moss

Moss in lawns

Why is moss a problem?

Moss is widely considered a serious problem in lawns. It competes with lawn grasses for water, light and nutrients and eventually will become the dominant plant and causes the lawn to look patchy.  It does not mow well and just makes a lawn look uncared for.  The presence of moss shows that there are probably other problems causing the moss to thrive.  Diagnosing the cause is usually the first step to controlling it.

Causes of moss in lawns

Here are some of the most common causes of moss:

  • acidic soil conditions – moss prefers acid soils
  • highly shaded areas – grass struggles in shade and this causes a thinner sward which enables the moss to overcome the grass completely.
  • mowing too short – moss can withstand lower cutting heights than lawn grasses typically which means as you reduce the height it invites the moss to take up residence
  • wet conditions – lawns that typically lie wet and damp also invite moss to grow more readily.  The cause of these conditions needs further diagnosis such as type of soil, a build-up of thatch, soil compaction etc
  • thin weak grass coverage – reasons for this vary from a lack of proper nutrition for the grasses

Controlling moss in lawns

As you can see some moss issues are short term and are caused by poor lawn care.  These issues can be put right by improving the quality of lawn care.  Others are more structural and longer-term and require additional treatment and cultural operations to put right.  Whilst it is difficult to totally eradicate moss from lawns that have a problem the good news is that moss can be controlled by attending to the different problems in the appropriate way.  Good lawn care practices can help:

  • Improve lawn nutrition with an all year round lawn treatment plan
  • treat moss every year to stop it from building up
  • aerate the lawn to improve drainage and oxygen in the root zone of the lawn
  • reduce heavily shaded areas by removing overhanging branches and crown lifting trees in the lawn areas.

Will my moss come back again?

To be honest – almost certainly.  The knack of good lawn care is to keep on top of moss – that is to control it rather than eradicate it.  It helps to understand a little bit about moss to understand the idea of control rather than eradication.  It is a very simple type of plant that lacks conventional roots, stems and leaves.  Moss is a non-vascular plant that is non-flowering and reproduces using spores rather than seeds as they are non-flowering.  This means that under the right conditions moss will almost certainly attempt to strike back.  Moss loves bare patches and moist conditions.  Whatever causes Regular control is the means to ensure the lawn grasses are always winning the battle.

GreenHeart Lawn Care and moss control

GreenHeart can significantly reduce your moss problem.  The best defence against moss is a well looked after lawn, a regular treatment programme to provide nutrition to the grass and regular moss control to keep moss at bay.  Consistency is important – doing the right things at the right time, in the right way season after season.   See our moss control page for more details.  Our Essential Annual Treatment programme includes two treatments in the autumn and again in the winter.  We use a deep penetrating moss treatment that kills lawn moss.  We would usually recommend scarifying moss to remove it after has died back after being treated.  This leaves the grass in a much stronger position to grow well. On this programme, we continually monitor your lawn for problems and issues and if moss shows signs of rearing up we will take care of it for you.  However, we have exceptionally successful results in dramatically diminishing the volume of moss in lawns and keeping on top of it.