What lawn treatments when

So members, with so many suppliers and so many different products available I'm interested to get your (professional) opinion 

What lawn care products have you found to be most effective and economical for weed, moss control and for feeding. What do you use at what time of year and which suppliers do you find most reliable/accommodating

I'm interested in granular and also spray (as I now have my certificates)

Hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather and the signs of spring - what a great time of year this is! 



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  • PRO

    Where to start with this - no need to go as high with P and K as you may be led to believe by those wanting to sell. Has anyone recorded a deficiency in domestic turf...? Extremely rare. We're not working with sand rootzone sports turf here. High, slow release N make up the majority of two of our applications. Getting the controlled release proportions in order and application rates are of great importance to us as we're mowing at the majority of the homes we treat also. A delicate science in which unseasonable weather keeps us guessing anyway.

    'Weed and feed' products are expensive and provide a flush of growth in my experience. Spraying for weeds more effective. Rarely required if other lawn care operations are up to scratch. Not a herbicide fan at the best of times. A firefighting exercise. Customers expecting you to spray all the while... downward spiral continues. A one-off corrective move for myself. Stick your hand in your pocket for scarification and aeration please - a bit of sustainability. 

    Similar line of thought for moss. If you're having to 'control' moss, then you have an underlying issue that needs resolving in my eyes, rather than a control / cover up. In our autumn granular application we have +4fe for 'control' of moss scarification may have missed, or if conditions allow its growth. We have a winter fe/seaweed liquid for control again.

    Promoting the benefits of aeration and scarification to your customer base is better for the lawn, better results, less chemicals, and better for the books. Just my take, gets results for us in the Midlands. Hope that sparks some good discussion! 

  • PRO Supplier

    Wouldn't disagree with Jack and his take. We promote slow-release ferts as a good option for lawn health and also saving time/ money, etc - although there will be times a lawn will be in dire need of immediate restorative feeding! There is no 'one-size fits all' as garden conditions can vary massively.... However, I do take issue with the word 'sustainable' used in conjunction with pesticides. Absolutely agree they should not be lashed around and used as a matter of course - just like over-application of ferts..a little knowledge goes a long way and saves a lot of money! However most things have an environmental 'cost' - whether its overusing pesticides, over application of ferts causing water issues or burning fossil fuels while petrol/ electric scarification. Usage of any product or treatment should be appropriate and in balance. 

    Happy to talk through options Ian....

    • PRO

      Good points Richard. More ferts = more poa = more thatch = more poa. Again - lawns not sports turf hey! Balance the key word. Heard of a franchise using a fertiliser with a selective herbicide the other day as early as 6th March in the Midlands. These be the things that bug me. "Wack a bit of that in, can't do any harm" attitude. 

      Sorry Ian - this is far too broad to keep on any sort of track! 

      • PRO
        Hi jack
        How many feeds do you think is relevant for domestic lawns per year.....I notice lawn care businesses offer between 4/5 per year.....?
        • PRO

          Hi Mark,

          As a basic skeleton plan we have 4 - with an optional weed treatment in late April / May. Less than 4 and it's very difficult to get the required nutrient supply to the plant all year around. I did use 3 for a time but that was treating it as an add-on to mowing rather than a stand-alone arm of the business. The very slowest release fertilisers with the beefy granules are going to be more expensive too.

          If you pitching for 6+ applications then it's going to be a real difficult sell. As stated above, selling the mechanical operations is key. If you're going to invest in the kit it's got to be utilised - after all, they're sat idle for most of the year anyway! 

  • It's not possible to effectively sort the cause of moss problems in many lawns, therefore it makes more sense to do an annual moss treatment. This does work, and works well. Also, I would argue that 4 feeds a year isn't exactly a sustainable long term proposition. Sustainable as long as the client keeps paying out maybe. 

    It's best to accept that keeping lawns looking good requires measures that defy nature, cost money and need ongoing treatments!

    I don't have any lawns that I have to treat for weeds more than once a year. If it's sprayed in early spring they should be kept at bay for the year. Then a scarify and feed, a summer feed and a late summer one. Some high maintenance lawns ask for autumn treatment and a second light scarify. But I am quite happy to keep the work on the low side as the grass seems to prefer it. A higher grass cut height helps too.

    • PRO

      Hi Dan,

      IMO, the only time that the cause of moss cannot be resolved is the case of excessive shade.

      Can you elaborate on four treatments not being sustainable long term?


      • I think we're just taking different views on the meaning of the word. I feel a sustainable lawn is one that requires very little intervention once it has been given some initial work. And 4x feeds, annual scarify and aeration is a lot of money and intervention. 

        Regarding the moss, I suspect your area of work doesn't have the same clay that my area does. Short of an intensive drain installation and large scale soil improvement works on every lawn, the moss WILL return every year, no matter what your mechanical treatments are. The best way I've found to tackle it is to keep the grass cut higher, make sure it's growing well before autumn/winter and expect a light scarify in the spring. 

        Most of my lawn feeds are granular as I have tried it all and found this works best. The exception being an occasional Fe spray, which I find it easy to keep on the light side with the knapsack. Pre-scarify moss killing is done also this way but with heavier dosage. Weed treatment is always liquid as the granular stuff misses a lot. 

        I don't do massive quantities so I tend to just use whichever suppliers have things in stock. I get total and selective herbicides from a local agricultural supplier, granular feeds from a large local trade nursery and some liquid Fe, MMC Pro and so on from various online suppliers. It's all the same stuff so very little to pick between them other than price.

        • PRO

          I now like what you've got here Dan. Previously you were sounding very pro fe and pro sustainability which I felt contradictory - this is more like it, hence the nudge! 

          I like your sustainability stance, but I would still vouch for 4 feeds. Obviously from a business sense, but it enables a year-round supply of nutrient. If you have a gap in supply, something is far more likely to take advantage, eg moss. I use low application rates when 'all is well' and I'm happy to outline this to the customer base, common lawn after all. 

          We have a fair bit of clay to deal with. I maintained a cricket square for two years on 34% kaloam, minimal moss. Just a scratch needed in late Feb (early, but pre-season rolling considerations). This however is with shade 60+ yards away. Surely in such a situation, if the customer is bothered enough about the lawn and moss, they should be removing shade, or looking to you to integrate sandy loam into the top half inch?  

          Interesting with the hoc. Lower = more air flow to the base of the plant. I will raise the hoc by a single peg and no more for winter. Maybe that's just me - many factors to consider. 

          Second that re granulars. Cannot achieve the longevity I seek with liquids. 

  • PRO

    Hi Ian

    If your new to the game your best starting off with a supplier that can help guide you along, there are hundreds of products out there that you could use. Trying to work out what you should be using on your own could be mind boggling affair.

    Try pro green or agrigem

    Both are sponsors here and have provided me with some great support of the last couple of years.

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