Lawn Care & Getting Rid of Moss

Written by lois lawrence
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Lawn Care & Getting Rid of Moss
Mossy landscape (Image by, courtesy of Powi) (Per Ola Wiberg)

Despite all your best efforts to grow a lush grassy lawn, you may suddenly find some areas being overtaken by an invader--a dense emerald carpet of low-growing moss. Moss is a hardy plant that thrives easily and multiplies quickly under certain conditions.

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Where Moss Grows

Moss grows best in shady, damp areas and around sidewalks and driveways. In woodlands, moss is most often along the banks of streams.

Lawn Care & Getting Rid of Moss
Moss in a woodland (Image by, courtesy of kilgarron)

Causes of Moss in Home Landscapes

Moss takes over lawns where the soil is too damp or acidic; where the soil is not properly aerated; or where the grass has been clipped too low. It thrives especially well in deep shade.

Lawn Care & Getting Rid of Moss
Moss and mushrooms (Image by, courtesy of Jason Pratt)

Removing Moss

Rake moss to lift and dispose of the cover temporarily and reseed the area with grass. Remember, though, that spores are still present in the soil and the moss cover will re-establish quickly unless you take more action.

Keeping Moss away

Examine the tree canopy in shaded areas where moss has become a problem. Trim as many low-growing branches as possible and open up the canopy as well to let more light reach the mossy area. If your mower has been scalping uneven areas of lawn, add topsoil to low-lying spots.

Add Drainage and Adjust pH

Where dampness is a problem, install drainage or regrade the area to promote runoff of excess water. Finally, test your soil with an inexpensive soil test kit and add pH if necessary following package directions on the test kit.

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