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Is this light fertilizer burn? I used moss killer, lawn lime and crabgrass prevention+fertilizer in that order at least 2 weeks apart from early April to late May. New England Lawn.


1 Answer 1


The answer is yes, fertilizer burn. I can see where you turned the spreader (was it a drop spreader)?

Moss control is sulfur. Sulfur LOWERs your pH of your lawn. Lawns need neutral to a bit above 7.0 More alkaline loving than the shrubs in your area.

When you throw on lime which raises the pH? Up down up and down does not make happy grass crops. Never use lime without a soil test of your pH first.

If you keep the height of your grass 3 1/2 inches you won't have crab grass seeds germinating. If you water deep deep deeply and then allow the lawn bed to dry out until you can see your footprints on your lawn to water deeply again, this will eliminate shallow rooted weeds. Our cool season grass species have genetic large root systems. If there isn't enough top growth of photosynthetic factories to make food for your grasses, you get stressed whimpy grass crops and weeds can come in and compete.

Moss is an opportunist. If there is a bit of shade, plenty of regular water and a bit more acidic pH, you will have moss. Moss will find bare ground to inhabit. That just means your grasses are not happy nor are they able to out compete moss or even weeds. Tis better to have bare ground covered in moss than bare. Moss does not compete with your grass crop. If there is moss in your lawn, there are big reasons that moss is telling you to address; shade, acidic soil, compacted soils.

Don't use moss killer. That simply screws up your pH and you'll get bare spots again. Moss is NOT a weed. It simply comes in where there is environment that is compatible with its needs.

Don't use weed and feed products. If you get your lawn healthy and it looks like it isn't that far from healthy and use the maintenance procedures for cool season grasses: mow HIGH, no shorter than 3", water only when you see the blades of grass stay down in your footprint, you will be able to discourage weeds without using chemicals. Ever. I was responsible for thousands of acres of rich people's property most of which was lawn. I never used weed and feed, ever.

Sharpen blades at least once every other mow, aerate by pulling plugs of soil and grass out of the lawn bed to let them lay where they fall. Once per year. Rent the proper aerating machine but it HAS to pull plugs of soil and grass, not just poking the soil with tines. Tines actually cause MORE compaction.

Finally, you should try Dr. Earth's Lawn fertilizer. I do not willy nilly suggest products but this one just blew me away! Comes with mychorrhizae and thatch eating bacteria. You will need to apply more per application but only 3 applications per year versus 4 applications offsets the cost. Slow to react and green up which is a very good thing.

Bag your clipping and use those clippings elsewhere such as the back of your plant beds to smother weeds, discourage weeds. There is not a single 'mulching' mower that actually chops up the clippings fine enough to decompose quick enough...that I have ever seen or heard about. If there were such a thing that would have saved so much time and energy but there simply is not a mulching mower that works.

Your lawn looks just fine. Don't worry about the over fertilization. Similar to a female dog peeing on grass with enough fertilizer. The yellow will soon disappear. Follow the straight forward rules of cool season grass crop maintenance and you will be very very happy with your lawn.

Use a cheapo hand rotary spreader for fertilizer (Scotts makes one that works far better than larger rotary spreaders...drop spreaders are just a silly tool in my opinion). No throwing fertilizer by hand. Hope this helps!

  • 1
    It was a drop spreader :) thank you very much.
    – Thread
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 23:48
  • Just abide by the 'rules' of maintenance for this monster we call a lawn. You will spend half the money, half the labor and have the most luscious lawn in the neighborhood, or even the city. Let us know how it goes!
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 5:52

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