Answer: First of all I would suggest you run some basic soil tests and check the fertility and pH of the soil. Use the test results to begin amending the soil with fertilizer and lime (if need is indicated by the test results.) You could also top dress with good quality compost to try to feed the soil and increase its organic content so it is better able to support lawn grass. Then I would suggest you consult with your local county extension as to which specific lawn grass varieties grow best in your local area. They should also be able to help you with the soil tests and interpreting the results, as well as in developing an ongoing lawn maintenance plan. You may find it is possible to improve the soil as discussed above, do some core aeration (using a machine that pulls up plugs or cores of soil) to reduce compaction, and then by using an appropriate grass seed you can renovate the lawn without ripping it all out and starting over.
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