Need help with lawn
I have some problem maintaining my lawn - it has gotten to the stage where it is now an eyesore - in between 2 neighbors with green lawns :)
Total lawn size is about 5000 sft.
I will try to give as much information as i can :
1. we bought this house last year and this is our first home. I have lived all my life in apartments - so my experience with a lawn and grass are very limited.
2. The builder did not clean the yard very well before laying the sod. I remember big patches of cement - where they mixed the cement for bricks etc.. they kind of just laid the sod over it.
3. I think it is fescue grass. It was nice and green good looking - when they laid it. Last year was fine ... watered it well. Fertilized when my neighbors did - once in july - then in sept/oct. added seed in oct - and lime in oct too.
4. I dont have irrigation - so my watering has been a suspect. I did try to water deeply and less often - but i am not sure i could get 1 inch per week. But it rained so much , so for the most part didnt need to water.
5. this year i did add weed and feed in march - and then in apr first week - was going through the organic lawn care forum and got inspired.
6. I sprayed with baby shampoo + molasses couple of times, added 50 pounds of alfalfa.
7. I have kids and we all tend to play in backyard - so that is also partly the reason for the lawn looking so bad.
8. The other day after about 3 inches of rain - i dug about 6 inches (next day) to see how the ground was - it was bone dry so i am thinking the soil condition is very bad.
Now my questions:
1. Is it possible to have good lawn with kids playing there all the time ?
2. How do i improve organic content in the soil ?
3. Where to we get SBM usually (I only have a TSC around and they dont have it).
4. I am planning to spread compost - so can i put the seed and add about 1/4 inch of compost on top now ? or am i too late ?
5. Any other ideas/suggestions/tips will be of great help.
Thanks for reading the long posting.