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Everything is wrong with my lawn!

my lawn (new to me, but fairly elderly) needs:
levelling, aerating, dressing, levelling, demossing (there is apparently more moss than grass) weeding, and feeding. The previous owner used path weed killer on the individual weeds and the moss has moved right on in there!

I’d like to start ASAP, but is there a right/wrong order to do all the above?

would really appreciate hearing from the experienced voice.


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    It's probably a little early to start work on the lawn, you might be better to leave it another couple of weeks or so. Moss indicates that drainage and shade might be an issue. If it was me I would go at it in the following order:
    - treat the moss first, you could probably do that now (be careful to apply the treatment as per the instructions, it's easy to overdo it and that wouldn't be good)
    - leave a couple of weeks then rake out the dead moss
    - level as required
    - aerate 
    - top dress and re-seed where needed
    - if you feel the need to weed and feed you should do that prior to reseeding but you need to wait till the weeds are actively growing. You could leave that till the autumn and see how bad it is then. Regular mowing will help in any case.
  • So many thanks for this, Dave.  Shade and drainage are indeed an issue, but I can at least do something about the drainage.  Many thanks again. Jayne 
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    edited March 2018
    Drainage will be helped by the aeration. You can either hire a machine which will do this by hollow-tining or do it yourself with a good strong garden fork. Push it in then lever back a little. This will help with compaction. You can either then brush in sharp sand or leave it to self-heal. Using a machine is obviously less arduous and is more effective in relieving compaction although it potentially won't be as deep as you could achieve with your fork. That is hard work though and as you are not removing any material you are, in effect, compacting the ground to a degree albeit you are adding drainage holes and opening up the ground by the leverage action.

    The hollow-tines residue can also be used as your top dressing to help with your levelling. Pile them up and let them dry before breaking them up and spreading back over the lawn. However if you have a lot of weeds this might not be ideal as you could be distributing them over your lawn. Good luck. 
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    I never advise dressing the cores back into the lawn... that's the material you want rid of, be it too clayey or whatever. Clear the cores, put them in the borders and brush in a good organic and sandy mixture. BUT... aeration isn't a drainage reliever and don't expect it to be. It is carried out for the benefit of the grass root zone to improve the health of the plants. NOT drain the garden. 

    Jayne, you can absolutely begin works of some sort. I would suggest you either apply lawn sand yourself, or get a qualified professional (NOT national lawn care franchise) to apply soluble iron just now. You can then arrange a light/medium scarify in a week or two, spread seed over the bare areas and leave things to grow for a while. 

    If you think you want to get drainage dug, then do this first though. Use a weed/feed/moss treatment later in the summer and see how it all looks in August before planning anything else. 
  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 260
    Some great comments above. A few extra thoughts:
    - I like to feed the lawn before Spring scarifying to make sure it's in good health, to give it a chance of bouncing back from the rough raking. Personally I like chicken manure on my lawn. Wilkos has it at a good price.
    - Weedol lawn weedkiller is very effective. You apply it once a year during the growing season and it kills pretty much everything that isn't grass. I know you can't use it on grass that is less than 3 months old; I can't remember if you can use it shortly before seeding though. To be safe, you may want to remove the worst weeds by hand now, then aerate, scarify, level and top seed, then apply Weedol in September when the weeds are growing well again.
  • Thanks for these thoughts guys.  I’ll get out there ASAP.  
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • I am going to use it Ian. It may be a mono-culture, but boring it is not!  Having lived overseas for a few years, a lawn in “English Countryside” green with the evocative smell when it is cut, is too tempting to forego.  We are also very lucky to have found a small property with views over green fields, and the garden, including the green of the lawn, will be the frame to draw our gaze.  We are also intending for this to be our final move, so any investment now will be repaid in bundles.
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