Appearing in every color from green to yellow and even red, unwanted lawn moss is the bane of every coastal gardener and an eyesore in an otherwise healthy lawn. Unlike other weeds, lawn moss requires specific conditions for survival including acidic soil, full shade, constantly moist ground and an absence of any other healthy superior plants, such as turf. By eliminating these conditions, most moss is effectively treated and eliminated.
Dethatch the lawn. Dethatching is the process of removing the layer of dead roots and grass stolens that build up just below the grass but above the ground. Over time, this layer prevents air and water flow from reaching the grass roots, thus preventing a healthy lawn.
Water less. Moss thrives in moist areas, especially those that rarely, if ever dry out. During the summer months, space your lawn's irrigation to every three to four days.
Prune back any trees. Cut away as much tree foliage as possible from the affected areas with pruning shears. Foliage naturally blocks light, and healthy turf needs light to flourish. By increasing the amount of sunlight coming through the foliage, the lawn will flourish and choke out any moss.
Correct the soil's pH. Moss thrives in acidic or low pH. Increase the soil's pH with a lime treatment. For a new lawn, use 100 lbs. per 1,000 square feet of space. For an established lawn, sprinkle 35 lbs. per 1,000 square feet.
Use moss-specific herbicides. According to the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension, moss is a primitive plant, so moss herbicides will not kill grasses or plants. The most common ingredients found in moss herbicides include copper, iron and potassium salt. Reapplication of the herbicide every seven to 10 days may be necessary for complete elimination. Once the moss is dead, rake up the dead portions and overseed the area with fresh grass seed.