Anyone who owns a house with a lawn will no doubt have encountered the scourge of yards known as Lawn Moss.
Mosses, along with the majority of lawn weeds, mostly take full advantage of areas which are barren in the lawn, or of yards which are sparsely covered at best. Moss flourishes in parts of a yard which are shady, while weeds prefer to dig in where there is direct sunlight available.
The good news is that such Lawn Moss does not eliminate existing grass, like a number of individuals fear. The greatest defense where lawn moss is concerned proves to be a full and vibrant grassy lawn. This article covers the problem of lawn moss, along with efficient ways to prevent it, control it, and address it once it is present in your yard.
Causes of Lawn Moss
Bare patches in a family’s lawn come from a variety of different causes. Some of these are poor lawn drainage, grass varieties which are not appropriate for the climate and area, soil compaction, drought, too much shade, poor ground fertility, an accumulation of thatch, poor mowing practices, diseases, and various other cultural particulars.
Many typical reasons for lawn failure include moss and additional problems with weeds. Through improving these elements in the lawn, you can get healthy, thicker grass. Ironically, a healthy lawn is the central element necessary in successful long term prevention and control of lawn moss.
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Materials and Items Necessary to Fight Lawn Moss
The following materials and items are needed in the war against the persistent foe of lawn moss:
- A small shovel
- A metal rake
- Lawn Lime
- Grass seeds
- Moss Killing Products
Means of Killing Lawn Moss
Lawn moss can be beaten back, this is the best news of all. Weed killer which contain ferrous ammonium sulfate or ferrous sulfate are effective. Some of these brands on the market today include Moss-Kil, Moss-Out, Rid-Moss, and a number of Moss Control featuring Lawn Fertilizers. Soaps which kill algae and moss, like Safer’s, are also effective.
Fortunately, these products have not been proven to cause any harm to the environment. To the contrary, sulfur and iron are necessary nutrients for healthy grass, improving its color.
While it is true that such commercially available moss pesticides will eliminate the currently present lawn moss, if the home owner does not alter the conditions which underlay the problem in the first place, then he or she can rest assured that the lawn moss or different weeds will probably soon put in an unwelcome reappearance.
Reasons Grass Fails
There are a number of reasons why grass could fail in the person’s yard. Poor drainage, lower temperatures, or diseases which are common to the area are among them. Bad drainage, along with an overly compacted soil, may lead to root suffocation or disease. Soil and thatch over-compaction will likely interfere with the movement of water to the roots of the grass, causing a condition known as drought stress.
Controlling and Discouraging Lawn Moss
Among the ways of controlling and discouraging lawn moss is improving the soil pH using dolomitic or agricultural lime. This will increase the nutrients’ availability and offer calcium to the existing grass. It will not eliminate moss directly, though. To do this, the home owner will typically have to directly control lawn moss, as well as to discourage its future development, through the following eight means:
- Employ a product for moss control to eliminate lawn moss in either early spring or late winter.
- Rake out, or de-thatch, dead mosses, utilizing a good metal rake. Because moss contains a shallow and thin root system, it is simpler to remove than are the various different kinds of weeds present in the lawn.
- Pull out any other weeds present utilizing a smaller spade. Weeds that flourish in lawns possess vast root systems which necessitate digging them up and out from under the weed itself for total weed removal.
- Dispose of the weeds and lawn moss in a distant or isolated area. Never put lawn moss and weed remnants on a compost pile which could be utilized later on the yard. Because weed roots and moss spores are persistent, they will spread throughout your lawn easily, if you make this tragic mistake.
- Re-seed areas which are bare, or which had lawn moss and weeds in them before, using a turf-like rye grass or alternatively, a fescue and rye grass mixture. The more grass that the lawn contains, the fewer amounts of space will be available for lawn moss or other pesky weeds to occupy.
- Top dress the just-planted grass seeds with approximately a quarter of an inch of looser soil which is free of weeds, sand, or potting mix.
- Keep the top dressing moist until such seedlings have become well established.
- Maintain the yard as per the suggestions found in the WSU EB 0482 Home Lawns Guide.
Depending on your specifics, the following practices might be used to improve the situation:
- For compacted soil, either utilize a wetting agent, aerate well, or water extra and carefully.
- If lime has not bee utilized in a couple of years, then put down twenty to thirty pounds per every thousand square feet. Especially concentrate on areas that have had lawn moss or weed problems in the past. Lawn lime is useful since it actually boosts the existing soil’s pH factor, which promotes a high nutrient soil rich in minerals that grass requires to grow effectively and well.
- To encourage more sunlight for a healthier and growing lawn, thin tree limbs and trim back any other plants or bushes surrounding the lawn itself. This will also serve to lessen competition on the lawn. Grass needs plenty of sunlight in order to properly photosynthesize and thrive.