Are There Any Benefits To Having Moss In Your Lawn
In Japanese garden ideas, moss lawns are held in high esteem and if youve ever seen a healthy moss lawn, you will understand why. There are mosses to suit all sorts of situations, including poor soil, shallow soil, and sloping gardens, but most mosses thrive in moist, acidic soil in shade or semi-shade.
As well as having great color and texture, walking on them barefoot is heaven. Walking on mosses is actually good for them, helping them to attach to the surfaces where they are growing, says moss expert Annie Martin, who landscapes with moss in North Carolina.
If you decide to welcome the weeds and grow a moss lawn instead, there’s no mowing required and unless we have a very dry summer no watering either. This means that a moss lawn can be better for an eco friendly garden than grass.
Lawn mowers create 5% of air pollution in the U.S. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that 30-60% of urban fresh water is used on lawns.
As an alternative to grass, mosses are also great at filtering air pollution, they tolerate very low temperatures, provide a habitat for wildlife, and are great for tricky sites. If the area stays soggy, mosses can help resolve puddling issues, says Annie Martin in her book The Magical World of Moss Gardening . On steep hillsides with slopes that make maintenance difficult, mosses can hold the soil in place.
Last but not least, unlike grasses, they look great all year, remaining lush and vivid green all winter.
Raise The Soils Ph Level
Like weve already mentioned, problems with the turfs soil could be contributing to the moss growth and further spread. In case you havent been paying much attention to the soils pHs level so far, its time to look into it.
Normally, the so-called neutral and often most preferred type of soil is close to 6.5 7. Anything below or above this is considered subsequently as acidic and alkaline soil. We already mentioned that moss grows well in acidic soil and you can quickly and easily determine whether yours fall under that category with a pH test kit.
If the test proves the turfs soil to be on the acidic side, dont fret, as there are corrective measures you can take. Lime and dolomite are two of the favoured products for raising a soils pH level. The difference is that lime acts a bit quicker than dolomite. However, whichever you pick, arm yourself with patience as it could still take more than a month or two until the powder breaks down and gets into the soil.
Moss can also be popping up in your lawn because the soil is running low on nutrients. In this case, a simple fertilising could be done, preferably with a fast-releasing fertiliser which can start working immediately.
Are there other ways to improve your soil? Learn here:
Feeding And Treating Your Lawn
Any article on how to kill moss in your lawn would be incomplete without a note about lawn treatments and feeding your lawn. These two things are essential not because they kill moss, but because they make it harder for moss to compete against your grass.
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How To Get Rid Of Lawn Moss
Mosses can be beautiful in tranquil woodlands and historic moss gardens, where they’re welcomed and cultivated, but the same mosses become eyesores in lawns. Getting rid of lawn moss starts with understanding how and why mosses grow, and the most effective ways to combat them. With the right products in hand, you can control moss and enjoy a luxuriant, moss-free lawn.
How To Kill Moss And Maintains Your Lawn
Moss can be a lovely sight in the right places, turning a forest walk into a stroll through fairyland. But if you find it in your landscaping, moss is likely to be less accepted.
While it can be a pretty addition to cool woodland glades, when moss crops up in your yard it forces the other plants to compete with it for water and nutrients. And because moss is such a dense, absorbent substance, your existing grass gets easily pushed out.
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How To Conquer Moss
Products like Lilly Miller Moss Out and Scotts Turf Builder with Moss Control work quickly to kill moss in lawns. The products are easy to apply in spring or fall. Lilly Miller Moss Out is a lawn fertilizer with liquid iron.
Apply Scotts Turf Builder with Moss Control wherever moss is actively growing. It feeds your lawn while killing moss, thickening grass to prevent any future moss problems.
Once you conquer moss in your lawn, take steps to prevent its return. Its difficult to control the amount of shade in a lawn, but you can control moisture and soil acidity. Look in your lawn for low areas and fill in with soil and plant new grass seed. Next, apply lime to your lawn to reduce acidity and make it harder for moss to grow.
Keep up a regular fertilizing schedule for a healthy lawn. A well-fed lawn has a strong root system to fight stressful conditions like heat, cold, drought, mowing and foot traffic. Learn more about moss controlling products and moss controlling lawn fertilizers.
