New homeowner questions

Hi all,
I am a new homeowner of a single family home. I used to live in a townhome that basically had no landscaping what so ever. No grass, no flower garden.
Can anyone recommend any books of lawn care, taking care of a flower garden? And anything else that is necessary.
I have no cluse what kind of grass is in my yard, but at a glance it is very narrow. There are some dandilions growing and I tried some of that Scott's Fertilizer with Plus 2. I am hoping that works. I have one area that is brown but I think it may need aerating.
I will probably have more questions but this will be enough for now.
Thanks,
Bill
P.S. I live in the Wilmington, DE area.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Garden Primer Barbara Damrosch ISBN: 0-89480-316-6 Workman Publishing 16.95 new probably find a used one cheap- try aaabooksearch.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm fond of Rodale's Chemical-Free Yard and Garden (in a number of editions, all of them good, and you can pick up a used copy for under $5). The language is clear, and I like the emphasis on working with the soil you have, choosing disease resistant and pest resistant varieties, and proper watering and growing techniques. Even if you choose to garden via non-organic methods, you can learn a lot that will help you have a decent looking lawn and gardens without unduly increasing your workload.
My #1 tip for lawn care? Learn to mow properly for the species of grass in your lawn. That'll save you a ton of time, effort, pesticide, and renovations. Most folks mow too short, letting it grow fairly long between mowings. That way guarantees weed problems.
My #1 tip for gardening in general? Your local master gardeners, state extension service, or botanical gardens will probably have lists of species and cultivars (varieties) of plants that do especially well in your area, and plants that are problems in your area. A very famous landscape architect, Capability Brown, once advised "figure out what you can grow, then grow lots of it"... pretty good advice. Many extension bulletins are available on the web... e.g.: http://ag.udel.edu/extension/information/hg/index.html http://www.hgic.umd.edu /
My #1 tip for planting shrubs and trees? Even though they look fairly pathetic when they're planted, they're going to grow up to be sizeable plants. Make sure you plan enough room for them to grow into. And if you don't believe me, I'd be happy to have you stop by this summer... I've got about 4 20 ft arborvitae the previous owners of our house planted within a couple of feet of the house -- they all need to come out, and then I get to replace the damaged siding. Fun jobs like that convince you to plan ahead when planting. <g>
Kay
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just for grins, take a sharp, flat spade and lift a section of sod in the brown area, and compare it to a piece from a green area. My guess is you may find larvae (grubs) in the brown area's soil.
Kay
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thank you for the replies.
I will look into each suggestion given.
Bill
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A hand held sprayer of weed-b-gon is all you need for a few dandelions. Just spray each weed. That will be much better than broadcasting herbicides all over your yard. Cut long, especially during hot weather, and don't forget the fall fertilizer application.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.