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General Lawn Maintenance Advice

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by Snorky85, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Snorky85

    Snorky85 Total Gardener

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    Hi there,

    Looking for advice. Recently stopped the lawn folk coming and sorting the grass out because they were so expensive, careless and results weren't great. We spent over £500 on them treating it for moss and it looks even worse.

    Had a look round today and noticed some weeds starting to come through.

    Wondering what I should be doing with the lawn now to prevent weeds etc? I know I should be sowing some grass seed to fill in the gaps so moss can't grow. Is there any weed/feed I should be applying? Worried about burning the grass as made that mistake in the past.

    Any advice much appreciated!
     
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    • WeeTam

      WeeTam Total Gardener

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      Just make sure you get the right seed. Shady,fine or hard wearing.

      Diy will never be as good as getting good pro's in, usually.

      If your going diy as i do myself get a decent scarifier,a good spreader/sprayer, maybe some iron and aerate any soggy compacted turf.

      Weeds are in my lawn especially clover but as the big fat wood pigeons and bees love it i just leave it alone.
       
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      • Liz the pot

        Liz the pot Gardener

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        What did they tell you about the lawn, £500 is a fair bit?
        Were they by any chance treating the lawn through the cold spells?
        Moss will continue to thrive even if you seed the patches. As the Autumn draws in it will develop a grip again.
        Any chance of a photo showing the position of the lawn.
         
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        • Snorky85

          Snorky85 Total Gardener

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          To be fair our garden isn't small but still felt like a lot for what they actually did. The moss treatment was in the autumn and they scarified it and put some kind of chemical(?) down and seed. That was the £500 odd treatment.

          Then 5 times throughout the year we had general treatments - a chap came round for 15 minutes max to spread something on the grass.

          The grass is very wet at the far end and we knew that it would be unlikely that area would free from moss (we are actually having it patios/built on so not a big deal. But the large front lawn and the rest of the back is still mossy. They also said we had some red thread but nothing significant.

          The funny thing is they said they'd come back and treat it again if we weren't entirely satisfied. When they messaged me to ask to come again this year I said I wasn't satisfied with the improvement.....guess what.....no offer of coming back to do it again, just that they would "make a note on file". Wondering whether I should pursue them again. Will try find some piccies...
           
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          • Snorky85

            Snorky85 Total Gardener

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          • HarryS

            HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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            You have a huge amount of grass there . Treatment would take some time. Probably best to let @Liz the pot advise you . If we all start chipping in it gets confusing . :)
             
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            • Doghouse Riley

              Doghouse Riley Head Gardener

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              As a general rule, I follow the actions of my golf club's head greenkeeper.
              "When he does stuff, I do it."

              I gave my lawn a dose of three in one soluble weed feed and mosskill on Friday.
              I always get one or two very small patches of moss along the left-hand border, because it's in shadow for much of the day. I remove the moss with a small hand held rake after a couple of weeks and tread in some seed, if necessary. A couple of times in the Summer I give it a dose of iron sulphate.

              I run the scarifyer over it in the Autumn and give it another feed.

              I'm a firm believer in frequent cutting, I use a Flymo. At the height of summer this can be three times a week. (my golf club greens are cut that frequently).
              It only takes a few minutes. I have my mower set at its lowest setting, so I'm never taking that much off. Some lans look "dog rough" in the summer after mowing for the first time in a couple of weeks.
              At this time of the year I do a bit of "transplanting," I always find a few bald places of about an inch in circumference in the Spring. Sometimes I find a bit of rogue grass in a border, or when I use the strimmer every couple of weeks along the border where it meets the path, to make a nice clean edge, bits of grass with some root get cut away and can be used for that purpose. I also remove the odd weed by hand if necessary.
              Fortunately ours isn't a very big lawn and doesn't get much foot traffic.

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              A neighbour used to have a firm that came in called Green Thumb, a few times a year. But he's given up with it, as it was expensive and they didn't do that good a job.
               
