Unwanted Moss on Your Lawn?

Are you noticing an unwanted layer of moss on your lawn? This might make you wonder many things like how did it get there or how you can fix it. Well, I’m here to appease your curiosity and answer your questions about moss invading lawns.

Despite distracting from the quality and beauty of your grass, moss will not overtake or kill your lawn. Instead, it will fill spaces where your lawn may be thin. A mossy lawn is a good indicator of a deeper problem. As Mr. Buck Farrior, Agritech’s Agronomist put it, “[moss] is more of a symptom than it is a cause of a problem.” Moss on your lawn indicates that your grass has weakened or thinned enough for moss to thrive. There are many potential causes for this, such as excessive shade. Maybe you have a large tree casting a shadow upon your lawn; this might be the root of the problem. Another common cause is high or low pH in your soil. pH determines what nutrients your soil is absorbing. In order to discover if your soil’s pH is part of the problem, it is smart to purchase a soil test.

Soil Tests Help

 Soil tests will tell you any inconsistencies in your lawn, and provide solutions to get your lawn’s pH back on track. Poor lawn care is another major culprit for a mossy lawn. Irregular mowing or minimal fertilizer application are two great ways to neglect your lawn. Other causes of a lawn with moss growth include compact or poorly drained soils or poor air circulation. Mr. Farrior says, “Compaction caused by animals laying on your lawn, or various other things, gives the moss a perfect opportunity to take over.”  Compaction and poor drainage can be resolved by regularly draining your lawn. 

Another common solution to moss is adding limestone; however, it only works if the culprit is low pH. Limestone will bring your soil’s pH up to the appropriate level, and could eliminate the moss if low pH is the cause. If you add limestone to a soil which already has a high pH, this will only add to your lawn’s problems. So, it is best to purchase a soil test before trying this remedy. Iron sulfate can also be used as a temporary option to control moss. The moss will burn away but often reappears soon after. Another option to remedy a mossy lawn is raking out the moss. This is tedious, however, because it requires that you follow the raking with reseeding.

The most efficient solution to the problem is modifying the conditions surrounding your lawn. If you alter the surroundings to favor your lawn, for example by removing trees and shrubs, you are improving the air circulation and light penetration for your grass. This can eliminate the moss problem.

Properly caring for your lawn is a great place to start. Be sure you are fertilizing correctly, mowing correctly, and not over or under watering your lawn. Keep up with these habits and a mossy lawn will be one less problem for you.