Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After 7 years of letting my lawn be "good enough" I decided this year I really wanted to upgrade at least one area to "really nice". One of the biggest issues I have here (Pacific Northwest) is moss, most people say there's not much you can do about it, but when you look at the "really nice" lawns in the area they are moss free. I aerated and corrected the pH to hopefully discourage new moss growth. My approach to ridding the lawn of the existing moss was to mow, dethatch, spray the moss, dethatch again to pull up the dead moss, top dress and overseed, and then continue on with fertilizing and mowing on my regular schedule. I am currently at the "dethatch again" portion of this routine and after 4 passes with the power rake I'm still pulling up dead moss and thatch. This is about 4,000 sq ft of grass and I've already filled my 96 gallon yard waste container twice and about a dozen of those 30 gallon paper compost bags too. I've attached pics below of the raked up piles I'm getting from each pass with the dethatcher and a close up of the remaining thatch/dead moss that's still in the grass. I'm starting to feel like this is a fools errand... should I keep going till I can see bare ground between the grass or am I going to start damaging the lawn? Should I break this up into monthly/quarterly applications to allow it to recover? Should I just bite the bullet and buy a Harley rake and rip the whole lawn out and reseed? If I were to overseed now would that even work or would the seed just sit on top of the moss/thatch and go to waste? Thanks for any advice you can provide!

Dethatching Piles.JPG
Remaining Thatch.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
The moss you are showing in your picture isn't dead, so that's one issue with it not coming up. How did you correct the PH? If you spread lime, it takes 6 months to a year for it to incorporate into the soil and take effect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I spread lime and have myself on a biannual lime spreading schedule now. I know it's not an overnight fix but I figure I'm on the path towards getting it under control. The moss was a much brighter green/yellow prior to spraying an iron based moss killing solution, most of it turned black or a much darker green like you see in that pic. Do you think it needs another treatment? How much of that iron can I spray before I start to mess up the lawn itself?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Yeah, I spread lime and have myself on a biannual lime spreading schedule now. I know it's not an overnight fix but I figure I'm on the path towards getting it under control. The moss was a much brighter green/yellow prior to spraying an iron based moss killing solution, most of it turned black or a much darker green like you see in that pic. Do you think it needs another treatment? How much of that iron can I spray before I start to mess up the lawn itself?
It should turn black/dark brown if it's died, it will also come back pretty quickly. I'm not sure how much you can put down before you have a problem, but if you've followed the manufacturer's instructions, you might contact them about a second application. I do know you can burn your lawn with too much.

You might want to get a soil test, applying lime on an interval like fertilizer doesn't make as much sense as at some point you will have enough and be pushing the PH higher and higher, which is also not what your grass wants. A soil test would tell you your current soil composition, and how much lime, phosphate, potash, and nitrogen they recommend you add in terms of pounds per acre.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did an at home test on the soil and it comes out very acidic, between 6.0-6.5. Local farm supply shops say that’s the norm around here and recommend “heavy” lime applications twice a year, once late winter/early spring, and once late fall right before the first frost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Did an at home test on the soil and it comes out very acidic, between 6.0-6.5. Local farm supply shops say that’s the norm around here and recommend “heavy” lime applications twice a year, once late winter/early spring, and once late fall right before the first frost.
I'm in the pacific northwest as well, western Washington, and average soil PH is 5.5 in my area. 7 is neutral, 6.0-6.5 isn't that far off.

Is your local farm supply the one selling you the lime? I would double check the information I get from someone with skin in the game. If you get your PH to 7.0, why would you then apply more lime? That's why testing is so important; grass generally prefers 6.5-7.0 PH, raise it too high and your grass will be unhappy just the same. Also, as your soil is covered with grass, you will have less leeching of calcium out of your soil than a farm that has soil exposed, that may be part of where you local stores advice comes from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is your local farm supply the one selling you the lime?
Of course they are :) I’m also in Western WA, South King County to be exact. This info came from the landscaping lady at Coastal Farm And Ranch in Auburn. My buddy up in Marysville gave me this flyer from his local Agri-shop which seems to espouse the same type of schedule, but again they’re selling lime and fertilizer too... So are you of the opinion that once the pH is corrected that it should just be left alone? Or would annual pH testing and then directed lime applications (or none, as dictated by test results) be best?

3366839A-6D0C-4FEE-B704-9544FBBC6567.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Satch

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
I'm of the opinion that annual or bi-annual soil testing would be the way to go, until you have an understanding of how often you need to apply, but I wouldn't want to continually put down an ammedment without knowing how it's affecting my soil.

This might be useful to you, click on the map and you can see soil test results in your area:

If your soil hasn't been amended before, it's likely to be close to the PH of soils around you
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top