Other Lawn Problems
How to Remove Moss from the Lawn
Got the Green and Fuzzies? You've Got Moss
At first, maybe you don’t see it in the yard. After all, it’s green. But, when you look more closely, that shady part of your lawn has turned into fuzz. Moss may look nice on rocks and trees, but in lawns it means trouble. Controlling moss in the lawn starts with understanding why you have moss growing in the first place.
Moss is a shallow-rooted plant that spreads by spores and root-like structures called rhizoids. It loves to grow during the grey, wet days of late fall and early spring. Moss won’t overtake or kill your lawn but rather it fills in the spaces where the lawn is thin. If your lawn is struggling and you have moss filling in the gaps, it’s a good indication that you have a deeper problem — compacted soil, poor drainage, low soil pH, or not enough sunlight.
Prevention and Maintenance
Moss controls are most effective when moss is actively growing which is usually during the cool, wet spring and fall. Before application, areas where moss is growing should be mowed shorter to expose the moss. Iron-based moss control products, such as Scotts® Moss Control Granules or Scotts® Turf Builder® with Moss Control which also feeds the lawn, are very effective at controlling moss. Shortly after treatment the moss will turn black and die.
Preventing Moss from Returning
Control of moss requires more than just killing off the existing moss in the lawn. The best way to prevent moss from returning is to correct the underlying reason the moss started growing in the first place.
- If areas of the lawn are receiving less than 3 hours of sunlight per day, trim tree branches to allow more sunlight to reach the lawn. For areas of the lawn that only receive 6-8 hours of filtered sunlight or 3-4 hours of direct sunlight, plant a shade tolerant grass.
- Good lawn practices will help your lawn grow thick and keep moss at bay. Feed regularly and mow at the highest recommended height for your grass type to encourage deep rooting.
- Moss grows better than grass in wet, poorly drained soils. Aerate compacted soils and incorporate rich, composted material, like Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Soil™ to help improve drainage. Only water the lawn when it’s needed — 1 inch of water per week is all most lawns need.
Moss in Other Areas of the Yard
Moss will also grow on hard surfaces especially in shady, damp areas of the yard. While they won’t damage the surface they’re growing on, they can make patios, steps, porches, and sidewalks slippery. Use a product that is safe to use on hard surfaces, like Scotts® 3-in-1 Moss Control Ready-Spray® which kills moss, algae and lichens without staining.