When we moved here there was very little yard, mostly weeds. When it was wet out the dogs would track mud in the house like crazy. Unfortunately some of the best grass on the place was located at the spot that was perfect for the garden. It was not in me to waste that much good grass so I transplanted it into areas where I needed it. For many months it was dig up weeds, dig up grass, transplant grass in new location one shovelful at a time where I dug the weed out. Areas were seeded as well with water poured on the seeds daily to keep the ground moist.
It was back breaking work for most of a year but the seeded areas began to come up. The transplanted grass began to flourish and spread. There were some areas that resisted all efforts, however. I had a master gardener out for an hour consult and got some great tips on the garden and greenhouses. She also had a comment on the lawn. She said we had a high clay content and to fill in those problem areas we needed to actually dig them up and amend the soil.
Yes, “amend the soil,” we needed to actually get some better soil in place. That gave me a problem. I didn’t want another winter of the dogs tracking in mud. I roto-tilled and dug down in the large areas to work in new soil and manure then got seed in the ground. This time it took. In places where I had grass but had bare spots I did “spot-amending” of the soil. I actually used a sharpshooter to dig out those places and on a small basis did the same thing I did in the roto-tilled area.
Weeds are still a problem. I used chemical treatment a couple of times to knock them down and feed the yard at the same time. My consultant advised against continuing more of that treatment saying the commercial products like this added a lot of salt to the soil. No matter, I had reached the point where the most effective method was to manually remove them.
However, that takes me back to the mud in the house problem. We have pretty good coverage now, but still a number of weeds. The solution is to suspend our weed-fighting efforts for the winter and take advantage of the coverage we have (grass or weed), then take up the battle against the weeds in the spring. I suspect we will lose some ground against them by using this strategy but perhaps by using a good organic pre-emergent fertilizer we can get a good jump on it.
The best solution would have been digging it all up and having sod put down (after putting a sprinkler system in place) but that’s not an option available to a poor boy. We all do what we can afford to do.