Here's what I have: I am in Hickory, NC, which appears to be a transition zone. My lawn is currently fescue (not entirely sure which variety) and clover with some spots here and there of some much softer grass. I guess someone put out some seed of a different variety to fix some patches in the past. By my calculations, I have about 23,000 square feet of lawn. It is pretty flat with an area of slightly lower elevation that bisects the front yard and collects water. Most of that area is occupied by "flower" beds (full of low juniper and shrubs). I'm adding a picture I snapped for social media from after my first cut with the new lawn. It doesn't look too bad in the picture, and in reality, I wouldn't be unhappy with it except that I know it can be a little better.
Here are my goals:
- Keep things simple/practical
- Improve upon what's already here (i.e. reduce clover/weeds, improve health of the lawn
- Eventually have a lawn that is nice to walk on barefooted (could mean a different grass down the road...I'll decide more details on that later)
Here are my initial plans:
1. Reduce clover/weeds using the triangle approach. It is mid June, and we have been in this house for only a few weeks now. Post-emergent seems to be the thing to do
2. Get a soil test to figure out what I'm working with what fall maintenance should look like (do I need to aerate? what should fall fertilization look like?)
3. Learn. I need to learn some basics like grass and weed identification, what the aspects of my soil are, how they affect the lawn, and what I can/should do to manipulate them, etc.
This leads me (at long last, sorry for the huge post) to my questions for this group:
- Where can I learn more? Are there some resources (a good book, other web resources, etc.) that are good for establishing a baseline of knowledge to take me from novice to intermediate?
- What is the best place to get a soil test? I read a post on here somewhere that recommended a specific lab instead of state extension services. I want the best bang for the buck in that realm.
- Is the "Maintenance Schedule for Cool Season Lawns" accurate for a transition lawn? If following that exactly, should I expect to start a little soon and finish a little later? Is there extra maintenance I should consider?
- Overseeding, aerating, and dethatching...where can I learn about these? I need to decide which of those I need for the fall so I can start planning for them.