Author Topic: Pacific Northwest Lawn rehab...  (Read 2529 times)


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 866
Pacific Northwest Lawn rehab...
« on: February 23, 2016, 04:56:53 PM »

Around my house, I have 2 separate lawn environments, neither of which is doing too well.
Front yard -
Open, no trees directly over it, but one end gets shade most of the day this time of year. Seems to grow grass OK in spring, but the drought last year did a number on it... significant parts are still brown, and moss has taken over parts of it... and dandelions are rampant. I'd like to overseed it, fertilize it, and kill the dandelions... but I'm not sure on timing.
Should I go on a campaign of killing weeds and such now, seed in April, fertilize in may? any product recommendations?

The back yard is under a fir tree... a shady area grass seemed to do OK, but the drought killed it, and I see no evidence of it returning. I'm not sure what to do back here! 

any good reading you know of on this stuff?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Location: PNW
Re: Pacific Northwest Lawn rehab...
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2016, 04:59:27 PM »
Not sure if you are on the wet or dry side of the mountains, but here are some resources from Oregon State University. 

Practical Lawn Establishment & Renovation -
Practical Lawn Care for Western Oregon -

Keep in mind that grass needs regular water even during our dry summers.  I don't care that much about a perfect lawn, so I let mine go dormant in the summer.  Unfortunately, this leads to areas that are weakened and die out - leaving opportunities for weed seeds to blow in and germinate.


  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6180
  • Location: BC
Re: Pacific Northwest Lawn rehab...
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 06:44:40 PM »
If you want organic weed control (without intending to seed a lot this spring) -- try the organic "corn meal"  You apply it while forsythia is blooming.

I was surprised how it really works. There are some bad reviews, but if you have the timing right (in the next few weeks),  it suppresses new weeds from germinating from seed.   The older dandelions still need to be pulled.   A couple of years of this and pulling dandelions (a lot), and you will be under control.  It is also a nutrient fertilizer (slow), and thickens the lawn.

I have a different problem -- the raccoons attacking my lawn for the grubs last fall.  I think I need to get the whole front redone, and I am considering micro-clover.  We already have a lot of white clover and it really keeps the lawn green through drought. I have ordered nematodes for the rear and the garden which are still in good shape.   


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • What the deuce?!?!?
Re: Pacific Northwest Lawn rehab...
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2016, 07:58:06 PM »
I am having grass issues as well.  Last summer was brutal.  Fall came and went without me getting the leaves raked up.  2 big dogs (black lab and a pit) and 2 small dogs (mini schnauzer and doxipoo) have worn many paths.  And moss is taking over.  With the dogs running all over it, I don't see how grass is really even an option anymore.  But I am at a loss as to what to do with what is now a muddy mess.  :(


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2046
Re: Pacific Northwest Lawn rehab...
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 02:03:00 PM »
I used to be a member (and avid lawn enthusiast) over at  My suggestion is to wait until fall to overseed. Put down some pre-emergent for weeds in the spring. Skip the pre-emergent in the fall or it will prevent new seedlings from growing. Spot treat any weeds that pop up throughout the growing season (before seeding).

In terms of seed (I don't know your location) I would recommend something shade tolerant in your shady areas and something more hardy in the sunny areas. Tall fescue is hardier than Kentucky Bluegrass. Fine Fescue does well in the shade. If you don't mind a mix of grasses. Getting anything to grow under large trees is practically impossible. The tree roots sucks up all the water and often times cause shallow grass roots. I would just mulch around the trees. Save yourself the headache of trying to grow grass. 

Just my 2 cents. 


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2839
Re: Pacific Northwest Lawn rehab...
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 05:41:19 PM »

I have no advice but do have all the problems mentioned above. Dried out with moss and weeds in the tiny front lawn and moss/weeds/raccoons/wet sections in the back. The raccoons seems to especially enjoy the mossy sections since it's easy for them to pull up to get to the grubs underneath. If only they'd replace their divots . . .

One of my neighbours replaced his tiny front lawn with fake turf. I think he's a genius.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 866
Re: Pacific Northwest Lawn rehab...
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 03:15:09 PM »
Grosgrain, thanks for the links.

I probably will just mulch around the tree, but I am debating taking it down. It's starting to die I think.

I put down some RidMoss, which seems to be successful as far as killing the moss. I raked most of it out, and overseeded. I'm hoping in the next few months, I can get some growth in the bare spots. I may overseed again in the fall, depending.