Rake it Out
Because moss has shallow roots, you may be able to get rid of it simply by raking it out. Vigourously rake your grass to ensure the moss comes out. A bit of grass might also come out, but grass has longer roots and will be able to survive a thorough raking.
Step Things up with Baking Soda
Try organic options first, with two main ones available:
Test the pH of Your Soil
Use a kit to determine the pH of your soil. Sometimes if your soil is too acidic, you may need a more alkaline soil to effectively compete with moss. Garden lime is a good tool to use in this case, as are compost and fertilizer.
Check the Moisture Content of Your Lawn
One of the strongest signs of a poor-draining lawn is water that puddles in areas and doesn't dissipate. Poor-draining soil, such as a high clay content or high-traffic areas, can create excellent growing conditions for moss.
To combat high clay content, help it drain better by adding organic carbon, humus, compost, manure, or other organic matter.
And if the cause of poor drainage is soil compaction, aerate your lawn. Cool-season grasses should be aerated in the early fall, while warm-weather grasses should be aerated from mid-spring to early summer.
Reduce Excessive Shade
Moss likes dark, cool conditions, so reducing the amount of shade covering it can help eliminate moss. Prune branches or shrubs that may be casting nearby shadows or plant shade-resistant grass (such as fescue) to help crowd it out.
Keep an Eye out for Other Stressors
Lawns that are injured from other stresses will also be susceptible to moss growth. Insects, disease, excessive foot traffic, and damage from pets make it difficult for turfgrass to grow. Moss can begin filling in bare spots.
If you keep your grass too short, this will also damage the grass and provide an opportunity for moss growth.
Pesticides: The Last Resort
Moss killing products containing potassium soap of fatty acids or ferrous sulfate can also help you kill moss by drying it out. Follow the application and safety instructions. Once the product has had time to work, rake up the moss.
Tip: Ferrous sulfate can stain concrete sidewalks, driveways, patios, and other surfaces, so apply carefully and sweep up any excess or spills.
Note: When using lawn treatments or lawn-care products, always follow package directions regarding proper clothing, protective equipment, application procedures, and safety precautions.
Moss as a Lawn Alternative
Allowing moss to become established is one alternative if removing it permanently requires more effort than you want to invest. If conditions in your lawn favor moss, you can take advantage of them. Moss provides low-effort, year-round green for your landscape and can do well where grass struggles. If your lawn is failing but moss is thriving, you can remove the grass and let the moss take over. This is the simplest method.
How to Transplant Moss
Find a Good Place for the Moss
Determine where you want the moss to grow and look around your landscape for moss that is thriving under similar conditions.
Clean the Surface of the Moss
Remove the plants and grass from the area where you want to establish the moss and rake the location free of leaves and twigs.
Check the pH of the New Soil
Perform a soil test in the area you want to transplant the moss to. Mosses prefer a low pH level (soil that's acidic), so use sulfur to lower the pH level if necessary.
Prep the Soil
Tamp the soil and lightly water it, creating welcome conditions for the new moss to thrive in.
Collect Moss for Transplanting
Transplant the Moss
Water Thoroughly & Regularly
Keep the area well-watered until the moss becomes established. This could take several weeks. Once established, it should only need watering during extended hot, dry periods.
How To Terms
- Rake it Out
- Step Things up with Baking Soda
- Test the pH of Your Soil
- Check the Moisture Content of Your Lawn
- Reduce Excessive Shade
- Keep an Eye out for Other Stressors
- Pesticides: The Last Resort
- Find a Good Place for the Moss
- Clean the Surface of the Moss
- Check the pH of the New Soil
- Prep the Soil
- Collect Moss for Transplanting
- Transplant the Moss
- Water Thoroughly & Regularly
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