How To Eradicate Moss From Your Lawn

If you're the one who regularly cuts the lawn, the chances are you'll know about moss; but do you know how to successfully treat it? David Hall shares a few tips on how to beat moss and have a healthy lawn.

Created by David Hall on Thursday, 20th of August, 2015.
Updated on Thursday, 10th of May, 2018.


Moss

Moss seems to establish quickly and will eventually spread to large areas of the lawn, strangling the weaker grasses, unless checked and eradicated.

Just to apply a moss killer is not enough and is not always the best solution. The only way to ensure permanent freedom from moss is to determine the cause, or causes, and attack them at source.

Moss Is A Sympton

The basic point to grasp is that moss is a symptom, and not the primary cause of a poor lawn. Dampness is essential for the spread of mosses; so areas of your lawn that are always holding water will provide conditions much better suited to the growth of moss than grass!

To improve drainage, lightly scarify the lawn to remove dead thatch and other garden debris that has collected over the months. This allows the moisture to soak down to the grass roots and the air to circulate more freely.

Next aerate the lawn by spiking with a garden fork, or on heavy soils, a hollow tine fork. Do this every 9-12", always working away from the treated area.

Aerating the lawn will again help the air and water to penetrate deeper, but will also open up compacted earth below the surface that has become consolidated with use.

If the drainage is still inadequate mix some sharp horticultural sand with equal parts of parts of loam and brush into the drainage holes you have created.

Try To Avoid Shade

Overhanging trees with low branches will inevitably cause shade and create another ideal location for moss to thrive if there is also damp conditions.

Cutting down existing trees may be impractical but where possible thin out branches allowing more light and air to penetrate onto the lawn's surface. Also think about overseeding the lawn with a more shade tolerant grass.

Don't Mow Too Short

Another contributory factor towards moss in the lawn is shaving the lawn at less than the recommended height. This will weaken the grass, or maybe leave bare patches that will soon be colonised by invading moss.

Start the season with the mower blades set relatively high until the grass starts to grow rapidly. Adopt a spring feeding programme that will encourage the grass, and not the moss, to thrive, and in the autumn apply another feed to replenish the lawn with nutrients and revitalise it after the summer.

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