Lawn Care 101 - I need help

Old 03-14-17, 08:39 AM
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Lawn Care 101 - I need help

I just became a home owner and I have no idea how to take care of my lawn. I live in VA and best to start now since its spring time. I am debating between do it myself or use service from Lawn Doctor or TruGreen.

this is what my lawn looks like now
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this is my parents lawn after year of negligence. I dont want mine to end up like their
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Any tip or advice is greatly appreciated
Old 03-14-17, 08:55 AM
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Hard to tell from the picture but the rule of thumb is if your yard is 50% or more weeds and/or undesired grasses, the best bet is to kill it all and start over.

Short of that, I'd do a soil test to figure out what amendments your soil needs and look at doing a core aeration before overseeding.
Old 03-14-17, 09:25 AM
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On the simple end of things I'd rake up the leaves and apply a fertilizer [maybe weed and feed]
Old 03-14-17, 09:39 AM
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I assume you have fescue grass and that's the green you see. The dead brown grass is likely crabgrass. There are a couple schools of thought. One is to fertilize in the very early spring and the other is to wait until spring proper. There are pro's and con's to each but you should use a high nitrogen fertilizer, something where the first number is every big.

Then in mid-late April apply a crabgrass preventer (pre-emergent herbicide). Crabgrass dies every winter and starts from seed every year. Crabgrass seeds need the soil temp to be above 55f for 7 days in a row to germinate. You want to have your herbicide down before then. You don't want to put it down too early as it slowly looses effectiveness over time. The herbicide prevents the crabgrass seeds from germinating and stops it's life cycle. With the crabgrass out of the picture you existing grass is free to grow and spread to fill in the bare patches.

Note that most crabgrass preventers prevent all seed germination. This means you should not try sowing grass seed within about two months of applying a crabgrass preventer as it will likely be a waste.

If you want to sow grass seed prepare your lawn and do it in late summer to early fall. This will give the grass time to get established before winter. It is also a time when you are not applying any herbicides that could interfere with the good grass.

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