What is a pretty, easy to maintain grass, with few weeds in St. Mary's County

Asked May 2, 2018, 3:22 PM EDT

What grass should we plant that is easy to maintain, attractive, thick, and how do we control it from weeds in a home with a 1/4 acre lot in St. Mary's County? We have been in our home for 12 years and the yard is full of weeds with some grass. How should be try to start again on our yard? We think it had little top soil from the beginning. What is the least expensive way to do it, what products should we use, and what time of the year do we begin? Wife is disabled and husband is 66 years old. He does have a riding lawn mower. Should we just have sod put down in the front and part of the back? We hate using so many products on our yard every fall and spring. What is safe to use and is not harmful to the environment and my husband? What are the minimum things we need to do to have a nice yard that requires minimum amount of work, money, and constant upkeep beyond mowing? Can you briefly outline what we we need to do, when to do it, and about how much it will cost us? Can you recommend any products?

St. Mary's County Maryland

1 Response

If your lawn is 50% weeds or more, it would be better to do a full lawn renovation rather than trying to deal with all the weeds. This would also give you an opportunity to correct the underlying soil issues. There should be a 4-6" layer of good fertile soil beneath in order for a lawn to grow well. An option for you to consider would be the installation of a warm-season grass such as bermudagrass or zoysia. Both of these grasses form a very dense stand that can minimize weed growth. Be aware, however, that these are warm-season grasses -- they go dormant and stay brown from about October through April and then green up for the summer months. These types of grasses can be established by sod or plugs. Sod is quicker and easier to do -- you get an installation of a thick turf right away -- but it is also more expensive in terms of upfront cost. There is no lawn that is completely maintenance-free. In addition to mowing, a regular fertilizing schedule should be following in order to maintain good, dense turf growth. We recommend that you read through our Lawn Establishment, Renovation, and Overseeding publication as a good place to start. This publication outlines the different options for bermudagrass and zoysia -- and the pros and cons. http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG102%20La...

Another helpful guide is our Lawn Maintenance Calendar. This outlines the care practices recommended for maintaining a healthy cool-season or warm-season turf. The warm season turf might be lower maintenance for you in the long run, after initial establishment. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG112_Tur...