How To Turn Your Fairy Liquid Into An Epic Moss Killer And Other Ways To Remove Moss Forever
I know it probably seems like weve been saying this for months and months, but summer is actually, totally, factually, definitely over, which is great for anyone that wants to finally trade pushing their lawn mower for pulling on a winter pullover and relaxing in front of fire. The problem is, errrr, moss.
Now Im not saying moss should be called a weed, per se, but moss should definitely be called a weed because thats exactly what it is and, yup, it absolutely loves autumn-slash-winter. But before I give you not one, not two, not three, but four ways to get rid of your mossy-mossy-moss-moss , lets get into the nitty-gritty-ness of what the heck moss actually is.
So, What The Heck Even Is Moss?
For anyone thats ever walked through a forest with bare feet, moss is a super-squidgy saviour that stops you making weird groaning noises every time you stand on an unseen twig. But for everyone else , moss is basically a thick and squidgy carpet of small green leaves and even smaller stems that has a panache for growing between your grass blades, bare soil, wood, rocks and just about every other surface that has moist n shady conditions. Thats what moss loves more than anything: moist shade.
How To Show Mr Moss Who Is The Boss
The good news is: unlike a lot of lawn diseases, moss doesnt kill grass.
Option 1: Moss Killer
Option 2: Get Your Rake Out
Option 3: Dish Soap
Turning Dish Soap Into An Awesome Moss Killer
Getting Rid of Moss Once And For All
Use A Pressure Washer
A pressure washer isnt a great way to prevent moss growth, but it is an excellent solution for killing moss. It is perfect for moss with a shallow root, so areas with a couple of inches on a hard surfacesuch as sidewalks, pavers, or concrete.
This is not the best option for roofs or lawns, as the pressure that loosens the moss can also break off other materials that you want to stay in place. Pressure washers can come in handy around the house and work well with vinyl siding wash, too.
Growing Thick Healthy Grass To Prevent Weeds
The best way to prevent weeds, moss, or anything else besides grass from taking over your lawn is to grow thick, healthy grass. The more deep-rooted and dense your grass is, the fewer nutrients and less water and light there are for competing vegetation. The best defense, as they say, is a good offense. Growing and maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to beat out weeds.
To get a thick, healthy lawn, you need to start with top-of-the-line turfgrass. The varieties youll find at The Turfgrass group are exclusive to our Certified Grower network. We have scientifically perfectedand patentedthe best of these grass families: Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede varietals. So if youre ready to take your lawn to the next level, consider turf from The Turfgrass Group. You can find a grower for any of our varieties right here.
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Try An Organic Solution
For homeowners who are loath to use synthetic chemicals, there are several very effective organic, non-toxic remedies you can try. For example, you can fill a garden sprayer with 2 gallons of lukewarm water and mix in a box of baking soda, then spray this solution on the patches of moss.
Another remedy is to mix ordinary dish soap and water in a garden sprayer . This mixture will quickly kill moss.
Finally, there are commercial horticultural soaps, such as Safer brand, that will also kill moss.
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 Dish Soap Can Kill Unwanted Moss In Your Lawn
Kelly Burke is a professional turf manager for a manicured corporate campus in New England. He is accredited in organic land care and is a licensed pesticide applicator. He formerly managed the turfgrass as a golf course superintendent and has held several senior management positions at private country clubs overseeing high maintenance lawns.
The Spruce / Almar Creative
Moss can be a decorative ground cover when it grows where it’s wanted, or it can be considered a nuisance weed when its thick mat of tiny green leaves and threadlike stems are unwanted. Though moss won’t kill your grass, it can leave your lawn looking splotchy and uneven. Luckily, there are a few solutions to manage moss.
Mosses Are Unlike Other Plants
Part of the secret to moss control is realizing mosses aren’t like most plants. Standard weed killers, even the tough ones, often don’t kill moss. Unlike other common plants, mosses don’t have roots or vascular systems to move water and nutrients or moss control products through their primitive structures.
Common mosses need very little light, but plenty of moisture. They flourish in shade and consistently damp, poorly drained, overly acidic soil. Healthy lawn grasses need the opposite. That’s why mosses often grow where grasses and other plants have failed. When conditions discourage grass, mosses seize the opportunity and move in.
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How To Transplant Moss
Find a Good Place for the Moss
Determine where you want the moss to grow and look around your landscape for moss that is thriving under similar conditions.
