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I'm a new home owner and I have no idea how I should start to care for my lawn. Should I fertilize before seeding? Should I kill weeds first? Should I used a shade friendly seed? What about aerating the lawn? I basically would like to know what steps I should be taking to grow a beautiful green and weed-free lawn.

Lawn info: I live in the upper mid-west. The lawn is mostly shaded by very tall trees around the perimeter. The soil seems to be pretty damp as I had an enormous mushroom problem last fall (if those two are related). The grass seems to be pretty thinly spaced with soft soil underneath. I am planning on removing some landscaping around the house that has rocks/pebbles and instead plant grass from scratch.

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I am on the west coast but can tell you what I do. I remove weeds manually (it is more work but I avoid chemicals in the process) by pulling them out. Also, at the beginning of spring, I fertilize the lawn which helps keep it green and growing. I don't put any seeds (not as yet anyways) and I don't have any big trees around the lawn so it is fairly well exposed to sunlight. Of course, water it well during the summer months to keep the lawn healthy.

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    Another useful task is to top dress the lawn once a year with a soil, fertiliser and sand mix. This feeds the turf and evens the surface. Depending on the kind of turf you have, it is also good to scarify the lawn and aerate the soil once a year (usually at the beginning of spring when it is warming up, but before the sun gets too strong). – Viv Mar 10 '16 at 1:48
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I've done these simple steps on two Ohio homes with great success and little effort. Use the WeedBGone spray with the hose every other month to get weeds under control; especially thistle. Overseed in the dead of winter so that the freeze thaw cycle creates little crevices for the seeds to drop down into and the wet spring takes care of the rest. Just be sure to not to use Halts and kill the seedlings.

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