Forum home Problem solving

Lawn Advice please!

Looking for some help please!

Three years ago I sowed a new lawn on a small plot down the side of my house approx 5m x 5m. The area is quite shaded with a large holly tree in the centre of the plot.

Prior to this project, the plot featured a couple of small trees and other plants which I removed.

Over the past three years I've used different kinds of seed, some have successfully germinated, others not. The biggest problem I have encountered though is moss! The plot is now roughly 40% lawn and 60% moss and it's gradually getting worse!

Can anybody please advise me how to get rid of the moss and improve the state of this plot?

I think I've contributed to the problem by firstly not preparing the soil properly prior to sowing the seed. I didn't kill the area first and add fertiliser. I've also been raking out the moss while it's still active which I think has made it spread to other areas of the lawn. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Having read the advice on Lawnsmith I believe I have two options -

1 - apply Mossoff or iron sulphate to kill the moss and then re-seed.
2 - dig up the plot and start again, perhaps turfing the area this time.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Many thanks


  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,353
    You say it is shaded, how much and how long for?
    Most of the year?
    Is the holly big and is it worse underneath it or all over?
    When it rains it drips off trees so to have a good or reasonable lawn is much harder.

    How long do you leave the grass when cutting?
    Cutting too short can weaken the grass and allow moss to thrive.
    Also Feeding the lawn well and with the right type of fertilizer will help.
    If it is a good soil type and light conditions for moss, it will always thrive and you will be fighting it constantly.

    Moss spores are in the air so if they land and are happy they will grow.

    I am not expert just a few points to consider.

    If the area was badly prepared it might be worth starting over again.

    But answer some of the questions the experts will be able to help :)
  • Thanks Rubytoo,

    The area does get some light but is more shaded than the rest of the garden. At the rear of the house which gets a lot of sun the seed has shot through and coverage is great!

    The grass is actually growing ok directly under the tree. The moss is particularly bad in a corner and it is much wetter in that area too, which is obviously the ideal condition for moss to flourish.

    I try to cut the lawn every 2 weeks from Spring but think I've probably got the lawnmower set too low.

    Any particular fertiliser you recommend?

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,562
    Something other than grass would probably be better. If you have to have grass there, choose a seed mix that's suitable for shaded areas (or perhaps less unsuitable - lawns like open sunny areas).
    If you want to try to improve what you have, the steps would be treat the moss (or not if you don't want to use chemicals), rake out as much moss as you can, spike the area deeply with a fork (as deep as it'll go, 4 to 6 inches deep and every few inches apart, and wiggle it to open up the holes), top dress with a very sandy mixture and brush it into the holes, then overseed and treat as a new lawn until it gets established.  Hard work, but if you don't improve the conditions the moss will always come back.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thanks JennyJ - just the step-by-step advice I was looking for! Many thanks

Sign In or Register to comment.