Lawn Problem: Moss


What is Moss?

Moss is a primitive green coloured plant that has no roots, branches or leaves and can easily grow on any damp surface. It reproduces easily by spreading microscopic spores. Moss loves a damp lawn and, if left untreated, can cover a lawn. Autumn to early Spring weather in the UK is typically cold and wet; the perfect conditions for moss to thrive. 

Why is moss bad for my lawn?

Moss competes for the same space as grass. If left to spread, moss will soon dominate, reducing the lush green grass year after year until you effectively have a moss lawn. That’s great if the desired effect is to make a Japanese moss garden. For those who want grass in their lawn, moss need to go!

Moss has taken over this lawn with very little visible grass left.

How can I get rid of moss in my lawn?

Before simply treating moss, take time to understand what is causing it to get the best from your lawn. The short version; 1) Apply an iron based product, mid Autumn to mid Spring to limit moss spreading. 2) Physically removing moss with a scarifier is usually is needed as it won’t break down naturally easily. 

Below are the most common reasons for moss appearing in your lawn. 

ShadeCut back overhanging vegetation to get more sunlight to the lawn
Thatch buildupScarification and hollow tine aeration
Poor drainageAeration. Consider specialist land drains for problem lawns
Grass too shortRaise mower cut height
Poor air circulationRemove objects that restrict airflow
Grass is patchySow quality new seed to thicken up the lawn
Leaves on lawnEnsure leaves are cleared regularly
Soil too acidicAdd regular granular lime to help adjust Ph
Low nutritionAdd the correct fertiliser to increase nutrition

We recommend applying a liquid iron (ferrous sulphate) spray or lawn sand. It’s a great way to limit any fresh moss growth and needs to be a routine part of your lawn care over Autumn/Winter to mid Spring. We prefer a high concentration liquid iron, with a wetting agent to draw the product into the moss. That is applied in our Autumn and Winter lawn treatments as it works faster and more consistently, limiting the spreading of moss. Products suitable for lawn moss treatments, applied in the correct way, will cause the moss to turn black, showing that it’s been dehydrated. You can then gently rake out the treated moss, otherwise new moss can easily grow on top of the dead moss. 

What if moss is everywhere?

Moss does not decompose easily and in many cases it will need physically removing. For widespread moss, we recommend using a scarifier machine that will more effectively remove the moss. For lingering moss fragments a further moss treatment can be applied after scarification. You may find you need to repair bare areas with grass seed (overseeding) too, otherwise moss or weeds will fill those gaps.

Darkened moss after being sprayed

Lawn Tiger can advise on the causes and solutions for moss appearing in your lawn. Please get in touch or get a free online quote today.

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