I don't have the greatest writeup that some of the other users have with their lawn renovations, so bear with me. I figured I would go ahead and start a thread of my own, and document some of the findings that I have encountered thus far. I apologize for the wall of text in advance.
A little history about my property
: it was built in 2003, is just over 1/3 of an acre, and we moved here just over 6 years ago. Our subdivision is named Madison Oaks, and I can count on one hand the number of oak trees within a block. I sure wish I had a few trees in my yard, but over the years, I haven't been able to get a single tree to grow on the lot, which I found to be really odd. Another odd thing is that when it rains any amount over 0.25", I typically get standing water in the front and back yard. It's really bad in the back yard, so much so that I have to wait sometimes 3-4 days before I can get my mower out to take care of the yard. I found it interesting when I was replacing my mailbox post, as I dug the hole for the 4x4 below 2', the hole started having water seep into it from the sides. I just assumed that we had a high water table. I'm a ham radio operator as well, and I ran into the same issues when I installed my radio tower. It was a mess trying to get 4' below the surface, and it hadn't rained in over 3 weeks. I felt like I was working on a well out in an oil field.
My property sits in a corner lot of our portion of the subdivision, and I have an easement from the railroad that runs behind my house, and a property that is to the North of my house that is overgrown and completely unkempt, due to the fact that the owner was wheelchair-bound and blind. He didn't have the means to take care of his lot, so it's the neighbor's problems. I can peer over the fence, and see a retention pond that is almost about the same level as my lawn. So, when it rains, water collects, and reaches about the same level of the small pond. There is a small swale that runs on the north and south sides of the property, as well as one against my back fenceline. I'm pretty sure these were put there when the development was made, but over time, erosion has changed the grade to where they are ineffective.
Prior to this year, I did the average homeowner maintenance on the lawn, mowing, trimming, edging, and throwing the occasional bag of weed and feed. Having moved from a property that had just over 5 acres, it felt like I was taking forever and a day for me to be out in the GA sun to tend to my property, sometimes taking 3 hours to complete my job. It also felt like my job was growing longer every summer, to the point where sometimes I just didn't want to go outside and get covered in clippings and get sunburnt. I did get compliments on the appearance from neighbors on both sides of me, as well as across the street. I took pride in how it looked, and I thought I was doing well, but I could do better. That's pretty much how I felt when I went out of town for 2 months to go help my father with his business; we were on the road from August until the beginning of October, and prior to my leaving town, I hacked down the weeds as best as I could to keep them at bay.
My wife didn't call anyone to take care of the property while I was gone, so the lawn just became completely overgrown, and very unruly. When I returned, it looked like a scene from Jumanji (Robin Williams version, not Dwayne Johnson :lol
She said that she thought I enjoyed doing yard work, to a certain extent I did, but not hacking through jungles!
Hedges that were overgrown, and then cleaned up.
This was the pile of clippings and cuttings that were collected after my efforts were spent.
I spent several hours cleaning everything, and vowed that I was going to do what I could to never let it get back to that state again. And that's where I have been for the past two years. I've never let my lot get out of control, and when I've had to go out of town, I arranged to have someone to at least do the rudimentary care of the lot. I've had life happen, and just maintained the property where it's useable, but not as good as I can get it. It's a matter of priorities, and what I'm willing to commit to. I made the commitment this year to begin a renovation, conquer the weeds, and have the lawn that's the envy of the neighborhood. I didn't realize what a task I had ahead of me, more than just using Roundup, and replanting... no, it's much more than that.