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How to Remove Moss From Lawns

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How to Remove Moss From Lawns

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Overview

Moss is a distinctive plant that can be an asset in a landscape short on ground cover. Unlike grass, it does not require mowing or special care. On the flip side, it becomes a nuisance when it grows in a lawn and detracts from the overall appeal of the yard. Removing moss from your lawn is a two-step process. Moss growth is a sign of problems with the health of your grass. Remove the moss, but then be sure to take care of the condition that led to its growth.

Remove Moss

Step 1

Rake the mossy areas with a thatching rake. Since moss does not have roots that anchor it into the ground, collecting about 75 percent of the plants in this manner is quite easy. It also allows you to keep most of the healthy grass in place.

Step 2

Reseed grass in bare spots. In areas where raking left the ground bare, reseed with grass seed mix appropriate for your area.

Step 3

Spread loose potting soil over reseeded spots. This protects the grass seeds and seedlings from being eaten by birds or injured by too much sun exposure. The layered soil also helps keep the new grass moist.

Step 4

Use ammonium sulfate containing moss killer if the moss comes back. This substance blackens the plants, and you may use the rake to remove it.

Eliminate the Cause

Step 1

Aerate the lawn if the soil is too hard for water to soak in. Rake the lawn with a thatching rake to eliminate dead undergrowth if your lawn seems to stay wet.

Step 2

Fertilize your lawn to replenish nitrogen and keep the grass healthy.

Step 3

Sample your soil's pH level and add lime if the soil is too acid. Grass thrives in soil with a pH between 6 and 6.5.

Step 4

Adjust your lawnmower blades. It is possible to cut a lawn so short that it stunts the grass's growth, which allows moss to take over quickly. Reset the blades to be a bit higher.

Things You'll Need

  • Thatching rake
  • Grass seeds
  • Potting soil
  • Moss killer (optional)
  • Aerator
  • Fertilizer
  • pH test kit
  • Lime

References

  • Pesticide.org: Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides refers to moss as a symptom of lawn problems
  • Lowes.com: Lowes explains shade tolerant grasses

Who Can Help

  • HumeSeeds.com: Hume Seeds discusses moss killers
  • Extension.OregonState.edu: Oregon State University Extension explains opportunistic nature of moss
  • LawnAndMower.com: Lawn and Mower suggests better blade settings for healthier grass
Keywords: Remove Moss, lawn renovation, moss growth

About this Author

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.