You have a lawn and it is lousy. Full of weeds, lots of thatch, bare dirt, lumps.... I haven't even seen your lawn but I know what it looks like.
Fixing your Portland area lawn is less work than you think it is. All you need is a lawn mower, possibly a wheelbarrow, and these instructions.
How To Renovate Your Lawn (5 Steps):
- Get rid of weeds. Pull them or poison them. This being Portland you should probably just pull them.
- Get rid of moss. If you have moss in your lawn you need to kill it. Get a liquid or granular moss treatment at your local hardware store. It is just iron, so no guilt is needed. This will rapidly kill the lawn. Now spread lime to adjust the Ph and reduce moss issues in the future. Wait a week before the next step.
- Mow your grass really short. You might need to make multiple passes, but eventually you should be mowing as low as your mower can be set. Watch out for rocks!
- Spread a thin layer of blended soil. When I say "thin" I mean under an inch. Use a little more to fill holes and divots. Get your soil in bags at the big box store, or have it delivered from one of these local garden supply stores.
- Spread grass seed. Use JB seed or a mix from Protime Lawn Seed.
- Spread a starter fertilizer. Any old grass fertilizer will work well.
- (Optional) Cover seed. Spread a very thin layer of blended soil or turf mulch (a very fine hay).
- Water, a lot. The seed must be kept damp while germinating. In the summer this means watering in the morning and again late afternoon. Keep this up for at least 2 weeks.
- Mow, eventually. Wait as long as you can to mow for the first time. When you finally do, keep your mower set as high as possible. Over the next 3-4 mowings you can bring the height down.
That's it. No tilling, no aerating, no de-thatching. I have renovated many lawns like this, including my own. Have any questions? Leave them as a comment below and I will be happy to answer!