Questions

I am taking over my own lawn work after deciding that I could kill off my 25 y/o sod yard at least as efficiently (and much cheaper) than my lawn service. Being an newbie, I have some questions. In Central Indiana, when should I put down the fertilizer (and what kind), the weed killer (I prefer granular but could do liquid if there is any consensus one is better than the other)? I am leaning toward fertilizing and then weed killing. Any real reason to do it in two steps? How much time between the two?
I am thinking about doing some reseeding. Currently I am considering just broadcasting the seed. Does that impact on the timing of the fertilizer and weed killer. The area is mostly clay and I am told the original developer sold off most of the top soil. Over about the last five or six years, I have seen the sod markedly become thinner and thinner to the point where there are now bald spots. However, this hasn't been terribly consistent with some areas that I don't have to mow but every 2 weeks abutting areas that I need to mow weekly. Because of the clay I have aerated every other year. I don't know if this makes any difference in the suggestions, but I thought I'd throw it in.
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I'm not familiar with Indiana, or don't know (You didn't mention) what kind of grass. But, a few rules apply all over.
1. NEVER use a weed & feed product. The weed part is a herbicide pre-emergent. If one uses a pre-emergent, it needs to be applied before weeds emerge. I suggest to not use a pre-emergent, unless something like corn gluten. In addition, the herbicide can damage or even kill shrubs & bushes.
2. Grass does not need fertilizer until 4 to 6 weeks after spring. Therefore, the weed and seed is generally too late to help with the weeds, and too early to fertilize. A rule of thumb on time to fertilize is after the the third required mowing.
3. As to poor soil, clay; there is probably nothing better to revitalize soil than compost. Spread about a half inch thick layer of compost over the yard this spring, and again six months later. Do this for two or three years in a row, and your soil will be GREATLY improved. You can either make the compost yourself if you have enough raw material, or purchase it in bulk.
About the best I can tell you from the information you provided. You might consider discussing with your county agent, or at least a good nursery.
Good luck, Bob-tx
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"Bob-tx" <No Spam no contact> wrote:

Thanks for the reply. I hadn't even thought about the county agent, so this was VERY useful if with the scant infor I gave.
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