How to Kill Moss in Lawns


If your lawn is overly wet or shaded, any open patches in the grass can become covered in moss. Though the carpet-like green growths are not as invasive as the typical weed, moss can be an eyesore and compete with your grass for space and soil nutrients. Change the environment of your lawn to deter the growths and kill off any present moss to restore the health and beauty of your lawn.

Step 1

Prune back nearby shrubs and overhanging tree brances to increase sunlight on your lawn. Also, reduce watering as much as possible as appropriate for your lawn species. Mosses thrive in shaded, moist environments. Drying out your lawn can help kill it and prevent new growths.

Step 2

Aerate your lawn with a handheld aerator or a mechanical aerator. This further helps dry out the soil to kill moss. Additionally, moss tends to be attracted to dense, compact soil, and aerating the soil deters the plants from appearing or spreading.

Step 3

Kill the moss with an herbicide formulated with ferrous or copper sulfate and intended for use on lawns for moss control. This quickly eliminates the growths. Apply according to the herbicide's label, as toxicity varies by brand. Typically, you'll mix 3 oz. of the sulfates with several gallons of water and spray it across your lawn, focusing on areas with moss.

Step 4

Rake away the dead moss and discard.

Step 5

Plant grass in the areas that once had moss immediately after removing the growths. This helps prevent moss from returning. Sow with grass seed or add sod or grass plugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning equipment
  • Aerator
  • Ferrous or copper sulfate moss herbicide
  • Rake
  • Grass seeds, plugs or sod


  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed and Growing Every Season of the Year;" David Mellor; 2003
  • "Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard;" Nick Christians, et al.; 2007
Keywords: kill moss, lawn moss, remove moss in lawns

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.