The Q&A Archives: Lawn care

Question: Is it best to scarify then aerate my lawn or the other way round? I have a large lawn area and was thinking that the scarifier would rake up the plug,s from the aeration. I plan to put down moss killer first then weed and feed. Is this a good plan thank,s for your help. Your,s Roy. Olympia WA.

Answer: Sounds like you're ready to renovate your lawn. I would skip the moss killer, though, because although it will kill the moss, it won't remove it. Moss is a symptom of several problems; too much shade, poor fertility, poor drainage and acidic soil. If you can correct these problems, you'll have fewer problems with moss in the future.

Instead of using a moss killer, simply rake out the moss to remove it from the lawn area. Dig out any large weeds or patches of weeds, as well. Then, aerate your lawn, but leave the plugs where they lay. They will dissolve with rain and/or water from your sprinklers. After aerating, spread some sand over the lawn area. It will work its way into the holes made by the aerator and help the soil drain quickly. Once you've done all of the above, you can over-seed your lawn. Spring rains will wash the seeds down into the sand you've applied and the seeds will sprout in 7-10 days. If you water your new lawn well, the sand will work its way down to the soil level and the new grass will be well rooted.

An alternative to the above is to completely rototill your existing lawn, rake out all the debris, level the soil and then seed with your favorite type of grass.

Best wishes with your lawn.

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