bought a house - plan of action for weedy lawn
I'm sure this has been addressed, but after searching I haven't found an answer that meets my satisfaction. I plan to take some pictures tonight to show you what I'm dealing with.
We've recently purchased a new home in Cary, NC (zone 7b) with a very weedy back yard. My objective is to reseed this year and minimize weed pressure via organic methods. The lawn has a slight slope to the northeast. I have not yet had a soil test, as we've just moved in. I will likely have one done in the near future. My initial impression is as follows. Most of the lawn is covered with 3 types of weeds: chickweed, creeping charlie, and patches of wild onion. Soil appears dark in color, unlike the ubiquitous cecil and appling red clays common to this area. I'm assuming it could be moderately poorly drained (high water table, not low infiltration) which has resulted in an increase in organic matter. I have noticed no standing water on the lawn, even after recent soaking rains. While outside with the dog, I pulled a few clumps of the wild onion. With each pull came 3 to 4 large earthworms. I read this as a good sign or moderate fertility and possible evidence that no toxic chemicals have been recently applied. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Here are my questions/concerns. I'm aware that weeds can be useful indicators of growing conditions. The chickweed and ground ivy suggest the site is shady/wet. There are no trees in the back yard and it appears to receive adequate sunlight for a lawn, so I'm assuming that high soil moisture has allowed proliferation of these weeds. I'm trying to decide on whether to sow a bermuda or fescue lawn. Does one stand out as the obvious choice, given the limited information I've provided? I'd prefer not to irrigate during the summer months, so bermuda seems the obvious choice. But, if the lawn remains adequately moist maybe fescue would be better?
When it comes time to seed the lawn, I'd prefer to do it in a way that minimizes disturbance. Is it acceptable to remove weeds with a metal rake and hand pulling and then broadcast seed? I'm woefully ignorant of the mechanic of seeding, so your insight on this topic or links providing guidance would be especially welcome. Thanks in advance for your comments.