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Ok newb question, please help with weedy lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by CraigL, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. CraigL

    CraigL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Not sure if this is the right sub forum, but here goes.

    I am trying to a grip on whats gone wrong with my front yard, 2 months ago it was lush and green. Greenest yard on the block. Now it is full of weeds, has bare dead spots (looks like thatch) and the backyard is even worse. I havent touched the backyard yet because this is a new house and I was waiting for hte right time to seed. As it stands right now the backyard is a mixture of hardpan dirt surface and weeds of all varieties.

    My question is this, what would be my best course of action to correct the front yard, and start fresh in the backyard? I was reading up on power rakes and they seemed to be a good way to loosen up the soil and prepare the lawn for seeds as well as loosening up the weeds so I can go over with a rake.

    Also, can I run the power rake over my front yard without totally destroying it? And what should I do in the meantime for all the weeds? Should I pull them up or let the power rake do all that and then seed/fertilize?


    Ty in advance
  2. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Have a pic? It would help us for opinion.
  3. CraigL

    CraigL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I will post some tomorrow.
  4. CraigL

    CraigL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Here are the pics.

    The first 3 are from the front yard. I just mowed it yesterday so you cant really see the weeds (but there are many crab grass patches and other types which I dont know the names of). I tried to show more of the dead spots (which are somewhat covered by cut grass).

    The rest are from the backyard. You can see its basically all dirt and weeds.

    Im just looking for an idea of what to do on the front to get rid of the dead spots and what do to on the back to get rid of the weeds, loosen up the soil and plant new seed.






  5. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Scrape it off and re-top soil 4-5' then seed, lime, fert,and mulch
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Or, you could till in a bunch of organic matter in the back. Either way the back is a do-over IMO.
    The front could be fungus kill if no other explanation is evident. Looks like you cut pretty long. Was that to protect from the heat and drought that the rest of the country seemed to experience this year? Could it have been that those patches just baked?
    Anyways, I would mow short now and overseed.
  7. clallen03

    clallen03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 514

    That front lawn looks like a classic case of heat and drought stress on a fescue lawn. In the first picture you can see the soil cracking from lack of water. I have a couple lawn that has gone through this same issue and it is going to happen if fescue is not irrigated properly. We are in a drought here in most of GA so Im sure you'll weren't getting much rain either.


    I would rake all the dead grass out of those patchy areas until you can clearly see the soil. Then I would aerate the heck out of that lawn like never before (get your game face on because aerating is some backbreaking hard work). Then I would apply a little lime, some starter fertilizer, and a quality brand of seed. Then water it on a regular basis. It should fill back in nicely. Next year around this time expect to do the same thing all over again. That area looks like full sun so your fescue will take a pretty good hit every summer especially if it not irrigated properly.

    The back is bad shape. Your harley rake idea would be worth a try. Then lime, starter fert, quality seed, water, and PRAY.

    Hope this helps and good luck.
  8. clallen03

    clallen03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 514

    Oh yeah, dont worry about the weed right now. If you spray for weed it could prevent the germination of your seeds. We will work on your weed problem once the lawn fills back in. This should be around the November time frame.
  9. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Before you spend a penny on anything, recognize that the lawn in your mind doesn't happen without irrigation.

    In the front, I would install irrigation, aerate, topdress with compost and overseed.

    In the back I would knock everything down with glysophate, install irrigation, incorporate as much organic compost as I could afford (an inch or two minimum) till that in, grade, roll, seed, roll, water.

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