Lawn frustrations-- moss, weeds, dead grass HELP!
I really don't even know where to start. I've done many searches but get a LOT of conflicting information, so I figured I'd post here to see what you all think.
We live in the NW Suburbs of Chicago. (Zone 5). My 1/4 acre lawn is on a slope. The West side of the house yard is mostly moss, dead grass, cloves, bumps, and weeds. Creeping charlie, wild violets, dandelions, you name it- it's there. The front (north) side of the house is on a major slope with dead grass, creeping charlie, and it slopes downward, so when it rains the little grass I do have looks like it has been run over.
We are on a very limited budget, and I've tried it all. We've done the "lawn tonics", used some of the "Anytime" Scott's fertilizer, and hand pulled weeds. It is so terrible and quite an embarrassment. I might add that we also have about 25 trees or so (hickory and oaks), and we've already removed 12 of them.
We have very acidic soil. I've contemplated ripping the whole yard out and starting from scratch, but I don't want the same problem to happen again.
I do believe thatch is a problem. Is it too late to de-thatch and aerate? If we do de-thatch, should we rent a de-thatcher, or attach a blade to the lawn? Many searches that I've done say if you de-thatch, you need to mow the lawn first. Well, there's nothing to mow! It's so thin, short, and mossy.
I know having a beautiful lawn is time consuming, which I don't mind, but being on a very limited budget seems to be hurting the most.
Any ideas, thoughts, advice is much appreciated! Thank you!