Preventing Future Lawn Moss
To keep your lawn free from moss, take steps to correct the problems that allowed moss to grow. A soil test will confirm if your lawn needs lime to reduce soil acidity and encourage healthy grass growth. Take time to improve areas with poor drainage, and consider thinning nearby trees or shrubs to let more light reach grass below. If your soil is compacted, aeration helps reduce opportunities for moss to take hold and regular lawn maintenance goes a long way toward keeping grass healthy and strong.
By improving your lawn’s conditions and treating moss with effective products, you can kill moss quickly and keep it gone. Lilly Miller Moss Out! products can help you put unsightly lawn moss behind you and reclaim your turf for thick, green grass instead.
Lilly Miller and Moss Out! are trademarks of Central Garden & Pet Company.
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.
Short Term Moss Control
- Apply sulphate of iron This is a wonderfully easy way to kill moss on your lawns. This powder can be applied in Winter to late Spring and will kill moss off in under 2 weeks. Apply on a calm day, either by hand or using a broadcast spreader. 35 grams per m2 is sufficient. The dead moss will need to be raked out afterwards
- Alternatively you can apply diluted Armillatox. Apply using a knapsack sprayer
- Once the moss has died back you can remove it by scarification. See our article on how to scarify in the lawn care section
- As you can read in the related article, you should re-seed your lawn after scarification
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How To Kill Lawn Moss And Keep It Gone
Controlling moss can seem like an uphill battle once it gets established in your lawn, but effective control may be simpler than you think. Reclaiming your lawn involves dealing with existing lawn moss and correcting the conditions that invite it to grow.
To remove lawn moss from your yard and enjoy thick, green grass, follow these basics:
- Understanding Lawn Moss
- Preventing Future Lawn Moss
How To Use Moss Killer On Lawns
Liquid moss killers are usually diluted with water and applied to the lawn using a sprayer or watering can. For granules, most brands suggest using a broadcast spreader to make sure you get an even application over the entire lawn.
As we mentioned, some products will need to be watered in while others will need time to dry. Moss will turn brown or black when its dead. When this happens, you have to go into your yard and physically rake up or remove the dead moss.
After that, the lawn will need some time to fill in the empty spaces in the soil. Thats precisely why most of these products are also fertilizers. One of the ways to prevent moss from coming back is to strengthen the grass. This way, its strong and healthy enough to crowd out the moss.
Some products stain just about every surface they come in contact with, so you should avoid getting them on your driveway, walkways, decking, or lawn decor. That said, most of the organic options are safe to use on these surfaces, so be sure to factor that in when making your decision.
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Best Time Of Year To Remove Moss From Lawn
You have arrived at this page because you want to know when the best time of year to remove moss from lawn is.
Moss tends to thrive in cool and damp conditions and it is best to tackle your moss problem when it is actively growing, however, you do want the grass to also be growing so it can take over the areas that you remove the moss from.
Personally, I feel this limits the ideal to remove moss down to 2 times of the year and which time you choose depends on which method you are going to use for removing the moss and making your own beautiful again.
The best time to remove moss from your lawn is definitely in the spring or fall. More severe moss problems should be treated in spring so your lawn has good weather to recover from treatment. Limited moss removal can be carried out in the autumn, just make sure you give your lawn time to recover before winter.
Factors Leading To Moss Growth
- Overly wet soil – This is the most common factor. Poor drainage will lead to damp soil. This reduces grass growth and leads to moss exploting bare soil. Moss need wet conditions for spores to spread & reproduce
- Soil compaction – Excessive traffic or use of lawns can lead to compacted soil. This makes grass growth more difficult and leads to damp soil which again encourages moss growth
- Cutting grass too low – Overly enthusiastic grass cutting. Often we cut our grass too short, especially the first cut of the year, which should only see the grass being topped. But far too often I see lawns being somewhere between white & yellow in colour after a first cut. This is not suitable, it will stress out the grass, reducing growth & lead to moss growth. Scalping grass will also lead to moss
- Low fertility – lots of food means lots of healthy grass blades and as a result less moss on your grass
The above factors need to be resolved to ensure long term moss control. But before we concern ourselves with the long term, we need to solve the short term issue of moss on our lawns.
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Raise The Ph Of Your Soil
Moss loves acidic soil. Your soil could be low on the pH scale, causing a healthy environment for moss. Adding lime to the area will help raise the pH, making it less hospitable to moss.When you add dolomitic limestone to the lawn, its also full of calcium and magnesium. While they dont necessarily fight moss itself, they will provide a healthy soil base for the grass you plant in the future.Learn more about the importance of lawn pH here.
Solving Moss Problems In Lawns
Moss invasions such as this call for adjustments in lawn growing conditions.
Moss invading lawns is a common problem. Moss thriving in lawns signals that grass is weak and has thinned for some reason, allowing the moss to take over. There are many potential causes, including excessive shade, compacted soils, poorly drained soils, low soil fertility, high or low soil pH, and poor air circulation. Poor lawn care practices are another source of moss problems. General lack of care, including irregular mowing and little or no fertilizer applications are common problems leading to poor turf growth.
