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Lawn full of weeds - step by step advice needed pretty please

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by Snorky85, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Snorky85

    Snorky85 Total Gardener

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    Hi all, Hoping a lawn boffin will be able to give me some simple steps on how to recover mum grass.

    It's up in Lincoln (info incase the weather has any affect on what to do), heavy clay underneath, south facing garden. Also suffers with red ants.

    It's full of weeds and moss and bald patches.

    Could you advice on what to do first (i.e. do I need to scarify) and when to do it?

    What weed/feed treatment should I use? What will the lawn look like once applied (will it all look black and patchy?)

    What grass seeds should I sow to thicken out the grass and to prevent weeds regrowing and when should I sow it?

    This is what it currently looks like...
    Lawn 1.jpglawn 2.jpglawn 3.jpglawn 4.jpglawn 5.jpglawn 6.jpglawn 7.jpglawn 8.jpg
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Hiya Snorky :)
    Much as I am currently doing ....although without the weeds!
    A law weed killer should still work...I would spot weed.
    Then scarify and rake...yep, it will look a mess but only for a few weeks; dont worry about that. It will come good in spring
    ( I will top dress mine... tomorrow. Not necessary though)
    In March or April overseed; use dwarf rye. It is the most popular type now producing a dense thick hard wearing sward.
    A proprietary lawn feed. No reason why seed sowing and feeding cannot be done at the same time. Avoid any lawn weed killers for 6 to 8 weeks or so thereafter
    Regular weekly cut with blades set at mid height thereafter :)
     
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    • Doghouse Riley

      Doghouse Riley Head Gardener

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      You have to be careful scarifying if the ground is damp, as you could pull a lot of the grass roots out. I've an ancient B & D scarifier which has three settings, I always start off with the highest setting and see how that goes before dropping it down one.
       
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      • Snorky85

        Snorky85 Total Gardener

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        Thanks @Verdun ....so should I buy a granular or liquid weed killer? I can do that now can I?

        Also, how long after weed killering should I scarify?
         
      • Snorky85

        Snorky85 Total Gardener

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        @Doghouse Riley Yes - I've got to buy a scarifier for at home still (going to buy the screwfix one that was recommended on here). So I will bring that up to Lincoln to use.
         
      • Redwing

        Redwing Wild Gardener

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        I like “weeds” in lawns; they will attract invertebrates and increase the biodiversity especially if you keep it a bit long and avoid close mowing (which BTY will increase the so called weeds). I realise not everyone will agree with my point of view. The second to last picture is ragwort which is a pretty bad “weed” to a lot of people but it will attract the cinnabar moth caterpillar which is a beautiful moth. Many lawn weeds such as speedwell and daisy begin flowing early which provide vital nectar for bumblebees on mild winter days.
         
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          Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          Yes, scarify...or any lawn treatment.....to be done when soil is dry of course.
          That screwfix scarifier, Snorky, is best set at highest setting and don’t be alarmed at the resulting bombsite. Scarify twice.....second time at right angles.
          A liquid weed killer is my preference. Yes, now is fine
          Scarify a few days after weed killing
          Have fun Snorky :)
          I understand your viewpoint Redwing and respect it....however for me a weed free lawn is a joy. My garden has plenty of wildlife...bees, butterflies, birds, the odd hedgehog and fox and more
           
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            Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
          • Snorky85

            Snorky85 Total Gardener

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            Hi @Redwing definitely know where you are coming from, but this garden has a severe weed problem which is getting worse as I'm not here to keep on top of it. Behind the garden and to the side of it is access into the field and that is not maintained at all by the farmer and we end up getting so many weeds because of it.
             
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            • Loofah

              Loofah Well used member

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              Selective weedkiller over the entire patch, don't just spot weedkill as you'll miss some and you'll be back to square one. You'll have to do it again later in the year due to seed germination too. Given the soil type I'd be tempted to aerate as well with one of those types that pull out plugs of soil, then back fill with sharp sand or similar
               
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              • Upsydaisy

                Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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                Sounds like you're in the same boat as me @Snorky85 ...I am in full charge of garden maintenance...or rather 'sorting out' of my Dad's garden. His lawn in a mess ,bare in patches and the rest is mostly moss. I have suggested that he looks into getting someone in who specialises in lawns. I definitely can't tackle it as I have a back problem and would hate to start something that I couldn't finish .

                You and my hubs sounds very much alike @Verdun....although we do have a few unmentionables in our lawn now ;) ...I sowed some Oxe eyed daisies....why oh why....they've spread into parts of our lawn now much to hubs horror! But he will undoubtedly sort it out! He even sweeps the lawn daily once it starts back growing......are you a stripes person too?​
                 
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                • andrews

                  andrews Super Gardener

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                  I'm a big fan of weedol lawn (was verdone) for lawn weed killer. I find that a lot of the granular weed and feed treatments don't kill all of the weeds.
                  For ragwort I use a Fiskars weed puller as this is mainly in the chicken area and I don't put chemicals on the grass in there.

                  The lawn is going to look worse before it starts to look better
                   
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                  • Loofah

                    Loofah Well used member

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                    +1 for verdone (assuming they kept the same formula when they became Weedol?)
                     
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                    • andrews

                      andrews Super Gardener

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                      Just pulled off the MSDS for Verdone and Wedol and they are the same formulation, same percentages of chemicals, same hazard codes. In fact the only changes that I could see were the name change and the MSDS number now prefixed by an 'A'.
                       
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                      • Snorky85

                        Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                        Thanks everyone. So i’ll try the weedol one...and I won’t spot kill either-crikey there’s probably no spots on the grass without weeds anyway lol.

                        I’ve got that fiskars weeder too-it was a godsend for the borders before we did the weed suppressant membrane and stones. I use it to pull big thistles etc out the grass but for the other types of weeds its not suitable.
                         
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                        • Verdun

                          Verdun Passionate gardener

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                          I assumed weeds there were few and far between thus spot weedkilling.....it’s all my lawn needs.:)
                          For sure, if there are lots of weeds then a wholesale weedkilling is necessary :)

                          I find most lawn weedkillers are much of a muchness these days....most common lawn weeds are controlled by several brands. Clover and speedwells can be stubborn though :)
                           
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