a weed killer (like a weed & feed or weed killer spray).  Once the weed killer has been washed into the soil by rain or watering then the dogs can go back onto the lawn.  Dogs should also be kept off the lawn after insecticide applications…all of this is outlined on the packaging of the product so read and understand that before using.  If you want to choose an organic lawn food, we carry the best…Espoma.  Again…plain lawn food without additives like weed killer are perfectly save for dogs when applied according to the direction on the package..

 

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do you water in crabgrass preventer?

Crabgrass preventer yes..just lightly.  Weed killer no.

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Looking for grabgrass preventer that allows to also seed?

Yes, we have that…It a Scotts product…just ask for it at the garden center.

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describe the 4 step process for lawn care. timing and conditions for each step.

Here’s a link to how to time Step 1…lawn food with crabgrass preventer.  Here’s a link on timing weed & feed or Step 2.   Step 3 should be grub control…here’s a link to understanding grub control.  Step 4 is just a final feeding with lawn food…apply that in mid to late September.

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How to kill maple seedlings in a lawn

That are pretty fragile when that small so mowing them should kill them…any lawn weed killer spray will also kill them…follow the directions on the container.

 

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Can I use HydroMouse Liquid Lawn with st. Augustine grass

Honestly I have no idea.  We don’t sell that product and don’t have St Augustine lawns this far north.  it looks like it is a spray seeding product so, from what I can find online, it doesn’t look like you’d want to mix other grass types with your St Augustine lawn.  This would be a good question to ask the person you are buying the product from.

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Peter,I heard the weatherman the other night say that the forsythias might not bloom due to the warm weather and then snow storm and cold weather that ensued. So my question is we always buy the country estate 4 step and step 1 requires the forsythias to be in bloom because the crab grass germinates about the same time but if they don’t bloom then when should we put down step 1. thanks,Liz

It depends on where you live of course.  Watch for the first lilac flowers to open and apply it then.   If you are in the Albany Basin then the last week of April/first week of May should be fine.  Putting it on too soon is a problem…a little late isn’t Crabgrass preventer will still kill the crabgrass even after it has germinated up to the point that it has grown 3 blades.

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Can I spread miracle gro by hand

No, Miracle0Gro needs to be diluted in water as per the directions on the package.  Throwing the granules around by hand is a bad idea.

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Our front and back lawns are mostly covered with moss with patches of grass. Is there someway of getting rid of all the moss?

You’ll need to apply moss killer to kill the moss, then do a soil pH test to see how much lime to apply to get the soil back to neutral.  This acid soil is the reason the moss is thriving and the grass is dying.  You can apply lime and grass seed to help the grass reclaim the area.  Do another pH test in the fall to see if the lime you applied did the job.  HERE A LINK to a post about how to do a PH test.

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I applied too much weed and feed to my lawn 72 hours ago what should i do to avoid fertilizer burn

First of all you applied it about 3 weeks too early for our area so it wouldn’t have worked anyway since it is too cold.  Since it has been so cold, there is little chance that it will burn but the solution is water and lots of it.

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My nieghbors turn straw color in the winter and spring it turns back thick and green what kind of grass is this

Probably one of the old “Midnight” strain of bluegrass…fell out of favor because of this straw lawn effect.

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Do you sell Kentucky Bluegrass seed? I have direct sun where I want to put it. I fertilized my lawn last November. Is there anything else I nee to do to enhance the grass seed?

We do although I’m not a huge fan of Kentucky Blue.  Shallow rooted so not drought tolerant and and needs to be watered frequently during summer.  Look for our Sandy Grass Seed Blend.  Fine bladed tall fescues for root 2′ deep.  Grows well in full sun al the way down to 30% sun.

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how do I get rid of clover in my lawn. It is taking over.

You’ll need stronger Weed killer for clover.  Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer is just the thing.  Read and follow the direction on the label.

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I have a lot of clover in my lawn and it spread a little more every year. What can I use to get rid of it. I want to use something that’s safe for animals/birds and the environment. Thanks!

For clover you’ll need Chickweed and Clover Killer.  Only spray a small area at a time to limit its exposure to birds.   Keep kids and pets off the area for a few days after application as well.  There is no organic lawn weed killer.  There is an organic weed PREVNTER, Corn Gluten Granules, that will stop the spread from seeds but it won’t kill the existing plants.

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how to get rid of moles

HERE’S a link to everything you need to know about mole control.

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looking for an all natural weed and feed

No such thing yet.  we carry organic Espoma Lawn food but the best you can get for weeds is Corn Gluten Weed Preventer.  It stops weed seeds (or any seeds) from germinating but won’t actually kill existing weeds.  The only “organic” way to get rid of weeds is to dig them out.

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Is it too late to put down Crabgrass Killer? Today is May 13. Albany, NY

Because it is so cool this year, you still have time….last year it would have been too late due to early heat.  Get it down in the next week or so and it will be fine.  Crabgrass Preventer can still prevent crabgrass after it has sprouted up until the point that it has developed 2-3 blades.

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I’m looking to buy sod. Half of my yard is dirt and the other half is green grass. Should I get sod for the whole yard or just what is needed? I would need about 1500 sq ft of sod, how much would that be?

If you want the grass to match up, you’ll have to sod the whole area.  It looks like you’ll need 150 of our 10sq. ft. rolls.  For between 120-300 rolls, we charge $4.49 per roll.

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How often can grubex be applied

We don’t sell that product but I’d suggest following the directions on the label.  This would be a good question for the people at the place where you purchased it.  We sell Bonide Annual Grub Beater which should be put down and watered in with a full inch of water during the second two weeks of July.  Applied properly and watered in immediately after application Grub Beater will kill over 90% of the grubs that hatch during August and early September.  One application every July is all that is needed.  HERE’S a link to more on grub control.

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Gray mold on the grass above my drain field

A half strength feeding of a higher nitrogen lawn food.

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Just put down Country Estates Lawn food. When do I water ?

If it is just plain lawn food then you can water it or just wait for rain to do it.

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Peter, I live in Guilderland. What is the best grass seed for sun & shade in our area ? I also have a small, approx. 6×10′, corner that is always shaded – should I use just a shade grass for that area ?

Sun and shade mixes are just a “shotgun” approach…just a bunch of different grasses thrown in a bag…in sun some will grow and in shade, others will…a very wasteful approach.    You’d be best with a blend of grass that are known to thrive in shade.  We have just the blend for that and it is called  Country Estate Shady Grass Seed Blend.  All grass types picked for their ability to thrive in shade here in our area…nothing generic about it!

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I want to rototill my lawn .. I live in Arizona and the temperature is 115 .. If I rototill my lawn in July will my lawn grow back ?? Do I need to seed it ?? Or should I wait till spring? I want to have a nice looking lawn for May of nex year !!

I’d suggest that you contact a local garden center to ask this question.  I can’t imagine that the lawn will survive getting rototilled in July with 115° heat though.  A local garden center can advise you on when the best time to reseed depending on where you are in Arizona.

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How do I get rid of little wild strawberries growing in our lawn?

Lawn weed killer like Weed Beater Ultra will kill them.  Follow the directions on the label.  If applied when temperatures are above 85° to 90° or when the lawn is very dry, the weed killer may also kill the grass.  This project is best done in May or September.

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What’s the next step after I munched my lawn to help with the compose?

Can you rephrase the question?  I have no idea what you are asking.  If you mean that you mowed the lawn with a mulching mower and there are clippings…you don’t need to do anything.  They will break down naturally and become part of the soil over time.

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Hi I just bought a house and the front lawn is covered In moss. What can I do to get rid of the moss and get grass to grow?

Assuming you don’t like the moss, the first thing you’ll need to do is rake all the moss up and get rid of it.  We can assume, due to the presence of moss, that the soil has become too acidic for grass to thrive so you need to apply limestone to counteract it. So, the next step is to do a pH test to determine how acidic the soil is so you can determine how much limestone is needed.  More on how to do a pH test HERE.   The next step is to get some good grass seed down and start watering and watering and watering to get it up and growing.  This will be difficult during the long, hot, dry days of summer and would be best done in mid-August through mid-September.  In fact, you may want to delay the entire project until then and live with the moss until then. More on starting a lawn from seed HERE.

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Peter I have taken your classes and find them the best and very knowledgeable My Question is I have put down a pre emergent for crabgrass and now i have crabgrass on my lawn –Crabgrass grows at a rapid rate should I kill the crabgrass or wait and put a post then the pre emergent on in the spring.Thanks Claude

At this late date, Id skip any treatment now and do a well timed application in spring.  Chances are some of the crabgrass has already dropped seed.  Any crabgrass killer won’t “kill” the seeds so they’d be sprouting in the spring anyway.  Don’t apply too early in spring too as I mentioned in my spring class…HERE’s a reminder why.

