peat moss for when using grass seed

Asked April 16, 2020, 4:21 PM EDT

I have about 760 square feet of lawn that I am going to reseed from scratch (the area is on a hill). The plan was to take out the existing dead lawn and till the ground below, add peat moss and then reseed and hold in place with Curlex. The landscaper wanted to till the peat moss into the soil and is calculating I need 20 bags. Trusty google says 1/4 inch of peat moss should just be layed on the top of the grass seed. What is the right way to use peat moss in this situation. If tilled in at 1 inch thickness I need 9 bags, If tilled in at 2 inch thickness I need 18 bags. If only 1/4 inch goes on top...I only need 2-3 bags? Thank you in advance for all the questions you guys always answer. You are always extremely helpful and kind!!! Thank you!!!

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

We are happy to help.
It is best to till in organic soil amendments (peat, Leaf-gro etc.) before seeding.
One inch is o.k., but 2 inches would be better.
Seeding at this time of year can be problematic given the competition from weed seeds also germinating now, particularly crabgrass and Japanese stiltgrass, which is why the best window for seeding is in the fall.

Given the smaller size of your lawn and the associated costs of the amendments, curlex etc., we wonder if sodding the area would be better and cost about the same, but with less chance of weed issues?
You'd want to till lightly before laying the sod.
What you are planning to do is considered a lawn renovation. Here is our information on that, and includes links to soil preparation, seeding and sod:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-renovation-and-overseeding

We'd recommend getting a professional analysis done, and then you can add what may be lacking in the fall. A link to our soil testing information is also highlighted at the link shared above.


Christine