Solving a Moss Problem in Your Lawn

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Moss can be a nuisance to have in your lawn. Whenever you are having difficulty growing grass in a portion or all of your lawn, moss begins to take its place. This is because moss can thrive in conditions that are not as advantageous for grass.

Taylor’s Do it Center has two products for directly killing moss in your lawn:  the Ortho Moss B Gon Liquid Moss & Algae Killer, that kills moss almost instantly, and Scotts Moss & Algae Killer Control Granules, for killing moss that is growing throughout your lawn. Once the moss is taken care of, it’s up to you to prevent it from coming back.  

Why Is There Moss in Your Lawn?

To keep moss away forever, you need to determine why your grass is unable to grow in those areas where moss can. Unless you fix the problems that are killing the grass, the lack of grass will give an open space for moss to grow back in your yard.

Possible problematic conditions for grass include:

  • Too much shade

  • Compacted soil

  • Poor water drainage

  • Acidic soil

In this article, we cover what could be contributing factors to why your lawn supporting moss growth rather than grass and what you can do about it.

If Your Grass Is Struggling in the Shade

Everyone who has ever shown concern for their lawn has had to deal with the negative effects of shade. With most grass varieties requiring at least 4 hours of direct sunlight, those big trees that look nice in your overall landscaping design could be under threat of axing.

Instead of yelling “timber,” prune your trees where you can to allow your grass access to that much needed sunlight. Then, after raking out the moss, apply Scotts Dense Shade Mix Grass Seed to your lawn, focusing on those now vacant areas. With as little as 3 hours of sunlight, this seed mix thrives even under dense foliage and can repair bad patches of grass and send that moss packing.

Compacted Soil Doesn’t Bother the Moss

Aeration is a big part of encouraging healthy growing grass and fighting off moss. If areas of your lawn are not aerated appropriately, the soil can become too compact for grass to grow. This doesn’t affect moss, and it doesn’t mind setting up shop where the grass can’t grow well.

To combat compaction, use either a handheld tool or a core aerator to aerate the parts of your lawn where there is a lot of moss. Then, overseed the aerated soil. The roots of the new grass will be able to absorb water and nutrients with ease, promoting healthy and strong grass growth; strong enough so that moss won’t be able to knock them down.

Poor Soil Drainage Make for a Moss-Friendly Swamp

While moss thrives in wet conditions, your grass doesn’t. If you’re find a higher concentration of moss in the lower-lying areas of your yard, this is probably the cause.

Water your lawn or wait until it rains to assess where your lawn might not be draining properly. Take note of puddles that form, or areas that stay wet for longer periods of time. If these issues are prevalent, it might be beneficial to improve the soil drainage of your yard.

You will also want to consider whether your watering schedule is over-watering your lawn. Keep in mind that grass only needs less than 1.5’’ of water a week, while moss can even survive underwater.

Applying Lime to Acidic Soil

Lime is often the go-to weapon against a moss infestation in your lawn. The reason for this is that a highly acidic soil can be more conducive to moss than grass. Applying a treatment of lime to your soil can solve this issue by raising the pH level and reaching a lower acidity that your grass will like but the moss will not.

It is important to note, however, that we have discussed quite a few possible remedies in this blog post before talking about lime because it should be done cautiously. Grass requires a fairly neutral pH level to thrive and you should only apply lime if you know that the pH is too low for grass growth. Otherwise, you risk creating soil that is too basic for grass, or most any other plants, to grow. A soil test kit can test for pH, nitrogen, phosphorus and potash levels to assess whether applying lime is your best course of action.

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As you can see from these suggested ways to rid your yard of moss, a good offense is the best defense. Creating a healthy and growing lawn ensures that your lawn is thick and lush, leaving no room for moss. Stop by a Taylor’s location near you to pick up your lawn care supplies to get started.

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