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 again.
If your lawn has suffered from a high infestation of moss, use Gro-Sure Smart Patch spreader to fill in any bare patches. Its aqua gel technology and water retaining granules locks in nutrients and water for guaranteed germination results.
For more information, read our article on how to repair patches in your lawn.
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.
Wash It Down With Bleach Or Chemical Moss Remover
This method of moss removal from a roof is fairly tricky without specialist equipment and will also ideally require access to the actual roof.
Unless you have the specialist equipment needed for accessing and working on a roof or indeed the knowledge of how to do this safely, we would certainly not recommend attempting this solution.
As with the method outlined above for removing moss from a lawn using a liquid, a moss-killing solution is sprayed over the roof area that then in turn kills off the moss.
Using potentially dangerous chemicals at height adds even more risk as they can easily come pouring down on an unsuspecting pedestrian or even on yourself, so our recommendation would be to avoid this solution.
Washing moss off of a roof using moss killing chemicals
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How To Kill Moss With Bleach
Bleach can be riskier to use on your lawn, as it can kill the plants that you want to propagate as well as the invaders. But by diluting it, you can make bleach safe to use on your grass while still being deadly to moss.
To mix your bleach solution, combine 5 gallons of water with 20 ounces of liquid bleach and mix well. This can be used in a garden sprayer to get full moss coveragespray over the problem areas until the moss is completely saturated. After about an hour, hose off the bleach solution and remove the discolored moss.
Too Much Shade And Little Direct Sunlight
As we have already established, moss loves a moist and wet environment, but what it also loves is shade. Pair these two together and you have the ideal conditions for moss growth.
Aside from the correct drainage, aerating the soil and dethatching, the next job is to try and ensure that your grassy areas have plenty of sun light.
Again, as we have also mentioned, sometimes its not the fact that moss is taking over your grass, it can be that you are not providing the best conditions for your grass to thrive in.
Most varieties of grass do not grow well in shade and if large parts of your lawn are obscured from the sun by large trees or sprawling shrubs then its not going to grow well and what does grow is going to be weak.
Heavy shade causing grass to struggle to grow Image courtesy of turfgrowers.co.uk
The solution here is if you havent guessed, is to allow more sunlight into your garden. This will not only provide the fuel for your grass to grow much fuller and healthier but will also help to reduce overall moss growth.
If you have any large trees surrounding your garden then you may want to get these pruned or cut back, or even get a crown lift or have the crown thinned out.
Additionally, any large shrubs that you have growing you can also get trimmed up, especially those that have been allowed to get a bit out of control.
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Getting Rid Of Moss In Yard By Dethatching
Moss thrives in moist conditions. Thatch is the material such as grass stems, shoots, and roots that form in a layer between the grass blades and soil.
Thatch that has grown too thick can not only unhealthy for your lawn but provide the right opportunity for moss to grow. Dethatching is an excellent method for getting rid of moss in yard, and you should do it in the early spring.
Begin by mowing the lawn with a mower to half its average height. Use a dethatching rake to rake the grass as you usually would. While hand raking, you should begin to notice the thatch separate from the soil.
You may also see that the rake is pulling up clumps of moss. Gather up all of the grass thatch and moss and dispose of it. Once the dethatching is complete, you will notice that your lawn looks a bit ragged. This appearance is normal.
Grow grass in any of the bare spots by filling them in with grass seed or grass patching products. Make sure to get the correct seeds, whether it be full sun or shade-tolerant grass seeds. Fertilize the lawn after, not before, dethatching the yard.
How To Prevent Moss From Re
Moss is caused by a combination of moisture in your lawn and weak grass. Moss needs moisture to spread, so you are more likely to suffer from a moss problem in shady areas or in wetter seasons like spring or autumn.
The following steps will help you to prevent moss from appearing in the future:
- To keep your lawn in tip top condition, feed your lawn once a month with Westland SafeLawn for beautiful results
- Thin out over-hanging trees to prevent shade on your lawn
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Once The Moss Has Died Off How Should I Treat The Remaining Bare Patch
With all your moss removed, its now time to repair any damage.
If you have removed some fairly sizable patches of moss, then your lawn will probably be left looking rather thin.
Bare and patchy soil left from removing moss Image courtesy of lawn-tech.co.uk
If so, its now time to repair the damage by replanting some new grass.
Unfortunately its quite as simple as just chucking down soem seed and hoping it grows, as in most cases it probably wont and the moss will re-grow and youll be back to square one again.
To ensure that your seed stands a good chance of establishing itself, scatter a good covering over the bald area and then cover the seed with about 10mm of decent compost. This will protect the seed until its had a chance to germinate and get itself established.
Also, make sure you dampen the area well, but dont soak it as this could wash all the compost and seed away. Ensure also that its kept damp all the way up until its shooting up.
On thing to remember also is to use suitable seed for the area youre planting in. If you are planting in the shade, use grass that can cope with these conditions.
Its also worth remembering that its a good idea to use some nitrogen-rich fertilizer on any areas of grass that struggles with tricky growing conditions.
Bare patch of lawn reseeded with grass seed Image courtesy of lovethegarden.com
The 3 Main Causes Of Moss In Lawns
As common as lawn moss is, its one of the most misunderstood lawn problems.
Most lawn owners treat moss as the problem itself and then wonder why it grows back whenever the rains come.
