Can you help out my yard? There is very little grass but lots of weeds

My yard is a wreck. There is very little grass but lots of weeds like wild strawberries. A yard guy said my dirt is probably tired and the yard needs to be overhauled. Being retired I don't have much $ to spend. Any suggestions? Oh yes, I have four small dogs...
  8 answers
  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Mar 14, 2017
    There's hope yet!! You can do it in a few weeks, here's a helpful guide to get you started

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 14, 2017
    Here are two very helpful sites.

  • A A on Mar 16, 2017
    The first thing you need to decide is what you really want in your yard and how much money, time and effort you want to spend getting it. Lawns are overrated, as far as I'm concerned they should be illegal (just kidding). They are a lot of work and can be expensive for maintenance, repair/replace, etc. They're also not very eco friendly if you live in an area where drought days are possible. The other thing is the dogs - many lawn grasses don't respond well to the "watering" done by your pets.

    There are lots of options including clumping grasses, clover, etc. We've just reduced the size of our front lawn by extending the flower beds (worth it in my opinion and depending on what you plant, less work). Flower beds don't have to be mowed or edged or weed whacked. In the back, behind the wood fence where we NEVER go, I'm preparing to plant white clover. Good substitute: cheaper, more durable and doesn't have to be mowed.

    On one side we replaced the St. Augustine (a vile grass, if you ask me) a couple of years ago when the HOA still required it (now we can use anything as long as it's green), so we'll keep it for awhile. The other side is much traveled and it's become a constant bother to maintain. We have some interesting plants coming up in it's place (they are green) and I think I'm gonna let them do their thing. Remember, the definition of a weed is just a plant growing where you don't want it. I want this interesting plant, so it's not a weed.

    Good luck on your yard adventure!

    • See 2 previous
    • A A on Mar 16, 2017
      I have actually looked into artificial grass. It's come a long way since Astro turf first hit the market and it looks real. Unfortunately, it's also not cheap. Just so you know, white clover can be seeded and grows fairly quickly. That's my next move.

      Amen sister! I just installed a bee house in my garden (hope the wasps don't move in).

  • Pat Pat on Mar 16, 2017
    Yup, he's right do you have a lot of sand in your area? I do too. same problem.

  • Nancy Buck Upton Nancy Buck Upton on Mar 16, 2017
    Nope, not sandy soil. Central IL. Yard is always very wet when it rains. the yard just sucks!

  • Sue Peet Sue Peet on Mar 16, 2017
    Do you have a good garden group in the area, like Master Gardeners? They would know your area and help you out with what plants would grow. I would love to have a clean slate, no grass. Do you know how to use power tools? What I was thinking if you could get some pallets from a retail store or grocery store and transform them into planters. Some stores are happy to get rid of the pallets for free. Check out this website, Pinterest for great ideas using pallets for the yard.
    You could start off with a flowering bush like Rose of Sharon, they will spread because they drop seeds. Throughout the summer check local places that sell plants, like grocery stores, sometimes they will have plants on clearance. Its a way of getting nice plants cheaper.

    • A A on Mar 23, 2017
      Master Gardeners are a great resource as is your county extension service.

  • BabyBoomerSC BabyBoomerSC on Mar 23, 2017
    First, use a Product like Weed-B-Gone on your lawn. It can be bought most anywhere and is inexpensive and easy to use. Follow the directions on the bottle and spray your lawn with this. It will get rid of the weeds fairly quick. YOu may have to do 2 applications if you have stubborn weeds.

    Next, you'll need to overseed your yard. You'll need to aerate, then seed. You can usually find someone to do this for you for around $100-$150 depending on the size of your lawn. Water the seed and in 7-10 days, you should see grass!

  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Mar 23, 2017
    When you get the seed, store in fridge at least overnight. This mimics winter for it. Then plant outside when rain is expected after cold weather has gone. Other than that, I wouldn't mind having wild strawberries in the yard. My brother and I found some wild violets in the woods when we were kids. Brought them home and planted along the edge of house. The last time I saw the house they had taken over the side yard. Some weeds are prettier than the times. You could always encourage the dandy lions and make wine...LOL