There are a number of treatments to get rid of moss in your lawn. However, no treatment will keep the moss from coming back unless you correct the problem that caused the moss in the first place. Highly acidic soil, lack of fertility, thin turf, too much shade, poor drainage, soil compaction and turf injuries--all can be culprits causing moss to grow in your lawn. Bare spots are particularly vulnerable to moss. There is no place for moss in a healthy, well-maintained lawn.
Moss can be dug up manually to remove it from your lawn. However, it is much easier to kill it before you remove it. Landscape America.com has a simple, home remedy: Mix a box of baking soda with 2 gallons of lukewarm water. Then, spray the solution on the moss and let it dry. Cryptocidal soaps, available in garden centres and home improvement stores, are another solution. Following manufacturers' directions, the moss is sprayed and then dies off for easy removal.
Correcting Soil Conditions
Lack of fertility can be corrected by applying a nitrogen fertiliser, especially once in the late fall and again in early spring. The healthier your lawn is, the less chance moss has of taking hold. Soil compaction is changed by aerating your lawn annually. Rent equipment to do it yourself, or hire a service to do it. Highly acidic soil gets its pH balanced by spreading lime pellets on your lawn. You should not do this treatment without first doing a soil test. If you treat your lawn with lime pellets, wait one week before fertilising.
Poor Drainage Correction
If your lawn soil is too wet, take a look to see whether the lawn needs thatching before you do anything else. It could be that your lawn has low spots that are collecting water. If so, topsoil needs to be added. Another problem could be areas of your lawn getting too much water from your sprinkler system. You might need to change the frequency of watering in certain zones. As a rule of thumb, never water your lawn at night, because night watering can cause numerous lawn diseases and insect invasions.
Altering Shady Areas
This can be challenging. Unless the area gets at least four hours of full sun per day, a shade-mix grass seed will not grow. You might consider trimming trees and removing shrubs for more sun exposure. Or, take a different approach to your landscaping by replacing sections of lawn in areas that are too shady with shade-loving ground cover or mulch. Local garden centres also have annuals and perennials that thrive in shady areas.
Improving Thin Turf
Top-dress the bare and thin areas with top soil and then reseed. Be sure to keep the newly seed areas moist at all times. Once the lawn fills in, maintain a regular schedule of fertiliser and pest control. Although it is tempting to mow your lawn low so that you don't need to mow so often, it is one of the worst things you can do. Mowing high lets the grass shade itself and flourish throughout its entire growing season.