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My lawn plan.

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by rustyroots, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. rustyroots

    rustyroots Total Gardener

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    Hi All,

    My front lawn is quite bad, it has a few weeds and loads of moss, and I want to try and rejuvinate it.

    I am on clay and it has held a lot of water over the winter, so my plan is as follows:

    1: Apply weed and moss killer.
    2: Scarify after a week or so.
    3: Aerate lawn with garden fork.
    4: Spread a mix of mulpurpose compost and sharp sand over lawn and sweep into aeration holes.
    5: Give lawn a feed.

    Do you think this plan is the correct action?
    What should I feed with?

    Rusty
     
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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      Sounds good too me rustyroots.......I would overseed bare or thin areas just before applying topdressing.
      I think most granular feeds are much the same so I go for cheapest....Aldi had some....but be careful you spread it evenly and water it well in a few hours later
      Enjoy your lawn this summer :)
       
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      • rustyroots

        rustyroots Total Gardener

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        Any idea what mix of sand and MPC I should use?

        Rusty
         
      • Liz the pot

        Liz the pot Gardener

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        When you dress you really need to keep to the same soil type and add sand but I’ll be honest and say you need a deep hollow tine to make a difference if the top soil content is low.

        What scarifier are you using?
        Some use free floating blades, these can’t cut in and for surface use only.
        Some use fixed blades, good for cutting into the soil if the machine is designed for this.

        I’m guessing you are using a weed and feed. You will notice the N level tends to be higher on these as it’s aimed at trying to promote rapid growth to fill in. They also tend to have a low Fe content so they need to be applied at max for the Fe to deter moss and to strengthen the turf.

        If you top dress you will not need to feed straight away as the soil contains enough N to create growth.

        Worth a note but if you feed the lawn before scarifying then allow it to break down fully and if fe is included allow this time to work. Don’t try to remove all the black moss, you simply can’t with a scarifier and most try this and end up with a rather sorry looking lawn.
         
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        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          Rustyroots, Not critical but 50/50. The sand adds weight too to mpc
           
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          • Jack Sparrow

            Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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          • rustyroots

            rustyroots Total Gardener

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            Hi All,

            Thanks for the replies.

            Liz the Pot - I am going to borrow my father in laws electric scarifier, not sure if it is fixed blade or not. When you say a deep hollow tine do you mean a machine that takes a core out of the ground a couple of inches deep with a diameter of a 10 pence piece?

            Reading Jack Sparrows link it says to use top soil. Should I use top soil or as stated in first post sand an MPC? I thought that the sand mixed may add to drainage of lawn.

            Rusty
             
          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            I disagree with using top soil at this time of year.....I think it is too heavy, too weedy and too
            much for emerging grasses.
            The scarifier? I would use it only on the highest setting. A more vigorous raking I undertake in autumn.
            Hollow tining? Again, my feeling is it is too aggressive for this time of year. For me now is the time for gentle work on the lawn :)
             
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            • WeeTam

              WeeTam Total Gardener

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              Iron sulphate....scarify....wait and see how it looks....feed and weed....mow it...enjoy it....then do it all again...and again....and again.............:rage:
               
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              • Liz the pot

                Liz the pot Gardener

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                Yes but I’m not sure you can hire the better machines. There are many tine setups so it depends on what’s fitted.
                You can achieve a very clean finish with a good machine which leads me to what Verdun is saying about heavy handed techniques.
                You can handle domestic lawns with the same degree as sports management where turf needs to be kept well and any work needs to be clean so that it’s back to it’s glory asap.
                With someone who knows what they are doing you will have a clean finish including dressing so that the lawn looks great very quickly.
                Same with scarifying and I’ll be honest and say you will not achieve that with an electric one. I can cut right in and you would hardly know Ive been across it but you will end up ripping the turf with an electric one. They simply don’t have the blade type, adjustment and power needed.

                The idea of dressing is that you keep the soil content the same as what you have apart from the sand to aid drainage. Depending on what is done dictates the mixture but you don’t want to alter the top soil composition to a large degree.
                Dressing if done correctly is not heavy, it’s a coating which is worked in and on a small lawn a lute is your best friend. Common mistake is too much soil.
                Same with moss treatments, too much iron alters the ph levels and I’ve seen some rather dandy bronze looking soil in my time.

                Your best bet is to find a company or individual who has the skill set to achieve this if possible or you accept that it’s an on going problem with the moss and perhaps change direction and use a fertiliser called MO Bacter which is a slow release low N feed and it has the ability to eat the moss away rather than turning it black and then trying to remove it.
                I have lots of success with it, no burning, no staining, enviro friendly and good results against moss. It will take a few applications and it will not deter moss but it’s another direction you could take. If you went for this I would not scarify but let the fert do its job and a side note is it needs a heavy application in warm damp weather for best results.
                I like it that much I use it at my companions and she loves the finished lawn and in 6 years I’ve only ever scarifier it once.
                 
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                • Perki

                  Perki Super Gardener

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                  How deep is the moss ? moss killer will only kill the top inch so if its very deep you would be better off scarifying it first then moss killing . Most cheap scarifyers are just powered rakes, they have little spring tines which rip the moss out and everything else, you will probably have a bare soil lawn after, Ideal for weed seedling to germinate in, you would have to over seed with fresh grass seed to help fill in the gaps after.

                  I use top soil and sharp sand to top dress my lawn ( you can buy bags of top dressing but expensive ). Would be better off adding more sand than top soil to aid drainage, I used last week two bags of sand to one bag of top soil 35litre bag , rule of thumb for top dressing is not to cover more than 25% of a blade of grass, I like to do it a day or two before rain due so it help wash it in after.

                  Lawns really are a lot of work to get right but totally worth it in my opinion, its normally the largest part of the garden and the largest plant which set off the rest of the garden.

                  Lawnsmith is a good website for turf care.
                   
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                  • Perki

                    Perki Super Gardener

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                    Not heard of Mo Bacter before, interesting product but expensive
                     
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                    • Liz the pot

                      Liz the pot Gardener

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                      Anything aimed at being eco friendly seems to push the price up, you can find deals at times but not much off to be honest.
                       
                    • Sandy Ground

                      Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                      As an fyi, Viano Mo Bacter is considered to be harmful to the environment here, despite the manufacturer saying it is an eco product. I dont think that as yet, it has been prohibited, but most suppliers dont stock/sell it any more.
                       
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                      • HarryS

                        HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                        I am scarifying my front lawn today . Using the cutting blade cartridge on a light setting . I have found the spring tine cartridge to be very aggressive . I don't bother with the grass collecting box as it fills up very quickly , just leave the cuttings on the lawn and then wizz over with the lawn mower.
                        For top dressing I use 50% top soil , 25% sharp sand , 25% MPC
                        As @WeeTam , above lawns are lovely but bloomin' hard work . It's like being sentenced to hard labour for life :snorky:
                         
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