We've recently moved into our home and i would like to relay our front
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'
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
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
good luck. :)
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,
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.
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.
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
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
how large an area?
- As can be seen from the photo, the area is fairly small, around 5-10
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.
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
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.