How to Treat Moss on a Lawn


Moss does not kill or harm grass. It is an opportunistic plant that grows in areas that lack lawn growth and appear bare. Many homeowners find moss within a lawn to be unsightly. Moss occurs when a lawn is weak, sick, suffers from excessive thatch or lacks nutrients to flourish. Encouraging a healthy lawn throughout the year will prevent moss from becoming a problem. Once moss establishes itself in a lawn, a homeowner can easily take steps to remove it and then focus on prevention of future moss growth.

Step 1

Mix 3 oz. iron sulfate with 5 gallons of water in a garden sprayer. Spray the areas of moss using the garden sprayer. Spray only 1,000 square feet of moss with 5 gallons of water. Moss will begin to turn brown and die within two weeks of application.

Step 2

Spray the moss using copper sulfate if the iron sulfate does not adequately kill the moss after two weeks, or the moss begins to regrow. Mix 2 to 5 oz. of copper sulfate into 4 gallons of water in a garden sprayer. Spray over 1,000 square feet of lawn.

Step 3

Rake away the dead moss and dispose of it. Raking will also help dethatch the lawn.

Step 4

Apply lime to the lawn once the moss is removed if the soil does not have a pH between 6.5 to 7. Soil that is below 6 is considered to be acidic, and moss flourishes in acidic soil. Applying lime will help the soil attain a more alkaline structure to prevent future moss growth. Follow the directions on the lime label for application.

Tips and Warnings

  • Copper sulfate can stain hands, clothing and metal containers. Ferrous ammonium sulfate is often used to kill moss in a lawn but will stain walkways, driveways and stepping stones.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron sulfate
  • Garden sprayer
  • Copper sulfate
  • Lime
  • Rake


  • Oregon State University: Chemical Control of Moss in Lawns
  • Washington State University: Moss Control In Lawns
  • Northwest Coalition For Alternatives To Pesticides: Moss Control

Who Can Help

  • Lawn and Mower: Moss -- lawn weed causes and treatments
Keywords: moss lawn control, moss control, killing lawn moss, controlling lawn moss

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.