re-invigorate lawn suggestions?

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-13-14, 12:36 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,549
re-invigorate lawn suggestions?

I'd like to improve the condition of my front yard/lawn. It's not a big lawn. Over the last several growing seasons I've noticed a significant increase in appearance of moss growth as the lushness of the grass has diminished. This moss appears in areas open to plenty of light, not shaded. In my region natural soil is typically on the acidic side. I admit to neglect of any type of lawn maintenance such as fertilizing. I'd like to do what I can to reverse the trend, that is to get the grass growing fuller and this moss reduced/eliminated. The idea of trying to rake out the moss and then reseed the bare soil with grass seed seems impractical/unworkable as the moss is generally underlying everywhere now (some patches more dense than others), and I'd essentially be raking up the entire yard trying to go that route. I'm giving some consideration to applying some type of chemical commercial yard moss killer then trying to rake out the moss after it dies but it doesn't seem that's quite the right approach either. The moss problem likely is due to soil conditions, lack of decent nutrients available for the grass. I was reading that the addition of lime could improve nutrient availability for the grass and discourage the moss growth but am wondering if it might be a little “too late” now expect the addition of lime to the yard to give much if any improvement in the situation at least over a reasonably short period of time like from now (early spring) through the summertime. I should mention I don't have the resources to “start over” with the yard, bringing in loads of new topsoil and replanting etc. for an ideal picture perfect lawn, but am just seeking to do what I can to improve the vigor of the grass and reduce this moss issue. If adding lime and perhaps adding a lawn fertilizer would be in order I'm unclear about when I might expect to begin to see any improvement (this season maybe, or a few years from now?), and would be concerned as well about over-doing it and doing more harm than good. Any comments/suggestions appreciated. A photo for what it's worth:

 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-13-14, 02:23 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,597
Touch base with your counties agricultural extension office if you have one. They might be able to give you a soil sample box. Fill out the form saying what you want to grow and take the sample and return the box to them. The state lab will test the soil and say add this much of this and so much of that...

Lime can be top applied. It's not the best method but over time Mother Nature will work it down into the soil. It may take several years of applications to have much affect on the soil's ph but you will eventually get the ph to move. The good thing is that it's hard to hurt your lawn with lime.

Next I would try over seeding. Some way of opening the soil to get the seed down into the ground is very helpful but not 100% required. Renting a core aerator is one option or a thorough raking if you've got the energy. Early fall is the best time down here with early spring being the next best time. Also apply a balanced fertilizer. I generally use 10-10-10 because it's cheap and can help your grass with more than just a burst of rapid green growth by also helping root development and disease resistance.
 
  #3  
Old 04-13-14, 02:34 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 20,215
Rent a dethatcher. IMO that is probably all you need to do to give the grass a chance. (besides seed and feed, obviously) If you seed, use a starter fertilizer that will not be too strong for the new plants... 5-10-5... at the rate of about 2 lbs per 100 sq ft. More is not better.
 
  #4  
Old 04-13-14, 04:47 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,549
In regard to a dethatcher, my yard is small enough where I think I could just buy a dethatching rake and do that manually instead of needing to rent a power dethatcher. I've never used a dethatching rake. Should that be able to pull out most of the moss, even though the moss is really rather dense in some patches? What about the idea of maybe applying some moss killer product such as Moss Out beforehand to kill the moss which might make it easier to then rake out with the dethatching rake? thanks
 
  #5  
Old 04-13-14, 08:12 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,549
I'm planning on using a dethatching rake, perhaps after the moss has begun to die away after the application of a moss kill product, to rake away and remove the moss/thatch buildup. Because the density of the moss growth buildup among the grass, it seems likely the yard will be mostly barren to the dirt in large patches after the moss (along with the grass growing out of it) has been ripped away with the rake, and will then of courses require seed and feed for grass regrowth. I have no experience in seeding a lawn. Is it just a matter of sprinkling lawn seeds onto the dirt and working it in a little with a rake and kept watered? Do I have to add other matter such as compost or sand or peat moss or whatever on top of the seeds or not necessarily?
 
  #6  
Old 04-14-14, 09:36 PM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,549
Whew I spent most all day removing the moss with a dethatching rake, combing out the moss from the grass. What a workout! With the moss/thatch removed now, the grass in the yard is particularly sparse looking and there are bare spots so of course I plan on reseeding and feeding next. I got the 5-10-5 starter fertilizer as per XSleeper suggested and some grass seed. With most all the moss removed manually as I described, I'm wondering whether it is necessary at all to apply any kind of commercial moss killer at all. I'd rather not bother with that step unless it would be recommended to perhaps make sure residual moss spores are killed, if that's even much of a concern. Should I bother with the moss killer now, or just proceed to seeding/feeding now?



 
  #7  
Old 04-15-14, 05:19 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 20,215
None of us recommended a moss killer, so no. Its likely it would affect the germination of your new seed. Also, moss is not a fungi, it has seeds not spores. After the lawn is very well established, you could then maintain it with a moss killer, if needed. Otherwise, use a rake.
 
  #8  
Old 04-15-14, 05:57 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,597
I have never used a moss killer and in areas of my yard it comes and goes depending on conditions. If we have an unusually warm and wet winter it expands but a hot dry summer quickly does it in and grass with it's deep roots takes back over.
 
  #9  
Old 04-15-14, 09:08 AM
sgull's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 2,549
Ok then today I plan on seeding/feeding. Will be sure to keep the yard watered good while awaiting the seeds to germinate. Hopefully it'll all work out. Thanks Pilot Dane and XSleeper for the helpful replies here.
 
  #10  
Old 04-16-14, 10:33 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,562
A little late to the party but I always think of a good core aeration and maybe a soil test.

I though moss growth indicated a pH problem and you mentioned acidic soil - soil test would catch that and tell you how much lime to add.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'