What is lawn sand
Lawn sand is a popular and versatile product that is widely used in lawn and turf care. It can be used to harden turf against disease or give the grass a light feed, however the most common use of lawn sand is to control moss in turf. Although it can be applied at most times of the year it is mainly used in the springtime as this is the most common time to treat moss.
It is made up of three different ingredients, sulphate of ammonia, sulphate of iron and sand.
- Sulphate of iron – Also known as ferrous sulphate, this is the main ingredient in the mixture as it is responsible for killing the moss. It can also be applied on its own to treat moss, in this case, it is most commonly applied through a sprayer. It also has other benefits to the turf, such as disease suppression, burning off broadleaved weeds, discouraging earthworms and can even be used to green the lawn up without encouraging growth. It is widely used by turf professionals for many of the reasons listed above.
- Sulphate of ammonia – A nitrogen based feed also known as ammonium sulphate, this ingredients role is to encourage grass growth and help speed up recovery following the removal of moss from the lawn. Sulphate of ammonia is ideal for use in spring time when the soil temperature is often still on the cold side and other sources of nitrogen may not work until the soil has warmed up.
- Sand – The sand offers no benefit to the lawn, it is simply used as a carrier to bulk up the product and help with application.
A typical mixture would be
- 10 parts sand
- 3 parts sulphate of ammonia
- 1 part sulphate of iron
However this may vary somewhat between different manufacturers.
When should lawn sand be applied
Don’t be tempted to apply lawn sand too early in the year as it may not work properly, although the iron sulphate will kill the moss, it is unlikely the sulphate of ammonia will work if it is still very cold.
It is better to wait until the weather warms up a little, this is usually around mid-March. However this can vary from year to year and can also depend on your location too, it usually gets warmer earlier in the south of the country than in the north.
What we are looking for is some early signs of grass growth caused by the rise in temperature. When this happens the lawn sand can be applied. Remember, the moss will need scarifying out of the lawn about two weeks after the application of lawn sand and may leave the lawn looking a little ragged and thin. For this reason we need some grass growth to help the lawn recover quickly.
Lawn sand is primarily used in the spring time for moss control on the lawn. It is made up of three ingredients, these are sulphate of iron, sulphate of ammonia and sand.
How to apply lawn sand
Lawn sand comes as a power – fine granular formulation and although it can be applied by hand, it is best applied through a spreader on to the lawn.
It is usually applied of a rate of 100 grams per square meter, however this may vary between different companies so it is important to read the instructions on the bag or container.
It is important that it is applied as accurately as possible to avoid any scorching or damage to the lawn.
For this reason many people prefer to do two passes at half rate. The second pass should be at 90 degrees from the first pass.
- Choose a day when it is relatively calm, as this product is easily blown about in windy conditions.
- Mow the lawn before you apply the lawn sand, do not mow again for at least three days following the application.
- Do not walk on the lawn until there has been rainfall or irrigation.
- If no rain falls within 48 hours then irrigation is required to prevent scorching and damage to the grass.
- After a while the lawn may turn black, but do not be alarmed this is perfectly normal. If you inspect closely you will notice that it is mainly a blackening of the moss as it begins to die.
- After two weeks the moss is removed with a scarifier or rake.