Adding limestone is a common “remedy” mentioned for moss control, but is not suggested unless a soil test has shown the pH needs to be raised. Many soils in northern Illinois have high pH values adding limestone will make this pH go even higher, adding to the lawn’s problem. Ferrous ammonium sulfate or ferric sulfate can be used to control moss to some extent. The moss will temporarily burn away, but tends to return fairly quickly. Raking out moss is another option usually followed by reseeding.
Modifying site conditions to favor lawn grasses and discourage moss is a suggested way to manage the problem. Too much shade for acceptable grass growth is a common underlying cause for moss invasion. Pruning trees and shrubs to improve air circulation and light penetration is a good starting point. Evaluate the site to make sure the proper grass for the conditions is being used.
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Moss Killer From Your Kitchen
Baking soda is an all-natural killer but it is also the cheapest and most effective way to get rid of moss for good. And just in case you have green furniture, walkways and structures even roofs! around the house, you can rely on this quintessential kitchen staple to do the job.
Is there anything baking soda cant do?
All you need to do is sprinkle it liberally in any affected areas. Even out the coverage with a broom or brush. Leave it as it is. After a few days, youll notice that it turns golden and will just flake away. Even mold or pollen buildup wont stand a chance with baking soda!
And yes, it can kill moss in your lawn! Unlike commercial herbicides in the market, baking soda poses no threat whatsoever to your precious lawn and even to the soil.
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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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
Why Does Moss Grow In My Lawn
Grass loves the sun, and moss thrives in the shadows, so its not always easy to understand why theyre competing for space in your yard.
Moss typically starts in shady areas and spreads, particularly if you have a lot of trees or shade-causing plants in your yard.
Shade is one of the causes of moss growth, but there are some other factors as well.
Most lawn grasses prefer a neutral or slightly alkaline pH. Anything lower than a pH of 6.5 is a little too acidic for grass, but its perfect for moss. In acidic soil, moss thrives and quickly spreads and takes over.
Soil pH affects the availability of nutrients in the soil, which means that grass has a hard time absorbing them. This means that not only is moss thriving, but the grass is at a significant disadvantage and quickly loses ground.
Moss also prefers moisture. If youre overwatering your lawn or live in an area where there is a lot of rainfall and your lawn is not able to dry, youre more likely to see moss flourishing.
If you have a drainage issue, you may need to install pipes or a French drain to encourage water to drain after heavy rainfall. If the water is coming from an underground spring, you may need to add some moisture-loving plants to the area to soak up the water and compete with the moss.
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Aftercut All In One Lawn Feed Weed And Moss Killer
This effective triple-action product not only controls moss, but it also takes care of many common weeds, including clover, dandelions, chickweed, and creeping buttercup. Plus, it acts as a fertilizer, improving the color and health of your lawn.
For best results, mow your lawn and wait a few days for weeds to grow back to allow for effective absorption. Use a spreader for even application and water in the granules well. Results are visible in as little as seven days, and, because it contains 22 percent more iron, its fast-acting on moss.
Apply in the spring as an early weed killer and fertilizer then again later in the summer to take care of any stubborn weeds or moss that stick around. Wait at least six weeks before reapplying. Note that your grass may turn brown after application, but this will go away as the lawn reestablishes itself after the moss is eliminated.
Evergreen Complete Lawn Feed Weed And Moss Killer
This product from EveryGreen eliminates moss and weeds while feeding your grass. The result is a thicker, greener, healthier lawn that looks amazing. Plus, the Water-Smart formula absorbs water and nutrients, which helps to protect your lawn against drought and other stressors by improving and strengthening at the roots.
Application is easy. Follow the detailed instructions on the label carefully to avoid overapplying and burning your lawn. Use an EverGreen or Scotts spreader to make sure the granules are spread evenly across your lawn. Then, water them in, keeping pets and children away from treated areas until after they have dried.
Apply this product from early spring to early fall. The results are pretty quick. Your lawns appearance improves in about a week. After two weeks, the moss is dead, and, after three to five weeks, weeds disappear.
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Preparing The Moss Killer
You are going to make two different solutions using the above ingredients, and you will be using the solutions one after the other. So, lets get to the preparation quickly.
Take 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket first and mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 pound salt in it. Now, take the dish detergent and mix it into the solution. It should be between 10 to 15 percent of the total solution depending on the infestation of moss. The last ingredient of this homemade moss killer is lime, and the lime should be added according to the recommendations made by soil test results.
Once, you have mixed the ingredients well in the given ratio, take the other bucket and mix Baking soda in it. It will be your second solution.
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.
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Moss As A Lawn Alternative
Allowing moss to become established is one alternative if removing it permanently requires more effort than you want to invest. If conditions in your lawn favor moss, you can take advantage of them. Moss provides low-effort, year-round green for your landscape and can do well where grass struggles. If your lawn is failing but moss is thriving, you can remove the grass and let the moss take over.This is the simplest method.
How Dish Soap Can Kill Unwanted Moss In Your Lawn
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.
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