Garden problem

I would be grateful for any sound advice to my current garden issue. I moved into my property 18 months ago and the garden had been poorly maintained, overgrown and heavily populated by weeds. Last year I trimmed and mowed and added evergreen complete using the push along seed disperser, this had mixed results. Despite following the instructions to the letter and regular watering and mowing the lawn was just did not meet expectations. I have purposely left the lawn so far this year to see what I am up against.
Perhaps this is incorrect but seem to recall May being perfect for undertaking gardening work. I am hoping to get started this week and have a lawn fit for my young children to enjoy throughout summer. Any recommendations for archiving the best results are very welcome. I am open to using pesticides (or perhaps not?).
At my previous address I had a similar problem, to remedy I stripped the turf, rotovated, allowed regrowth and treated before adding top soil and turf. I was very happy with the results but it was tough work and extreamly time consuming. Although this garden is much smaller my time is sparse with a young family. This said I'm not shy of getting stuck in, if returfing or reseeding is the only way, so be it. I have tried to attach some photos, if not here I will post later. Many thanks for any suggestions.
Marko.
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Marko


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On Saturday, April 26, 2014 8:37:23 AM UTC-4, Marko wrote:

You don't say where you're located, but I'm guessing it's the UK. That makes a big difference in the problems and solutions. It's also not clear what the problem is. "didn't meet expectations"? "mixed results"?
I will tell you this. In your area, I doubt May is the best time for lawn reseeding, renovation, etc. Early Fall is the best time for cool season grasses. Then you have weather on your side. Cooler temps, less competition from weeds, time for the lawn to get established before the following summer. Starting in May, you're going to need more water, have more competition from weeds and will need to keep it watered frequently in the heat of summer because the new grass isn't established yet.
Without seeing it and knowing what's going on, it's impossible to give advice. Could just need some fertilizer and weed control, aeration, lime, etc. Could need to be over-seeded. Or it could be crap grass that will never look like you want and it requires killing it, reseeding or sodding, etc.

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Thanks you for your feedback.
I am in Manchester UK. Last years attempt at weed and feed had some success in cutting back the weed population but the grass didn't flourish as I had hoped. I think your crap grass assumption is pretty accurate.
Today I have strimmed and mowed the lawn and weeded the flower beds. The lawn is now very patchy with lots of weed shoots visible, also quite a bit of moss. I've raked the area over but now am in two minds wether to scalp and reseed/turf or persevere and review in Autumn.
If I choose to wait I will certainly aerate and fertilize as advised (not sure which order to do this though) and mow regular on a high setting. Perhaps also using roundup on the weeds as they pop up.
Any further comments would be appreciated, I will attempt to add some more photos too.
Thanks Mark
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On Sunday, April 27, 2014 5:30:18 PM UTC-4, Marko wrote:

That looks pretty bad. I don't even see much grass present. If it were mine, I'd renovate it by killing off everything with Roundup/glyphosate, wait until everything is dead, rake up the debris, then aerate. At that point you can apply seed, or preferably rent an overseeder, which is powered eqpt that cuts grooves in the soil and drops seeds. That gives excellent seed/soil contact, which is what you need. But just core aerating works too, the plugs of soil that are removed mix with the seeds.
Use a high quality grass seed and apply starter fertilizer. Test the PH and lime as needed, you can do that now. All this assumes the soil there is basically OK. If it's not, that's another story.
The preferred time to renovate is in early Sept. I'd kill it off in late Aug. But, you could also do it now. That area is small and as long as you can provide adequate water, you will be OK. If you can't water it, or water is expensive, etc, then for sure you want to do it in Fall. The other problem you'll have doing it now, is more weeds, but you can deal with that when the grass is established.
And don't use Roundup on weeds in turf. You want a herbicide for lawns that kills weeds and not the grass.
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if you have children and pets it's much easier to not worry about having a perfect lawn and instead just keep it mowed regularly. saves a lot of unneeded chemicals too.
often poor and compacted lawns are created by people who keep cutting and removing the clippings. instead, cut regularly and leave the clippings. the worms will eventually turn them into healthier topsoil.
every time it rains there is a bit of fertilizer in the rain. you don't need to feed a lawn if it gets regular rains.
a mixed lawn of various plants is much more interesting than just grasses and requires no chemical treatments at all. just keep mowing and that which can survive such treatment will be what you end up with. simple, inexpensive and much less bother.
songbird
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On 4/27/2014 11:07 PM, songbird wrote:

I endorse all of this. We'd be much better off (and our soils and waters would be, too) if we went back to the days where all we really cared about was if it was more or less green during most of the growing season.
Monoculture isn't natural. Monoculture is an ongoing battle against Nature's default status of diversity. If you want a weed free lawn, it will require a constant investment of time and money to maintain that unnatural environment. Or you can relax, accept weeds, or at least weeds to a certain degree, and spend that time and money on more pleasurable pursuits.
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On Saturday, April 26, 2014 7:37:23 AM UTC-5, Marko wrote:

There is another possibility for your problem based upon your picture - sha de. All plants, including grasses and weeds, have certain traits for sunli ght. Your type grass may not be getting enough direct sun. If so, you may need to change the type grass you've been trying to grow. Check with your local experts.
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