Killing the lawn and starting over can be an appropriate solution,
depending on what's there now. If it's mostly weeds and undesirable
grass, that is the best solution. Undesirable grass would include
those that might be too coarse, disease prone, not drought tolerant,
Now is the time to do it. You can apply Roundup and then use a slice
seeder a week later. I'd make sure you have decent soil, 6-9 inchs,
and if not I'd recommend fixing it before reseeding. Get the best
grass seed for the application you can find. Rather than buying it at
a home center, I'd look online. I got mine from seedland.com, which
has a good selection.
It's a great time to seed, but you'll have to move fast. Personally,
this late in the game (in Iowa -- I'm in Wisconsin), I'd go with a
remediation program. It's likely that the grass you have is just
stressed and with decent care and overseeding can recover. Ease off on
the mower height, put down some starter fertilizer, overseed, and
top-dress (topsoil, humus, mulch). Guaranteed this will help your lawn a
For full renovation, you may not want to put Roundup in the soil because
it will take a couple of weeks for it to dissipate. If you had more time
it would be OK as a first step. Till the weeds in, add peat or other
organics to the soil, overseed, topdress, water to keep moist for up to
two weeks then back off.
The weeds will come back, but not as strong, and you can do pre-emergent
and 2,4D broadleaf weedkiller applications next year to whack them once
the new grass is healthy.
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