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can I apply of my 1st treatment of st gabriel organics milky spore in mid-august in new england? if so, when would I apply future treatments?

Mid to late August would be perfect since that is when the hatch begins.  Apply again in mid to late May.  After 3 years of this, you’re all set.  The most important thing to remember is that Milky Spore needs to be watered-in immediately after application or it dies and won’t work.  It is also light sensitive (light kills it) so the ideal situation would be to apply your Milky Spore right at dusk and water it in then with an inch of water…you can use a tuna fish or cat food tin to measure the water.  Don’t count on rain to do the job.  Every minute it is exposed and not washed into the soil diminishes the effectiveness.

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I have several brown(dead) spots on my front lawn.Back lawn is perfect.What is the problem and cure for these spots?

I could be anything from chinch bugs to a fungal disease.  The best thing is to bring pictures or even a sample of the area where the grass is damaged to the garden center for a better ID of the problem.  You can send me pictures at peterb@hewitts.com

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when it says not to spray when temp is above 85 degrees, does that mean at the time you spray or the entire day

You don’t want to apply weed killer spray to that lawn went the temperature is going to be 85° or above at any time during the several days after the application or it can kill the grass in addition to the weeds.  The lawn should also be well hydrated (moist soil) during that period as well.  When the grass is dehydrated, the weed killer can damage or kill it as well.  The best time to go after weeds is September when the soil is cooler and moisture but it is warm enough for the weeds to be killed.  More on late summer weed killer HERE.

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my sod does not look good ,there for a while it was beautiful. do not know what to do about it I do not know if I am watering to much or if it needs fertilizer or what. who can I call to get an expert opinion

It is pretty hard to overwater sod…how long and how frequently are you watering it?  Feeding during the high heat of summer in going to do more harm than good. You want to let sod stay tall while it gets a root system established…like 5″ tall and mow no lower than 3.5″.  This helps keep the roots from dying in hot soil…the longer blades provide shade for the shallow roots below.  You can call any of our stores for advice…HERE are their phone #s or email me at peterb@hewitts.com.

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when can let cats on weed and feed lawn

After a good rain or long watering has washed the weed killer off the leaves and into the soil.

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Hi PeterI live off of New Scotland Ave in Albany. I have been using the Scott’s Lawn Care products, along with Grubax. My back lawn has become very spotty and dead looking in patches. Is there anything I can do to bring it back to life? Should I be using a different lawn care product. Thank you.

We don’t sell GrubEx so you might want to ask the folks where you bought it about how and when to use it.  HERE’S a link to grub control using the products we do sell.  The best approach IMO is to use Milky Spore grub control which you can read about through the link I provided above.   Scott’s lawn food is just OK so I’d suggest you look into something better like our Country Estate Lawn Food line for lawn foods that are made in NY and we have ours blended to match the needs of lawns here in our area.  Now through mid September would be a good time to add get some seed down to help thicken up the lawn.  Often people ignore the pH of the soil and the grass suffers because of soil acidity…which is very easy to correct.  HERE’S link to more on pH correction and late summer lawn seeding.

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I did spread lime!!! Is it too late for apply grub preventor now??? I live in Otsego County Zone 3. Thanks

You could start a Milky Spore program now but traditional chemical grub control should’ve been applied and watered in in July.  More on that HERE.

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Can you put crab grass preventer down now in late August?

Well, you can but it won’t work…it needs to go down right as the crabgrass is about to sprout in spring.  Here’s a link to explain how to time your crabgrass preventer application.from this last spring

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Have a small lawn less than 5000 square feet. My soil tested at 6.0 for acidity. My lawn company says I need more lime. I would prefer to buy it myself and apply it. How much and how often? Live in Clifton Park, 12965

6.0 isn’t too bad.  To get it to 7.0, which is what lawns prefer, you’ll need to apply 40 lbs. of pelletized lime per 1,000 sq. ft.  Since you have 5,000 sq. ft. that would be 5-40 lb. bags.  You shouldn’t nee to apply lime again for 4-5 years after this.  Lime can be applied any time of the year…it will take several weeks to correct the pH.  Here’s a link to more on pH testing and lime applications.

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I have an invasive, fast growing, very coarse grass (?) appearing in spots throughout my lawn. It has a very shallow root system. I’m not sure what I’m dealing with and how I should be handling this. Would appreciate any thoughts you might have. Susan Gladstone

It sounds like crabgrass.  It is an annual so it will die with frost after leaving behind a crop of seeds that will sprout next spring for the next cycle.  The best control is crabgrass preventer applied at the right time in spring.  HERE’S a link to explain the timing of crabgrass preventer in spring.

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I am looking for something to kill the crabgrass that is not harmful to my cats. What would you suggest. I have a very small area of grass and half is crab grass by the middle of August

There are crabgrass killer sprays that you can use on crabgrass but they aren’t reliably effective and not organic.  You best approach will be a crabgrass preventer applied at the right time in spring.  The “right time” can vary though.  Your organic option will be corn gluten.  HERE’S a link to more on crabgrass preventers and how to time you spring application.

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Obnoxious vine weed in my grass. It has oblong small leaves with a brown oblong spot in middle of leaf

It sounds like spotted spurge.  A good liquid lawn weed control will kill it easily and this (September) is a great time to kill weed in the lawn…More on that HERE.

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Something is making many holes in our lawn. They are holes that looks like an animal has dug them. We have at least 23-50 holes, what is making these holes? How can we solve our problem.

It sounds like skunk damage.  They like to eat the Japanese Beetle larvae (grubs) that hatch in the lawn this time of year.  A well timed and watered-in application of Grub Beater in July would have prevented this.  You can apply Mole-Max repellent to the area and that will keep the skunks away through fall.  More on how to control grubs HERE.

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I have a terrible issue with grubs. Is there any treatment that can be done this time of year in October instead of waiting until spring?

It is too late for an grub control now.  Chemical grub control should be applied and watered in in July.  More on that HERE.

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I saw a weed that looks like broadleaf plantain but it was over three feet tall. what was I looking at

Probably one of the large hosta varieties or if it was in a wild situation perhaps mullein.  Got a picture?  Send it to peterb@hewitts.com

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What do I do to kill the moss in my lawn? I have total sand & in the shady areas, lots of moss. I have been putting down pelletized lime fall & spring.

Lime will only correct the situation that allowed the moss to take hold but it won’t kill moss that is already well established.  Make sure to do a pH test before applying lime so you don’t make the soil too alkaline.  Once the pH is correct you can use a moss killer (in spring at this point 10/6) and the rake the dead moss out and apply the appropriate grass seed blend like our Sandy Blend.  A strong, thick lawn can keep the moss fro returning as long as you keep the pH at neutral (7.0) and feed the grass a couple times a year.

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Grubs and nematodes

Nematodes are not a viable or reliable option for grub control…especially this far north.  The best non-chemical control here will be Milky Spore.

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Hello,We put in a new leach field in our back yard and have to lay seed. We live in Glenmont 12077 and was told you could tell us what seed to use and give us pricing? My husband Daniel Tindall will be in contact tomorrow with the measurements. Thank you so much,Shannon Tindall

I’d suggest giving Jason a call at our Glenmont store with the size of the area.  If it is sunny I’d suggest our Sunny Blend or, if Shady, our Shady blend.  Jason can give you the price for what you need based on the sixe of the area…here’s the phone #  Glenmont/Delmar (518) 439-8169

 

Here’s a link to the other store contact information in case one of them is closer to you.

 

Find a Store

 

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Is there a product that can be used now to control grubs?

No, too late.  HERE’S A LINK to all you need to know about grub control.

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Is it too late to put down winterizer lawn fertilizer? 10/23/16 Ballston Spa

I’d prefer that the final feeding of the year go down at the beginning of October but you will still benefit from an application now.

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what is the best way to rid my lawn of moles

One of the greatest temptations that lures moles into a lawn is the presence of Japanese Beetle Grubs which is a perfect source of food.  Eliminating this food source will reduce the temptation for moles.  More on grub control HERE..Milky Spore is the control I’d suggest.  Having said that, eliminating grubs won’t actually get rid of moles that have already set up their territory in your yard since they also eat earthworms.  To drive the moles out of the area, you’ll need to apply Mole-Repellent to the lawn once a year…more on that HERE.

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Can i plant fast growing rye grass seed now at my new construction home

Temperatures are way to low for grass to germinate…even if it does, they will freeze and die since thye will be so young and unestablished.  Your best bet now is to wait until later in winter and try DORMANT OVERSEEDING or just wait until spring…like early May.

