Killing Mos

How To Get Rid Of Moss In Lawns

You can get rid of moss in your lawn through various methods like rakingdethatching and aerating, using organic control methods, using chemical moss killers or by planting a different competitive grass in that area, to name a few. Mosses are small, non-vascular flowerless plants. Mosses are not welcomed in lawns as they form dense mats conquering grass for water and nutrients and making your lawn uneven and spongy to walk on.

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Eden explains all these methods and more in detail in this article. Furthermore, you will know the cause of moss in the lawn, why you should kill it, what products can be used to kill moss in the lawn, how to prevent moss from returning and how to control it on hard surfaces. Let’s start with the methods to get rid of moss in your lawn. 

1. Get Rid of Moss By Raking Your Lawn

Raking or drawing together with a rake is the preferred technique for removing moss from the lawn. For small lawns a wired springbok or fan rake will be suitable but it’s much easier to do with a hand lawn scarifier. Moss doesn’t have true roots that makes it easy to get rid of it with rigorous scraping or raking. Here are some steps you can take to remove it.

  • Rake By Hand: Use a spring-tine lawn rake to get rid of small patches of moss in the lawn. The right way is to rake the moss at different angles to loosen and lift it. Then, gather and throw the moss into your compost bin or trash.
  • Use a mower dethatching blade: To remove considerable moss or to make your task easier, remove it while dethatching your lawn. Use a dethatching blade on your push mower to pull up the thick layer of dead grass gathered between the soil and the living grass and remove the moss in the process. 
  • Rent a power rake: These gas-powered machines are similar to lawn mowers. Rather neatly clipping the tips of the grass, they rigorously remove thatch along with moss from the soil line. Power raking can be tough on your lawn, so it’s best to do it only if your lawn has an inch or more of thatch, together with dense moss growth.

2. Getting Rid Of Moss In An Organic Way

You can get rid of moss in a natural way using dish soap. This is also the simplest and safest way. Just follow the below steps:

  • Make dishwasher detergent in a pinch. To use on small patches, mix 2 ounces of dish soap and 1 gallon of water in a garden hand sprayer. Use gentle liquid dish soap only. 
  • Holding the spray nozzle some inches away from the target area, spray the mixture and drench the patches of moss with the solution. Be careful not to spray the mixture on the grass as it can kill healthy grass.
  • The patches of moss will change to orange or brown in 24 hours and gradually dry up. Dig up and remove as much dead moss as possible as the solution does not surely kill the moss at the roots. 
  • After gathering the dead moss, take it to an isolated area. Don’t compost it as the spores may spread back into your lawn. You have to wait to re-seed the patches as the liquid soap can hinder germination. 

3. Using A Chemical Moss Killer

Chemical moss killers that contain ferrous sulfate are the most effective technique of getting rid of moss in lawns. Some chemical moss killers also contain a fertilizer, which is beneficial for lawns where the grass has lost its robustness. Ferrous sulfate is often considered as a solution to lawn moss when applied correctly. However, it should not be used on its own as a moss killer as it is likely to do more harm than good by killing off grass and moss together. Apply it when the weather is cool and damp.

  • You need to scarify first to thin it out before applying moss killer if the moss is very thick.
  • Spread moss killer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The moss turns black usually in two to three weeks. Then, use a mechanical scarifier or a spring tine rake to rake it out of the lawn.

4. Removing Thatch And Aerating The Lawn For Getting Rid Of Moss

Removing thatch and aerating your lawn can also help to get rid of moss. You need to first evaluate what role thatch is playing in your lawn. Before getting rid of moss, you should focus on removing thatch from your lawn. Thatch prevents water from draining properly through the soil.

  • The process of taking away thatch is called dethatching. You can do hard manual raking yourself by using a sharp-toothed bow rake or using a special dethatching rake. 
  • Dethatching along with annual aeration will help reduce soil compaction, air circulation and improve drainage. This makes the soil favorable for grass and less friendly to moss. When to aerate also depends on the type of lawn grass you grow. 

5. Evaluating Sun/Shade For Getting Rid of Moss

You can get rid of moss in your lawn simply by addressing the issue of excessive shade. Consider these steps to reduce shade in your lawn.

  • Make sure the branches of trees are two meters above lawn level. If the canopy is dense, consider thinning it.
  • Bushes, hedges and plants are naturally dense and you wouldn’t want to thin them. However, check out and decrease the overhang into the lawn and the height.
  • Increase your mowing height. Mowing your grass to a less height means it traps more sunlight and puts the moss in even more shade. If the grass becomes thin try overseeding thin areas every spring. 

