The first day of Spring is August 15th. What you do in the fall will affect your lawn, since that's when plants go through their major growth spurt.
Killing WeedsAutumn is the best time to kill weeds, just as the weather starts to cool down. Weeds grow best during bright, sunny days between 1:PM and 3:PM.
In order to get the maximum benefit from your weed killer, spray a weak solution of children's shampoo on the lawn. Believe it or not, this washes the grime off the yard allowing your grass to make better use of sunlight while at the same time making the weeds more receptive to weed killer.
In a garden store, soil softener is called ammonium lauryl sulfate, however children's shampoo or even dish soap will do the job just fine. Use a hose sprayer that emits 1 tablespoon per gallon of water.
You can use regular or liquid weed killer with your sprayer; put in enough for about 5 gallons of water (you'll have to read your weed killer instructions) and mix with it a tablespoon of shampoo or soap with the weed killer, and apply.
Spray just the weeds, not the whole yard. Weed killer retards plant growth. Additionally, you may want to use separate sprayers so you don't accidently feed your weeds and kill your yard. Shake the sprayer periodically, keeping the solution mixed well as you spray.
Spot TreatmentsYou can make a potent weed killer yourself for use in spray bottles. Mix a quart of warm water with an ounce of children shampoo, an ounce of vinegar, and a capful of gin. Put the sprayer on stream, not mist. This salty, soapy water will clean and stick to weeds and dry them out; the gin will also help kill the weeds.
Feeding the LawnThe secret formula is to mix your dry fertilizer with a four pounds of Epsom salts (which make the lawn green) and a pound of confectioners sugar (which gives the plants energy). Plants need sugar and starch, typically they produce their own via photosynthesis, however you've just provided the materials without the work.
Use a rotary spreader set to half your fertilizer's recommended settings. Spread before noon in both the fall and spring.
Watering the LawnThe secret formula for watering is a can of beer (which helps the thatch compost faster into better soil), a cup children's shampoo (to break water surface tension and wash away dust), half a cup of molasses (more sugars) disolved in half a cup of warm water (so it isn't thick), and top off with household ammonia (for nitrogen).
Note, pouring beer into soap will make lots of bubbles. Do this over the lawn.
Spray this liquid on your lawn every three weeks, you should also spray it directly over your fall and spring fertilizer session.
Warning: your lawn will get slippery.
MowingUsing a sharp blade is the trick, you want to cut the grass, not tear it.
Mow after 7:PM so the grass can heal without the scortching sun. Failure to do so will increase the chances of the top of the grass from turning yellow or brown.
Sharpen your mower's blades after every two sessions.
Trim close around driveways and sidewalks. Bugs love to make homes under overhanging plants.
Save Your Grass ClippingsGrass clippings can be used in your garden around your vegtables and between plants. They hold in moisture and heat, while also keeping weeds at bay. Grass clippings can also be used for composting.
WateringIf you can step on your lawn and the grass doesn't bounce back up, it needs watering.
Water between 4:30AM and noon. Water for 45 minutes, if you've used the shampoo mixtures the water should seep right into the soil for the plants to use.
The deeper the water goes, the better the plant roots.
Aerate the YardUse shoes with sharp kleets; by poking holes in your yard you let air and moisture get in, while loosing the soil.
You can rent aerating machines which pull up plugs of earth. These holes fill in with silt and loose earth during rain storms and do a great job at retaining moisture.
Clay SoilMany new homes are built in areas where the good topsoil has been stripped away and sold. The soil needs to be replaced for a good lawn.
Cow manure / comprow spread every few months helps out. The trick is not to over do too much too soon and choke new grass that forms.
Pest ControlThe secret formula is one third of a hunk of fatty lye soap shaved and disolved into a quart of boiling water. Mix with four ounces of flea and tick shampoo. Take a hand-sized pinch of chewing tobacco and boil it in another quart of water; filter out the leaves (you're making tea). When done mix equal parts of: the lye-shampoo, the tobacco tea, and antieptic mouthwash. Spray this stuff on your lawn with a setting of one tablespoon per gallon.
The solution kills disease, makes the insects sick, and poisons them.