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Peter, I just finished adding 18 yds of top soil over my existing lawn to level low spots. The area I covered is roughly 70 feet x 35 feet. The top soil is all raked and ready to seed. My question is it to late to apply grass seed. The ground is wet but not frozen from the dusting of snow we got today. If it is still possible to seed, what seed would you recommend and does Hewitt’s have it in stock? Thank you- Bob I live in Fonda

At this point you’ll have to either wait until spring or try “dormant overseeding”  as described HERE

 

To check our stock on large bags of grass seed, it would be best to call the Hewitt’s you plan on visiting…I’d suggest our Sandy Blend whether the soil is sandy or not unless it is complete shade then go with our Shady Blend.   HERE’s a link to our store locations and phone #s.

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Is it necessary to do fall aeration and seeding every year?

No, not at all.  Unless it is a lawn that sees a lot of traffic, every 10 years should be enough.

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Last week my 7 year old granddaughter came in with her hat filled with large grubs.When my husband investigated he said there were hundreds of the all over the lawn? They were in clumps of 10-12 grubs every sq. ft. or so. What were they and why in the cold of January? What should we do about them.

I can’t really answer you without knowing more.  Where do you live?  I’ll also need to see a decent picture of the “grubs”…you can send me one at peterb@hewitts.com.  I’ve never heard of that happening here in upstate NY where we are located.

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I want to SOD my back yard and I have 2 dogs. Is sod better than seeding as far as pricing and labor?

Sod is more costly than growing a lawn from seed.  The upside is that you have an lawn instantly without all the watering and waiting necessary when using seed….and your dogs and play in the area much sooner than with seed.

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Can I apply insect killer immediately before/after I apply Scott’s Green Max to my lawn and water both at the same time?

That would be a great question for the folks at the place where you purchased those items…I have no idea what “insect killer” you are wanting to apply for instance.

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I would like to know the best grass seed to use that will produce a lawn tolerant to multiple dogs & shade.

Our Super Sandy is the most durable and will grow in full sun or as little as 30% sun.  If it is deep shade then you’ll need our Super Shady blend.  In either case, you’ll have to keep the dogs off the area while the grass get established which will take a couple of months if you start right away.

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Does Hewitt’s perform soil sampling for PH?

We don’t.  We do sell the pH test kits.  Doing a pH test is about as easy as making a sandwich.  All you need is the test kit and distilled water.  By doing your own tests, you can test different locations in your yard.  Here’s a link that is all about pH testing.

 

 

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What is a safe fertilizer to use if you have a well?

Used in accordance with the instructions on the label, they all are safe.  We carry a line of Espoma Organic Lawn Foods that you might want to take a look at.

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when to water the lawn

Early in the day before sun up.

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When is the best Time to put grub killer down

It depends on which type of grub control.  HERE’S A LINK to all you need to know about grub control.

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I have to replant 2400 sq ft of lawn due to septic repair in Rotterdam.Is it too early to plant now?

Yes, late April/early May is the best time to start.  Also late August/early September.    Here’s a link to show you the process.

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We are using the 4 step program. I just put on the fertilizer with weed killer as instructed and it has not touched the dandelions. It has been over a week and they show no sign of dying. Should I give it a second treatment? I have many dandelions.

With all the rain and cold last week, it is likely that the weed killer wasn’t in contact with the leaves long enough to get absorbed into the plant.  More on how weed likes work HERE.  Rather that another dose of weed and feed, a liquid spray would be a better option now.

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I have planted hundreds of dollars of grass seed. It never grows back the following year. I was told fescue grows well in Sandy shady soil. Do you carry fescue and is what I learned true?

Turf quality tall fescue develops one of the deepest roots possible when mature.  it will grow in full sun or as little as 30% sun.  In deep shade, you’ll need a special blend of shade tolerant grasses.  HERE’S A LINK on how to get a new lawn off to the best start. Consistent watering is key even after the lawn is up and growing…for the entire first summer of growth. It is from late summer but the procedure is the same for spring.  Keep the new lawn 5″ tall for the entire first season.

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what grass seed to you recommend for the brown areas in my lawn from my dog?

I prefer Hewitt’s Sandy blend (whether the soil is sandy or not).  It is a blend of deep rooted Tall Fescue grasses.  It will grow in full sun or as little as 30% sun.  For full shade areas, Hewitt’s Shady Blend is best.

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What fertilizer should I use on my lawn

The first application should go down now. If you had crabgraas last year, this would be the time to apply a lawn food with crabgrass preventer…more on that HERE.

In about a month it will be time for the second spring feeding.  A weed and feed can be used then if there is a weed problem…more on that HERE.

 

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I used Scots Patch Master to seed a spot where a tree stump had been removed by grinding. No seeds grew. Is special treatment required for this spot?

Grass seed needs to be kept constantly moist for the couple of weeks it takes to sprout. It cannot dry out once, not for an hour or the seed dies and you’ll start again.  There is no compromising the needs of the seeds during germination.

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Can pelletized lime be applied to recently seeded area ?rdowling3@nycap.rr.com

Yes, lime can be applied to a newly seeded area if needed.

 

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Hi Peter.What is the best grass seed for shade, ground with a lot of deep and shallow roots from three trees and kind of sandy mixed with dirt. Also the ground is a little acidic. This small Pisces of ground has all of the above issues. Thank youRon Kopy

Visit you local Hewitt’s and you’ll find “Super Sandy” a blend specifically for deep shade.  You’ll want to do a pH test to determine how much lime you’ll need to apply to correct so the grass will thrive once it is up and growing.  We have the pH test kits to and it is easy to do.  More on that HERE.

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Show long does it take for your grass seed to germona

If it has been kept constantly moist it should come up within two weeks.  Cool weather slows it down though so continue to keep it moist.

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I am looking for a product to treat my lawn for ticks that is safe for people and pets. I have heard of nematodes and diatomaceous earth, do you carry these? How often will I have to treat the lawn?

Tick don’t generally hang out in the lawn so, if you mow it fairly low (3.5″) they shouldn’r be much concern there.  The DO position themselves higher up in shrubs and at the grassy/brushy areas at the edge of the yard.  We sell Eight in a hose end sprayer which is handy for this.  If your hoses wont reach the area, there is also a concentrate available for use in a tank sprayer   HERE’S a link to Eight so you can read the label…always follow the directions on the label.  Diatomaceous Earth will have limited effectiveness used in this way but is excellent if dusted on the bedding and directly into the fur of cats and dogs and will have no illeffect on them.  Nematodes don’t survive up in the taller grass and brush where the ticks are…they are in the soil…ticks are not.

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Creeping Charlie getting worse each year. Unfortunately with kids etc. I do not have time to pull them individually. Carefull about what I put down with dog and kids. Any ideas? Thanks!!! jackjrh@yahoo.com

The only way to kill creeping Charlie without using a weed killer would be to cover it with clear plastic and seal the edges to the ground with rock.  The plastic will trap heat and kill the creeping Charlie.  Of course it will kill all the grass as well so you’d need to reseed the are and start the lawn over.  Sorry, no easy answer.

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Best Grass seed

Hewitts Shady Blend.  A blend of turf quality Tall Fescue grasses.  Deep rooted for all soil conditions not just sand.  Low maintenance once established and can grow in full sun or a little as 30% sun.

For deep shade use Hewitt’s Shady Blend…for the shade of a building or under trees where there is little to no direct sun.

 

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HelloWhat is the best seed to use and when is the best time to plant grass see here in Saratoga County. The lawn area is mostly sand and has some sun and also shade. Also would like to know when to winterize and then of course is the fertilizer. I have the right side of the lawn looking pretty good but the other side is tough About 6000 square feet. Thank you

The best seed to use would be our Sandy Blend.  It is deep rooted and can grow in full sun to as little as 30% sun.  Get your seed down right away so it will have a chance to get established before winter.  The starter food you need for the seedlings is all the food it will need this year.  HERE’S A LINK that will show you the steps to starting a lawn from seed.

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Hi my name is Derick I bought my house last October and new I had to take trees out and regrade my yard this is my first yard to have to pant and have to take care of. The ground is all sandy with a lil clay in it I just don’t have the money to buy $2000.00 worth of topsoil to put down and would like to get some grass growing soon. Please help thank you

It would have been great if you had started earlier.  Now we’re headed into the most difficult time to start a lawn due to the long days and heat that make it more difficult to keep the seed moist constantly.  That said, you can give it a go if you think you can run sprinklers a few times a day for the 4-6 weeks because that is what it will take.  Other than that, the procedure is always the same.  HERE’S a link to how to start a lawn.  If t doesn’t “take” due to insufficient watering, you’ll have to tackle it again later at a better time…like late August or early September.

