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Is moss ruining your lawn’s mojo? We get it, moss is persistent — favoring shady and damp areas. Moss is opportunistic and will take over areas of your lawn where the grass is thin and weak. Moss reproduces through spreading spores instead of seeds and is structurally different from common lawn weeds, meaning most herbicides won’t effectively kill it. Many moss species have existed for millions of years, which proves how resilient and adaptable they are to changing conditions and adverse environments.
It’s very easy to pull up moss as they’re shallow-rooted plants, but permanently solving your moss lawn problem is a bigger challenge. But don’t worry! The Golf Course Lawn Store is here to help. Usually, moss is a clear indicator that the environmental conditions of your lawn and soil are not up to scratch.
We’ll look at some of the reasons your lawn might be more susceptible and how to ultimately get rid of lawn moss for good. Read on to discover some professional moss treatment remedies and even DIY moss-killer tips for lawns. Get one step closer to achieving a pristine golf course lawn and become the envy of your neighborhood.
Looking for more lawn-care tips? Take a look at our comprehensive blog on a variety of lawn-maintenance topics.
Before you start your moss lawn treatment, it’s essential to know what’s causing moss growth in the first place. If you’re also struggling with pests and weeds, it could be down to the quality of your soil, which in turn impacts turfgrass’ ability to thrive. Here are a few factors which might explain your moss lawn problem:
Low level of soil nutrients and acidic soil (low pH)
Moss grows more frequently in acidic soil conditions and absorbs all necessary nutrients and moisture from the air. To find out whether or not your soil is too acidic, invest in a home soil pH test kit. A lawn soil test kit will identify nutrient and pH balance deficiencies in your soil. Based on the results, you can use biostimulants and fertilizers to correct nutrient deficiencies and pH adjustments to lower or raise pH levels in your soil.
Compacted soil and poor drainage
Because moss has a shallow root system, compacted damp soil is the perfect environment for it to flourish. Luckily, you can remedy compacted soil by aerating it using a garden fork or a core aeration tool. Core aeration will extract four to six inches of soil from the earth removing plugs of soil. This allows air and moisture to soak into the soil to improve water and fertilizer uptake, strengthening grassroots and discouraging moss growth.
Moss is also a fan of shady areas, so cut back tree branches to reduce shade — or replace thinning grass with mulch where there isn’t enough light for grass to thrive. Dethatching your lawn with a rake can also help with drainage problems.
After you’ve figured out what’s causing your moss lawn problems, it’s time to move on to moss lawn treatment. Diagnosing your lawn problems before you move on to treatment is essential. It can have an impact on other plants as well as your grass and can save you money on lawn care in the long run. The long term effectiveness of moss control for lawns relies heavily on eliminating the conditions that are favorable for moss growth.
Knowing when to apply moss killer or when to start your moss lawn treatment is easy. You can treat moss as soon as it appears for a temporary fix, but if you’re looking for a permanent solution, you’ll need to change the environmental conditions of your lawn. Focus your moss control efforts alongside your fertilization applications in spring and fall, and you’ll be on to a winner.
Some ingredients in commercial moss killers contain corrosive substances that irritate the skin and lungs. Additionally, these chemicals are often hazardous to the environment, so make sure you’re careful about application. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants with gloves and eye protection when you’re spot-treating moss directly. Try to avoid spraying moss killer on other surfaces where chemical run-off is likely.
We’ve established that moss has a shallow root system, so in many cases, you’ll simply be able to rake the moss out of your turf. Use a bow rake or a leaf rake to pull moss from the soil. It’s best to do this when your lawn is damp, as the soil will be slightly looser. Briskly rake the moss from varying angles to pull it up easily and dispose of it properly, ensuring it can’t take root again.
If you want to kill moss directly, but you’re not keen on synthetic chemicals, you can make your own DIY moss killer for your lawn.
Fill a backpack sprayer with two gallons of water combined with one pound of baking soda. Directly spray this formula onto the moss, avoiding other plants as much as possible. Alternatively, combining five ounces of dish soap per gallon of water will also quickly kill moss in a handy DIY remedy.
Does vinegar kill moss?
Another cost-effective DIY moss killer for your lawn is vinegar. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is also effective against weeds. Simply add one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar with a gallon of cold water and apply using a spray bottle. Because vinegar can also damage grass, do your best to limit application to only the moss.
Will lime kill moss?
No, applying lime to your lawn won’t kill moss directly — but it will make the soil more alkaline. Moss favors acidic soil, so a lime application will discourage moss growth in the long term.
Most herbicides aren’t effective against moss. But, if you need a surefire, quick solution to your moss invasion, make sure you choose a targeted product.
Contained in a convenient, ready-to-use spray bottle — no dilution is required. You’ll start seeing results in 15 minutes from this organic weed killer, as it effectively targets moss on contact. Readily biodegradable, this product is also safe to use around people and pets.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The best way to stop moss from growing, as well as other weeds, is to have thick, healthy grass in the first place. Deep-rooted and dense grass won’t have to compete with moss for nutrients, light, and water. Another tip is to think about the grass species you’re using. If your lawn has a lot of shady areas, switch to a shade-tolerant species like Tall Fescue, which will take over from moss once established. It’s far more beneficial and cost-effective in the long-run to consider how you can make your lawn healthier. Instead of temporarily killing the moss — only for it to return with a vengeance.