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new gardener - big wild garden

Hi I've recently moved house & luckily it's got a big garden for the area we're in 10 by 15m square I think. However it's been neglected & left to go very wild over years & is now a mess! The lawn is 20% dead grass & 80% moss. I can't afford to pay someone to returf I wondered if I could get some advice about when is best to returf & do I have to kill the moss before laying the new turf? Any help advice appreciated as I've never even had a window box before! Kate z


  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,382

    The grass needs cutting down and then the existing turf needs removing by scraping off with a spade, or hire a turf stripping machine. That part can be done anytime, but the laying of new turf ideally should be done in spring or autumn so it doesn't fry out in the summer sun. Or you can save money by sowing grass seed. 

    Theres a bit more to it than that, but thats the basics. 

  • Greg4Greg4 Posts: 88

    If it were me I would kill of any existing grass with weedol, after a few weeks hire a  rotivater, rotivate over the old grass, let the ground settle a while then level out the soil, re turf or seed in March.

  • Weedol won't kill the moss. I would just keep cutting the lawn (not too short), it will look tidy and green even in a drought and will gradually improve. Any bare patches can be overseeded in spring. Katey, what do you want to use the lawn for?

  • It could do with a raking over first to remove the moss, a process called scarifying. If you do this quite harshly it should look pretty bare afterwards. You could then aerate the lawn with a garden fork poking holes all over to improve circulation to what grass you do have. It can then be reseeded with a general grass seed mix. I wouldn't panic too much just yet wait till the grass starts to regrow in the spring and have a proper look at it

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    If you've got lots of moss I would look at the drainage and light conditions first.

    Moss grows in poorly drained lawns, so I would look at the soil you have, clay loam,well drained(unlikely).

    If you want a decent lawn you would need to improve the drainage with the addition of plenty of grit and sharp sand.

    Only after doing that can you really address putting down turf or seed.

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