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What grass seed type is tough enough to tolerate multiple dogs? The bare spots in my yard are shady & sandy.

Our sandy grass seed blend is the most durable once established and can grow in full sun or as little as 30% sun. If it is shadier than that, you’ll need our Shady Blend.  You’ll need to keep the seed moist and the dogs off the lawn while it is getting established though….about a six week period.

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I HAVE LIGHTLY SPREAD WEED AND FEED AND MOSS KILLER GRANULES ON MY LAWN AND AM NOT GETTING THE RESULTS I EXPECTED. CAN I SPREAD A SECOND TIME ?.

Yes, you’ll need to re-apply. It has been too cold and rainy for these to work this early. Please read and follow the directions on the packaging.

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I live in Geyser Crest in the woods lots of tree and have a sandy soil. Does not get much sun at all. There are pine trees too. Every year I have to put moss killer down and every year it comes back. Is there a grass seed that will counter act and choke out the moss. If so Which one do I get? Is it stocked in your stores or is it specially made and shipped in.

Yes, we sell a blend called “Super Shady” for just this situation.  You are correct that getting grass to choke out the moss is the best approach.  You should also do a pH test to determine if and how much Pelletized Lime you’ll need to counteract any soil acidity (moss is usually an indication of acidic soil).  If the soil is acidic, the grass will start but then fail.  Lawns like a pH of 7.0 (neutral).  HERE’S a link to a blog post all about starting grass in an acidic area.

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How do I keep chipmunks out of my garden? It is well-fenced.Thanks, Also, I have a lot of moss in my lawn. I’d rather have grass than moss. Other than digging it up, any suggestions?

Around the outside of the garden you can spray Bonide Repels-All. It has a smell that they won’t like but that you won’t notice.  I CANNOT be sprayed in the Vegetable Garden on food crops though, only around the perimeter.  Inside the vegetable garden you can spray Hot Pepper Wax spray directly onto the plants and the chipmunks won’t bother them.

 

To get grass instead of moss, there is no quick fix. It will require removing the moss, correcting the pH of the soil and reseeding with the appropriate grass seed blend…more on that HERE.

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How do you fix a dog urine spot in the lawn? rcorbet@roadrunner.com

You’ll need to cut out the spot, fill the holes with soil and reseed the spots or replace with plugs of sad.  If you see the dog peeing, immediately soak the spot with a couple of gallons of water to dilute the urine.

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How long does it generally take for the Hewitts brand (Country Estate) “Super Shade” grass seed mix to germinate? I put some down on a very shady patch almost three weeks ago that was overcome with moss (I raked out the moss). A few blades germinated here and there, then got a little more modest growth in a couple of spots. But it is still largely bare. It gets very little sun, and even less given the rain we’re getting this spring. Should I hit it again, or mix in some “Super Sturdy” seeds?

It sprout within 2 weeks.  The only thing that can prevent that is if it isn’t kept CONSTANTLY moist.  even a couple of hours of being bone dry will kill the seed once it has been initially soaked.  Perhaps this happened on those couple of 90° dayS we had on 5/17 and 5/18.  You’ll need to reseed and pay close attention to keeping the seed constantly moist.  I’d still use the shady blend if the areas is shady…our seed blends are of the highest quality.  If you haven’t already done so, I’d do a pH test to make sure the soil is the correct pH for grass to thrive.  If it is acidic, the seed will sprout just fine but struggle to thrive in acidic soil…moss id often an indication of acidic soil…more on that HERE.

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Hi!I fertilized a couple of months ago and my lawn looks great. When should I fertilize again, I am in Saratoga county?Thanks!

Late August/early September would be best.  No feeding during the hot days of summer is best.

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Newly sprayed seeded lawn last fall. Looked great. Now (mid-July) there are yellow spots around the lawn and no growth in the center of them. What happened? How di I fix it?

It could be some form of fungal disease or a female dog urinating on the lawn.   If it is a fungal disorder then treating it with a lawn fungicide is in order.  To prevent dog urine from burning, soak the spot down right after the dog pees with  two or three gallons of water to dilute the urine.  When things cool off in mid to late August, you should feed the lawn.  Don’t feed during the hottest days of summer.

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I was told my lawn needs limestone and potassium what do you recommend and when do I put it down.

You can put limestone down at any time but you’ll need to do a pH test to see how much you need  HERE’S A LINK on how to do a simple pH test.  Pelletized lime is the best.

Potassium is the third of the three numbers in the guaranteed analysis on all packages of lawn food.  Any decent lawn food will provide potassium.  September is a great time to feed the lawn before winter.

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I have tons of mounds built in my sandy soil by the little brown ants. I noticed most products concentrate on Carpenter Ants. What is the best product to use?Also what would be the best way to grow grass on very sandy soil? So of my yard looks like a desert. Thanks! Sean

HERE’S the product you need to kill the ants.  Follow the directions on the package.  You’ll need to reseed the area in late August/early September to get a nice thick lawn established.  It is important to use the correct seed blend for sandy soil and we have that blend…it is called Country Estate Super Sandy Grass Seed Blend.  HERE’S a link on how to go about starting a lawn from seed.

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Mr Bowden my lawn appears to have what looks like summerpatch or brownpatch. I had this last year and I used a fungicide but it’s worse this year. Is there something I can apply to save the remainder of my front lawn? Your help would be greatly appreciated .

You can come into the garden center for a lawn fungicide although they are better used as a preventative earlier before the disease shows up.  The rainy summer we’re having is adding to your woes since this is just what the disease loves.  Keep the lawn taller (like 5″ or so) since mowing short helps the disease.  Once it cool’s off a bit in the second half of August, feed the lawn and again a month later.  Let the lawn get a little taller next summer and hopefully it won’t be so wet and the disease will subside.

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Hi Peter, I have Creeping Charlie in my lawn and don’t know how to get rid of it. Can you give me any advice? Thanks Jeanne.

You’ll need to spray with Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer once the high heat (80°-85°) of summer is over or the spray will also kill the grass.  Late August or early September would be better.  It may take a couple of applications to knock it back.  Always read and follow the directions on the package.

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I’am starting a new lawn from seed on about 3 inches of top soil. what seed do you recommend I use living in the northeast on an area with sun all day long. It will be covered with straw and watered continually. it will be in a no traffic area. Should I start on about the middle of September ? my email is skip4849@aol.com Thank you

You can start the lawn from mid August to mid September so the grass will be well established before winter. My favorite blend is our Super Sandy Blend (whether you have sandy soil or not).  It is primarily a blend of turf quality tall fescue.  They have fine blades like bluegrass but, once established, will have a root system that will penetrate 2’ or deeper into the soil versus 6” for bluegrass.  This means that it will be durable and drought resistant…low maintenance.  Here’s a link to a post all about starting a lawn from seed.

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Dear Mr Peter BowdenWife and self look forward to your Fri segment on CBS News 6 Albany. Wife feels cheated if they do not have you on!We have been using a “turf physician” for two and a half years and although our lawn looks better each year it looks no better than many neighbors that do nothing more than mow. We don’t know what the man on his rideon cart applies (in liquid and solid form) but we are concerned that he may be putting down chemicals that should be avoided. We bought some dwarf Jap Maples from you and some ground cover and the staff recommended organic this and that. We liked this approach as we only want to do what is best and we finally have a reliable yard worker that can do whatever we tell him.Kindly advise and thank you in advance.

Thank you for you kind words. Lawn care is pretty simple but is presented as being confusing so you can be sold more products.

The first step in lawn care is to make sure that the soil pH is correct. This is done with a simple pH test and applications of limestone if necessary.

I describe that here:

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/the-acid-test/567/

For a healthy lawn a feeding in spring and in fall is all that is necessary. Our Country Estate Lawn food is the best option although not considered “organic”.

If you want to go 100% organic then you should choose the Espoma Organic lawn food that we also sell.

 

https://www.espoma.com/product-lines/organic-lawn-fertilizers/

 

The biggest pest for lawns in our area are Japanese Beetle grubs.

The good news is that they can also be controlled organically with Milky Spore.

You can read all about that at the bottom of this blog post:

 

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/you-should-treat-for-lawn-grubs-when-there-are-none/7204/

 

Low mowing also stresses the lawn especially during hot, dry summer weather. Shallow, frequent is also to be avoided so the roots will grow deep.

More on that here:

 

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/the-long-lawns-of-summer/3655/

 

That is about it. Pretty simple.  If you have more garden questions, feel free to contact me.

