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Lawn is a mess please help


I have just moved into my new property and it comes with a lovely big back garden. I have been waiting for the weather to clear so that I can start organising the garden ready for the summer. 

I have been checking the condition of the grass and it is very poor full of weeds and moss. 

I have looked at getting green thumb into fix it but to be honest I enjoy gardening and doing things myself so i thought i would ask for tips on here. 

I have been told to follow these 3 steps.

1) Scarify my lawn to remove the moss.

2)Then apply a weed killer over my lawn to kill all of the weeds. 

3)Feed the lawn. 

Does anybody have any tips on how to get this all completed so that we can have healthy grass for the summer. 



  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Apply a weed, feed and moss killer - all one product- to the lawn in April when it is a bit warmer and the grass is growing well. When the moss turns black, depending on your fitness or size of lawn, either  rake it out using a spring tined rake or hire a scarifier. any bare patches of lawn can be reseeded. 

    Cut it regularly once a week keeping the blades quite high i.e. Don't scalp it and the come the autumn you can put down an autumn feed.

    is it a new build or just new to you?

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Hi Hogweed,

    So should I not bother using the scarifier yet? I was going to hire one this weekend.

    Its an older house but new new to me. The lawns are say 70 percent moss. So that's why i thought scarify them. 

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Hogweed is right leave it alone until the grass starts to grow again then put down feed and weed as per instructions on the box. WATER it in well, I use it when rain is expected. Leave for six eight weeks, scarify and then put down a second dusting of weed and feed. Keep cutting the grass never shorter than one inch, wait a few days after cutting before dusting with the weed and feed. In Autumn Aerate the grass either with a garden fork pushed into the grass, or hire an aerator for a day. Mix some washed sand and compost and throw shovel fulls across the lawn, casting we called it. With a stiff brush sweep the compost mix into the aerating holes, this opens the sward for better drainage. Leave a week and then put down winter feed and weed, slow release, leave it until spring, I never walk on the lawns when they are wet.


  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Tom, we would normally scarify in Autumn, as yours needs some TLC give the first dusting of feed and weed a chance to do its job on the weeds then scarify. Getting the lawn back into trim will take time it is not a short term fix. The grass like us needs some Spring sunshine to boost it, let the roots get a firm grip again. Your first cut would be with the blades well up, the more leaf the more goodness it will get. Be patient, nothing happens fast in gardening, after years of gardening you get a steady but sure way of working, we do work today for next year or the year after so donot expect instant miracles.


  • Ok brilliant thanks Frank.

    I will leave it for now then and just apply some feed and weed killer. Do you recommend a good one that will kill all the moss and weeds? Should I buy a spreader to put it all over the grass? 

    My garden is now all clear of any old dead leaves and weeds along the paths. I was hoping to have a nice garden by the summer. 

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,024

    Tom, I usually rely on the Which? recommendations.  They do extensive tests which we gardeners can't match.

    - not sure if I've created a working link there, but you can find the article by looking on Google.  I think their best buy was Vitax.

    Good luck!  Your garden won't be perfect by summer but it'll be nearer perfect than it is now!  Rome wasn't built in a day...

    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Tom, depends on the size of the lawn. You can use it as if scattering seed by hand remember with those treatments less is better, to much you can burn the lawn, also watering in well essential or burning occurs. If you have a big lawn then a small push along spreader will do the job providing  you do not go over the same bit twice, just take care when spreading.

    Any good garden shop or centre will sell good feed and weed under various names, it is all basically the same formula probably packed by one large packer in named boxes, when I worked for ICI you would see the same mix go in different name bags, people would swear by a brand we knew they were the same.

    You will have a better lawn by summer as the work pays off, the garden is up to you. I tell people to buy some larger pots fill them with plants or bedding and group them where the garden looks bare, it cheers you and the garden up, one good flowering plant can make a difference, plus pots can be moved around.


  • If the moss is that bad then scarify first otherwise and weed, feed and moss killer you put down won't get down to the soil

  • image This is just the front garden you can see the weeds and moss. The back garden is awful. Literally 70 percent moss and say 20 percent weeds 10 percent grass. 

    I'm in two minds now then as the moss is really really bad and the weeds. Should I scarify or weed and kill??

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Having seen the picture i realise there will not be much green left once the moss has been removed, the rock and the hard place comes to mind. You could scarify first then weed and feed though some of those weeds look hard core. Depending on funds removing the grass and returning may be the answer.


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