Friday, November 13, 2009

Poor condition lawn - I need to remove weeds and get the grass growing back?

The lawn has been poorly treated for years (just bought new house). There are a lot of weeds and moss areas in grass. I am thinking of:

1. mowing short, then laying down weed/moss killer and

2. then after a week or so using an electric raker to really clear the weeds.

3. Not sure if I need to also use a aerator and spinkle down sharp sand to also give the ground less compaction

4. I was then planning to fertilise ground and then overseed and roll in seeds

5. then of course water grass every day for several weeks to get the new grass seeds growing

Any thoughts? (I'm in UK so weather over next month is probably quite dry but grass seed can be planted anytime from May-Sept so it should be OK)

Poor condition lawn - I need to remove weeds and get the grass growing back?
had the same problem with my lawn in my new house 2 years ago.

Step 1: Mowed Lawn

Step 2: Used Weed and Feed then Watered in

Step 3: Waited 7 days then manually raked out all weeds

Step 4: Nearly cried as lawn looked a right mess.

Step 5: Raked the soil

Step 6: Mixed bags of new topsoil with grass seed

Step 7: Spread new soil/seed across required patches of lawn (ie most of it)

Step 8: Watered Daily


95% of the lawn is now fantastic. There are one or two areas that require retreating - I am currently doing this and the rather inclement weather has not hindered the process.

Note: I noticed the seed and topsoil method at a golf course and gave it a try - works really well.

However - Do NOT re wee and feed for a minimum of 6 months after the new seed is taken.

Mow about 3 weeks after grass begins to visibly grow.
Reply:Your plan seems reasonable enough, Grass is pretty tough, so with care it should get back to looking reasonable eventually, but it will not be instantaneous, and couple take a couple of years.

I would concentrate on aeration, sharp sand and watering to get the roots stronger before tackling the surface problems.
Reply:Use feed and weed,wait till September and then put some sand down and sow some seed.this is the best time as weeds dont grow in the winter,keep watered.You will see a difference next spring.It all takes time.If you want a new lawn right away you will have to lay turf which is very expensive.


If it is very compacted aerate it before sowing seeds.
Reply:I agree with putting in some extra seeds in places where the grass is thin. Let them grow for a few weeks then get some lawn food (think we got ours in B%26amp;Q or Woolworths). The stuff works like a dream! Our lawn won't stop growing now and is thick and lush. We have to cut it once a week, and we water if the weather has been dry a few days.

Good luck!
Reply:Sounds like you know what you are doing...I would have just said use a good weed killer like weed b gone...that is what I used and it worked really well! Good luck to you!!
Reply:Your problem with moss will continue unless you alter the soil and surrounding conditions in your yard. Here's a guideline for you to follow;

1) Spray the existing broadleaved weeds with a 2-4, D product. Make sure to irrigate the lawn prior to spraying so the weeds are more succulent and accept the weedkiller. Once you spray, do not irrigate for 48 hours.

2) The reason you may be seeing moss on your lawn is possible because the pH of your soil may be too acidic. Purchase an pH meter at your local hardware store, there are inexpensive ones (around $8 to $10 here in the U.S.). Although they're not the most accurate, they'll give you an approximate reading. IF your soil is below 6.5, you should add pelletized lime at recommended rates.

Moss also favors shaded areas and soils that do not drain well. Try trimming any trees that might provide too much shade to your lawn.

To improve the soil's ability to drain better, I'd recommend aerating your lawn (irrigate deep the day prior). After aeration, remove the plugs and discard. Broadcast compost over the entire area at a depth of 2 inches and make sure the holes are filled with compost (you can use a push-broom to do this).

The compost will help break-up tight soil and while adding organic matter. The beneficial microbes in the compost will also help the roots of your lawn gather more nutrients.

Sand is not a good choice in this instance since it doesn't hold water and will not reduce soil compaction. Instead, you may want to divert that money by adding some pelletized gypsum which will also reduce compaction.

3) Once you've leveled (by raking) the compost over the area, you're ready to broadcast your grass seeds. The organic matter will help retain moisture so the seeds will have a better chance of germinating. Make sure you water your grass seeds 3 to 4 time a day for a minimum of two weeks. Try not to water after 4 PM to avoid the incidence of any water molds (such as Pythium) from developing.

You'll probably get a few more weeds emerging after your grass seeds germinate but you should wait for a couple of months before spraying them.

I think once you do this, you'll see a dramatic improvement in the condition of your lawn. GOOD LUCK!

-Certified Professional Crop Consultant with over 30 years of experience and a Degree in Plant Science
Reply:In USA we have a product called Ortho Weed-be- Gone if not available in UK try a similer product ,but note that when appling chemicals they don't lose there killing abilities for weeks.Follow the label warnings. Seeds will not germinate if the chemical is still active in the soil. Best results are obtained with a liqiud application again follow label warnings.If you have any garden beds you may want to cover with plastic sheets (drop clothes) you may think theres no present wind ,but there is.After you have killed your weeds. You may want to airrate the soil with Peat moss as well along with the sand . Roto till it in ,then level then seed, fertilize and lime. Then apply a thin layer of peat moss again this will enable you to retain moisture and blanket you seed. This all so heats the seed increasing the growth process Just remember get perenial seed not cheep seed. Good luck!!!

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