We moved into our new house in late March and started with mud. The builder put down seed with a hand spreader and put straw down on the sloped parts of the yard. He then told me to only water it every few days but not if it rains. I moved from a condo so I took him at his word.
My lawn is a wreck now, and despite doing a ton of research, I don't feel 100% confident in a good plan on how to deal with it.
The parts of the yard that did not have the straw down are seemingly 98% crabgrass. It's horrible. There are also lots of weeds, which I think are categorized as "broadleaf weeds" all over. From what I understand, weeds are common when you have soil brought in, and crabgrass when there's a low density of good grass and high heat and/or no shade. I've been cutting the grass at 3" for the last few months to give the grass a chance to survive, but it means I only have a non-embarrassing yard for 3 or 4 days and I've been mowing weekly throughout the summer just to keep the crabgrass length down.
My yard has zero trees, is pretty flat in the front and back, and slopes down maybe a total of 8-10 feet as it goes from the front of the house to the back.
After I bury some irrigation pipe for drainage from my downspouts next weekend, here's my plan:
- [power]rake to clear up debris (straw is everywhere!) from the soil
- rent an aerator and run it over the yard and dump in new seed
- water aggressively for a few days, then daily for a couple weeks
- fertilize in mid to late September
- continue watering regularly
- fertilize in November
I have no idea if this will be effective. I also don't know if I should aerate and seed again in the spring or if that would just damage the new seedlings.
What advice would you give to me?
TL;DR - new lawn is a mess of crabgrass an broadleaf weeds. What's the best strategy heading into the fall and next spring?