North Carolina, clay, dead spots, moss, clover

..but hardly any grass.
Our lawn is in sorry, sorry shape. Dead spots all over the front, cracked and dry. Lots of clover in the fromt and sides, and nothing but moss in the back, where there is the least sunshine.
I live in NC, near Chapel Hill. Short of hiring someone else, like Chemlawn, help me to start from scratch and reenergize my pitiful lawn!
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Got this from an a.m. gardening radio show.
Here's a start:
A balanced ph factor will prevent some weeds and moss.
August/ September    The best time to apply pelletized lime is 8 weeks prior to fall seeding. Otherwise, pelletized lime can be applied up to seeding time. Pelletized lime can be applied up to four times per year.
             Lime spread rate    
New Lawns….40-70#/1000 sqft Established Lawn 40#/ 2000sqft
    Begin weed control preparation:
    Two weeks prior to seeding you can kill off areas that are in poor condition with Round-up or Finale. Apply either herbicide two weekends in a row for those hard to control weeds such as Bermuda grass. By the third weekend you are ready to seed.    
September    Best time to begin seeding your lawn is when the night temperatures dip into the lower 60's.
    Core or spike aerate lawns that are new or neglected for the first two to three fall seasons.          Add gypsum where soil is compacted twice yearly. Try to space applications one to two weeks apart from applications of lime or fertilizer.          Apply starter fertilizer as directed with a broadcast or rotary spreader.
    Choose a good Turf-Type Fescue, i.e.: Enviro, or Lesco's Transition Blend. A blend works best in sun to part shade. Where there is shade, choose a blend with Creeping Red Fescue, or Enviro Shade Blend. If there is dense shade, fescue performs poorly. You may consider a ground cover such as Dwarf Mondo or Vinca Minor. When seeding use the average coverage rate as follows: Over-seeding 4-5 lbs/1000 sqft          New seeding 8-10 lbs/1000 sqft Remember there is approximately 44,000 sqft in an acre
    It is best to apply seed evenly. Too much seed applied can cause the seed to die once germinated. Lightly sprinkle peat moss or topsoil evenly over the seed to cover. Since wheat straw contains weed seeds, use sparingly or on areas you cannot water evenly.
    Wet newly seeded areas daily until germination. Germination takes place best when temperatures are between 70 - 75 degrees and can take approximately 10 days to two weeks. Once germination takes place water evenly. You are looking for approximately one to two inches of water on the lawn every week.          IT IS BEST TO AVOID NIGHT WATERING!!!         Mowing newly seeded areas can take place when you can walk on the area lightly and the turf bounces back without matting down. Keep damage to your new grass to a minimum…KEEP YOUR LAWN MOWER BLADES SHARP!!!! November/ December      Eight weeks after seeding a second application of Fertilizer can be applied. If more seeding is needed, a second application of starter can be applied. Otherwise, this is the time to apply Winterizer Fertilizer.
This information provided for you by:
Maureen Riley,WBT's Carolina Gardener 2004
February/ March    Apply a Crabgrass Preventer at this time. Scott's Halts or Lesco's 0-0-7 will keep crabgrass and or grassy weeds from emerging up to 12 weeks. No seeding can take place after use of either product! ****You may want to pick up an additional application of preventer to be used in May to get a more effective control of crabgrass.
    It is best to apply lime at this time too. April/ May    Apply a Weed and Feed at this time. A weed and feed product will take care of broadleaf weeds and be your first fertilizer application of the spring.
Remember to follow the directions carefully
Wet the lawn first…..Rain within 48 hours will diminish the effectiveness. This product is best used when the weeds are actively growing. Applying the application too early can reduce the effectiveness of the weed killing chemical.      The organic way…    An alternative to inorganic fertilizers you may want to try organic fertilizers. Espoma's Turf Tone, or Milorganite is an excellent way to get good greening. With organics you must apply more frequently, so follow the directions carefully      Don't forget…..    May is the best time to make your second application of crabgrass preventer to ensure you get complete control.
Grubs?……    Watch out for grubs at this time. Applying a product containing "Merit" in May will be very effective on the eggs of Japanese Beetles that will be laid this season. Milky Spore can be used as an effective biological control. It can last up to three years. Encourage your neighbors to use it also to get a more complete control.
June/ July    If there is a rainfall shortage, reduce your watering slowly. By doing so your lawn will naturally go into survival mode. Intermittent watering will cause more stress and actually damage your lawn. You are better off cutting your watering back entirely. You will see as the fall arrives the greening back when the rain comes. You may also consider investing in a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system actually will water your lawn more efficiently and reduce your loss from drought conditions.
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