Answer: The first thing to do is run some basic soil tests and check the fertility and soil pH. Then, based on the test results, fertilize and/or add lime. This will encourage the grass to grow better.
The next thing is to mow correctly. Mow at three inches, and mow often enough that you do not remove more than one third the grass height per mowing. Correct mowing helps the grass grow denser and crowd out weeds.
After as season of good care, your lawn may look substantially better. If not, then you will be glad to know that late summer is actually the time to do major lawn work whether it consists of overseeding or starting over completely.
Your local county extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results, and they should have information on general lawn maintenance as well as renovation. Good luck with your lawn this summer!
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