Moss Problems Under Oak Trees
QUESTION: (Feb 2012) I currently have a moss issue that is very heavy under my oak tress. Tested the PH in that area results are around 6.0. The rest of the yard does not look to good as far as healthy grass. Looking to thatch yard, lime to improve PH and plant grass seed. Any suggestions on what type of grass seed and how long after lime application can I re-seed ? Any other suggestions would be great.
You can seed at the same time you lime, the lime will not effect seed germination.
It is a good idea to power rake the mossy spots, be aggressive and remove as much moss as possible in the process. There are also Iron-based products that will suppress moss.
I recommend planting a hard fescue blend under your oaks. The fine-leaved fescues grow well in shade and under trees. You can seed the rest of your lawn (the sunny spots) with a bluegrass/ryegrass blend or plant the whole thing with hard fescue.
After dethaching/power raking, I recommend core aerating heavily before applying lime or seeding. This will help the lime get into the soil profile and allow the grass seed make good contact with soil. Seed will germinate in all of the holes so run the aerator over the lawn in several directions. I also recommend aerating and overseeding again in the fall.
Do your lawn renovation in early spring so that the new grass has time to establish before the heat of summer.
Consider having an arborist inspect and prune your trees to allow more sunlight to filter down to the lawn.