|I have more weeds than grass in my yard. After YEARS of neglect I want to get my yard back into shape. What do I do first this spring, put down a weed killer? of seed the entire yard, and add a fertilizer?|
|There are a couple of ways to renovate your lawn. You can rototill it up and start all over, or you can rent a core aerator and aerate your lawn, then spread some sand or compost over the area and reseed.
If you decide to redo the entire lawn, start by using a vegetation killer (such as Round Up) to kill existing weeds. Once you've killed the weeds you?ll want to remove them, then rake and remove any other debris such as sticks and rocks. Then rototill the area to break up the soil. Spread 4-5 inches of organic matter over the area and rototill it in, then rake the area smooth. Sod produces an almost instant lawn because the grass is mature with a healthy root system. After laying the sod and watering it down well, it only takes a week or two to become firmly established. Seeding takes a little longer, but the results are eventually the same - a lush, thick, healthy lawn. If you decide to seed your lawn, choose a mixture of perennial ryegrass, creeping fescues and bluegrass. This mixture contains both cool season and warm season grasses and will ensure your lawn remains green all summer and winter long.
The second option is to aerate your existing lawn. If you choose this option, start with an application of weed killer to take care of the existing weeds. Then rent an aerator. A core aerator will remove one inch by three inch plugs from the lawn. Leave the plugs on the lawn and they will dissolve in rain or water from the sprinklers. After aerating spread a thin layer of sand or compost over the area and water it in well. The sand or compost plus the soil from the plugs will work their way down into the holes left by the plugs. You can then overseed your entire lawn.
Either approach should improve the soil beneath the lawn and help your lawn grow lush and thick, which will help crowd out any future weeds.