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Lawn rejuvenation

Our front lawn is in an awful state.  There are weeds, clover and moss and the soil has compacted over the years.  It desperately needs attention.  We have been advised that we need to use a weedkiller, iron to kill the moss, scarifying, fertiliser at regular intervals and new seed.  We don't want to use anything that would harm the insects or birds, and wonder if anyone has treated their lawn in this way and which products they would recommend.


  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,420
    You would have to hand weed if you didn't want to use chemicals GD2. Clover not easy to remove by hand might be easier to remove the full section.  I spot treat with lawn weedkiller and remove flowers if it has any on with my own lawn.

    You don't have to use moss killer just scarify, I am not sure if iron would harm insects or birds. They is a product called Mo bacter which kills / eats the moss and feeds the lawn at the same time , I believe its safe for wide life and is endorsed by the RHS, but it comes at a price ££££. How big your lawn ? 

    If your back up to it I use a fork and fork all over the lawn to relieve compaction and top dress with a sandy / loam mix , this will also help with the drainage. 

    So get rid of weeds 1st - 2nd - Moss - 3rd - Aerate then over seed and after that top dress.  

    Depending on the condition of the lawn and fiances it maybe easier to start again? Put a photo on if your unsure if its worth salvaging.   
  • Thank you @Perki for your helpful guidelines.  I will try to get some photos on here in the next day or two, with sizes too.  It isn't an enormous lawn - the larger lawn is being given over to wildlife, including the clover, moss ivy, violets and primroses but this circular front lawn is a showcase lawn and it certainly doesn't look the part at the moment.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,996
    Looking forward to pics (and size info). If said "showcase lawn" has been neglected for some years and is not too large, it might be worth considering re-doing it from scratch.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,653
    Moss indicates poor drainage so you need to aerate the soil by spiking it at frequent and regular intervals.  The best way is with a good garden fork which you sink in as deep as you can then wiggle back and forth to enlarge the holes.   Work backwards so you don't trample them again.

    Then you brush on a mix of lawn sand which is sharp sand mixed with some grass food.  It trickles down into the holes and keep the soil open so air and water can get in and improve your grass roots.

    Before you do this you need to scarify to remove dead thatch and also any loose moss.  Hire or buy a machine as it is hard work.   Scarifying is best done in spring and autumn every year so buying is an economic option.

    If you improve the drainage, remove the thatch and moss and then feed it the grass should grow more strongly and out compete the wildflowers.   Keep the lawn mower on its highest setting till late April so it has maximum leaf surface to feed its roots and strengthen them.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • At last we have photos, measurements etc. and I have taken all your comments on board and weighing up the pros and cons. The circle is approx 14 metres across from edge to edge with a 4 metre inner circle with Chilean Pine.  The house is formal which is why we want to keep this lawn looking at it's best, although we are also letting the big main lawn go wild so the insects will have a place to enjoy too. We are surrounded with fields (and houses unfortunately). You can see where the grass has died and also the amount of weed and clover.  It just looks so scrappy. Taking the lawn apart and starting from scratch isn't as easy at it sounds due to the shape.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,653
    Scarification, aeration, re-sowing and patience.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    I'd hire a scarifier for sure and rake that hard. Spray iron afterwards, and scatter seed once it's warm enough.

    A lawn weedkiller doesn't kill the bug life, so do that in April/May. 

    Then 4 light applications of lawn feed during the year (NOT the same stuff each time, and not 4-in-1!). 

    Get someone in to aerate it any time. 
  • Whats the recommended moss and then feed as it seems the local garden centres only ever have the 4-in-1
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