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I killed off the old lawn last autumn and am ready to put on new soill and topsoil before planting seed. Over the winter i have aquired a lot of moss on the area. Do i need to kill the moss first or will covering it with soil and topsoil kill it anyway?


Deprive anything of light and you will kill it eventually- a moss killer might be ineffective at the moment-on a side note if you have too much moss it is an indication of poor drainage or shaded area-does the area pool when it rains or drain freely?

As regards you main point try raking it out or digging it in first-is this going to be a replacement lawn? -your post is not quite clear

It is going to be a brand new lawn. It does retain a lot of water so i was going to put a lot of new soil and then topsoil to combat that? It has a lot of clay in it at the moment but i thought putting soil and topsoild on top of that would solve the problem?


But the water still has to go somewhere and if it meets the compacted soil then it has nowhere to go-if as I understand it are you just thinking of layering the new soil etc on top-or working it in?



I would seriously consider removing the moss then turning over the top 4-6 inches adding lots of horticultural grit and sharp sand. Then stick down your topsoil, rake level, then turf the top. Lots of work now, but will be a doddle to maintain your lawn in the future.


OK. I only want to do this once so should i get a turf cutter and remove what remains of the dead turf then rotivate the soil? I hear people talk of adding organic material but what do they mean by that. The lawn area is about 1,000 sq mtrs? I have soil but should i add sand, what kind, etc...Many questions i know but ive never done this before and its going to be hard work and costly so i only want to do it once and do it right. When i bought the house new 6 years ago i had it turfed but the cowboys just turfed on 2" of sand but that was on top of a hard clay based soil so no wonder it didnt take too well. Your input is appreciated.


So you were going to leave the old turf and then add top soil etc as a blanket-my feeling is in two years time you will be kicking yourself in anger

Organic matter is manure or well rotted garden compost to add structure to the soil-I would prefer to spend money that rather than top soil-you can buy it in bags or a load

So yes remove the old turf -rotovate the soil -add the organic matter-fertilizer- level soil-lay turf.

It is not as simple as that-have a look at youtube for some instructional videos or have a read-up but what I have said is the basic idea

It is a bit like decorating it it all about the preperation and should not be rushed-worth doing properly and only once


Sounds like you need good drainage before you do anything.


follow this and you are sorted.. firstly dig over the top half a fork depth, don't worry about the old grass just dig it over and add plenty of grit and SHARP sand.. you can add a little compost if you wish, I'd be looking at adding a bag (25kg) of sand and a bag of grit for every 5 m square (also remove any stones you find above 2"). You can add maybe a shovel full of compost every meter squared. Once that is all dug in, walk it all down, not stamping just normal walking. Then stick the topsoil on the top and rake it level, then turf over. With the prep you have done, you could have a bowling green on your lawn, but in real terms, it will have great drainage (so less moss but light is the main factor on this) and should have well aerated soil due to the worms munching the compost.. Like I said, lots of work, but you do the graft at the start, and things are very simple after that.

Thanks LeaningSlowly. Can i ask if you mean a 25kg bag of grit and a 25kg bag of sand for every 5m square? Has your proposed method worked for you?

Thanks again


Yes I mean both.. remember this layer is merely the drainage, I'd be looking for the finished soil mix to be 50% grit and sand, then walk it down. You can add a touch of compost, but only a very small amount. Shove your topsoil on top, rake it then turf.. Should mean aside from a little bit of feed and scarifying once a year.. your lawn should be a cinch to maintain. Good Luck.

Sorry, must be me. Can you explain what you mean exactly. I dig the soil and add the grit and sand for every 5 sq meter and then i add topsoil or do i make up a topsoil, in addition to the grit and sand layer already laid, to be 50% grit and sand and 50% topsoil? Thanks for the input.



the grit and the sand go with the soil you already have. Dig it all in, then lightly 'walk it down' and rake reasonably level. THEN put your topsoil on top. You can add some sharp sand to this too if you wish, all a matter of preference.

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