Aerating The Soil To Prevent Moss Growth
When soil is too compacted, it doesnt get the water, air, and nutrients that it needs to be healthy. You can use an aerator to loosen soil compaction so that the lawn thrives and drive the moss out. You should aerate the grass when it is in its peak growing season and repeat every few years.
- Aeration tool
There are a few gardening tools that you can use to aerate your lawn, and its all about preference. You can use a standard garden aerator, lawn aerating shoes, or a drum spike aerator. Whichever tool you choose, the process is the same.
Begin by watering your lawn so that it gets an inch of water to soften the soil. If you have a lightly compacted lawn, then you can go over the yard once with your aerator.
For more compacted soils, youll need to go over your yard twice using a perpendicular direction for the second pass. Water the lawn again after aerating.
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Provide Access To Direct Sunlight
Weve already established that too much moisture and not enough sunlight are bad for the grass, and this applies even to shade-tolerant grasses like Sir Walter Buffalo and Zoysia grass. So, what can you do about it? For starters, you can inspect the vegetation in proximity to your lawn.
Overgrown trees and bushes that are casting a shade over the grass will have to be trimmed, which will prove beneficial for both your lawn and the trees and bushes. You can use the occasion to identify and prune away any dead or diseased branches, which might be taking up space and serve no purpose.
Do this regularly, so there is no chance of the trees overgrowing and blocking your lawns vital sunlight. You will soon discover that opening up space for more air and light will reinvigorate not just your turf but your surrounding shrubs and trees, as well.
Where Can I Buy Iron Sulfate
It’s widely available from home stores, gardening shops and the gardening section in supermarkets. You can also buy it online from Amazon. It’s available in various sized bags from 2 to 50 pounds. An alternative is a combined iron sulfate/lawn fertilizer mix such as Scotts MossEx. The pack contains 17% iron sulfate and other nutrients to develop green, healthy grass. This product is sufficient to treat 5000 square feet .
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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How To Remove Moss On Your Lawn
First, well explain how to kill moss, so that you can remove it from your lawn more easily.
There are a few methods you can use to get rid of moss, including using a chemical moss killer, as well as more natural moss control methods.
Below, weve explained the different options to kill lawn moss.
Spring: For Small Amounts Of Lawn Moss
If there is only a small amount of moss in your lawn and you still have lots of grass, tackle it in spring with an application of lawn sand followed by raking.
The treatment shouldnt be too invasive and spring provides good conditions for grass growth, so your lawn should recover pretty well with a good recovery program .
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How To Fix A Small Moss Problem In The Spring
If your lawn comes out of a wet winter with a little bit of moss, dont worry, it happens to the best of us! Fixing it in the spring is easy
Step 1: Apply a Moss Killer Apply your preferred moss killer at the recommended rate. We recommend a product called Moss Off. Its chemical free and perfectly safe for children, pets and wildlife, pond life. Depending on the product you use, some moss killers should be applied to a wet lawn, others should be applied to a dry lawn so read the instructions carefully. If you use a regular moss killer containing iron sulphate, leave it for 7-10 and youll see the moss turn black as it dies. Moss Off takes around 2-3 weeks.
Step 2: Scarify Your Lawn to Remove the Dead Moss Once the moss has dead, you can rake it out with a springbok rake if you dont have any other equipment. Be warned though, this is very hard on your hands and back! Preferably youd use a powered lawn rake or scarifier. Or even better, most of the lawn mowers in our homeowner range can be fitted with our quick cartridge scarifier. This removes the need to buy different machines. Once youve scarified, you need to help the lawn recover by following the next steps.
Step 5: Apply a Spring/Summer Fertiliser Finally, give your lawn a helping hand by applying a spring/summer lawn feed. This will give the existing grass the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy during the spring, heading into the summer. It can also speed up germination of new grass seed.
Try A Natural Moss Killing Solution
If the idea of introducing herbicides to your lawn does not seem attractive, there could be a relatively safer alternative. We suggest you mix the following ingredients in a spray bottle to create a natural moss killing agent to use now and in the future, if the moss reappears:
- 1 tsp of baking soda or 1 tsp of mild dishwashing detergent
- 1 l of lukewarm water
These are the ingredients to tackle relatively small moss-covered areas. You can double or even triple the amounts if the invasive plant has spread throughout your entire lawn.
