The Q&A Archives: Moss

Question: Hi, I live on long island. Just moved into a house, lawn had alot of moss on it. Soil has a lot of sand also. There is more shade than sun in front of house morning to afternoon, sun then behind house afternoon to evening. I was wondering what I can do to get a lawn and garden to grow. Many Thanks in advance!

Answer: Moss is an indication of several things: compacted soils, too much shade, acidic soils and poor drainage. To get your lawn back on track, rent a core aerator at your local garden center and run it over the lawn. It will remove plugs of soil and old lawn. Leave the plugs on the ground and they will dissolve with rainfall or when you water your lawn. After aerating, spread a thin layer of sand or compost over the lawn. This will work its way into the core holes and help loosen the soil and make it drain faster. Choose a shade tolerant grass seed mixture and overseed your entire lawn. Then water, mow and fertilize regularly to bring your lawn back to life. The flower beds or vegetable beds should be amended with organic matter and replanted. Take out all desireable plants, spread 4-5 inches of compost or aged manure over the beds and dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. Level the soil and replant or install new plants. By this summer you should have a healthy, colorful landscape. Enjoy!

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