Welcome, I dont have a lot of time to type, so I will give you a condensed version. Please read the top topic in cool season forum for more background info. I suggest you start with the Tier 1. Ensure you measure your lawn size (not lot size) and apply products based on that size.macleod52 said:1) I plan on aerating next month or April once the grass has started to grow. I will then follow that up a week or two later with a Fertilizer/Crabgrass preventer with dithiopyr.
2) I'm unsure what all the brown dead stuff is. I don't know if that is grass or weeds. Does anyone have any ideas?
3) You can see I've got a lot of yellowing by the house thanks to my dogs. I'm hoping most of that greens up once spring hits.
4) You can also see towards the fence where I've got about at 5-10ft wide area of dirt.
5) So my thoughts are this. I will be using Scotts starter fert with weed control on the seeded area and then use a broad spectrum crabgrass/weed control for the remainder of the back yard. I'm sure it's hard to say based on pictures but do I have a good shot of having a nice(er) back yard come spring or is it too far gone?
1) Aerating and adding compost to the holes now will be a great thing to improve your soil. You need to do it prior to the crabgrass preventer or dont do it. The crabgrass preventer will need to go down in around 2-3weeks. Use the GDD tracker from MSU and use Peoria as your reference city.
2) It looks like dead crabgrass, but it doesnt matter if it is dead. Crabgrass preventer will be the key for you.
3) Dog pee kills grass and it doesnt come back. I suggest you create an area for the dogs to pee in mulch. Then train the dogs to use that area only. Dog training
4) the area of dirt is the same area that has water now, correct? that water area will be a problem. The grading is not the best. It either needs more soil to drain it to the swale or add a french drain to the swale.
5) That sound like a good plan. The scott with weed control work for around 30days. After that you will need to apply crabgrass preventer to that area.
I dont think you are gone. I think you will be amaze how good it picks up once you start to apply fertilizer. The images shows plenty of grass, it is just thin. Get a soil test to amend your soil.