Pros: Easy to use, great results, stores well, easy to find, 1 of 4 in system.
Cons: More expensive than others, can kill lawn if over applied, needs more weed killing power
I started my Lawn reviews off by reviewing the Scott's rotary spreader, and it was suggested that I go ahead and continue to review the products used in it as an addition to that review. At first, I was a bit hesitant seeing as I am no lawn expert, having only owned my lawn for 3 years. But I wish I could show a before and after picture to show you that when used correctly you can have professional results without hiring the pros. So here's the first installment of my Scott's Lawn Products "series" if you can call it that.
Anyway, a little background, I started my journey when I purchased my first home out of foreclosure. Prior to that it was a rental property, and by the looks of the lawn it showed. I used to refer to my backyard and my "dandelion and thistle farm." And I wasn't stretching it very much. It would have been quite a dare to get someone to run barefoot to my fence and back. But with a little searching the wife and I settled on using a system that was created by Scott's with specific fertilizers and herbicides correlating to different times of year to be applicated. This system consists of three products.
Early Spring(Feb-Apr): Turf Builder with HALTS Crabgrass Killer (this Product)
Late Spring(Apr-Jun): Turf Builder with Plus 2 weed Control
Summer(Jun-August): Turf Builder with SummerGuard
Mid Fall(Sep-Nov): Turf Builder with Winter Guard
So here we go, phase one of project rebuild my lawn.
The first thing I recommend is using a Scott's brand spreader to ensure the proper dosage to your lawn. Too little and you are wasting your time, too much and you'll fry your grass. Yes, fry it. If you over fertilize your lawn, you will kill it VERY effectively. With this in mind be very careful around fences or other structures that may form a concentration on chemicals in an area.
Scotts's TurfBuilder with HALTS crabgrass preventer has a bit of a hidden talent in that it also prevents weeds from starting. The chemical in the HALTS actually works by stopping root new root formation. So it will not harm your existing grasses, but if you are trying to grow new grass, do not apply HALTS to that area.
Application of this product is about as easy as walking around your lawn, and will take you roughly about 1/5 the time it takes you to mow your lawn. Bags come in different sizes for different yards, but I tend to buy the largest bag they have and it will last me 2 applications, or two years on a 1/4 acre lot. Each bag has a correlating spreader setting that is designed to allow precise control of how much is applied to your yard when using a Scott's spreader. This particular number happens to be 3 1/2. Simply load your spreader, set the dial, pull the handle and walk at a normal pace keeping in mind to walk straight lines and have about 50% overlap to ensure you are not missing any areas. It is to be applied to a dry lawn, and recommends rain or water within 48 hours in order to help it seep into the soil. If watering it yourself, the exact recommendations are AT LEAST 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water.
The fertilizer itself consist of a bunch of tiny orange balls about the size of Dippin Dots, for lack of a better comparison. It flows freely and smoothly from just the normal vibration of the spreader moving along your lawn.
Although I will assume results may vary, I tend to notice the greening of my lawn within 1-2 weeks. Usually around day 10 after watering or rain, that lawn starts to show considerable difference. It will grow FAST too, so be prepared to mow a little more than usual. In some areas I will actually have to mow every 4-5 days for the first 2-3 weeks, and then it settles back into a "normal" growth cycle.
If you're like me and buy in bulk whenever possible, you will have some leftovers to use next year. As long as its stored in a dry place to prevent clumping you will have no problem. I have found the easiest way is to just roll up the bag and duct tape it closed and put it on a shelf in my garage. I have never had any trouble using this method, and unless you have a severe flood, you should be alright. If you do have a flood, I'm sorry, and you have more to deal with than the $20 in fertilizer you may have lost.
WHAT TO BE WATCHFUL FOR:
The main thing to be watchful for is over applying the product. Like I said before you can actually kill your grass with this product if not applied correctly, or if your spreader leaks and leaves a trail as you walk. Otherwise , DO NOT APPLY WHEN GRASS IS WET!!! Although the instructions will not say so, what will happen is that after a while your overlapping will cause your wet wheels to pick up and re-apply clumps of fertilizer leaving you with two dead lines where your wheel touched your lawn. It will become very apparent! very quickly what happened, and your only option is to pull the grass and reseed the area. This is probably the most common mistake, and this is why I recommend applying sometime in mid-afternoon while the sun is out and the lawn is dry. Definitely do not do it early morning while the dew is still present. There are cheaper and easier ways to kill your lawn if that's your desired result.
I have become a believer that hiring a service is completely unnecessary as long as you have the time to commit to your lawn. It takes me about 15 minutes to cover my 1/4 acre, and i have just as nice of a lawn not as my neighbors across the street who hire Scott's to apply their products. Plus I get the satisfaction that I did this, and I put in the time and got the results.
As far as weeds and crabgrass go, this will help, but on a lawn in the state that mine was when I got it, it was not quite as much as I needed. If you have a decent lawn already, this will maintain it and do a good job of preventing weeds and crabgrass, however in extreme cases like mine, I had to do a lot more "weed control." For this I used a different product other than Scott's and a 1 gallon pump up sprayer so that twice a week I would walk my yard and spray any new weed growth I had. But maybe I'll review that later.
THE JIST OF IT:
Scott's has saved my yard. What I actually wrote off as a complete tear up and re-sod, has turned into one of the nicest lawn on my block, and by far the most improved over the last 3 years. I fully stand by their products when used as directed and with some caution. It's quick and easy to apply, and it gets great results on any lawn. I am sure you will have a greener lawn if you follow my tips and the bags directions. I fully recommend Scott's TurfBuilder withe HAULTS Crabgrass Preventer when used with the Scotts Rotary Spreader.
I really hope this helps, and that you enjoyed my Epinion on this product, please do not hesitate to comment or email me if you have any further questions on the product. Please also see my review on the Scotts Seed EdgeGuard Mini Spreader, for a great rotary spreader to use while applying all of Scott's products.
If you liked this review, please check out some of my other lawn care product reviews listed below:
Scotts Seed EdgeGuard MINI Spreader
Scotts Turf Builder With HAULTS Crabgrass preventer(Early Spring use)
Scotts Turf Builder Plus 2 Weed Control(Late Spring)
Worx Cordless NiCa 10" Trimmer