I just moved in with my girl friend- her house has a ratty lawn. The problem
is that this area in central Massachusetts was a glacial outwash plain- so
the soil was pure sand at the end of the ice age. There probably wasn't much
top soil when this neighborhood was built and much of what was here was
pushed around during construction.
The lawn has many almost bare spots- and other spots with nothing but weeds.
I don't know if it's best to first attempt to enrich the soil with
fertilizer with the theory that richer soil will enhance the ability of
grass to compete with weeds- or fist attempt to establish more grass by
vigorously raking with an iron rake, then spreading seed, then frequent
watering- then after the new grass gets started- to fertilize it. With this
alternative, do I need to go light with the fertilizer or get a special
The key question is how bad is the existing soil. If decent topsoil
is non-existent, I'd suffer through this season, then start over by
killing everything with Roundup and either tilling in organic matter
to improve the soil, or adding screened topsoil if necessary. In any
case, what you're talking about is a major renovation and if you're
just planning, it's too late now. Wait till last week in Aug/early
Sept when you'll have much better results You could use some weed/
feed fertilizer now to make what you have somewhat better.
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