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Moss in lawn and aeration..

I have a 'problem' with moss and have since I moved into my house 3 years ago.  The first year I raked out what must have been (or felt like) 10 builders' bags of the stuff, and the lawn was much better the following year.  

Ive since been using one of those lawn companies who aerate and scarify once a year (along with quarterly treatments).  

Ive noticed that the moss is now the worst it's been since I moved in, and was wondering why.

We have just had an extension started, and I've noticed the amount of clay underneath approximately one foot of topsoil (picture below).  Question is, is there any point paying for aeration when this only removes a couple of inches of soil when it won't be affecting the drainage with all that clay.  Am I just better off accepting I'll just have to take out the moss each year?



  • Paul, thanks for the link but that seems to be discussing resolving the issue of drainage / boggy soil rather than any benefits to aerating 'good' soil.  I'm not suggesting I put drains in, or drill huge holes, just if it's worth paying to aerate this lawn with that amount of clay underneath.  I'm assuming it's a waste of money?

  • Ok, well it appears that the underlying problem is the heavy clay so aerating the top inches of the soil will help a little but would need to be ongoing (probably best to buy a soil aerator rather than pay someone regularly to do it)

    Heavy clay soil can be alleviated without having to take the full applying drainage route by double digging the soil and adding lots of Organic matter but it would require relaying the lawn afterwards.

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145

    Andy, I'll throw this in the pot. It's just a thought and may be wide of the mark but I wonder if, in your situation, that aerating is actually making the situation worse. I assume you are having the lawn hollow-tined i.e. the removal of cores and that you are not 'replacing' the cores with brushed-in sharp sand?

    With this process you ease compaction and also aid drainage and let air get to the roots. In time the tops of the holes left will 'heal' over. However, you are, in effect, removing part of the 'sponge' that soaks up the water and replacing it with air.

    As I say, just a thought.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924

    On a slight tangent Andy - I wouldn't bother too much with anything right now if you're having building work done. By the time they've finished trampling it into oblivion,  you'll need to dig the whole plot over anyway!

    Sorry - that wasn't very helpful, but I doubt if the clay is having that much of an effect if you have that amount of topsoil on it. Excess water would gradually percolate away. If you're in an area of very high rainfall and you're using the grass excessively, I can see it would be an issue, but I think I'm siding with Dave a bit on this. 

    Is there a reason for getting a company in rather than continuing to do it yourself? I can understand if you're busy, but perhaps keeping it simple, and just doing some scarifying on a basic level, a weed and feed in spring, and cutting regularly would be easier, and possibly better. 

    I garden on clay, and we get a huge amount of rain, and certainly the front grass was very compacted and weedy when I moved here, but I don't do anything too major. I don't have too much moss, despite it's northerly facing aspect, and I only do a bit of forking and scarifying when I can be bothered, and it gets a weed and feed in spring, and regular cutting. It's easy to get a bit worried about grass too image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hasn't thought that the aeration could be making things work, but I can see how it may be.....

    I think I may invest in one of those electric lawn raker-type things.  The money I save from not having the aeration and scarification will pay for it ?.

    Thanks peeps ??.

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,419

    Scarifying the lawn is a common job here, even if you don't have moss you will have thatch so scarifying will help anyway. I will be doing my own lawn soon, then forked and top dressing, I review the lawn in spring and normally do it all again, I also verticut the lawn once or twice during the growing season just to keep on top of the thatch / moss and to simulate growth. 

    You do have a good amount of top soil for the water to drain away. How soggy is the lawn after rainfall? If so what Dave recommended hollowed tinged / forked would be the way forward with a top dressing of sharp sand

    Lawns around here are getting worse for moss due to the wetter and wetter summers we are having. 

    I find lumps of concrete / stone and clay under my lawn image 

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