How to fix lawn cheaply


Old 06-06-14, 11:58 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 54
How to fix lawn cheaply

Quite frankly, I suspect there is no "cheap" answer to this question, but...

I have a 1.6 acre lot that started life as a cow pasture. I've lived here 22 years. This year my yard has looked the worse it ever has, even from last year. Most grass has now been replaced by weeds of one type or another.

Can't really afford to have someone come in and start from scratch, removing what is there and resowing. Are there any other options for re-establishing a grass filled lawn again? I know I would need to wait until fall to start.

Also, I live in northern N.C. The ground is hard red clay/dirt. Just throwing grass seed on top does nothing. Would a good aeration be enough to get new seed going?

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Old 06-06-14, 12:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,558
At this point I would do nothing. With summer here anything you do will be a waste. Revisit the problem in late September or October after summer's heat has passed.

In general if the lawn is more than 50% weeds the normal thought is to spray and kill everything in the yard. Then till and plant grass seed. If the weeds are less than 50% then many consider over seeding and working with what you've got. I'm in a similar part of NC. Nuking the entire yard presents a big erosion problem in my poor soil as nothing takes very well or fast.

My yard was well over 50% "weeds" but I over seeded and turned it around without nuking. I use a pullverizer (an implement that goes on a tractor to scrape troughs in the ground) to aerate and open the soil in early fall. It's tines are about 4" apart so everything in between was left undisturbed. I over seed and fertilize and the grass has time to get established before winter stopps it. In late winter (late February) I apply a pre-emergent herbicide. When spring come the grass seed is already well started and has a chance to sink deep roots before the summer's heat and dryness brings everything to a halt.

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