Clean the Surface of the Moss
Remove the plants and grass from the area where you want to establish the moss and rake the location free of leaves and twigs.
Check the pH of the New Soil
Perform a soil test in the area you want to transplant the moss to. Mosses prefer a low pH level , so use sulfur to lower the pH level if necessary.
Prep the Soil
Tamp the soil and lightly water it, creating welcome conditions for the new moss to thrive in.
Collect Moss for Transplanting
Dig up clumps of moss â about the size of your outstretched hand â from the area you located earlier. Dig deeply enough to collect the rhizoids that extend into the soil. Collect some of the soil below the moss as well. This will help keep the clumps from drying out.
Transplant the Moss
Moisten the bottom of the fragments and press them into the soil firmly to remove air pockets. You can leave gaps among the pieces and let the moss fill in as it grows. Use small sticks to hold the moss in place if necessary.
Water Thoroughly & Regularly
Keep the area well-watered until the moss becomes established. This could take several weeks. Once established, it should only need watering during extended hot, dry periods.
How To Kill Lawn Moss With Dish Soap
Moss is a primitive plant that reproduces by spores. It is a thick mat of tiny green leaves and threadlike stems. Moss grows on wood, bare soil, rocks and any other surface where moist, shady conditions are present. Moss does not kill grass, and it produces its own food. But it is an indicator of poor conditions that need to be addressed for a lawn to be healthy and moss-free. Once the cultural factors are fixed that caused the moss to appear, the moss can be eradicated using a simple solution of water and dish soap.
Raise soil pH to make the soil more favorable to growing grass and less favorable for moss. Add lime to the soil with a lawn spreader according to the package instructions to make the soil less acidic.
Improve the drainage in the lawn. Aerate the soil to improve air circulation. Add soil or dig trenches to get water to drain off of the lawn into a designated area. Less standing water will mean less moisture for the moss.
Fertilize the lawn. Have the soil tested by a local university extension to determine what nutrients are lacking. Fertilize the lawn with the correct fertilizer for your soil test according to the package instructions.
Reduce watering. Water the grass only when it looks like it needs water, rather than on a set schedule. This will keep excess water from collecting in the soil.
Rake up the dead moss once it turns brown or yellow. If more moss appears, repeat the treatment until it stops returning.
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What You Need For This Project
Rake it Out
Because moss has shallow roots, you may be able to get rid of it simply by raking it out. Vigourously rake your grass to ensure the moss comes out. A bit of grass might also come out, but grass has longer roots and will be able to survive a thorough raking.
Step Things up with Baking Soda
Try organic options first, with two main ones available:
Test the pH of Your Soil
Use a kit to determine the pH of your soil. Sometimes if your soil is too acidic, you may need a more alkaline soil to effectively compete with moss. Garden lime is a good tool to use in this case, as are compost and fertilizer.
Check the Moisture Content of Your Lawn
One of the strongest signs of a poor-draining lawn is water that puddles in areas and doesn’t dissipate. Poor-draining soil, such as a high clay content or high-traffic areas, can create excellent growing conditions for moss.
To combat high clay content, help it drain better by adding organic carbon, humus, compost, manure, or other organic matter.
Reduce Excessive Shade
Keep an Eye out for Other Stressors
Pesticides: The Last Resort
Getting Rid Of Moss In Your Lawn With Chemicals
The two most common ingredients in moss-killing chemicals are iron sulfate and glyphosate. Iron sulfate will start damaging moss in a matter of hours and effectively kill it within two days. This ingredient is commonly found in fertilizers and wont harm your lawns grass.
Glyphosate, on the other hand, is non-selective and will kill both the moss and grass it comes into contact with.
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How To Kill Moss In The Lawn With Homemade Moss Killer
Moss is a common occurrence in home lawns. Most often, it becomes a problem in lawns that have low turf density. It appears when growing conditions favor the growth of moss more than the turf.
According to research, moss is not harmful to the grass in your lawn. However, it can change the aesthetic look of your yard and may occupy significant space. It can adopt yellowish, green, greenish-brown color, and most of them are usually bright green.
There are thousands of species of moss available all around the world, and unlike other plants, they dont have roots, shoots, leaves, seed-forming system. Moses uses a structure called rhizoids that facilitates adhesion to the ground. Areas with plentiful moisture and shadow are the most favorable conditions for the growth of moss.
Some gardeners grow moss on purpose because of its velvety green structure, but such instances are rare. If you are one of the admirers of moss, you may leave it be, and if you are among the majority of people who take moss as a nuisance weed, we are going to help you out.
