How to Get Rid of Moss in Lawns

If your yard is mostly moss, you'll need these handy lawn care tips to get rid of moss in your lawn and promote healthy grass growth. Learn how to remove moss and prevent its growth, plus maintain a yard lush with gorgeous green grass.


Skill
Beginner
Time
One Weekend
Cost
Less Than $500

What You Need for This Project

  1. 1

    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.
  2. Steps:

  1. 2

    Step Things up with Baking Soda

    Try organic options first, with two main ones available:

    • Mix two gallons of room-temperature water with a box of baking soda. Apply it evenly to your lawn where moss is growing, soaking the grass 1/2 to 1 inch below the surface.
    • Use gentle dish detergent and mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of it with one gallon of water. Use a watering can to apply it evenly and thoroughly to your lawn.

  2. Steps:

  1. 3

    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.
  2. Steps:

  1. 4

    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.
  2. Steps:

  1. 5

    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.
  2. Steps:

  1. 6

    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.
  2. Steps:

  1. 7

    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.
  2. Steps:

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

  1. 1

    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.
  2. Steps:

  1. 2

    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.
  2. Steps:

  1. 3

    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.
  2. Steps:

  1. 4

    Prep the Soil

    Tamp the soil and lightly water it, creating welcome conditions for the new moss to thrive in.
  2. Steps:

  1. 5

    Collect Moss for Transplanting

    Dig up clumps of moss — about the size of your outstretched hand — from the area you located earlier. Dig deeply enough to collect the rhizoids that extend into the soil. Collect some of the soil below the moss as well. This will help keep the clumps from drying out.
  2. Steps:

  1. 6

    Transplant the Moss

    Moisten the bottom of the fragments and press them into the soil firmly to remove air pockets. You can leave gaps among the pieces and let the moss fill in as it grows. Use small sticks to hold the moss in place if necessary.
  2. Steps:

  1. 7

    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.
  2. Steps:

How to Terms

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors, or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.


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