Hi. I live in Rockville and have questions on my lawn. I've read thru much of...

Asked April 16, 2013, 2:24 PM EDT

Hi. I live in Rockville and have questions on my lawn. I've read thru much of the excellent information on this site on what to do and when to prepare and maintain a good lawn. I'm ready to act, but need a bit of a roadmap before getting started. I have a lawn that is full of crabgrass, moss, other weeds, and bald spots where you can see lots of dry/cracked clay. I know that I need to reseed the entire lawn, but where to start? Should I add some topsoil first, then grass seed,fertilizer and weed control products? I also would like to add something to take care of the gnats, mosquitoes and other insects in the grass...should this/can this all be done at the same time? I've spent the last week trying to take up the thatch and allow air to circulate to the grass, but I worry that I may be just opening up the lawn to more weed growth. So, what should I do first? Is it too late to overseed at this time of year? Thanks Jerome Ashton, Rockville

Montgomery County Maryland lawns and turf lawn renovation

1 Response

You have come to the right spot to have your questions answered about your lawn. First of all it is too late to overseed your lawn. The grass roots would not be mature enough to handle the hot, dry part of the summer even with vigilant watering. You could however, lay sod. September is the best month for lawn renovation projects in Maryland that involve sowing seed. You should begin with a soil test which you can do now. The following is a link to our soil testing information, http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing Under 'resources' look at HG110 for a list of soil testing labs. The fact that you have moss indicates that you probably need to apply lime. Soil test results will indicate the pH of the soil and provide the amount of lime you need to apply to raise the pH. You can test the soil now in preparation for your lawn renovation project.

We do not recommend that an insecticide be applied to lawns to control gnats and mosquitoes. These insects breed in or near water. Eliminating standing water on your property is the best tactic you can take to reduce the mosquito population.

You can also contact the Home and Garden Information Center directly. We have horticulture consultants who can answer your questions. They are available Mon-Fri from 8-1. The phone number is 800 342-2507.
In the meantime take a look at some of our lawn publications found on our website,
http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG102%20Lawn%20Estab...
http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG100_Moss_Control_i...
http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/non_HGIC_FS/FS811.pd...