Its best to apply the solution in dry and sunny weather. Otherwise, the rain may wash away the solution before it has time to kill the moss. Aim to spray only the invasive plant.
The minimum time this homemade moss killer requires is 24 hours, but the most telling sign of success is the change in colour of the plant from green to yellow or brown. When you are sure the moss is dead, pull it out from the root, place it in a bag and throw it out a solid distance away from your lawn.
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How To Remove And Prevent Moss In Lawns
Moss is one of the most common and most annoying of all lawn weeds. Moss seems to plague any lawn areas that are shady and dampprecisely those areas where desirable turf grass seem shy about growing thick and full. There are many thousands of species of moss, but they are all relatively primitive plants with tiny leaves that are only a single cell thick. Rather than seeds, these plants reproduce through spores, and because mosses are structurally much different than vascular weeds, they do not respond to the same control methods. Many mosses have existed almost unchanged for millions of years, which is an indication of how adaptable and tenacious they are.
Mosses are very shallow-rooted plants, so immediate removal is not particularly hard. But permanent control of moss is mostly about changing the cultural conditions that favor their growth.
Working Time: 15 minutes to 100 hours
Total Time: 1 day to 1 year
Skill Level: Intermediate
Material Cost: $0 to $1,000
Using Ferrous Sulphate As A Moss Killer
Ferrous sulphate is often seen advertised as a solution to lawn moss. Most chemical moss killers contain ferrous sulphate, and when contained in a proprietary moss killer and correctly applied, it is effective.
However, it should not be used on its own as a moss killer, firstly because it is not approved as a pesticide, and secondly because used in the wrong quantities it is likely to do more harm than good, killing off grass as well as moss.
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Keep Moss From Growing Back
Removing moss is easy, but its only the first step. To get rid of moss in your lawn and keep it from growing back, you have to change the conditions in your lawn that led to its initial growth. While soil conditions dont necessarily cause or prevent moss from growing, moss growth is an indicator of some soil problems.
How To Get Rid Of Moss
Knowing why your lawn is hospitable to moss is the key to stopping and preventing its growth. Acidic soil is a significant cause of many yards moss infestations because those plants thrive in acidic soil conditions. You can balance the soils pH levels by making it more alkaline with lime.
Applying lime does not kill the moss on your lawn, but it does enhance the soil condition, changing its pH and discouraging more moss growth. You can use lime for moss control whenever you need to raise your soils pH levels.
While lime for moss will not remove the vegetation directly, you can use other products or procedures as moss-eliminating solutions. Many chemicals and organic solutions like raking can kill the moss already on your lawn while the lime works to make your soil more acidic, preventing future growth. Whats more, these actionable steps can also improve your lawns overall health and appearance.
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Scarification Step : Apply Moss Killer
Now is a great time to apply your chosen moss killer when a great deal of the moss has been removed. The solution will penetrate the moss more effectively, killing almost all of the plant.
A great method would be to apply the moss killer a month or so before scarification and then a few days after, but be sure to follow the instructions on your specific brand of moss killer to avoid overdosing.
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How To Kill Moss With Baking Soda
To create a targeted spray solution, combine 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of water and stir well. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to the mossy areas, repeating until the moss has withered and died.
Or, for larger areas, you can use baking soda on moss in dry form. Spread it directly over the moss and distribute it evenly with a broom. After about 2 or 3 days, the dead moss can be removed.
Mow Grass At The Correct Mowing Height
Leaving grass uncut for long encourages weeds to grow. Cutting grass too short scalps the lawn and creates bares spots that encourage moss invasion. Moss is also common in lawns with thin grass blades.
The best method to avoid grass overgrowth is frequently mowing at the correct height. Use the one-third mowing rule with a sharp bladed mower. This practice leaves no bare spots that allow moss to grow.
University of Maryland: Lawn Aeration.
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How To Repair Your Lawn
Its important to understand and consider that if you kill the moss in your lawn you could be left with brown and bare looking patches. You will need to re-seed your lawn with lawn seed to bring it back to life. It is essential that you grow new healthy grass over these patches to avoid them being overgrown by moss or new weed seeds.
Westland Lawn Revive is a child and pet friendly natural lawn thickener. It will revive tired looking lawns in three ways
For more information, read our article on how to repair patches in your lawn.