Lawn Moss: Why Did it Come & Why Would it Stay
While we all have dealt with lawn weeds at one point or another, lawn moss is a little less common. This fuzzy ground cover thrives in moist soil and cool temperatures. It will take over the spots where the grass is sparse. Moss can be gorgeous as a soft carpet in a thick forest, but it may not be may not be desirable to have growing on your lawn. Take a look at some of the reasons moss may begin to grow in your yard and how to get rid of it.
Environment Built for Moss
Since moss loves cool temperatures and damp soil, it will often begin growing in shaded areas of your lawn. It will also love those low lying areas where water collects after a heavy rainfall. Soils with poor drainage create perfect growing conditions for lawn moss.
Eliminate the Immediate Problem
Making sure your grass stays free of lawn moss starts with removing any existing moss. Use a rake and vigorously rake across the moss. It should peel up like a rug. Since it has no roots, it should easily come away from the soil. Because lawn moss is so resilient, if the conditions in your yard do not change, it will quickly reestablish itself.
Determine Why Moss is Growing
In order to ensure that moss does not continue to grow even after you’ve removed it, you need to figure out what caused the moss to grow in the first place. The ideal environment for moss growth is a terrible environment for your grass. You definitely want to make sure you fix the root of the problem. There are several factors that can lead to great growing conditions for moss: shortage of essential nutrients, high amounts of shade, poor drainage, and a low soil pH level.
Fix the “Why”
In order to combat the lack of nutrients your grass is getting, make sure you fertilize your lawn carefully. Read this blog to find out how. Excessive shade can be avoided by pruning back trees or even removing them entirely. You may also need to send your soil out to get tested to determine its pH level. If the soil is more acidic (a lower pH level), adding lime would help neutralize it. Since moss prefers acidic soil, neutralizing it would help fend off lawn moss. Check out this article from TheSpruce.com for more on soil testing.
Fixing Drainage Issues
Fixing poor drainage issues takes slightly more effort. You may have noticed standing water in your yard at some point after a heavy rain, or maybe the soil contains a lot of clay. This can both indicate poor drainage and add to the draw for the lawn moss. Alternatively, if your soil is heavily compacted, or there is a thick layer of thatch, water cannot drain into the soil and this would also cause moss to grow. Amending the soil by adding more loam, or aerating the ground may be all you need to correct the poor drainage.
Keep Your Lawn Healthy
Following these steps to first remove the lawn moss, then eliminate the cause will ensure the moss does not come back to haunt you. Even though moss may not seem like it is harming your grass, the growing conditions moss requires are. In order to ensure your lawn stays healthy and green, removing the moss is necessary.