Answer: To start from scratch, you would use an herbicide containing glyphosate (such as Roundup) to kill the existing vegetation. Read and carefully follow all of the label directions. Then you would loosen the soil down at least six inches and work in organic matter such as compost. Also work in fertilizer and/or lime as indicated by soil test results. Then level the area and rake it smooth, and seed. Keep the area watered as needed to stay evenly moist until the seed germinates and becomes established.
August is a good time to do the clearing and soil preparation so you are ready to seed in early September. September is the best time of year to plant grass seed. Be sure to run your soil tests now so you have time to get the results back -- so you will know how much fertilizer and/or additional lime to use. The soil prep phase is the best time to add lime as you can work it down into the soil then instead of relying on leaching to move it down to where the grass roots are growing.
Good luck with your lawn!
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