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I want to repair a lawn but I do want moss in it

Hi folks! I am new to all of this, never had a garden before.
Last year we moved into a house that has a garden. It had been empty for about 8 months before we got it and nobody did much in the garden most of that time. I think the owners went there a couple of times to stop anything from overgrowing into the neighbours but that was it.
Anyway it was June, grass was about waist  to shoulder high. It's not a bad size lawn. As we cut it we discovered that it has millions of dandelions and big leaved weeds in it and the long grass had been disguising dead patches. I tried seeding those but nothing grew in the dead patches so I think maybe weedkiller was used? Anyway, where the grass was healthy there was quite a bit of moss and we realised it feels really nice and "spongy" underfoot, and it's nice and soft for the kids when they're rolling around.
So I thought it'd be nice to get the lawn going this year, but we actually want moss to grow amongst the grass. I've got lawn seed, hopefully any weedkiller will be gone from the dead patches by now but all the lawn feed or feed&weed products I find say they prevent or kill moss. Does anyone know of something that will be nice to my moss and my grass but still give dandelions and things like that a hard time? I know getting the dandelions out by hand is an obvious answer but there's more of them than there are grass at the moment and that'd take years!


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,653
    That's a tricky one as it's virtually impossible to find a weed killer that doesn't also get rid of moss, as you say.
    The only thing that l can suggest is to use a "Spot weeder" on the broader leaved weeds, something like Weedol perhaps.

    The other thing is that if you have a lot of moss it will end up taking over and "choking" the grass, so you might want to strike a balance, maybe by using a lawn feed (no weed).

    Alternatively, you could just give up on grass completely

    I am no lawn expert so others may have different/better advice 😊 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,401
    Just wait and see what happens over time. If it's shady, you'll get moss without any problem.  :)
    You can spot weed any other weeds every now and again, as @AnniD says. 
    I had loads of dandelions, buttercups etc in the front grass when I moved here, as it was just a space that was cut every week or two, with no other input from the owner. It's north west facing, so it's largely moss in winter. I gave it the usual treatment for about five years [just a weed and feed in spring] and now I don't really do anything other than spot weeding. I only do a weed and feed if I think it's necessary, but on the whole, I'm not bothered.
    Once the ground dries out a bit and warms up, the grass gradually takes over, but there's still a fair bit of moss in it. Regular cutting, not too short, gives the grass the upper hand, so cutting it shorter will tend to give the moss that instead. 

    I'm not too bothered about having a Centre Court, so as long as it's green, it's fine. I expect that's what will suit you too. Kids wreck decent grass anyway, so it's better to just go with the flow while they're young  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • B3B3 Posts: 21,519
    If there was moss there before, it will return unless you so something to the soil, drainage etc so I wouldn't worry about it.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,133
    Welcome to the forum, David. Keep us posted.
  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,184
    Selective weed killer will kill the weeds and not the grass or moss and can be bought from the garden centre  , you'll probably have to buy one that needs mixing if you are doing a full lawn you'll need a sprayer also , small bottles premixed can be bought.  
    It must say LAWN weedkiller on the box or bottle otherwise its ordinary weed killer and it will kill the grass . 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,138
    You can dig individual weeds out by hand using something like a long weeding knife or an old breadknife, or you can spot-treat with a lawn weedkiller spray. Use a separate lawn feed without weedkiller/mosskiller in it if you think it needs it, but it most likely doesn't as you're not after a bowling green. As @Fairygirl said, the moss will wax and wane according to conditions but it probably won't disappear completely.
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