How to Get Rid of Moss in Lawn: 3+ Steps to End the Struggle

How to get rid of moss in lawn – it’s an age old problem. When it comes to weeds, moss is right up there with the most persistent. Despite its vivid green appearance, it spoils the look of your otherwise beautiful lawn. And you don’t know what to do next to eliminate this annoying weed.

Every time you manage to get rid of it, it comes back with a vengeance. Its tenacity is wearing you down – quite literally. Almost to the point where you are thinking of allowing the moss free reign.

If only there were a way to end the struggle between the grass in your lawn and moss. The battle to suppress moss starts here. In this article, you’ll discover the secret success tips top greenkeepers use to remove moss, without it coming back. The answer may surprise you, so read on to end the conflict now.

What Is Moss?

Moss (growing in appropriate places) is fascinating. Did you know mosses are ancient plants dating back some 450 million years with between 15,000 – 25,000 species? That’s a lot!

Able to survive in extreme conditions, this tiny plant delivers a mighty force for biodiversity across the world. Whilst they tend to prefer shady, damp conditions, certain species thrive in harsh, arid desert settings.

This powerful plant adds significantly to our ecosystem. From covering the roofs of houses to reducing the speed at which ice thaws, it’s clear there’s much more to moss than first thought.

To gain more of an understanding of this curious plant, check out 7 interesting facts about moss from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Why Does Moss Grow on My Lawn?

Although moss is not competitive or aggressive, as some weeds are, it is opportunistic. And it is this aspect of moss that is the key to removing it from your lawn.

By understanding why moss grows and in what conditions, you will be able to take action and eliminate it from your backyard.

Here are the main reasons moss grows in your lawn:

  • Lack of lawn care
  • Poor air circulation
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Poor drainage
  • Lack of sun
  • Compacted soil
  • Unbalanced soil pH

As stated before, moss is an opportunist weed. Whenever a weakness in your lawn is exposed, weeds and moss will move in. When a combination of two or more of these reasons comes into play, moss will be in evidence.

Take for instance the difficulty you experience growing grass under a tree. The deep shade, and compacted soil, combined with poor air circulation means grass struggles to grow.

It’s not only dry, compacted soil that attracts moss. You will also find it flourishing in boggy soils where poor drainage allows water to sit in puddles. The moss soaks up water like a sponge. And it is this spongy texture which will help point you in the direction of moss in your lawn.

The only way to combat moss in turf is to change the soil conditions, so healthy grass grows instead.

How to Get Rid of Moss in Lawn

There really are only 3 ways to get rid of moss in lawn. And they are all a prelude to eliminating moss forever.

  • Rake method
  • Organic method
  • Chemical method

Rake Lawn to Remove Moss

This method is good when you only have a small amount to fetch out. Because of the shallow rooting system on moss, it is reasonably easy to remove using either a spring tine fan-shaped rake or a strong garden rake.

It must be said, raking will not fetch out all the moss. But it’s a way to start the process and remove as much as possible in a safe way. By combining raking with one of the other methods, you remove it all.

You will want to work the rake around lifting the moss up from different angles. The action is rather like sweeping a floor with a besom broom with a flick of the wrist – imagine Cinderella in the cellar!

Once you’ve loosened the moss, bag it up and throw it into the trash can. Moss is spread by spores, so don’t give it an opportunity to continue growing.

Organic Moss Removal Method

Organic moss removal combines the raking with spraying. Using a baking soda or dish soap solution, spray the moss. Wait 2 3 days for the moss to dry out and turn golden brown in color. Then rake or dig up to remove once dead.

If using baking soda:
Dissolve 1 box of soda in 2 gallons of lukewarm water

If using dish soap:
Dissolve 5 ounces of dish soap per 1 gallon of water. You may like to try a horticultural soap
such as Safer. Horticultural soap won’t harm the environment.

Chemical Moss Removal Method

Choose a moss killer with iron sulfate or ferrous ammonium sulfate in. Dissolve about 1 ounce per gallon of water and spray onto the moss. Always follow the instructions on the package for best results.

Again, wait 2-3 days for the moss to die back, and then rake out and dispose.

How to Keep Moss Permanently Removed

As discussed above, the only way to ensure moss remains eradicated is to grow healthy grass.

Create a good lawn management program. By including dethatching, aeration, and fertilizing regularly you will encourage vigorous growth. Strong, healthy grass gives no room for weeds or moss to muscle in.

Here’s our checklist to ward off moss:

Manage soil pH levels – best pH levels for growing healthy grass is between 6.5-7.0. Too acidic, and grass is unable to absorb nutrients. Moss will grow in very acidic soils.

Enough drainage – without good aeration and drainage your grass will wither. Moss is a water lover! Don’t give moss the opportunity to take over.

Adequate sunlight – moss is a shade junky. It thrives in dark, damp spots. Keep surrounding trees and shrubs well pruned to let light and air circulate across your lawn.

Grow Thick, Healthy Grass to Get Rid of Moss

There’s nothing like prevention rather than cure for getting rid of moss. By growing healthy grass you’ll stop weeds and moss in their tracks. Follow our steps to end the struggle and eradicate moss forever.

Once you’ve removed your moss problem, you’ll be on your way to growing a lush, vibrant lawn.

For more helpful advice on growing the perfect backyard lawn, take a look at our articles. Seasonal information helping you tackle your lawn problems.

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