Mack Wonder
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:39 am
Location: Austin, TX

How to recooperate a weed infested lawn with stunted trees

Hello all! I'd appreciate any assistance at all. Here' my story. I'm located in Pflugerville, TX (near Austin).

A few years go I bought a house that was within the past 8 years or so. The grass that was laid down was St. Augustine and their is now sprinkler system. Over the course of the first 6 years the prior owners did absolutely nothing to maintain the lawn and as a result it is now 5% St. Augustine and 95% weeds. In addition the 2 trees that are in my front yard are much smaller than everyone else's in the neighborhood. They bloom and look nice in the spring, but just look stunted. This year I put in some fertilize spikes in hopes that this will help.

So over the past 2 years I have unsuccessfully, with little knowledge, tried to fix my lawn to no avail. My 5% St. Augustine is primarily in the shade and is in very good shape. That I have been able to maintain. My front lawn is much worse than my back yard and is my primary focus to begin with. I'm sick of having the crappy yard in the neighborhood. But right now when I mow it down and edge it, it looks very nice from the road. Its just when you get closer and realize what the lawn actually consists of that realize its not that nice. Here are some concerns I have about the yard in no particular order:

- Severe drought conditions over the past several years so I would like to use a drought resistant grass. I doubt I have any chance to recoop the St. Augustine grass.

-Seeding or re-sodding?

- Soil very heavy in clay with not much dirt at all. The dirt is probably in pretty bad condition. root layer must be very thin because the soil layer does not go above the sidewalk at all. I've noticed the nice lawns do.

- With no underground sprinkling system it is very hard to keep up with watering. I have some above ground sprinklers that I use but it is very time consuming. Need grass that requires least watering or a better way to water?

- Probably 75-90% of yard consists of weeds of all kinds. When I mow it down this time of year, it actually looks pretty nice. Not as nice as the neighbors, but definitely not the worst around. Unless you get up close and notice that it is mostly a variety of weeds.

So, where do I begin? I'm at your mercy. What other facts are needed. I'd like to finally take this serious and truly appreciate any advice at all.


User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3233
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:15 am
Location: Oregon

One of the best ways you could treat the lawn would be to kill of the grass and weeds, you could even do this with black plastic as it would heat the soil. You could use Round Up but it is a poison and the weed seeds will still be in the ground. Then till up the soil, clay, then have a truck bring in a mix of sand, soil and compost. You need sand to loosen the clay and compost to give it nutrients, the soil will add elements. Spread it over the yard and till it in. Smooth over the yard and test the PH add lime as needed. Then rake in some water saving seed, you can also add some fertilizer but do not add harsh chemicals as they will kill the natural organics of the soil; there are even organic fertilizers you can use. Use a roller to smooth over the lawn and roll the seed in better. Keep your lawn watered.

Or you could have sod brought in, kill and smooth the lawn first and add sand for drainage.

Return to “Lawn Care”