How to Kill Moss in a Lawn

Overview

Although for some gardeners moss may be an ornamental feature, others find moss to be a nuisance. Moss is a simple plant with no roots that grows in a dense mat. Moss may be present in damp, shady areas of a lawn where grass does not grow well. The sparse vegetation allows moss to establish a foothold in the lawn, but moss does not kill existing vegetation. Fortunately, removing moss from your lawn is a matter of removing the conditions that cause moss to thrive.

Step 1

Prune surrounding vegetation to allow sunlight into the mossy area. Since moss prefers shade, this will cause it to dry up and die.

Step 2

Rake the moss where it lies to pull it up from the ground.

Step 3

Seed the bare area where moss used to be with grass seed to crowd out moss.

Step 4

Mulch grass seed with compost to a depth of ¼ inch.

Step 5

Water mulch to germinate grass seeds. Keep soil damp to the consistency of a wrung out sponge until seeds are established.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rake
  • Grass seed
  • Compost
  • Garden hose

References

  • Washington State University: Moss Control in Lawns
  • Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides: Pesticide-Free Techniques for Dealing with a Mossy Lawn
  • Oregon State University: Chemical Control of Moss in Lawns

Who Can Help

  • Ed Hume Seeds: Moss in the Lawn
Keywords: lawn problems, moss growth, weakened grass

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.