New homeowner overwhelmed by lawn car
About a year and a half ago I purchased a home and was so excited to finally have a yard. Now I am just feeling overwhelmed.
The yard is pretty large but I don't mind a bit of hard work. I just want to see some results. I feel as if I am just spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I have thought of using a yard service but I really really want to do it myself.
I was thinking of aerating the lawn but am not sure if that is the right thing. As I said the yard is large and on three levels (retaining walls) so I don't think I would be able to get the giant core aerator rental I saw at Home Depot up to the top levels. I can barely get my mower up there. That being said I think I would have to use a manual aerator. Again, I don't mind the hard work but would like if it showed some results. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I really don't want to give up.
Location: Austin, TX
Grass type: no clue...how can I find out? Should I cut a sample and take it to a nursery?
Products used: so far just watering, cutting and pulling weeds. I don't even know where to begin with other products.
Watering: we are on water restrictions her in Austin. I am only allowed to water on Thursdays. I have a sprinkler system but to be honest I am not exactly sure how to program it. (Still working on figuring it out)
Established lawn?: yes, it was here when I moved in but it wasn't in great shape.
What height and how often do I mow: I think it's dormant now...well at least some of it. Most of it is browny color (like most of the lawns in the neighborhood) but I have these random patches of beautiful soft green grass. In the summer I mow about once a week.
Soil test: haven't don't this yet.
Problems: some bare patches, weeds.
Some areas of my yard are very rocky and hard soil.
Weeds: yes! Scattered throughout the yard. Not sure what kind. I am letting a few grow pretty big and plan to take it to the nursery for identification.