Good evening Landscapers. I hope you are all well. I've looked around the web and am excited to be here; I wish it was under better conditions. I'm a renter who has, to be frank, neglected his lawn, and now I want to fix it. Last year before the summer, the valve on our sprinkler system went out, and I took too much time to get it fixed. Half assed hose attempts to nurture a large yard were in vain, and it caused a gorgeous, green lawn to turn into this.
At first i thought it was a weeded mess; I called a few people out, had plenty cancel, and just got fed up of it all and have tried to save the lawn myself. First, I thought, just to spread fescue seeds after reading that raking/dethaching a lawn and sowing Scotts easy seed (with the fertilizer/compost mixed all in one thingy) would work. That spawned some of the top lawn you see in a few of my pictures.
I have tried to ID the grass, but those stalks in some pics, I can't tell what type of seed they are, nor which type of grass the dark green, flourishing patches are.
I was told to ID the grass, rethatch, and aerate the lawn, before spreading seeds and watching the magic happen. Get it tall, and then mow it. Thing is, I have anxiety, and am terrified of seeding the wrong stuff and creating a mutant lawn. To make it worse, code enforcement wants to see some work done, but I'm leaving out of the country for two weeks in March when they want to see progress, so it's really got me and my anxiety (and the wife) on edge.
I'm in Riverside County, CA. The weather is high 50-60s and lows of 27-35 degrees F. I am a total noob, and have no idea what the soil condition is. It's well drained (I'm on a slope) and the lawn is on the East side of the house. Budget is about $200ish.
For the pictures I labeled them 1-8 in [brackets] to make responding to an individual one easier. The grass I'm trying to ID is in 4,7,and 8. Trying to see what the seed things on those stalks are, and if my plan of action would be one to start with. Thank you