 

Peter Bowden

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Hello Peter when is the best time to spread crab grass preventer down also got rid of most of my weeds except these patches of green leaves that look like heart shape1 to 2 inches wide

Crabgarss preventer goes on is spring around the time that the forsythia bushes bright yellow flowers are falling to the ground (right when the very first lilac flowers are opening.  A great time to kill broadleaf weeds is coming up in September once daytime highs drop below 85°.  A weed killer spray is the most effective weed killer since the weeds absorb the weed killer through their leaves.

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How can i get rid of mushrooms in my lawn safely since I have a 100 lb. dog to worry about as well as little kids that play in the yard?

The wet weather brings out the mushrooms. There are no sprays for them.  Simply step on them or rake them down and they will dry right up.

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Hi Peter I got rid of most of my weeds in my lawn except these patches of green leafs about an inch or inch and a half that look like heart shapes cant seem to get rid of them. Thank you

It sounds like you might have creeping Charlie…a vine lawn weed. You’ll need something stronger like Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  It can be used on lawn and won’t kill the grass when used in accordance with the directions on the label.  Now through mid-September is a great time for lawn weed killing.  Here’s a link to the product description.

http://www.bonide.com/products/weed-control/view/0612/chickweed-clover-and-oxalis-killer-rtu

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I have some area’s in my yard that I want to seed. What does Hewitt’s have as far as top soil and grass seed? I live in the Saratoga Springs area. Thanks.

We have topsoil in 40 lb. bags for $1.99.  We also have grass seed blends made to our specs. that are best for our climate.  There a Sunny Blend for full sun, a Shady Blend for full shade and my favorite called Sandy which is actuall great in all soils but especially good in sand.  It can put roots down 2′ into the soil and grows in full sun or as little as 30% sun (anything shadier and you’ll want out Shady Blend).  Sandy is fine bladed and low maintenance.  HERE’S A LINK to a blog post showing how to start grass from seed.

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our lawn has very large areas of brown grass. we get direct sunlight . could it be grubs or a fungis

Sunny areas are always attractive to grubs.  If you have a sprinkling system that runs frequently, it could also be a fungal disease.  You can determine if it is grubs by taking a shovel and flipping over some of the sod to a depth of about 6″…if there are grubs, they will be there in the root zone of the grass.  If you don’t find any then it is probably a fungal disease…bring a sample of the damaged are to the garden center so they can show you your fungicide options.

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I saw your segment on bugs attacking lawns and laying eggs for a spring hatch.You recommended a product to be applied now. it was dry and applied with a spreader. And, it came in a distinct pale blue bad.I’d really appreciate it if could give me the product name. I thought I’d remember the, but obviously forgot. Thanks in advance..Lee Stoutfind

The product is called Milky Spore and is applied now and a gain in spring for the next three years and then you are done worrying about grubs for at least 20 years.  Here’s a link about grub control and you find info about milky spore that the bottom of the blog post.

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I still have patches of green weeds that look like heart shapes about 1 inch in size left after I put my weed killer down how do I get rid of these . Thanks

For hard-to-kill weeds you’ll need a stronger liquid weed killer like Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  Get too it soon and don’t apply when rain is expected for a couple of days after application.

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I need help. I started a new lawn. I did it exactly how you recommended and the grass came up beautifully. After the first mowing I noticed spots of what looked like fuzz on some spots. There was some pink spots. Then that area died. So now I have all these spots on my lawn. What caused this to happen. Please send the answer to my email. Thank you so much.

It sounds like a fungal disease which were worse than normal this year due to excess moisture.  You were also likely watering the new grass extra.  In spring you can scratch up the damaged area with a metal and reseed.  Water as needed to get the seeds to germinate but then, once they are tall enough to mow, stop any extra watering and treat the area the same as the rest of your lawn. 

 

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Hi: I saw Peter do a segment on ridding your lawn of moles using milky spores. As I remember it, you had to use it a few times, but would rid your lawn of them. Please let me know what that was.

I’m not sure what you saw but I’ve never suggested milky spore to get rid of moles.  Milky spore, used properly, can rid your lawn of Japanese Beetle Grubs.  While it is true that moles eat grubs, ridding your lawn of grubs doesn’t get rid of moles since moles also eat earthworms.  Ridding your lawn of moles will take timely applications of mole repellent.  Here are links to a couple of blog posts that discuss mole control and grub control.

 Grub control:

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/you-should-treat-for-lawn-grubs-when-there-are-none/7204/

 Mole control:

http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/preventing-spring-mole-damage-starts-now/7216/

 

Peter B.

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how do i kill creeping charlie. i have been trying for years with no success

To kill creeping Charlie in the lawn, you’ll need a slightly stronger weed killer like Bonide Chickweed and Clover killer.  It needs to be applied when night time temperatures are above 55 degrees F and daytime temperatures below 85 degrees (or it can harm the grass).  This is usually mid to late May  It needs to be applied when no rain or watering is expected for at least 48 hours after application since it is absorbed through the leaves.  Since it is a vine, it will require regular monitoring and repeat applications will likely be necessary.  Read and follow the directions on the product’s label

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Hello,Will the crabgrass treatment kill grass seeds that did not germinate during the fall.Thanks,Patricia

Yes unless you use the more expensive crabgrass preventer made for use on new lawns.

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What is the best fast growing grass seed

Perennial Ryegrass…check out our “Super Sturdy” grass seed blend

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Good Morning, I live in Latham, NY. I am looking for a ground cover for my dog run, 20 x 20, 1 small dog, looking for perennial covering. Sunny area with a fine assortment of weeds growing there now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. John Latham NY

About all I can think of for that purpose would be white clover. We sell the seed.  It is inexpensive but you have to give it a month in May to get established before letting the dog use the area.

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I just watched your segment on CBS6 News. I don’t know where forsythia grow where I live, so I can’t tell if they haven’t bloomed yet, or if there just aren’t any. You said there’s no rush with the crabgrass preventer, but next week there are several 70 degree days forecast. Wouldn’t this weekend or early next week be a good time for it, then? Our lawn had more crabgrass than grass last summer, and I’d certainly like to improve on that.

Crabgrass preventer can still control crabgrass that has sprouted and up to the point that it as grown 3 blades so putting it on a little late is better than too early.  I prefer to watch for the very first flowers of the lilacs and apply the crabgrass preventer then.   The warm weather next will will warm the soil a bit but then it is going to cool down again.  I’d suggest waiting until next weekend rather than this weekend.  The weather is different every year and the timing must change with the weather.  Perhaps you could plant a lilac so you’ll have your own timer.

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sword fern, invasive in northeast florida, tips on removing

Since I don’t live in Florida, I have no direct experience with sword fern control.  The best I can do is refer you to this link:  http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/nephrolepis-cordifolia/

Controlling it looks to be very challenging.

 

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Hi Peter, I enjoy reading your column every week in the Money Saver. This week you said to apply the MoleMax in the early fall. What can I do now in the spring to rid my yard of these pesky critters? Thank you. Vicki

I guess it wasn’t made clear in the column that you can use MoleMax to repel moles and other burrowing rodents whenever you want to including spring.  If you treat now in spring, you’ll be rid of them for the summer but young moles will reinfest the area in late summer.   If you do another treatment in early September to prevent this then a spring application the following year likely  won’t be necessary.

 

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I just purchased a broadcast spreader from walmart and spectracide triazicide to kill ticks in my yard. How should I set up the spreader?

You’ll have to cross reference the settings on the spreader and the product to determine the setting.  Since there are a lot of different spreaders on the market, this question would be best asked to the people who sold you the products.

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Looking for grass fertilizer that is safe for kids and pets.

All lawn food is safe for kids and pets when used as directed on the package.  If you are looking for organic lawn food, we carry a full line of Espoma Organic Lawn for for you to choose.

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How can I get rid of moles?

Apply and water in MoleMax mole and burrowing rodent repellent.

More on mole control HERE.

 

 

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What is best time to dethatch your lawn. Spring or fall..

Here in our area (USDA Zone 5) late August/early September is the best time to dethatch a lawn.

Here’s a link to an article you might find helpful: https://www.gardenmyths.com/dethatching-lawn-thatch/

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I’m looking for a ground cover plant for a steep slope that I am tired of mowing. I tried crown vetch, but it it is much too tall and unruly for my needs. I am thinking of periwinkle or something similar. It is in an almost full sun location. Any suggestions?

Periwinkle will have a rough time in sun.  Sedum can work but it would take a lot of it and it is sold in small pots.  The best bet would be low-growing rug junipers IMO.  Here’s a link to more on using junipers as a groundcover.

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Will applying lime without testing it he soil do any harm? Also, what is needed to eliminate creeping Charlie’s and clover?

