bringing a neglected lawn under control
This is the year when I think we're finally going to try to establish some order in our "lawn."
We've done nothing but mow in the time we've been in the house, which is only a couple of years. While the "lawn" is certainly green, it's got quite a mix of different types of grasses and weeds. In many places, it's also uneven.
Frankly, I'm not even sure how to get started. I've sat down with a trowel on a couple of occasions and pulled up all of the weeds within reach, but that process is slow and tedious and probably doomed. When digging new garden beds (which always seem to get placed over the best-looking parts of the lawn), I've transplanted sod to some of the worst spots -- again, this has been helpful, but also slow and tedious. I've considered over-seeding, which I'm sure would help to some extent, but I think there are too many weeds to make this a viable option.
What I need is to do one big push, and bring things under control so that I can get onto a maintenance plan. I was considering the "Iron X" natural broad-leaf weed killer from Gardens Alive!, but I was disappointed to discover that no one there can answer my questions about the effects of using this product in a small yard near a vegetable garden.
Can any of you point me in the right direction? Is it worth trying to salvage what grass I have, or should I instead consider digging up the sod and starting fresh with seed or new, all-grass sod?
Part of me finds the "rip it out and start over" idea tempting. This would also allow me to grade the soil before planting the new grass, which has some serious advantages. There's also no reason that I couldn't undertake this task in segments, as I find myself with the time and energy.
However...before I do anything drastic, is there any way to bring this long-neglected lawn back to a happy state?