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Old 03-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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First Home First Yard First Spring


Hello All

I am new to this forum, and new to the whole DIY life as well being I lived in an apartment for the past 8 years. My wife and I just purchased our first house end of last year, and now we're coming into our first spring in this house.

I am really focused hard on having a great yard and want to make sure I do this all right. I originally was going to contract out TruGreen to come take care of the lawn, but after some horrible experiences in just trying to get someone to tell me all the great things they could do I gave up and decided to do it myself.

That being said, I've been doing a lot of research over the past month to try and identify how I can have a good yard, and I think I'm on a good path but wanted to pass it by those of you who have a lot more experience.

Current Yard Situation:
We live in western PA, we are on a 0.25 acre lot, fairly flat yard with limited trees in the yard, however there's a lot of shade from trees all around us. That being said the previous homeowner, I suspect, wasn't too focused on the yard as there's a lot of moss out there. Not overwhelming, but enough to annoy me.

As a whole the yard actually doesn't stay wet very long, which I read poor drainage is a first main cause for moss. The second is obviously too much shade, which in this case there is.

I performed a pH test in my yard in about 8 different spots. The average pH result came out to about 5.8 which is slightly low to my understanding. From what I read, it should be around 7 which should then help limit moss growth and encourage grass growth.

My thoughts:
My intended series of actions on the yard are:

1) Run a nice coat of lime across the yard to help balance out the pH
2) A week or two after the lime has a chance to soak into the ground I was going to run a coating on the yard of Moss Out to kill off any moss, possibly even run a mower first (per the Moss Out instructions) to get the grass low so the Moss Out can do its thing
3) About a week or so after the moss treatment I was going to rent an aerator to run across the lawn
4) Once I am done aerating I would rake up the yard as a whole (and cut again if need be to keep it short) to get rid of any blockage in the yard as well as remove any dead stuff out there
5) Spread out shade/sun seed mixture (there's a nice PA mix we have here that's blended for this type of environment) all across the yard and allow it to fall into the aeration holes and germinate
6) Perhaps a month or so after do some fertilizer if it seems needed

I just want to make sure I'm not putting my yard at risk by doing all of this, or giving moss/weeds a chance to grow back in full before the grass can take over. A lot of this I pieced together from my reading on the topic, but ultimately I couldn't really find anything that gave a nice "yard treatment" guide as a whole.

General Focus
The yard doesn't have many weeds in it, just a lot of moss and bare spots from limited treatment and I believe the previous home owner also overdid the lawn mowing.

Any advice/direction you can give would be appreciate. I am really excited to get started on this. My goal is to start when the ground starts to dry and shows sign of growth.

Thank you in advance!

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