Lawn Moss – Causes and Removal

To have a moss free lawn first we have to understand what causes moss in the first place. There are a few main reasons why moss will appear on a lawn or maybe you have inherited a moss ridden lawn with a house you have just moved into. Moss will appear on you lawn when the grass is weak or the lawn is patchy, so regular mowing and feeding will go along way in keeping your lawn moss free. We will be looking at how to remove moss but first let’s looks at the causes of moss on a lawn

Causes of moss on a lawn
Shade - If your lawn is in a shady location moss will continue to return. Letting as much light on to the lawn as possible will make your job a lot easier. Try and keep all surrounding hedges pruned and remove as many overhanging branches as is sensibly possible. If buildings are shading your lawn obviously there’s not much we can about this but the idea is to do as much as possible to get the conditions right and working in our favour

Cutting grass too short -This is one of most common reasons why I see moss on people’s lawns. Cutting your lawn as short as you can, might seem like a great idea and with regular weed and feeding and mowing it will be more than possible to have a moss free lawn but trying to cut the grass too short too cutting will weaken it and let moss take advantage and establish itself

Poor drainage – Hard compacted ground or a lawn laid on heavy clay where water remains for prolonged periods are two common causes for moss to appear on your lawn and we all know how moss just loves to grow in damp and wet conditions. Just raking out the existing moss wont get rid of it for very long, you need to do as much as you can to remove the cause by improving the drainage

Drought – I’ve never really been a fan of watering lawns. I personally think the water you do have is best used else where in the garden. Grass is only a short rooted plant and will usually be the first thing in your garden to suffer the prolonged dry period but (and it’s a big but) The good news is it will quickly pick up again when the rain does return. A quick weed and feed will soon remove the moss that has taken advantage of the weakened grass and your lawn will be as good as new

How to remove Moss from a lawn
When it comes to moss, prevention is better than the cure and using the guidelines above you should be able to keep your lawn moss free but sometimes things happen or you inherit a lawn and you find yourself facing the task of having to remove established moss.

Regular cutting (at the right level) and feeding will strengthen the grass and keep it growing well. Remove existing moss by scarifying in spring and autumn. Aerate the lawn by punching holes with a fork or hire a powered hole puncher for bigger lawns (concentrating on the compacted and poorly drained areas we talked about earlier). Then brush in a mixture of compost, agricultural grit and grass seed.

If you’re not adverse to using a chemical based weed and feed then apply your chosen weed and feed as directed on the packet, wait for the moss to blacken before carrying out the scarifying and top dressing process