Ahhh, spring. As the world around us inches slowly from ‘green and dead’ back into the realm of ‘green and alive,’ here are the tricks, tools and top products that will get your lawn looking its best.
In simple terms, you’ve got to kill the moss, scrape it out, feed your grass, apply lime (if the soil is sour, a.k.a. acidic), spread fresh seed and water well. Let’s throw in some weeding, for good measure.
Lawn care is not all for esthetic purposes. A maintained lawn, one that’s well-fed for stronger roots and mowed high for better water efficiency, is less likely to get patchy and fail, more tolerant to drought and will be kinder on your wallet.
Scotts Whiz Spreader
Most grass-tending duties (including moss/weed killing, lawn feeding and seeding) take the use of a drop or broadcast spreader for even application. This newly released battery-operated model can even be used to broadcast ice melt. Handheld devices work well if you calculate your land in feet, not acres.
Scotts AccuGreen 3000 Deluxe Drop Spreader
The classic drop spreader seen in millions of tool sheds nationwide—it’s a wheeled wonder that does in fact “drop” (versus broadcast) its load. To avoid any streakiness, apply your product of choice at half the recommended rate and walk in a crosshatch pattern for complete coverage.
Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini
Drop the ol’ drop spreader and pick up its big-brother replacement, the broadcast spreader. With every step the rotary feature spews forth your chosen greener, de-greener or fill-in-the-blank killer. The handy edge guard means you’re never accidentally casting into waterways, driveways or garden beds.
Scotts Turf Builder
Scott’s Turf Builder is a 2-in-1 pelletized fertilizer-slash-moss killer. Mow first to expose any low-growing moss before using the spreader. Any extra moisture in the ground will help jump-start the Turf Builder into action, so pick a day after rain or water well once you’ve applied.
Moss Out! from Lily Miller
The eponymous green bag of moss killer is a familiar sight in spring, and for good reason. Moss Out! kills lawn moss without encouraging new or unruly lawn growth. And, if you’re suffering from yellowing or lack-luster grass, a small dose of iron will help your grass regain a deep blue-green hue. Moss Out! comes in at 10% iron.
NuLife RID Moss
NuLife’s 5-pound bag is the answer for anyone who has moss, but not a lot. It’s the perfect amount for small lawns and postage-stamp gardens. The re-sealable bag is easy to store if you don’t use it all at once, and with 14% iron—that’s a lotta blue/green out of a little bag.
McLendon Hardware Overseed
Our home brand of overseed is grown and harvested in the Pacific Northwest. Made primarily of rye grass seed, it’s quick to take hold and blends nicely with existing lawns. Rye grass has lost the coarse texture some of you may remember. It’s now bred to be fine, soft and perfect for Washington lawns.
JB Sun & Shade Lawn Seed
This 70% fescue, 30% rye mix needs only four to six hours of sunlight to thrive. If your lawn gets less than that, thin any trees or shrubs that are blocking the sun, or consider installing a shade garden. No lawn will grow in total shade; especially not lawns that see as much rain as ours invariably do.
Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade
Quite a few promises are made on this bag o’ seed, including that lawns will require 30% less water. They call it the MYCO Advantage®, a reference to mycorrhizae (my-cor-ize-ee), a beneficial fungus that attaches to roots to expand the area of absorption. Many brands use mycorrhizae, so look for it on the label.
FERTILIZERS & MORE
Scotts Turf Builder Starter
Scotts Starter Food for New Grass offers an NPK ratio of 24-25-4. That’s a lot of nitrogen (N), a lot of phosphorus (P) and not much potassium (K). It’ll do wonders for green growth and building strong roots if added after overseeding. Water well to help grass get established, then bask in your accomplishment.
Lilly Miller Super Sweet
Soil in the Northwest is naturally acidic. Our “sour soil” adds up to very happy blueberries and azaleas, and very unhappy grass. Sour soil blocks the release of vital nutrients to plants. Sweeten the deal with fast-acting, natural lime, and bring balance to the forces that determine good grass.
Beats Peat All Natural Premium Coconut Coir
The bane of every overseeder is the unrelenting hunger of birds. Whether you use peat, coconut coir (like Beats Peat) or plain compost, add a layer of protection over your newly spread grass seed to deter birds and maintain moisture—vital for seed germination and growth.