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mostly moss

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by GreenImage, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. GreenImage

    GreenImage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I have a customer that just bought a foreclosed home and wants to turn around and rent it. Since it was a foreclosure it has been sitting a long time not maintained.
    She wants the grass to look nice for attracting renters to move in soon.
    The grass is mostly moss. Can someone give me some tips on how to renovate the lawn at this time of the year. It definitley needs to be aerated but that is going to thin it out and its been pretty cold here in WA so I don't think overseeding is going to work this time of the year.
    Looking for a alternative to new sod. I don't think she is going for 2500 for new sod on a rental.
    Or is there anything I can do at this time of the year to make the lawn look better?
  2. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    You need to look at the overall area. What caused the moss to grow in the first place. Usually moss grows where there is not enough air flow or sun light to dry out the dampness. Grass needs about 5 hours of sun a day to have a good growth.
  3. GreenImage

    GreenImage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I meant it needs to be thatched not aerated. It does need both though. Between the house, a cedar tree, and a couple of tall laurels the front looks like a it doesn't get to much sun.
    So if I were to thatch it, then it would be pretty thin. I and not look better than it does now. Should I tell her this is not the time of the year to renovate a lawn unless she wants new sod put in.
  4. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    that sounds like a good idea. that way you don't get a mad homeowner out of this .. hopefully she will understand and wait for the spring ..or she will do it now and have to deal with the lawn and the way it will look by doing it now instead of waiting for spring........
  5. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,968

    here in nc moss is due to a bad pH level. Sounds like it needs some lime, but don't know about what you guys have in washington.
  6. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Moss is a byproduct of too much shade, not enough airflow and damp conditions. It is normally caused by overhanging trees that do not allow the sunlight to penetrate down to the soil. It's too late into the year to plant, so there's not much that you can do to rectify it right now (unless you want to install sod, which may not do well either).

    That being said, cut down or prune what you can (if she's willing to pay and you do this type of work). In the spring, slice seed a shady seed mix into the soil and apply a starter fertilizer. If the area is still somewhat shady, do not apply a crabgrass preemergent control. Stick with the starter fertilizers until it grows in thick and healthy, then switch over to regular fertilizers. Remember, shady areas that develop Moss need NO pre-emergent controls, and very limited sprayings of weed controls (both will thin the areas). Also, regular applications of Iron Sulfate can be applied as needed (before the moss gets out of control) and yearly aeration/overseedings may be needed as well, in order to keep those areas full and thick.

    One more thing, mossy areas DO NOT need to be dethatched. If there's no grass, there's no thatch layer. However, a dethatcher will probably be a good piece of equipment to use if you're going to rip it all up.
  7. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    Agree with Hissing Cobra.

    Try to get her to pay you for pruning and possibly the removal of trees/shrubs. Being a foreclosure, everything will be overgrown so a pruning job is most likely necessary anyways. As for the lawn, wait till spring. You're just spinnin your wheels and wasting her money.

    Do you have pics of the site? The could help us:)
  8. GreenImage

    GreenImage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I don't have any pics I already went there twice and its bout 20 mins away.
    But I'm sure not enough sun is the problem. There is a cedar tree on one side, 2 huge laurels on the other side, and the house on the other side. To kind of kinda of box it in.
    I talked to her yesterday and told her its best to wait til spring. I also talked to the sod guys and they said its been so wet that its not a good time to put sod in. I would have to til the soil and if you til soil while its wet you will destroy the structure of the soil and cause the sod install to potentially fail.
    Also I asked about just putting topsoil down on topsoil down over the top and cuz thats how it usually gets done. He said thats not a good idea either. But thats how most landscapers do on new installs and its how I'm going to do it in about two weeks on a brand new install.

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