I think that several of us have at one time or another moved into a house where the lawn had been neglected for years, if not decades. Mine is closer to the second. My wife would love a nice smooth lawn with a blend of bright green grasses, and a place for our son and dog to run and play, something comparable to a golf course fairway. Right now, its turbulent topography, random bare spots, unbelievably compacted clay, inconsistent light patterns, and overabundance of weed material makes it not such a fun place to be.
Because we do have a two-year old and a dog, I refuse to use any of the typical lawn fertilizers, weed and feed, or similar processed chemicals.
What should I do? I have been thinking of tilling the whole thing up and starting over. Half the land has been a lawn for 120 years while the other half is sitting on top of fill material from where a carriage house burnt down a bit more than a decade ago.
This spring, I am thinking of renting a core aerator and going crazy with that. My first thought was to rake the pugs up and put them in the low areas in an attempt to smooth out the lawn a little bit.
Last summer, I put my mower deck as high as it would go, then last fall, I dropped the deck as low as it would go to mulch the leaves. This was done per the recommendation of landscaper friend of mine, but resulted in scalping a few areas where there was a substantial topography change. He seems to think that tilling would be a bad idea as I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what is under my lawn since it is such an old neighborhood.
So can anyone provide a basic step by step list of what I should do to restore the mess into a great looking lawn?