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Should I replant my yard

I just bought a house last month in Wisconsin. It has been empty for a year so the lawn wasn't taken care of at all and we had the 3rd hottest summer in Wisconsin history. The snow is now gone and I can see how bad the yard looks. In some areas it looks really bad. I can see all my neighbors yards and theirs are coming in great for snow just melting.

Do I try and save it with fertilizing or do I till it and reseed? If I do decide to reseed do I need to kill the lawn before I till?

Re: Should I replant my yard

Another hot/dry summer will probably kill a new lawn planted now unless you can keep it watered.
A better approach would be to ferilize it and treat for weeds/crabgrass and then over seed in early fall to allow the grass to devevlop before the freezing weather sets in. Where I am in Md. late september works for reseeding, but in wisconson I bet it's earlier

Re: Should I replant my yard

How big is your yard?
Do you have a sprinkler system (I doubt it)?

If you have a large lot and no sprinklers, wait till summer is over, like mentioned above.

Re: Should I replant my yard

I would recommend that you just use a combination fertilizer with weed control. This will suppress the weeds while giving the grass a chance to grow and choke them out. You will need to water regularly, but if you use one of those products per the directions on the package, you should see fewer weeds and more grass over the summer.

With these products, it is very important to follow the directions exactly. If you put down more than the recommended application rate, they could do more harm than good. But done correctly, they do work. If you have flower beds or other plantings, other than well established bushes and trees, then I would also suggest a drop spreader instead of a broadcast spreader.

In addition to the regular watering, you will need to mow frequently. Your mowing schedule should be so that the mowing does more damage to the weeds than the grass. The grass should be cut to the optimum height for the type grass you have, you should probably consult with your local nursery about the best height when you purchase the "weed and feed". You want to remove no more than 1/3 of the grass height each time you mow, for example, it you are advised to set your lawn mower for a 2" cut height, then mow it when ever it gets close to 3" tall. This way you will not take off as much of the grass as you do the weeds that grow taller than the grass. You may have to mow twice a week.

Eventually you will have to spot treat problem weeds with a good herbicide like Round Up.

Re: Should I replant my yard

I was looking at it again today and there are some areas where it looks like it is just packed mud. I guess I can make a better judgement in a few weeks with some warmer weather and sunlight.

Re: Should I replant my yard

You can spot seed the bare areas, but I would not kill the existing grass, it has established roots so it will be tougher than new grass. For the bare areas, you should investigate to find out why they are bare. You may have to correct a soil problem in those areas. If weeds wont even grow, that is not a good sign.

Re: Should I replant my yard

You could get someone in to have a look? I've heard a few people talk about these guys http://www.greenlawncare.net/locations/North-Carolina.html (not your area but they're all over the US), they'll assess it and tell you what needs to be done.
Like someone else said, it could be a soil issue. Are you new to the area? You could try asking your neighbors how they care for theirs?

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