Weed control/thin lawn
I have what seems to be a pretty unique and quite challenging situation with my yard and I was wondering if I could get some help on it.
Two years ago, I was working from scratch. I had a landscaper in who graded my yard, added a little topsoil, and spread on seed. I did the watering as they prescribed but we had a thunderstorm come through less than a week after the seeding that dumped over an inch of rain in under an hour. Now, what topsoil I was given is largely gone and the grass is pretty thin, with a lot of weeds.
To add to my troubles, I have a slope in my back yard that seems to wash out any fertilizer or seed I add as soon as we get our first rain. Also, as I joke with my neighbors, our soil is a 50/50 combination of clay and rock.
My problem right now is that, as I alluded to, the grass is thin and there are a lot of weeds coming in. I happen to live in a neighborhood where good lawns are the expectation and, while nobody has said anything directly to me, I have nearly the worst yard in the neighborhood and you can see the people looking at it when they walk or drive by. I don't want to be "that" house but we also have a vegetable garden in our back yard and a 3 year old daughter. I don't want to risk the health of our daughter or the safety of our food with chemicals.
I've been using Milorganite since the beginning and would like to continue using it as my fertilizer of choice. I do suspect that I'm not using enough. I've heard that applying a corn gluten based weed killer in the spring will take care of annual weeds and I can spread grass seed in the fall. I've been cutting the grass fairly long and I've been trying to tackle weeds with tap roots and what other weeds I can with some manual weed pulling tools.
What else can I do to improve the condition of my lawn? Any opinion on how much Milorganite or corn gluten I should be using? What's the risk of using too much Milorganite? Most important, what do I do about the slope? How do I get the Milorganite into the ground without it washing away?
I'm at a loss here. I'm pretty good with garden plants but I'm definitely not a lawn guy. I want to do this the right way but I just don't know how to get good results doing it the right way and I need to get control of my lawn.
Thanks for any help you can offer.