If lime is regularly applied without testing then you’ll end up with alkaline soil which can be as bad as acidic soil.   Considering that doing pH test is about as difficult as making a sandwich, I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t just do it.  More on how to do a pH test here:  https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/the-first-step-in-lawn-care/7318/

There are a couple of products you can spray on the lawn to kill creeping Charlie and clover but this shouldn’t be done when to soil is dry or the temperature are above 80°. At this point, this should be put off until September when the soil is moist and temperatures lower.

Here’s a couple of links to products that will work:

http://www.bonide.com/products/weed-control/view/061/chickweed-clover-and-oxalis-killer-conc

http://www.bonide.com/products/weed-control/view/321/weed-beater-fe-rtu

 

 

 

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Do I fertilize my lawn or reseed my lawn? I have reseeded in the past but I think it needs more. My yard is a mess.

Feeding the lawn now and again in a month will help it a lot.  If you are going to seed the lawn, remember that grass seed needs to be kept constantly moist to sprout. Intermittent watering or relying on rain won’t work.  Don’t seed more area than you can keep moist.  This may require watering 2 or 3 times a day until the grass is well established.  HERE’S A LINK to more on starting a lawn from seed.

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How do you grow a lawn in shale when all you get are weeds?

If it is solid shale then you’ll need to bring in 6″ of soil to cover the area before you can grow grass.  if it is just “shaley” soil then you could probably get grass to grow there if you choose the right blend.   I’d suggest our “Super Sandy” blend.  It is the best for not only sand but any difficult soil.  The tall fescues that makes up the blend can push roots 2″+ into even the worst soils.   Get the grass started and, once it is established, you can use a weed killer on the weeds this coming September.  HERE’S a link on how to start a lawn from seed.

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How do I treat speedwell with purple flowers this is growing in my lawn? It is spreading.

Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer will do the job for you.  Make sure to read and follow the directions on the label.

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Tick repellent for lawn. Where do I find it and what product should I use?

A repellent for ticks in the lawn isn’t something I’ve heard of.  A better approach would be to simply kill them with a proper application of THIS.  Read and follow the directions on the package.

There is also THIS spray that can do the job for you as well.

 

Both these are available at Hewitts

 

 

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After you have seeded with new grass seed when do you remove the straw?

There is no need to remove the straw.  It will rot away into the soil as the grass grows.

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I have both regular weeds and crabgrass. Which do I apply first- the Weed and Feed or the Crabgrass Preventer?

Crabgrass Preventer goes on first…within the next week or two (written on 5/1) and the Weed Killer later in May.

HERE’S A LINK to a blog post all about timing your Crabgrass Preventer application.

HERE’S A LINK to a blog post all about timing your Weed Killer application.

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How long after using crabgrass preventer can I use a fertilizer?Also, will using a broadleaf weedkiller on new weeds have any effect on the shield made by the crabgrass preventer. Thanks.

There is no problem applying crabgrass preventer with lawn food. In fact they are often sold as a blend to be applied at one time.

Your crabgrass preventer should be applied within the next couple of weeks.

 

More on timing you crabgrass preventer application HERE https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/finally-its-time-for-crabgrass-preventer-step-1-to-many-of-you/7124/

 

Even though it is warm out this week, it is too early for a weed killer application. Nighttime temperatures need to be above 50° regularly for the weed killer to work.  That is more a mid-May or later application depending on the weather.  More on timing your weed killer application HERE   https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/winning-the-war-on-weeds/6652/

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How do I restore the soil under a purple maple tree?

I’ll have to assume that you are having a problem with the exposed roots at the surface.  Maple trees are prone to doing this so it is a common problem.  You can cover the roots with soil or mulch but you don’t want to cover them too deeply or you “suffocate” the roots.  Don’t cover them with more than a couple of inches of soil or mulch.  HERE’S A LINK so you can learn all about this problem and the solutions available.

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is there a crabgrass preventer that lets me plant grass right after applying the preventer?

Yes there is.  Just drop by and tell the folks at the garden center that your looking for the starter food with crabgrass preventer and they’ll set you right up.

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I have wild strawberries invading my lawn. How do you kill them?

Your best choice would be Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  Just follow the directions on the label.  it is made for use on lawns.

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What is the best wsy to get rid of packysandra?

You can spray it with Round-up or you can use my cardboard method to smother it as I describe HERE.

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Do you carry “Bonide Annual Grub Beater” for the control of grubs??

Yes we do.  $20 for a bag that will treat 5,000 sq ft of lawn

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I just talked about the holes in my lawn either from squirrels, chipmunks or possibly a skunk & asked if I could send a picture of the damage but I forgot to give my e-mail so here it is. Thank you kindly

There’s no need to send a picture…if it is a rodent or skunk, the solution is the same.  MoleMax repellent.  Apply the granules, water in lightly and the damage will stop quickly.  Here’s a link to more on MoleMax:  http://www.bonide.com/products/garden-naturals/view/691/molemax-mole-and-vole-repellent

 

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what is the slowest growing type of grass that is suitable for East Greenbush? My objective is to cut down on lawn mowing. Thanks!

Some would suggest Zoysia grass but it turns brown early in late summer and stays brown late into spring. It is a “southern grass” better suited for warmer climates although it might survive in E Greenbush. There a re a few zoysia lawn in the area. Here’s more on zoysia I’m not a fan. Here’ Fescue grasses grow a little bit slower than the ryegrasses and bluegrasses but not so much that it will save you much mowing time. Unless you are watering heavily, you shouldn’t be mowing much right now anyway if you are doing the right thin and letting your lawn get taller for the summer. More on tall summer lawns HERE.

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My lawn repeatedly gets hit with red thread. Cooperative Extension recommended using fertilizer with at least 30% water insoluble nitrogen to help keep it under control. Does Hewitts carry such a product? If not, do you have an alternative? I have already applied a fungicide.

50% of the nitrogen in our Country Estate Lawn Food is slow release although Nitrogen is only 22% of the total nutrients in the bag.  I’m unsure of what the cooperative extension means by “30%”.  Red thread thrives when we have a cool damp spring like this.  They are correct, a shot of nitrogen usually clears up the problem.  Our Country Estate Lawn Food should do the job and we also carry Espoma Organic Lawn Food which would also work.  If you have a sprinkler system, that may also be contributing to the problem by keeping the lawn damp for extended periods.  You should also do a pH test since acidic soil makes nutrient, including nitrogen unavailable to the grass.

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There is a very coarse blade weedy grass, similar to crabgrass in texture that is taking over our lawn in Greenfield Center. This weed doesn’t grow in a clump, like crabgrass. It’s like single blades of grass, that flop/curve downwards. It is growing in full sun. I have photos, but there is no mechanism to upload. What do you think it could be? Thanks, Susan

It sounds like you might have nut sedge. It can be difficult to control. It thrives in poor soil that doesn’t dry out well or a lawn that is getting too much water possibly from a sprinkler system that runs too frequently, which encourages the nut sedge. Keeping the lawn taller and drier also helps the turf grasses compete with the sedge since the “low mow” is rough on the desirable turf grasses. Set your mower to its highest setting as long as it is hot and dry. We de sell a nut sedge killer but it will take repeated applications to gain the upper hand.

Here’s some more info on nut sedge: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/weeds/yellow-nutsedge.aspx

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Do you have an all natural production to spray in the yard to kill ants and ticks? The ants are killing our grass but we dont want the bad chemicals in the yard. We also have a vegetable garden to keep safe.

The ants aren’t killing your lawn but are likely having a feast on the critter that actually are…grubs.  You can eliminate the food source by getting rid of the grubs with milky spore, the only organic grub control.  More on that HERE.  https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/you-should-treat-for-lawn-grubs-when-there-are-none/7204/

 

Ticks aren’t so much of a lawn problem, they like to hang out higher up on plants so they can grab onto whatever passé by and brushes against the plants.  Controlling then naturally will require a multi-aspect approach that is outlined nicely HERE.  https://organicdailypost.com/7-ways-make-yard-hostile-ticks/

 

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Brown patch disease

https://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/factsheets/managing-diseases/brown-patch

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What setting should I use on a Scott’s edge guard mini to apply Bonide annual grub beater? My email: jwtisz@yahoo.com. Thanks!

In the instruction manual you’ll find setting for applying material at different rates.  The rate that Bonide Annual Grub Beater is applied for grub control is 1.8 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.

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How soon on a new lawn can the step 2 (weed killer) be applied?