In this article, we are going to tell you how to kill moss on the lawn with a homemade moss killer. So, keep reading.
How Do I Prevent Moss
- Feed the lawn using a composite lawn feed which contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium . Alternatively if you want to go organic, you can apply a handful of bone meal per square yard in the fall. This is a source of phosphorus. In the spring, apply well rotted, crumbly leaf compost or leave the clippings on the lawn every second time you cut the grass. Either of these methods return nitrogen to the soil.
- Scarify the lawn using a rake or electric scarifier – This pulls out all the dead vegetation and helps to remove moss and thatch
- Improve Drainage and Aeration – Use a hand fork and drive it down into the ground at 1 foot intervals. Alternatively you can use a hollow tine aerator. This tool has a series of hollow tubes rather than prongs. When you walk on it with your foot and drive it down into the ground, it removes cores of soil when pulled back up. A gas powered version of this is also available. Forking the lawn also improves aeration, as it opens up the ground, allowing more air in around the roots of grass. This helps to promote stronger, more vigorous growth of roots
Forking a lawn at 1 foot intervals helps to aerate and improve drainage. Drive the fork fully down into the ground
An electric scarifier makes light work of removing moss and other dead vegetation from lawns.
Image by permission Draper Tools UK
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How To Treat Moss In A Lawn
You can treat moss using a chemical called iron sulphate . It can be spread as a dry powder, however personally I find it’s much more convenient to spray it or use a watering can, and this gives better coverage than spreading dry powder by hand which can produce patchy results. When you spray iron sulphate, moss turns black within about 20 minutes, so it’s easy to see whether you missed any spots.
Iron sulphate will stain clothes, hands and everything else brown, and the dry dusty powder can irritate eyes. When sprayed, It will stain concrete and tarmac to some extent so you might consider alternative chemicals as a treatment on these materials. Vinegar, bleach or salty water will burn moss and can produce good results. Boiling water also scalds moss and weeds. If you spray iron sulphate solution, the resultant stains are not as bad as those which result from scattering the dry powder.
Once you treat your lawn with iron sulphate, the moss will turn black and also the grass to some extent. This is why it’s best to spray in the spring. Firstly you will have dealt with all the moss growth which accumulated over the winter, and secondly any staining of the grass will be eradicated once you start mowing your lawn again.
How To Kill Moss With Dish Soap
Dishwashing liquid is not only great for indoor cleanup, but also for tackling a moss invasion without the use of harsh chemicals.
To create a dish soap solution that will choke out the moss in your yard, mix 20 ounces of dish soap into 5 gallons of water in a bucket. Combine well and pour out over the mossy areas, saturating them completely. Or, add to a garden sprayer and spread it that way.
Most mosses will die and begin to wither within a day and a half after applying this solution, so keep an eye on your yard and rake up the moss when its dead.
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How To Apply Chemical Moss Killer
The best time to apply a chemical moss killer is autumn or spring, when the weather is cool, and damp and any bare patches left after moss has been removed can be re-seeded.
The raked-out moss can be composted, but it is slow to break down, so should be added to your compost heap gradually.
How To Rid Your Lawn Of Moss
Moss becomes most prevalent in Winter when there is additional moisture around and a lack of warmth to dry out surfaces.
What is Moss?
Mosses are small green non-vascular plants that grow in clumps. They are generally only a few centimetres tall with extremely thin leaves.
Moss enjoys conditions that are wet, shaded and compacted. It is important to understand that moss itself isnt the problem, it is the favourable conditions that the moss enjoys growing in. Turf on the other hand, generally hates these conditions, so you need to act quick before the moss continues to spread.
How to remove Moss
If you are already plagued with Moss, then you will need to remove it to enable your lawn to repair and spread back into the affected area.
- You can do so by physically removing it with a spade or rake, being sure to get underneath it and remove the roots from the ground as you do.
- Moss Killer usually contains iron sulphate. Iron can be good for your lawn when it is deficient. But Moss doesnt like it too much, so an application of iron sulphate will usually cause the moss to die off.
- Mixing water and dish soap and spraying the Moss with it, is also another method often used to kill Moss.
How to ensure Moss stays away
The key is to focus on the cause of the problem, so that moss doesnt keep growing back again.
Aeration Aerating compacted ground will help the area drain better and allow oxygen and nutrients to the roots of your lawn allowing it to fight back against the Moss.
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