Forum home Tools and techniques

Lawn Care Advise Please

Re-Posting with more relevant Title
I plan to carry out lawn maintenance soon as the weather permits. My garden is in a sorry state. 
I know what I want to do but I'm not sure about the sequencing, calendar start date and general timeline. I need to undertake the following activities -
apply moss killer
sow grass seed
scarify the lawn
sow fertilizer
apply some sand / soil mix
Please can you give me some guidance while invoking all of the above activities. I have the tools necessary to do a good job.
Thanks in anticipation of your kind assistance.

Eamon McElduff  


  • What tools have you got? What's the lawn actually like just now? What's the soil like? pH, shade, dampness etc? Have you dug a sliver out to see what any thatch/soil is like around the root zone? 
  • I have a new Bosch AVR 1100 scarifier ready to go, a Scotts Easygreen distributer, a 5 gal HAWs watering can, two strong hands and a lot of common sense. The lawn is actually not as bad as I made it out to be in my post. It has been looked after in the sense that I cut the grass regularly in the summer but have never applied any feed or weed killers. Moss is beginning to take over. In the summer daisies are prevalent - not a problem for me but for my other half. I live in Winchmore Hill North London climate. The garden has c. 70% sun and is generally dry.
    Please assume pH to be neutral ?? and some thatch around the root zone.
    Thanks GlaswowDan  
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,923
    You can get an idea of your local soil pH by entering your postcode on this DEFRA supported site
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,043
    What is the total area of your lawn? 
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    edited January 2020
    I'd take it easy with the nitrogen. Many of the feeds sold have a high level which gets the leaf growing very fast, makes the lawn look green and "healthy" for a while, but ultimately they just stress the plant, cause more thatch to build up and create extra mowing work for you. Most lawn companies use loads of nitrogen for quick visible results that appease the non expert customers.

    If it needs a scarify, aim for early April, and once done, if you can get a liquid iron treatment down it'll see to the remaining moss.  No need to scarify super hard if you have a machine... do it lightly 2-3x a season.

    It's a complex business and quite hard to suggest a one size fits all approach! 

    Mowing weekly makes a big difference, using a roller mower if possible, for the smoothest finish. 

  • Response to questions raised above -
    GlasgowDan - Ph averages 6.3: highest value 7.0: lowest 6.0: No of Ph readings 9: I used a Dr 4 in 1 soil meter at about 30mm penetration into the soil.
    Papi Jo - Lawn Area is 16m x 7m = 112 s.m.
    Pete.8 - Thanks for that link v interesting but could not find Ph info. Anyhow my garden is likely to be made of imported soil from elsewhere in UK. In that case Post Code could lead to incorrect assumption.
    Thanks everybody for your input.
    So far the picture is developing as follows assuming weather permits:
    1) Scarify beginning April followed promptly by application of
    2) PREMIUM Iron Sulphate already purchased. This comes as a Dry Powder which is dissolved in water and applied using a watering can.

    Further guidance will be gratefully received on the following activities all of which I would like to invoke unless advised to the contrary -
    A) Sow grass seed (Gardeners Hard-Wearing Lawn Grass Seed - 10KG already purchased)
    B) sow fertilizer
    C) apply sand / soil mix

    Once again thanks in anticipation of your continuing kind assistance.

    Eamon McElduff

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,043
    Thanks for the info., @Eamon McElduff
    My own smallish garden is approx. 300m² total area, of which approx. 140 m² is lawn. So quite comparable to yours in terms of size and care. My lawn is purely ornamental, so no dogs, no children games, no trampoline, no football, etc.
    Originally consisted of a smaller area, sown back in 2000. Due to garden area extension in 2014, original lawn was completely renewed (and enlarged).
    Soil is fairly compact clay, improved with compost over the years. About 1/3rd of garden and lawn remains in the shadow of the house in the Winter months, so gets a fair amount of moss.
    It's very important to get the best lawn seed quality you can get, which means the most expensive, but that amount of expense is negligible compared to the other expenses (esp. time spent). I got the Vilmorin Gazon anglais Label Rouge (here in France). On my packet it says 1kg for 40m². You say you've got 10kg; for 112m² this quantity seems over the top! You only needed 3kg.
    Although I do get moss on my lawn during the Winter months, due to the rain and the shade, I've never ever used moss-killer. The only moss-killer I use is scarifying. On such a moderately-sized lawn, hand-scarifying is enough, but of course it's hard work. I do it in several passes, at the beginning of Spring and in Autumn.
    Weeding is done by hand only, no weed-killer at all.
    The only fertilizer I apply is organic compost I get from the people who make it, not too far from where I live: algo-forestier, a sieved 100% natural ripe compost combining: crushed plants, manure, hardwood bark and Breton seaweed. It can be used in Organic Agriculture. I'm sure you can find similar organic compost/manure where you live.

    My lawn is far from perfect, but it's OK for me (pic. dated May 2018).

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 25,361
    Eamon - did you read the info on that RHS link I gave you on your first thread?  That covers what and when and please do remember that things like seed sowing are temperature dependent.  No use sowing in April if it's still cold and too wet.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Papi Jo.
    Thanks for that amazing amount of info. Your garden en France looks lovely.
    Below is a photo of our plot taken this autumn. I am aware of the importance of quality seed and did some research before commiting to "Gardeners Hard-Wearing Lawn Grass Seed" and its not cheap. I will not be using all the seed keeping some for future sowings.
  • Obelixx,
    I confess I have not looked at that link yet but will now. Yes, grass sowing will be dependant on temp so I will not rush into it.


Sign In or Register to comment.