Thanks for all the input. I've summarized everything below as a means to plan for this year's lawn maintenance program I'll execute. I have some questions in bold. I welcome any thoughts / opinions!
1. Dethatch - Rake yard once spring is on the horizon.
2. Aerate - Rent core aerator and cover yard twice in cross pattern.
3. Follow Scotts fertilizer schedule using broadcast spreader
- Early Spring - Turf builder w/ crabgrass preventer (do this immediately after core aeration)
- Late Spring - Turf builder weed and feed
- Early Fall - Turf builder winterguard w/ weed control
4. Use pump sprayer with weed b gone on weeds as they appear throughout the year.
5. Mow 4"+ high
6. Around labor day reseed as appropriate the day before it rains. For bare areas, add top soil seed / re-seed. Add straw to prevent drying out. Water couple times a day.
- Do I need to dethatch AND core aerate?
- Should I core aerate and put down turf builder w/ crabgrass preventer before I mow the grass for the first time?
- How do I know when I should mow the lawn for the first time?
- In the fall when I seed/re-seed thin or bare areas, can I apply winterguard fertilizer to the new grass?