Pre emergent / aeration / overseed / planting? What order??

Asked April 4, 2017, 10:21 AM EDT

Hi there! I am a brand new (hopeful) gardener and am getting a bit overwhelmed with all of the information online. We just purchased a new house and can tell that the lawn is a bit sparse and not lush at all. I'm assuming there are weeds and can tell it just hasn't been well cared for. I also am building raised beds and want to plant vegetables and herbs, but not sure what order I should do things. Should I apply pre-emergent THEN aerate/overseed and THEN install the beds? Is the pre-emergent going to kill off any new plants that might be started or will the raised beds allow the plants to grow enough before reaching the ground? I just need to know in very basic terms how to prep my lawn so that it has the best chance of healing AND where in the process I should start the beds. I know I'm starting to run out of time for pre-emergent application/starting the garden, so any help on the order would be appreciated! PS I do have a dog, so whatever herbicides I use in the yard needs to be pet safe. If you have any recommendations re: products I would gladly accept them! I've attached a few images taken of the house from last fall when they were preparing to sell so you can get an idea of the lawn condition.

Hennepin County Minnesota lawn care horticulture

3 Responses

Go here for a full discussion of the steps needed to renovate a lawn.

Do not apply a pre-emergent anywhere you plan to sow grass seeds.

It's probably best to install the raised beds before beginning lawn renovation. Otherwise foot traffic needed to place and fill the beds might disturb the newly planted grass.

This lawn care calendar may be useful.

Use a selective herbicide to control weeds. That means an herbicide that kills broad-leaved weeds but does not harm grass.

Learn more about weed control here:

Follow label directions with regard to potential hazard to children and pets. It might be necessary to keep the dog off the treated area for a specified period of time after herbicide application.

Very helpful, thank you! Any suggestions on prepping the area where the raised beds will be? Do I need to treat the soil/grass underneath the beds and/or dig up the dirt?

Appreciate it!

Although the circumstances described in the following question differ somewhat from yours, the response is relevant.