NJ/NY/PA Lawn advice - seeding / crabgrass preventer / general care.


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Morning all.. Live in NJ and bought our house last year. Last summer, I really didn't do much with our lawn because of other concerns. Now I want to get it going. I did thatch last fall and alot came up. I do notice I still have some dead grass/thatch and some dead "weeds" crabgrass. Also last year the entire lawn almost became crabgrass. Now, the majority of the lawn is thinning, there are no big bald spots.

Few questions / areas I'm looking for advice:

1) I want to seed and also put something down to prevent crabgrass, but a few of the brands (Scotts et al) all say don't use the crabgrass preventer if putting down seed. Any thoughts?
2) Should I rent aerator from HD, aerate then thatch again before putting anything down?
3) Should I just skip seeding, take care of what I have with fertilizer / weed preventer and seed in the fall?
4) Mowing - i have a honda mulch/mower, what is the best way to mow the lawn, lol. Last year I think I set it too low and mulch and smothered my lawn.
5) Someone recommended Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food For New Grass Plus Weed Preventer to use during the same time I'm seeding and that is safe... Thoughts? Any experience with this one?

Thank you in advance for any information.
 
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Long Island, NY
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Believe it or not, spring is not the optimum time to seed. This year, first put down a pre-emergent, followed up with the scotts 4 step program. Cut at a height of no less than 3 1/2 inches, and water @ a rate of two inches per week. This will bring back a good portion of your lawn. In the early fall reseed. Many times I'll hold back some grass seed, and apply right before a good snow.
 

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