Complete Kill and Seed in Nebraska
I am new here, but I've done lots of searches and reading. I have a lawn that four years ago was all clover and weeds. I had it sprayed for weeds the first year, and sprayed again the second, and we watered and we mowed high and they sprayed again. Last year it finally looked nice in the spring. It was a thin bladed grass, not real dark green but it looked nice. My father said he thought it was bluegrass. We have kids though (five) and it didn't take them playing on it very well. Plus - we had a severe drought last year. Everyone in town tried watering, but three months of almost no rain and high temps was just too much. Then in August the town had problems with its wells and said no more. Everything died. At first we thought just dormant, but eventually people said it had crossed the line and one lawn care guy said it was too much for it to even come back.
This year it all came back as weeds. Some people in town have okay lawns, but they watered more than we did (even when they weren't supposed to). Many peoples started good and is now dormant because they refuse to water again if it's going to be like last year. Our grass didn't really even try. I mean there is literally almost no grass that I can see. Crab grass and clover and everything else seems to be growing but that's it. I think I'm going to kill it with round up, rake it, and reseed it all.
I've searched on here a lot and I think I have a plan but I want to make sure it's okay and fine tune it a bit.
I plan on spraying with round up next weekend (Aug. 2 - 4th). Then I'll water it for two weeks about 30 minutes a day as someone said roundup only kills living things and the watering will cause the dormant seeds to grow. Then Aug. 16 - 18th I'll roundup again and let it all go for two weeks. I am NOT going to till, even though everyone here - including the extension office, says to. All I have read on this site says tilling is bad and I believe it after the reasons that have been given.
That leads me to my first question. I have a de-thatcher that I use once in a while that has metal prongs that dig in the ground a bit. They are about 5 inches apart and there's a bag that sits behind it with a brush that throws the dead stuff into it. I'm hoping this will work to rough up the ground? I don't have much money and buying the seed and roundup will probably be about as much as I can afford. If I run over it a lot it seems to really do a number on the surface. Will this work? My daughter and I can also rake by hand pretty well. This is a small part of the yard - about 65' by 40' that I want to try this on and I think we can do it. If it works, I'll do the rest of the yard in a year. I really want to avoid renting something.
Assuming that'll work, I will seed. I want to use a product from Todd Valley Farms called RTF Fescue. (I hope I can put that - I'm not endorsing it - it's just what I'm thinking I should use). I've got people at work who said their builders used it and it seems to handle the weather here pretty good and takes the wear from the kids playing on it pretty well too. I think my soil is pretty good. This is farming country and while I'm not a farmer, I've dug in this stuff enough to know the top soil is nice and dark about 8-12 inches down at least. It might be compacted if anything. If anything I'll buy some compost like stuff or seed starter that I can throw on without having to buy too much.
I'll then role it and water everyday once a day? for about 30 mins. I'm not real sure how often or much to do that (or when in the day). I can set up sprinklers to hit most of it so my wife (who is home all day but has kids to watch) can turn the water on and off.
Is what I'm doing sound okay? Is WHEN I'm doing it sound okay. Any advice would be appreciated.