New grass can be easily damaged by weed killer application.  The general “rule of thumb” is to wait until the new grass has been mowed 4 times.  Unfortunately this puts the application right in the hottest driest part of summer.  Weed killer will not want to be used on a lawn that is dry or when temperatures are expected to be above 85° to 90° or it will kill the grass as well as weeds.  The best approach would be to use a liquid weed killer sprayed onto each weed and not on the surrounding grass.  This also needs to be done when the lawn is well hydrated and temperatures aren’t too high.  Weed killer is absorbed through the leaves of the weeds so liquid weed killers used this way are usually more effective than granular weed killer.  Lawns also should not be fed during the hot dry days of summer when they are under stress.  If you want to use a weed and feed granular product, you’ll want to wait for late August or early  September when rain returns and the soil is cooler.

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What is best grass seed to replant dead grass along edga of road in Luther forest with sandy soil but has full sun also ? Super sunny or super sandy ?

The Super Sandy would be the best choice.  It will form a much deeper root system so it will be more drought resistant once established.

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I have a quack grass problem on my front lawn. Any help and suggestions would be so appreciated!Sincerely,Elissa Bucci

This is a tough problem to solve since any spray that will kill quackgrass also kills your lawn grasses. HERE’S A LINK to a site that describes your alternatives as limited as they are.

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What setting should I use on a Scott’s edge guard mini to apply Bonide annual grub beater? Thanks!

In the spreaders instruction manual you should find setting for different rates of application.  Bonide Annual Grub Beater is applied at a rate of 1.8 lbs./1000 sq. ft.  That would be the appropriate setting.

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How do I kill the ants that are creating little ant hills in large sections of my lawn creating destruction. to the grass? This is happening in August and they are destroying a section of lawn that I replanted this past spring. I have sandy soil.Thank you.

We do sell an ant killer for lawns. http://www.bonide.com/products/insect-control/view/60613/ant-flea-and-tick-killer

However, the ants are probably not destroying the lawn. The ants may be doing so well because of an excellent food source in that area of lawn…grubs.  The long term solution is to control the grubs in the lawn since they eat the roots off the grass.  My favorite grub control is the only organic one Milky Spore.  Here’s a link to more on your grub control options:  https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/you-should-treat-for-lawn-grubs-when-there-are-none/7204/

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Crabcrabgrass invasion. What remedy do you suggest. Thanks

There are crabgrass killer sprays that you can use on actively growing crabgrass but they aren’t tremendously effective and usually take more than one application.  Remembering that crabgrass is an annual plant that comes from seed every year, the most effective control is a well-time application of crabgrass PREVENTER in spring.  More on that HERE

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how to best attack crabgrass now

There are crabgrass killer sprays available but they usually require more than one application to work.

http://www.bonide.com/products/weed-control/view/066/weed-beater-plus-rts

By far, the best way to control crabgrass is to prevent it from sprouting with a well-timed application of crabgrass PREVENTER in spring.  More on that here:

https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/finally-its-time-for-crabgrass-preventer-step-1-to-many-of-you/7124/

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Chinch bugs in the lawn

Chinch bugs are pretty easy to control.  A single application of THIS should do the job.

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what should I use to get rid of white moths (possible signs webworm) in my lawn.

An application of a fast acting lawn insect killer like this one will easily eliminate them.

 

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Hi! We have a sand flea problem at our camp. What, if anything can we do to control or eliminate the problem that will be safe for our dogs and other wildlife in the area? Thank you so much!

The only non-chemical approach to controlling sand fleas is Diatomaceous earth.  You can read more about that HERE.

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/organic-way-kill-sand-fleas-yard-85526.html

We do sell Diatomaceous earth at Hewitts.

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I have nutsedge throughout my lawn . What can I do?THANK YOU Elissa

Nutsedge is notoriously tough to control but there is a spray that is made specifically to kill it. We sell it at Hewitts.  It is called Hi-Yield Nutsedge and Horsetail control.  We also sell the “spreader/sticker” they suggest adding to the spray to help it stick to the foliage of the nutsedge to help it get absorbed better.  HERE’S a link to the product for more information .

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I have a dog and lots of violets/weeds in my backyard. What product can I apply that would be safe for my dog and at the same time get rid of those pesky violets. Also need a safe weed killer for the same yard. Thank you.

Just recently, an organic weed killer has been brought to market.  Used as directed, it will kill the violets and all the other lawn weeds without harming the grass, wildlife or pets.  HERE’S A LINK to more on that product.

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How to get rid of wild violets in my lawn.

The new Fe (Iron) organic lawn weed killer is proving to be very effective against violets and other difficult to control lawn weeds. More on that here:  http://www.bonide.com/products/weed-control/view/321/weed-beater-fe-rtu

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What material can be used to help dry up wet and muddy areas in a lawn?

Other than adding more soil to elevate the area to improve drainage, I know of no material that can be applied to dry out soil. Willow trees are often planted in wet areas and can help dissipate moisture but aren’t suitable for all locations like over a septic system or near the foundation of a house.

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Best weed and feed for autumn?

None.  It is too cold for weed killers to work in autumn.  Nights need to be above 55° consistently for weed killers to work.  Late May and late August/early September are the best times for lawn weed control.  A last feeding could go down but ASAP since the lawn needs to use up the food before it goes dormant.  Very late applications of lawn food is a waste.

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Accidentally put weed and feed down instead of my crabgrass Preventer. How soon can I put the crabgrass preventer after applying the weed and feed?

Clearly you live somewhere much warmer than where I am in Upstate New York where we are still waiting for the snow to melt!

To let the food in the weed and feed “cool off” I’d wait 3 weeks.

HERE’S a link to help you understand when you Crabgrass preventer should go down.

Here’s a link to help you understand the timing of your weed killer application.

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I saw an episode of This Old House where they installed a sod lawn with a mix of turf grass and micro-clover. I have a 1 year old lawn and am looking to overseed. We’d prefer low maintenance and durability to “golf course Bluegrass”. Do you recommend/have micro-clover seed?

We have white clover arriving this week which is used in the manner you’re describing.  We do not have “micro-clover (Trifolium repens L. var. Pirouette) but you should be able to order it online.

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What is the best grass seed mixture for a shady woodsy area? I have no grass left, just some moss.Mark

Our “Shady” grass seed blend is just what you need since it can grow without any direct sun at all. However, since you mention moss, that would indicate that the soil in that area is too acidic for grass to survive.  You’ll need to correct that.  It isn’t difficult.  You’ll just need to do a soil pH test and apply the amount of limestone it indicates to bring the soil to a pH of 7.0.  Here’s a link that will walk you through the process:

https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/starting-a-lawn-from-seed-better-get-to-it/7338/

 

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Do you sell organic lawn fertilizer like milorganite?

We are stocking Milorganite right now but, for a higher quality, more complete organic lawn food, I’d suggest you check out the line of Espoma Organic lawn Foods that we also sell.

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I have already purchased the Scott’s complete 4 step year round maintenance regimen. However, I’m still concerned about my front lawn because it has a fair number of dry patches and dead spots. Is this caused by grubs and if so, can I apply something to address this even though I just recently applied crabgrass preventer/lawn food to it?

Hard to say.  Perhaps you should ask the folks at the place where you purchased the Scott’s 4 step program.

I’d suggest taking some pictures of the area on your phone and even a cut out sample of the dead spots and bring them in to Hewitt’s for a closer look so they can help you figure out what is going on and come up with a solution.

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Do you have any plants or seeds for a perennial fast growing tall grass (3ft+) or wild flowers that will survive a mostly shady area?Thank you,:-)

Grasses need more sun.

I’d suggest cimicifuga although we’ve never had it in our selection at Hewitts.

More on that here: https://www.thespruce.com/actaea-or-cimicifuga-1316020

 

Clethra, a woody plant might be another option and we’ll have them in a couple weeks

More on that here: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c230

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I am thinking of reseeding my lawn with micro clover. Is this a good idea? Also does hewitt’s carry this product?

If you like the idea of clover in your lawn then it is a good idea for you.

We have white clover arriving this week which is used in the manner you’re describing. We do not have “micro-clover (Trifolium repens  L. var. Pirouette) but you should be able to order it online

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Peter,Any ideas on how to save a lawn that has been infested with ground moles? I have tried a variety of traps, sprays, liquids, etc. and nothing seems to get rid of them. My lawn is a wreck. It has gotten all spongy feeling and the moles leave behind their mounds of dirt.Please help if you can!Chris Weingartnercweingar9612@gmail.com

Your best bet is Mole-Max repellent.  It needs to applied at the rate on the package and watered in.  More on that  HERE

https://www.bonide.com/trusted-brands/molemax/

Rather than wait for spring to treat for moles, Use the Mole-Max in September to prevent young mole from setting up their territory.  If you stop them then, you won’t have this damage every spring.  More on that HERE 

Holy Mole-y!

