Using lawn sand to control lawn weeds
Lawn Sand is commonly used to control lawn
weeds but just what is it and how can we use it? Lawn sand is
made up from iron sulphate, ammonium sulphate and fine sand and
it can be applied to the lawn by hand or by using a machine. As
well as dealing effectively with many types of weeds, lawn sand
can be used to control and prevent moss. Although necessary on lawns
that are prone to weed and moss infestation due to stress such as
shade, drought, waterlogging etc lawn sand should not be thrown
at the lawn all the time. A good lawn care
programme will help maintain a healthy vigorous lawn that is less
susceptible to lawn weeds and moss.
How does lawn sand work?
In order to control weeds and benefit the grass, lawn sand must
be selective in which plants it destroys. The difference in shape
and structure between grass leaves and weed leaves / moss enables
lawn sand to only harm the weeds / moss. When applied to the lawn
the lawn sand 'settles' on the broad leaves and fibrous mass of
moss and scorches them so they are destroyed. Because grass blades
are fine with little horizontal surface area the lawn sand slides
off and falls between the grass blades and onto the soil / thatch
layer. This means that the grass blades are not scorched by the
effects of the lawn sand.
When lawn sand reaches the soil it stimulates grass shoot growth
and also helps to 'green' the lawn. In this sense applying lawn
sand acts as a double-edged sword, on the one hand protecting the
lawn and on the other hand strengthening the lawns vigour.
The application of lawn sand should be carried in spring (and summer
if necessary). Try to choose a dry day to apply the lawn sand and
if rain has not occurred after a few days then you can water the
The weeds must be in mid growth to ensure there is sufficient weed
leaf area for the lawn sand mixture to settle upon. For the same
reason, do not cut the lawn for at least 3 days before applying
the lawn sand to ensure the weeds have sufficient leaf area.
Lawn sand is more environmentally friendly than most other chemical
lawn weed killers but you should still take good care when applying
it to your lawn. Make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions
with regards to the amount to apply per square metre or square foot.
Rather than applying the sand directly out of its bag try and find
a suitable sized container and work out how much area that sized
container will cover. You can then be consistent in your application
by refilling the container and starting a new calculated area of
After application do not mow
the lawn for at least 3-4 days so that the effects of the treatment
can start to work. Avoid putting the clippings from the first mower
cut on the compost heap as they can contain higher than normal levels