Relaying Lawn

We've recently moved into our home and i would like to relay our front lawn.
Reasons for this are:
- It's really uneven - It's mostly moss
The lawn doesn't get much sun due to the hedge which i think has been encouraging the moss. I've read that you can buy seed that will happily live in shady conditions.
My plan for this is to do to the following;
- Cover the grass with black plastic in order to kill the current lawn. - User a weed killer to kill any further weeds - Rake all debris - Flatten and mix in top soil - lay seed - water regularly - cut frequently on a high setting after roots have bedded in.
Does this sound viable? Also i'm not sure what sort of time frame i should aim for?
Below is a picture of the lawn at the moment.
'View image: WP 20150103 12 25 54 Pro' (http://postimg.org/image/7qzlrbd97 /)
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nabberuk


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nabberuk wrote:

how large an area?

large puddles or just rough to walk on or?
if there are significant puddles you may want to reconsider your overall layout and drainage before doing anything else.
observe the area during a hard rain and see if you are losing valuable topsoil and organic materials via erosion.
if the previous owner was mowing and removing the clippings then they are likely a part of the reason why the soil has become so poor through time.
you won't know these answers until you see large rains happen and observe the water flows.
after you've seen what is going on then you can adjust the area to encourage retention of topsoil and organic materials while also making sure no longer term puddles are forming (or if you want some water retaining areas you can design the lower spots to do that and change the plant mix for those areas).

sure, but shade always limits growth of grasses. much easier to use different plants than to keep pouring grass seed on an unsuited area.
mosses are not a problem but indications of prevalent conditions. they don't grow tall enough or fast enough to outcompete grass and should not be removed or killed. change the light, drainage, organic material retention and the rest will eventually sort itself out.

much more intensive and expensive than what is needed.
level it as needed, add sorely missing organic materials in thin layers along with your desired grass seeds. thin, lower or remove the hedge (consult an expert on hedge or other tree/shrub varieties if you really must have grass). retain all clippings on the lawn, do not use weed sprays, fertilizers, etc as they are a waste of money and often do more harm than they accomplish.
after a bit of time you should have some new growth filling in and the moss will lose out to the grasses as the moss gets smothered and shaded by the grass.
keep mowing as needed (on as high a setting as your mulching mower will allow) and if there are any bare spots you can repeat the light layer of mulch and grass seed addition to fill them in. if the area of moss is wide you can speed things along by transplanting plugs of healthy grasses but don't remove the surrounding moss because it is what is left of your soil community and holder of nutrients and moisture.
don't worry about weeds, they are not harmful to anyone or anything. just mow often if they offend and those that cannot survive repeated mowing and competition with the grasses will go away. those that remain are well suited for your area and provide diversity for animals and the soil. clovers, plantains, and dandelions are foods that rabbits will prefer over many other lawn/garden plants. if you get rid of them then the bunnies start looking harder in other places for food...
when you start seeing signs of worms being active in your lawn again then you've returned it to health and it should need nothing more than regular trims and monitoring to make sure the clippings and topsoil are staying in place. if you do not want the lawn to fade during dry spells then you will want to add some water, but i don't consider that very useful either if there are a good mix of plants then some will do better during dry spells when the grasses slow down or go dormant (yarrows and thymes being good examples). if you do add water it is best to add it in one good soaking than to do a lot of shallow applications.
the best time to do such things is in the early fall before it gets too cold, but perhaps your leveling work and trimming to allow more light in can be done now and then you can see how it goes until the site is leveled and then add some selected seeds and the compost and observe how that goes before doing anything else.
good luck. :)
songbird
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As shown in the photo i think there is around 75% moss, wouldn't it be easier to just start again?
--
nabberuk


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nabberuk wrote:

you didn't answer any of my questions. i gave a detailed reply. starting again from faulty premises gives same results as before with the added nonsense of having wasted time, effort and money. is the area really needed as monocultural grasslands or can it be done differently or...
if you want easy and cheapest, leave it alone and enjoy the moss. that's what is suitable to your existing soils, climate, conditions, light, treatment...
another approach is to accept that you have effectively a woodland lot containing compacted soil. nothing is wrong with finding more suitable plants for that space than grass and they can be a lot less maintenance than having to mow a lawn. some of the replacement plants will do better with some sort of mulch layer on top and letting leaves remain after they fall from the surrounding plants. it doesn't need to be expensive either, many gardeners are often quite happy to share plants with friendly people if you're willing to help them dig and divide things that even goes further.
your local library should have a decent number of references or the means to get them which detail various plants and their needs. enjoy a time out and make a librarian happy...
go back and answer my questions. i'm not asking them to waste your time or mine.
songbird
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On 1/3/2015 3:06 PM, nabberuk wrote:

I don't know what winter lawns look like in the UK but mine in the US does not look that good in the winter.
In your lawn, I don't see all moss and it looks under fertilized. If it were mine, I'd wait until spring, check pH and fertilize with weed killer in the fertilizer and see what happens.
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On Sunday, January 4, 2015 1:21:52 PM UTC-5, Frank wrote:

Agree, I don't see moss either and one section looks fertilized, the rest doesn't. If the existing grass type, texture, color, etc are acceptable, then I agree I'd work with what's there. It's not in real bad shape.
On the other hand, if he's set on changing the grass type and wants to start over, then the plan given will work. Just make sure that any weedkiller is glyphosate and not something that will prevent grass from growing when reseeded. As to timeframe, fall is by far the best time, when nature is on your side. Spring would be the second option. In Spring you'll have more competition from weeds and also need to keep it watered more in approaching summer conditions. Doing it in fall, the grass has a lot longer to get established before summer temps arrive. But with a small area, which is easier to keep watered, as long as you tend to it, it will be OK. Could also try Frank's suggestion to work with what's there this year and if not satisfied, then reseed in fall.
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'songbird[_2_ Wrote: > ;1010424']nabberuk wrote:-

how large an area?
- As can be seen from the photo, the area is fairly small, around 5-10 square meters.
large puddles or just rough to walk on or?
- There are some puddles, the whole lawn has waves with the highest being around 20cm higher than the lowest point.
--
nabberuk


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nabberuk wrote: ...

sorry, not everyone is on-line when they read/write replies. :) i am online now and looked at the picture and i agree with the others, it really looks ok to me, remember most people don't see areas close up, they don't have to be perfect.

often those waves are there for some reason or another. if the water is coming off pavement or the roof they could be channels to guide the water away from the foundation of the house.
or they might just be due to erosion from water flows or settling of the original area if they didn't evenly compact and level the soil.
so it helps a lot to know what is actually happening during a heavy rain. if those channels are from or guiding water flows or what... if later on you bring in fill without understanding your drainage it could backfire and leave you with muddy water on the walkways or backing up to the foundation.
take some time to observe the area during a heavy rain before doing anything else and see what that tells you. drainage is important to get right before doing much else.
if the low spots are clearly away from the house and won't be a problem to level you can do some of that work and seed them in, but often such areas are left to capture extra rain so it can soak in. they don't really cause any problems and can be helping solve another.
songbird
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