Controlling moss can be an uphill battle once it has taken up residence in your lawn. However, effective removal can also be easier than you think. To make your lawn beautiful again, you need to remove the existing moss and contain the conditions that invite it to grow. To combat moss in your yard and enjoy thick, green grass, there are a few tips you should follow. Below, we’ll explain why moss exists in the first place, how to remove moss in your lawn, and how to avoid it in the future.
Table of contents
- Removing moss in the lawn: why does it form in the first place?
- When should you remove moss in the lawn?
- How to remove moss in the lawn
- Prevent moss properly
Removing moss in your lawn: why does it form in the first place?
Successful moss control begins with the realization that moss is not like other unwanted lawn weeds. It dates back to prehistoric times and has not changed significantly over the years. This primitive plant does not process water and nutrients in the same way as more advanced plants. Therefore, normal weed killers cannot control it. Even strong herbicides, which should eliminate all plant species, do not always succeed in removing moss in the lawn or preventing its return.
Grasses have a hard time in shady areas with acidic, excessively moist or compacted soil. Mosses thrive in just these conditions. Where grasses fail, mosses find ideal growing conditions. When conditions support healthy, vigorous grass growth, mosses rarely occur.
The local environmental factors that can positively influence moss growth are:
- Shady lawns
- Loamy soils or poor drainage
- Poor air circulation and heavy dew
- Dry areas such as lawn edges
- Acidic soil
When should you get rid of moss in your lawn?
During the year, there are two important periods for lawn growth: in the spring (April – May) and the other in the fall (September – October). So, if you remove the moss in spring or in autumn, the lawn can recover and grow thick and green again. Depending on the condition of the lawn, moss can be removed once or twice a year.
How to remove moss from the lawn
Control moss in the lawn by raking and scarifying.
Since moss has shallow roots, you may be able to get rid of it simply by raking it off. Rake your lawn vigorously to get the moss out. Some grass might also come out, but grass has longer roots and will survive a thorough raking.
If you have a large area to work on, you can use a scarifying machine. However, you must pay attention to the following: Areas already heavily affected by lawn thatch or moss should be dethatched promptly and repeatedly to regain a dense carpet of grass. If the lawn then grows thick and clean, it is also sufficient to scarify it once a year .
Removing moss with home remedies
The following way you can remove moss in the lawn – biologically with home remedies. You have two main options here: Dissolve 200 grams of baking soda in two liters of lukewarm water (100 grams of baking soda per liter of water). Pour the solution evenly on the lawn, where the moss grows, and water the grass 2 to 2.5 cm below the surface. Or use gentle dishwashing liquid and mix about 90 ml of it with 3.5 liters of water. Take a watering can to pour it evenly and thoroughly on your lawn.
Use wood ash as a remedy
You can also neutralize an acidic soil with wood ash. 30 grams per square meter is enough.
Test the pH of your soil
Use a test kit to determine the pH of your soil. If your soil is too acidic, you may need an alkaline fertilizer to effectively control moss. Garden lime is a good remedy in this case, as is compost and fertilizer .
Check the moisture content of your lawn
One of the clearest signs of poorly draining lawns is water that collects in certain areas and can’t drain away. Poorly draining soil can create excellent growing conditions for moss.
If the cause of poor drainage is soil compaction, you should aerate your lawn. Cold-season grasses should be aerated in early fall, while warm-season grasses should be aerated from mid-spring through early summer.
You can also use moss killers containing glyphosate, ammonium sulfate or ferrous sulfate to remove moss in your lawn. For 100 m2100 grams of ferrous sulfate are needed (diluted in 10 liters of water). Follow the application and safety instructions. Once the agent has taken effect, rake off the moss. Ferrous sulfate can stain concrete sidewalks, driveways, patios and other surfaces, so apply the agent carefully and sweep up any excess or spills.
Prevent moss properly
Reduce excessive shade
Moss likes dark, cool conditions, so reducing the amount of shade it covers can help eliminate moss. Cut back branches or shrubs that cast shade nearby, or plant shade-resistant grasses (fescue, for example) to displace moss.
You should not leave the grass cuttings after mowing, but remove them immediately to prevent moss. Thus, you should refrain from mulch mowing. In addition, fallen leaves must be regularly just from the lawn.
Pay attention to other stress factors
Lawns that are damaged by other stressors are also susceptible to moss growth. Insects, disease, excessive foot traffic and damage from pets all make it difficult for lawns to grow. Moss can begin to fill in bare spots. Keeping your lawn too short will also damage the grass and provide an opportunity for moss growth.