The Q&A Archives: How to kill moss and seed for grass

Question: We purchased our home last year and our backyard was shaded by a ton of trees. Due to the shade our backyard is mostly moss. Since moving in we have cut the trees down allowing sunlight to move in and now we'd like to have a lush green lawn. What would be the appropriate way to kill off the moss and seed for grass?

Answer: Moss is usually a symptom of several problems, including poor drainage, too much shade, low fertility, compacted soil, and acidic soil. If you can correct these problems, and put your lawn on a regular feeding schedule, you'll have fewer moss problems. It sounds as though you have eliminated the shady conditions and now you'll want to tackle the compacted soil, drainage and low fertility. I'd rototill the area to get rid of the moss and to aerate the soil. After tilling, rake the moss out and level the area, sloping slightly away from any buildings. Seed the entire area and keep it moist; seeds should germinate in 7-10 days. You should have a lush, thick lawn in 6-8 weeks. Once your lawn is established, plan to feed 4 times a year (April, June, September and late November or early December) with a 3-1-2 ratio of NPK (the 3 numbers on the bag of fertilizer). Apply one pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn per year. If your grass is healthy, it will crowd out the moss in the future.

Best wishes wiht your new lawn!

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