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Peter – when is the best time to apply a weed and feed after putting down crab grass preventer? Thank you,Tim

As of today (4/19) you’re about a month away from effective weed killer applications.  HERE’S A LINK to more on weed killer timing.

Lawn weed control season is here!

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Best time to put down crabgrass preventer in Johnstown, New York? Terry

I’d guess late NEXT week.  You can figure it out by using your local forsythia and lilac bushes…more on that HERE.

When it’s cold, put “Step 1” on hold

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I had some crab grass last year in my lawn and some bare spots. Should I treat for the crab grass or should I plant grass?

You can do both as long as you ask for  the “Crabgrass Preventer for New Lawns” at the garden center.  It costs a little more than “plain” crabgrass preventer but will only prevent crabgrass seeds from sprouting but allow your turfgrass to still sprout and grow unimpeded.  You’ll also want a good lawn starter food once your turfgrass seeds have sprouted and are growing.

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I live in the Lake George Adirondack region actually on Glen Lake. Is it to early to spread Scotts weed and feed now

Yes, it is WAY too early.  You want nights averaging 50 degrees or above for weed killer to work.  You also want to look into the local laws for applying lawn food and weed killer if you are on Glen Lake.  It is illegal in many cases depending on how close to the shoreline your property is.

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hi how much for 128 sq ft of sod..?

We sell 10 sq. ft. rolls for $6.99. You need 13 so 90.87 plus tax.

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What is a good product to use on creeping ivy in lawn without damaging your grass.

Traditionally Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer would be the “go to” product for ground Ivy in the lawn.

 

https://www.bonide.com/products/weed-control/view/061/chickweed-clover-and-oxalis-killer-conc

 

There is a new, organic weed killer called “Weed Beater Fe” that is showing good results not only against easy-to-kill lawn weeds like dandelions but also against tougher to controlweeds like clover and ground ivy aka Creeping Charlie.

 

https://www.bonide.com/products/weed-control/view/321/weed-beater-fe-rtu

 

Whichever one you choose, be sure to read and follow the direction on the package.

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I seen you on channel 6 news Friday and you said something about killing crabgrass naturally.

Sorry but I didn’t mention killing crabgrass in the segment. The way they chopped and edited that segment was awful though so I can understand the confusion.  I did talk about an organic lawn weed killer called Weed Beater Fe which will kill leafy lawn weeds and not the grass but it won’t kill crabgrass since it is also a grass.  The only natural crabgrass control is Corn Gluten but it needs to be applied before the crabgrass sprouts and it prevents the seeds from sprouting…too late for that to work now.  Sorry for the confusion.

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We need to determine the best perennial grass seed (mix) for a unique application. We will be establishing a lawn for a 100 feet x 500 feet area. The area will be tightly mowed. The area is a clay like soil that has been farmed for many years including last year. 95 % of the area will receive extreme daily sunlight with no shade. The only watering source will be from rain. What could you suggest as the best seed or seed mix.

Our Super Sandyblend is primarily turf quality tall fescue. It would be best for that application. Mowing close in the heat of summer without watering will be a problem for any grass though. It will also need supplemental watering to get it started and established but this is also true for any grass seed.

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Lawn has got got a lot of moss on it now do I get rid of it???

Moss can be prevented by regular checking and correcting the soil pH with applications of lime. Over time all soils gradually become more acidic. As it does, grass, which likes pH neutral (7.0) starts to die off. Moss like acidic soil and thrives, gradually choking out the struggling grass. Moss makes the soil even more acidic as it grows.

To reclaim the area, you’ll now need to kill the moss with a moss killer. Then you’ll need to do a pH test to determine home much lime needs to be applied to make the area suitable for grass to grow and then reseed the area. Once the pH has been brought back to neutral (7.0) it should be checked every 3 to 5 years to see if another application of lime is needed. Here’s a link to walk you through pH testing and starting a lawn from seed. https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/starting-a-lawn-from-seed-its-time-to-get-crackin-2/7452/

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I have dips and low spots in my lawn, but the grass it fine. Can I fill the low spots with top soil without killing the existing grass or will I have to reseed.ThanksDennis

That depends on how much soil you put on top of the grass.

I’d suggest slicing the sod out over the low spots and then add the soil into the low spot and replace the sod on top and tamp it down.

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What is the best lawn fertilizer to use right now?

Hewitt’s Country Estate Lawn Food is always the best one to use.

 

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Hi again peter the grass question about what to put on now that its growing good

Now that your new lawn is up, you’ll want to feed it with a good lawn starter food.  The weeds will have to wait since weed killer can also kill very young grass.  Weed killing will have to wait until September.  Here’s a link to a blog post that talks about the starter food toward the bottom of the article:  https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/starting-a-lawn-from-seed-its-time-to-get-crackin-2/7452/

 

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Hello, I have small round patches of discoloration mainly in my front yard. Ive been told by someone it’s a fungus that is a result of too much water. The spots are round and the tips of the grass in the circles are reddish and as you get closer to the dirt its light brown. I have this problem every year and I’m not sure how to solve it. Any helpful information would be appreciated. Thank you Sean

It sounds like a fungal disease called “red thread”.  It thrives in a spring like this…damp and humid.  Thankfully it doesn’t usually kill the grass.  The solution is easy too…feed the lawn with a good lawn food to give it a good shot of nitrogen….like out own Country Estate Lawn Food.  It has quick and slow release nitrogen.  Feed soon though before it gets too hot.  More on red thread HERE.

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I have already used a premergent, but still have young crab grass coming up through my lawn. If I am persistent, will just pulling out the new leaves weaken and eventually kill the new crabgrass, or do I absolutely have to dig up the roots through my lawn?

Crabgrass is an annual plant so, if the seeds of this year’s crop are sprouting in your lawn, they would be tiny with only a tiny blade or two growing this early in the season. If you have a larger clumping grass growing and spreading this early, it isn’t crabgrass.  Crabgrass preventer prevents the seeds of crabgrass from sprouting but it won’t do anything to stop perennials plants including undesirable perennial grasses.  Digging out the roots is the best option other than killing the area and reseeding it.

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I have a lot of moss in a few spots in my yard. I also have a couple of areas that i have been unable to grow grass in and which also have moss in them.. I have been told to add lime to my yard which I do every fall, but have also been reading about some “moss killer” which contain ferrous sulphate monohydrate. Can you share your expertise on the two options (or a combination of both)?

Grass likes a soil pH of 7.0 neutral. Had attention been paid to keeping the soil’s pH at 7.0, the grass would thrive and moss would have had a hard time intruding.  Since pH testing and timely applications of lime were not done, the soil became gradually acidic.  All soil becomes gradually acidic over time.  Once it became too acidic for the grass to thrive, the moss, which prefers acidic soil, starts to take hold.  Once it does, it has the ability to make the soil acidic at an even faster rate and the grass starts to rapidly die off and the moss thrives.

 

It sounds like you’ve been adding a little lime every fall but never doing a simple pH test to determine how much you actually needed to apply to get the soil to the correct pH for grass to thrive (7.0).

 

So here you are with moss. While appropriate liming of the soil would have kept the lawn healthy and the moss at bay, applying lime now will not kill the moss.  What you’ll need to do is take some soil and do your pH testing before you put anything on the lawn so the test will be accurate,  Then you’ll need to use the moss killer to kill the moss.  Once it is dead, you’ll need to rake it out.  Then you’ll need to apply the amount of lime that the pH indicates you need to get it to 7.0  You can pick up a soil pH test kit at the garden center for a couple of bucks.  Once the lime is down, you’ll need to broadcast the appropriate grass seed blend (depending on how much light the area gets) and keep the area moist until the grass is established.  Here’s a link to a blog post that will walk you through the process of soil pH testing and lawn seeding. https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/starting-a-lawn-from-seed-its-time-to-get-crackin-2/7452/

 

Read and follow the direction on the moss killer package

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does Bio Advanced 24 -Hour Grub Killer Plus Granules kill birds or harm your pets

IF the instructions on the packed are followed correctly, it will not harm birds or pets.

If the instructions are not followed, yes, it can.

There is, however, a better choice for grub killer…an organic option called  Milky Spore Disease.

More on Milky Spore HERE.

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mole control

HERE’S a link about mole control.  https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/holy-mole-y/7433/

 

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I have trees I cannot grow grass under. Moss has started and I have decided to just let the moss grow and cover the area. What can I do to help the moss grow?

Good for you!  Here’s a link to a blog post that covers growing moss very well.  https://www.thespruce.com/benefits-of-growing-moss-where-grass-will-not-survive-2152831

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