We have a small lawn behind our villa and it consists of clover and crab grass. How do we start getting rid of it so we can sow fescue?
Unfortunately, this isn't easy or quick. Option one is to smother the crabgrass and clover or kill them with herbicide. Smothering can be done over one summer if using black plastic. You can also use cardboard - or anything that blocks light- but it will take longer. Without the ability to do photosynthesis, the plant will die. In addition, black plastic causes soil temperature to climb which contributes to weed death. But whether you use herbicide or sun block, you still have weed seeds in the soil. If you kill the area with herbicide, rototill then rake up the weeds when they are brown. Wait a week then remove any weeds that sprout. Next step is to sow grass seed or lay sod. Another approach is less drastic but with slower results. Clover often grows where the soil nitrogen level is low. If this is corrected, the clover will fade out. Put your lawn on a regular weed and feed program including a pre-emergent in the spring. You will have fewer weeds and the grass that is there will be healthier and begin to spread. Inter-seeding (aka over-seeding) with a turf grass for your climate fills in bare or thin spots. It will probably take a couple growing seasons to develop a fine lawn.