I have a relatively smaller area where I have lawn, roughly 3000-4000 sq ft. Since water bills are so high in our area (Central Indiana) I have not watered the lawn in a long time- basically I have relied solely on rains, which have been infrequent. Last time I watered the lawn was probably about 50 days ago. I am a first time homeowner of 3 months now.
Now the front yard has turned completely brown- I think almost all the grass is dead there. I don't even have to mow it since there is no growth.
The backyard is not too bad- looks like the lawn there has survived better- of course, there are brown patch but not as bad as what I see in the front. I still have to mow it.
The sides of the house have brown patches- of dead grass as well as dormant grass.
Now I have a few questions.
- How do I restart the grass in the front yard (it is small, probably about 700-800 sq ft). The soil there seems to be very compact- wonder if this is the reason grass died there completely. Do I aerate here or do I till with a tiller rented from Home Depot- aerate vs. till?
- Before tilling- do I have to kill remaining grass that is in small patches?
- The grass in the front yard is dead vs. the back is not- I wonder why. Is it because the grass type is different? Or the soil compaction is playing a role?
- The front yard has a pretty steep slope- not sure if this causes any problem with water retention.
- What type of grass do you recommend that does not need a whole lot of water, again for whatever reason- water is so expensive here (I pay like $120 for a family of 4 with 2 small kids- and we are very conservative with water)
- Do I need to put straw and fertilizer together?
BACKYARD and SIDE YARD
- Do I need to till here or aerate? Or just what they call over-seed or re-seed... something like that
- If I just over-seed, how would grass seed come in contact with soil if there is already some grass there with patches of dead or dormant grass?
- Do I just start watering this part of the lawn now- to make sure what I have does not get killed completely like the front yard?
- How can I keep costs down? Can I rent aerator/ tiller etc. at a small cost? Or are there other way to do this?
- How much seed will I need- and are the low-water grasses more expensive?
- What else do I need?
I suppose I need to water the new lawn every day? This is the irony I guess- I did not water the lawn because of high water bills but it looks like as I try to restart the lawn- I have to water every day and expect a huge water bill :-(
I wonder if sprinkler system causes so much water usage vs. using a hose and oscillating sprinkler head.
So many questions. Thank you for reading. Here are some pictures of the yard.