6. Examine Your Soil In Order To Get Rid Of Moss

Moss invasions are usually caused by poor soil conditions, especially pH and nutritional problems. To examine your soil, send a sample of your soil to your local Cooperative Extension service so that they can test it for you. Tell them that you are trying to get rid of moss in your lawn and request information on soil pH and nutrient content.

Moss-infested lawns typically have acidic soil. It’s not like that moss likes acid soil, but instead turf grasses react badly to acid conditions. You should not modify the soil with agricultural lime unless the soil test shows a need for it. 

Finally, the soil test will provide you valuable information on the nutrients available in your soil, making recommendations for fertilizers and other modifications to make it suitable for your lawn.

7. Considering Drainage Issues To Get Rid Of Moss

The soil analysis report may also inform you about possible drainage problems due to high clay content. Water drains slowly through excessive clayey soils, and that is responsible for visible puddling. The soil test can show that the clay content is high in your lawn. This kind of drainage issue can be corrected by regularly modifying the soil with humus or manure to make it more crumbly.

Poor drainage may be due to other factors along with clay content. If your lawn has to go through a lot of foot traffic then your problem could be soil compaction. This can be solved by regular lawn aeration. 

Serious drainage problems may happen when the subsoil below is very dense and impermeable, which occurs in regions where a hardpan layer lies below the topsoil. Poor drainage in these areas may need to be taken care of by changing the contours of the lawn to help surplus water drain away. 

8. Getting Rid Of Moss By Planting Different Grass Species

Moss will sometimes fill in lawn areas left empty because the grass variety that you have chosen is not suited to shady conditions. In this case, the solution to the problem is as simple as switching grasses. 

Switching grasses can be completely done, by killing off the existing lawn, then planting a new lawn by seed or sod. This can also be done by repeated top-seeding using shade-tolerant grass seed. Ensure to loosen the bare patches and areas where moss has taken hold, and spread new seed over these areas. 

In one or two years, these areas will become shade-tolerant and moss-resistant lawn spaces. After planting, implement lawn care techniques, especially about fertilizing. 

What Are The Causes Of Moss In Lawn?

Moss is mainly caused by soil compaction and excess thatch. Shade, incorrect lawn care practices, soil type and drainage also cause moss to grow in lawns. It is essential to get rid of moss from your lawn to ensure your lawn stays healthy and looks lush green. Causes of moss are underlined below:

  • Poor Drainage – This is typically due to soil compaction which creates a poor drainage system at the time of rain. This means that the rainwater doesn’t drain away effectively and therefore sits stagnant on top of your lawn allowing the moss growth.
  • Excessive Shade – Lawn or garden that is covered by shade, you are more likely to experience moss growth. Shaded lawns are due to buildings, trees, shrubs and plants.Due to this reason, moss is more widespread during winters.
  • Poor Mowing Practices – A short height during the growing season can place under stress it thin and weak. This enables moss and other unwanted plants like weeds to occupy weak or bare areas of your lawn.
  • Neglect – Improper lawn is a perfect environment for moss to invade. Neglecting aeration and other things  will be harmful to the health of your lawn. 

Why Should You Kill Moss In Lawn?

Moss in your lawn should be killed or removed as it forms dense mats that surpass grass for water and nutrients and make the lawn uneven and spongy to walk on. The primary reasons for moss invasion is soil compaction and improper water drainage in your lawn.

Moss is an indication of an environment that isn’t right for your lawn, so simply removing or killing it only provides a temporary solution. Improving the conditions of your lawn so they favor the growth of grass is a more effective method of getting rid of moss.

What Products Can Be Used To Kill Moss In Lawn?

There are several lawn care products available to kill moss in the lawn. The various organic and chemical products you can use to kill moss are given below:

  • Solution of gentle liquid dish soap with water
  • Iron Sulfate
  • Solution of Baking soda with water
  • Solution of Vinegar with water

How To Prevent Moss From Returning?

Controlling moss needs more than just killing off the existing moss in the lawn. The best way to prevent it from returning is to correct the primary cause of it.

  • For areas of the lawn that only receive 6 to 8 hours of filtered sunlight or 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight, plant a shade-tolerant grass.
  • Good lawn practices will help your lawn grow thick and keep moss away from your lawn.
  • Only water the lawn when it is required, just one inch of water per week is all most lawns need.

How To Control Moss On Hard Surfaces

The effective way to control moss on hard surfaces is with a professional moss killer or biocide. You can also use a solution of vinegar and water or bleach to remove the moss from surfaces like bricks or driveways.

Eden hopes that now you have a clear picture of moss and why it invaded your lawn if ever that happened. Contact Eden today for professional help to get rid of moss from your lawn and know how to prevent it from our team.

Lawn care is all in the details, and we take care of every single one to give you the lawn of your dreams. Contact us today!

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