How Do I Get Rid of Moss on the Grass & Lawn?

Overview

Lawns in many locations and climates contain sections of moss. Although moss causes little damage to surrounding grass, it effects the overall appearance of a landscape. Moss thrives in shady areas with moist, acidic soils. Since healthy lawns resist moss growth, the presence of this type of growth signifies the existence of certain unhealthy conditions in your yard. Remove moss from your lawn by correcting site problems, strengthening the health of your lawn grass and killing patches of existing moss.

Step 1

Rake out mossy areas of your lawn. Scrape out small sections of moss roots with a sturdy rake. If large areas of moss spread over the entire lawn, use a commercial dethatcher to get rid of the moss. Rent this machine from your local rental agency, and run it over your lawn in the month of March. This kills the existing moss but does not prevent new growth. Apply a moss herbicide product to the bare soil. These products contain potassium salts and iron sulfate. Follow this temporary solution by correcting the underlying cause of damp and shady soil conditions.

Step 2

Fertilize your lawn to encourage healthy grass. Apply a nitrogen fertilizer after removing thatch and mossy sections of lawn. Follow the package instructions for preparing and applying your fertilizer to your lawn.

Step 3

Trim overhanging branches on nearby trees. Since moss prefers shady locations, remove lower branches that block the light from reaching the lawn. Use a branch saw to thin out dense areas of trees and remove dead branches and overgrown segments.

Step 4

Repair any drainage problems by removing moss and grass from low areas and filling in with additional soil to raise the height and encourage good drainage. Few types of grass withstand repeated flooding, so raise any areas prone to puddles. Replant these raised areas with a grass variety suitable for use in your climate and lighting conditions. Select shade-tolerant varieties of grass seed to replace moss in areas near trees and structures. Rough bluegrass tolerates both shade and moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use caution when applying chemical products to your lawn. Apply on calm days to avoid wind dispersement.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Dethatcher
  • Herbicide
  • Fertilizer
  • Branch saw
  • Soil
  • Grass seed

References

  • Oregon State University: Controlling Moss in Lawns
  • Oregon State University: Chemical Control of Moss in Lawns
  • University of Connecticut: Moss in Lawns
Keywords: lawn problems, remove moss, kill moss

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.