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                Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
              • Mike Allen

                Mike Allen Gardener

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              • Liz the pot

                Liz the pot Gardener

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                Red thread is contagious so it can be spread but normally you will see patches of grass that fades in colour and if you look at the tips of the grass blade you will often see a red tip. Around here it’s the most common disease I see. Patches can increase in size leaving the lawn looking very sad.
                Normally it’s when it’s wet and warm this tends to show and often if you have one disease there will be another.
                It’s a pain to treat as it will return but the grass normally recovers which is good news and there are some types of grass that are more at risk to red thread.
                I’m hoping when they seeded the lawn they top dressed it as well which was included in the price.
                Did they take a ph level in several areas and remove a plug section to see what is under the turf?

                Your lawn looks good for a starting point to the year and normally if it’s not too bad with moss I would scarify then treat the lawn with a fertiliser. A good spring/autumn feed with iron will kill of some of the moss and strengthen the turf. What you can’t do is remove all the moss when you scarify and it’s a common mistake that trying to remove the moss on multiple passes leaves the lawn looking poor and needing a seed.
                If they took a plug they will have been able to check thatch levels and again when scarifying you don’t want to go crazy as you need some thatch remaining.

                Did they aerate the lawn?

                Your lawn is nice and open so the moss problem could be related to drainage as you mention the lawn holding water. While it’s nice to aerate it depends on the soil content as it’s pointlest if the sub level is the issue as that’s holding the water. Normally aerating is good for compact ground conditions and the process also removes a percentage of thatch but if the water is trapped under the top soil content then aerating will not solve the issue.

                It can be hard to eliminate moss and there are different types but it’s possible to keep it at bay. The treatment of iron in a controlled way will deter moss as will dressing the lawn and improving the soil content.

                I can’t say why you have moss as I can’t see first hand your lawn but very few companies will dive down to try and see what’s the issue by some of the methods mentioned above.
                If you don’t have tools for maintaining your lawn it could be the case of finding another company or individual who can help. Some times you strike lucky and find them rather than a company that does the standard practice on each and every lawn.

                I also notice you are in Bucks which is where I’m based.
                 
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                  Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
                • Snorky85

                  Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                  Thanks @Doghouse Riley and @Liz the pot both really informative and helpful.

                  It's moisture retention sub level which is the problem I believe-based on what the builder who lives next door told me.

                  The company that came round didn't dig in or take a sample-it was more a hard sell from him and explaining different types of grass diseases etc. Then spent the rest of the time measuring up. They were very like green thumb (franchise) but it was the franchise owner who also covers this area that came. Then he had a chap he employed to come and sort it. Didn't notice any top dressing-unfortunately we were on holiday when they came to treat it but we were left with several bin bags of moss etc after scarifying.

                  I'm loathes to use a scarifier or aerator as the ground is clay based and very wet and dont want to rip it up.

                  Generally it looks in ok condition from a distance but close up you can see the moss and now more weeds than ever.
                   
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                  • Gail_68

                    Gail_68 Beauty blooms in the garden as well as the heart.

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                    @Snorky85 Moss sometimes in lawns can be hard to move...our next door neighbour had it bad and used to buy a treatment to move it..it would go for a certain amount of time then come back :)
                     
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                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener

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                      Your grass looks better than mine. Moss on my lawn is in areas that are shaded whereas your garden is nice and open so it's most like the drainage as Liz says. Also it can get worse if you mow too low, you could try a higher setting. How often do you mow and do you know the setting?
                       
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                      • Gail_68

                        Gail_68 Beauty blooms in the garden as well as the heart.

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                        I agree with Doghouse Riley...when we had our lawns @Snorky85 they was cut by a flymo..the front once a week but the back had to be done twice weekly as it was a fast grower.

                        You do have some ground there on front and back :wow:

                         
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                        • Snorky85

                          Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                          yes, mr snorks keeps the mower on a high setting . It's definitely from the general moisture in the ground rather than shady areas. Annoyingly we also get red ants... I thought they liked dry ground?! Think i'll try the 3 in one feed as suggested, spot weed out the biggies.
                           
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                          • Notty1975

                            Notty1975 Gardener

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                            45887F07-A042-4647-B550-72BC1D161507.jpeg As been said above although my lawns are gone now I used to feed after my last cut and before my first cut my first cut was as low as my mower would go then every cut after set at 30 mm some important points are scarification and airation if you have lots of moss do above then brush some sand in to help drainage as for weeds if they are large enough I used a hyperdemic needle filled with round up and injected it into the stem of the weeds doesn’t affect the grass then
                             

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