Moss can be described as a plant that does not come with any conventional stems, leaves, or roots. It is possible for moss to thrive only where there is moisture since it does not have any vascular structures of stems, roots, and leaves. Being usually hardy in nature, moss has the ability to grow virtually anywhere on land. Although it might appear to be attractive, it has only one objective – total domination, after settling into your lawn. In this article, we have provided some guidelines which will help you to eliminate moss from your lawn effectively.
Reasons for the growth of moss in the lawn
As we have already mentioned, moss has the ability to survive in moist and cool conditions.
- Inadequate drainage – In case the underlying soil does not drain properly and happens to be clayey and compacted, it is possible for it to remain moist following rainfall.
- Lack of proper nourishment – It will be feasible for moss to outcompete grass in case the lawn is not fed properly.
- The lawn’s topology – In case the lawn happens to be at the bottom of a slope and it is not flat, or it features somewhat hollow-shaped areas similar to a saucer, it will be possible for the water to accumulate. Besides bad drainage, this has the ability to make the lawn moist.
- Shade – The lawn tends to become dry in the presence of sunshine and there will be less possibility of waterlogging. Nevertheless, it will be feasible for moss to survive in conditions where the intensity of light is quite less, for example, under trees or in the shade caused by buildings.
- Climate – If your country experiences plenty of rainfall along with a mild climate, moss can cause a serious issue in the long run.
How to get rid of moss from the lawn?
Moss can be considered to be a simple plant featuring shallow roots. It can function as a groundcover on the lawn while consuming space where the grass happens to be quite thin. Fortunately, it is rather simple to remove moss mainly due to its shallow roots.
1. Make use of a rake for breaking apart the moss
It is possible for moss to break apart rather easily since it does not feature a proper root system. The rake has to be pulled in different directions over the mossy region so that it is possible to rip the moss out of the ground very easily. Go on executing this process until there is no more sign of moss in the soil or in the grass. Throw the moss in a compost bin or trashcan after collecting it following its removal.
Here, we like to mention that it will be a good idea to purchase specially made dethatching blades for the lawn mower that will be able to tear up the moss very easily over large surfaces.
2. Sprinkle iron sulfate
Also referred to as ferrous sulfate, iron sulfate has the ability to dry out the moss without causing any harm to the grass which will allow you to remove the moss without any problem at all. The iron sulfate granules have to be poured over the mossy region directly such that it has got uniform coverage. The moss has to be watered comprehensively such that it is possible for the iron sulfate to kill the moss within a short period. However, it will be suggested to wait for several hours before trying to rake the moss from the soil.
- Make it a point to try again the subsequent day in case it is not possible for the moss to dry up after a couple of hours.
- Otherwise, you have the option of pouring granules over the whole lawn surface with the help of a garden spreader so that it is not possible for the moss to develop by any means.
3. Only water the lawn when required
As already mentioned, moss will be able to develop quite quickly in the presence of lots of moisture, and therefore, standing water can be conducive to its growth even faster. Do not water your lawn daily, and instead, wait patiently until there is a sign of stress in the grass. It will be advisable for you to water the grass once again when your footprints will be visible when you walk through it. However, make sure to stop watering once there is a formation of puddles on the lawn. It will be possible for your lawn to develop better by watering it infrequently since this will help the grasses to grow longer with healthier roots.
4. Take the help of chemical methods
Your initial step will be to kill the moss if you like to get rid of it from your lawn. The good thing is that you will easily come across chemical herbicides from the local garden store specially made for destroying the moss. Being iron-based products, these will help to provide food to your lawn while demolishing the moss at the same time. However, make sure to find a herbicide that has been made particularly for moss since in case they are intended for other weeds, they might not provide you with the desired results while damaging the lawn as well.
The perfect time for applying these herbicides will be during the peak growing season of moss. Moss usually develops best during early fall and spring since they like cold and damp weather. However, this does not imply that you cannot use herbicides at other times of the year.
5. Baking soda
This particular ingredient can be considered to be a risk-free and quick solution for getting rid of moss. However, it might not be the best solution for a lawn having recurring and long-term issues.
Use baking soda applying the following process:
- Take 2 tablespoons of baking soda along with some quantity of water and stir gently till it is dissolved completely. The solution has to be poured into a spray bottle.
- Select a warm and sunny day when there is no chance of any rainfall for several days, and use the solution for coating the moss. However, this should be done while avoiding any other plants in the garden.
- Allow the moss to become dry by waiting for a couple of days till its color becomes golden brown.
- Remove the moss from your lawn after digging it up.
Vinegar will be an affordable solution containing acetic acid which will be able to kill the moss in a risk-free manner. You may also use distilled white vinegar in this case.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar along with cold water.
- After pouring the solution into a spray bottle, make sure to spray it on the moss directly so that it becomes soaked.
- This vinegar solution has to be applied daily until the moss finally dies. More vinegar has to be added to the solution in case you do not get the desired results after several days.
- Following the death of the moss, remove it from the lawn after raking it.
7. Spread lime throughout the lawn in case the soil is acidic
Even though it will be possible for moss to develop better in acidic soil, you might increase the pH of the soil by spreading lime. Begin in one particular corner of the lawn after pouring 50% of the lime into the garden spreader. The spreader has to be walked to and fro across the lawn in a horizontal manner until it becomes empty. Following this, walk the spreader in the other direction after filling it with the remaining 50% of the lime.
How is it possible to prevent the development of moss?
In case you want to prevent the development of moss, then you need to make your lawn less friendly to it. Below, we have mentioned several methods to get this done.
- Excessive shade – The exact amount of sunshine required by your lawn is going to depend on the type of grass out there. In general, the majority of the lawns will require approximately 4 to 6 hours of sunlight on a daily basis. In case a large amount of shadow is cast by the branches over a large part of the lawn, make sure to trim them as soon as possible.
- Inadequate soil drainage – It will not be possible for your lawn to drain properly in case an excessive amount of moisture is retained by the soil. It is a fact that drainage issues are going to welcome the development of moss. The type of soil in the lawn will be able to affect the possibility of drainage issues. However, there is no need for you to worry. It will be possible to amend the soil so that it becomes easy for the moisture to penetrate.
- Low soil pH – Make it a point to test the soil of the lawn to figure out whether it consists of the proper nutrients and also whether it is sufficiently alkaline in nature. Generally speaking, the pH level of the lawn must be somewhere between 6.0 and 8.0. The application of lime will be a sensible idea for making the lawn less acidic. Here, we like to mention that regular fertilization and soil amendments will be essential for preparing a healthy lawn.