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Treatment of Moss in Lawns - Lawn Moss Killer - How to prevent Moss in your Grass.

Moss in your Grass

Lawn in serious need of moss killerLawn in serious need of moss killer

If you really want to eradicate moss from your lawn, then you have to find out the actual problem that is causing it, rather than just treating it. The reasons are various, but not too difficult to isolate.

They can be one or several of the causes outlined below.

The latter is also available as a ready to use 'Moss Gun' for small patches. Neither do anything by way of treating the basic problem of moss in lawns. They simply are simply Lawn Moss Treatments - killing the moss which is there. It will return. You can also use lawn sand.

Treatment of Moss in your Lawn

Boy showing the growing moss amongst the green lawnBoy showing the growing moss amongst the green lawn

Moss in Lawns is probably one of the least understood of all grass lawn problems. Treating or killing the moss is not the answer. Moss is a sign that something is basically wrong with your lawn. Too often, gardeners attempt to kill moss in lawns without tackling the problem that actually causes it. They are helped to this decision by the huge range of 'moss killers' and Lawn Moss Treatment available at local garden centres. Moss in Lawns is one of the largest lawn problems.

There are two basic lawn moss killers for lawns that are available - Ferrous Sulphate and Dichlorophen. One or the other is usually incorporated into typical lawns Feed and Lawn Moss killer combinations.

  • Waterlogging - in winter or summer.
  • Poor feeding regime - usually denoted by light green grass.
  • Acid soil - carry out a test.
  • Shaded Lawns - overhanging trees or large shrubs.
  • Mowing lawns too close - a common cause, for it weakens the grass - allowing moss to take hold
  • Drought - if severe enough to harm or kill the grass. Not to be confused with a bit of summer-browning
  • Sandy - free-draining soils. This can weaken the grass and allow moss to take over. Some mosses are quite happy in these conditions.
  • Compaction - continued use by children and pets with no remedial attention by way of aeration in the Autumn.

Simply using Lawn Moss Killer, will only kill off the current growth. You should aim at dealing with the basic problem.

Generally, lawns that are well maintained - which includes being well fed, cut properly, aerated and not allowed to develop thatch - then the problems which result in moss will not occur in the first place. Moss can rarely compete with strong growing grass in lawns. It is allowed to develop andtake a hold when the grass growth is weak. Get the grass growing properly and the likelihood is that your lawn will not suffer from moss problems.

Treating small areas of lawn moss can be carried out with a lawn moss treatment or lawn moss killer containing Dichlorophen. After a couple of weeks, you can rake out the dead moss and re-seed. If you need to use a feed for the area, it is better to feed the whole lawn in order to avoid patchiness!

Assuming that you have inherited a lawn with a moss problem, you should carry out the following maintenance regime - rather than simply treating the moss which is there. (The details of all operations are to be found elsewhere in this section. Quick fixes just do not work, other than to kill the moss which is present.) Unless you tackle the underlying problem, the moss will return!

Seasonal Care and Lawn Moss Treatment

island of forest soil, moss, grass and mushrooms isolated on white backgroundisland of forest soil, moss, grass and mushrooms isolated on white background

Spring Lawn Moss Treatment

  • In Spring, apply a Ferrous Sulphate based moss-killer to the whole affected area. Or you can use Lawn Sand.
  • Two weeks later, rake out the dead moss.
  • Re seed the bare areas.

Summer Lawn Moss Treatment

  • Early Summer, apply a lawn fertilizer to get the grass growing again
  • Mow the lawn properly, regularly, throughout the summer - NOT too short
  • Keep the lawn well watered i n drought conditions to allow the new grass to keep growing.
  • Take note of any areas of dense shade on your lawn, and try to minimize this if possible.

Autumn Lawn Moss Treatment

  • In Autumn, give the lawn a good raking or mechanical scarifying, and aerate.
  • Apply top dressing at this time if the lawn is either uneven, or in need of an organic 'injection'. Particularly useful on weak sandy soils.
  • Carry out a soil test at some stage in the summer/autumn to assess the acidity of the soil. If in need of adjustment, then lime can be applied in the autumn.

Winter Lawn Moss Treatment

  • Keep off lawns in the winter months in order to avoid compaction of the surface.

If by the autumn, your lawn is growing well, then most if not all of the moss in your lawn will have been controlled or even eradicated. Further spot treatments may be needed, or maybe even a full treatment for most lawns again the following spring.

Dry Soils and Moss

  • Dry soil is susceptible to mosses which tend to grow in upright habit with small leaves.
  • Damp, compacted and waterlogged lawns usually results in mosses that have a creeping habit.
  • Cushion habit mosses usually state that you are mowing the grass too short.
A close look at the enlarged image will see that the scarcity of grass in this lawn is allowing the moss to take over.

First signs of moss taking hold in this generally uncared-for lawn. It has a build-up of thatch, and has been lacking in proper care and attention resulting in poor grass that leads the way open to moss taking over. The maintenance regime as outlined above for moss in lawns would do much to alleviate this problem.

Moss in New Turf

Lawn care - verticut, thatch the grass, aerating and scarifying the lawn in the garden. Improving the quality of the lawn by removing old grass and mossLawn care - verticut, thatch the grass, aerating and scarifying the lawn in the garden. Improving the quality of the lawn by removing old grass and moss

If you are buying turf from a turf supplier, you should unroll the turves and inspect for any signs of mass in the turf. If there is any trace of moss in the turf,then it is a sure sign that there will be other problems with the turf as well, and basically it has not been grown with the care and attention you should expect!

Simply treating or killing the moss in your lawn is not the answer. By far the best Lawn Moss killer Treatment is to make sure that your grass is growing properly!

From the Mailbox

Dethatching the Lawn with an Electric DethatcherDethatching the Lawn with an Electric Dethatcher

Question and Answer

Q. After reading your article online about using moss killer, I have a question. Why do people use moss killer at all? Moss is easy to rake up and kill without using it. And if dies due to the use of the killer, it still has to be raked up--especially if the area is to be reseeded. Most of my lawn is a carpet of moss. If I would have used moss killer when the moss confined to a certain area, would it have helped prevent it from spreading? Just wondering..... Thank you, Garry

Thanks for your mail and observations.
The short answer to your last question, is 'no'. Mosskiller simply kills the 'visible' problem. The cause does not go away - a lawn that needs attention as outlined in the article. Using mosskiller is a quick fix, not dissimilar to applying cosmetics to wrinkles. However, in the case of moss, you can remedy the underlying problems!