Its important to understand that lawn moss is the result of other problems not the problem itself.
If you want to remove moss from your lawn and stop it from coming back, you need to figure out why its growing in the first place. Then you can fix those problems and make changes to prevent it from coming back.
So what causes moss in lawns?
Here are three main factors
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Physical And Chemical Moss Removal
Good Timing & Lawn Recovery
Moss produces spores generally in April. In Eastbourne it will be early, in Lanark itll be late and in Malvern the middle part of the month as a rule, but not guaranteed! It spores again in September. Therefore, doing the business before sporing, if possible is generally a good idea.
If possible can be a problem though. When performing any invasive treatment to the lawn we need the lawn to be able to recover and repair itself in as short a time as possible afterward. If it doesnt then you may swap a weed problem for your moss problem! Not a good idea, so this means warmth, fertiliser and moisture must be available to get the grass recovering.
Therefore, leaving the raking until early to mid April allows things to warm up a little. There is usually plenty of moisture around and the timing will be right for a fertiliser application afterwards. Though the raking out shouldn’t commence until things have warmed up on the basis you’ll want to over seed as soon as possible afterwards, any application of moss killers can be done several weeks before raking commences.
In autumn, just wait until the rains start. This will fire off the moss but will also mean the grass can recover with the rain and September sun.
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Hose Pipe And Sprinkler
If the weather is on your side you might not need to water the lawn.
However, if its dry and no rain is forecast, youll need to keep the soil moist to help the new grass seed germinate.
Use a sprinkler with a fine spray setting. This will keep the lawn damp without drowning the grass seed or washing it away.
How To Kill Moss With A Chemical Moss Killer
One of the easiest ways to kill moss in the yard, particularly if it has spread through the majority of your lawn, is by applying a commercial chemical killer. Most moss-killing products are specially formulated with ferrous sulfate to attack the moss directly and effectively.
Additionally, if you are worried about the health of your lawn around the problem area, you can find moss killers with a fertilizer component that will nourish turf while eliminating moss.
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Is There Too Much Shade
Moss is a shade-loving plant, which is the exact opposite of most turfgrass. So if you find that you are struggling against a carpet of moss, look up. Even shade-tolerant turfgrasslike fescue in cooler regions or zoysia grass in warmer climatesneeds 6 hours of sunlight or 12 hours of partial sunlight every day. If you find that your grass is struggling to grow and moss is thriving, try reducing the shade. Selectively prune your trees, removing branches below eight feet. Also, thin out some of the canopy to allow more light to filter through. Alternatively, if you dont want to give up the shade, consider turning the area into a bed with mulch or pine straw. You can also use a shade-loving groundcover other than turfgrass.
Controlling Existing Lawn Moss
The best time to treat moss is when it’s actively growing. That typically happens during the fall rains, warm winter rains and early spring. Lawn mosses don’t need much light or nutrition to live, but moisture is critical both in its surroundings and in the plant itself.
Moss control products based on iron and naturally occurring iron substances, such as ferrous sulfate, are highly effective at killing lawn moss by drawing out moisture so mosses dry up, turn black and die. The Lilly Miller Moss Out! line of moss controls offers several iron-based products to kill lawn moss quickly and benefit your lawn:
Always follow product label instructions closely, and only use these products on lawns. Iron-based moss controls naturally cause rustlike stains, which can affect sidewalks and other hard surfaces.
Effective iron-based products kill moss and improve your lawn at same time.
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The Search For A Root Cause
Many homeowners trying to get rid of moss in the lawn fail to realize that moss plants are an indicator that you currently have less than ideal conditions for growing grass. So this weed is not the cause of your problems, but an effect.
The potential causes behind the problem are:
- Lack of necessary nutrients in the soil
- Poor drainage
- Excessive shade
Consequently, you have to understand that the job of getting rid of moss has only just begun when you remove the particular patch of moss growing in your lawn at the present time. You must follow up that initial removal with some investigative work, to determine why moss would grow in the area to begin with, in spite of your attempts to grow grass there. If you fail to discover which of the potential causes behind the problem applies to your own lawn, a new patch of moss will simply take the place of the old one.
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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How Do I Get Rid Of Moss
Sadly, killing and removing the invading moss isnt enough to end the problem. Get rid of moss for the long-term by taking steps to improve the vigour of your grass. However to first shift the moss there are two approaches you can take:
- Non-chemical One non-chemical method you can use to get rid of moss is scarification using a spring-tine rake. Do this after rainfall when the ground is soft to reduce the risk of damaging your grass. Alternatively, try using MO Bacter Organic Lawn Fertiliser, a non-chemical product that breaks down moss.
- Chemical Its best to use proprietary ferrous sulphate treatments that kill and blacken moss in spring or early autumn. Once the moss is blackened, you can simply rake it away. If the health of your grass is particularly poor then use a moss-killer combined with a fertiliser. That will destroy the moss and improve the vigour of your lawn, meaning the moss is less likely to return. When using chemical treatments always pay attention to the directions on the packet. Some may require watering on while others can be damaging if applied in too high a dose. If you have an artificial lawn then there are specialised chemical products such as Brintons Patio Magic designed to get rid of moss on artificial lawns, patios and play areas.
Once youve managed to get rid of moss you can add it to your compost heap. Mix it well with other ingredients as moss can be slow to rot in bulk.