If you are looking for ways on how to get rid of moss in lawn, chances are that this tiny plant has already started to take over your precious garden.
Everyone wants a lively lush green lawn. But if that greenery is coming from the growth of moss, people have differing views.
Some homeowners think that moss is good for their lawns because it controls soil erosion and helps retain vital nutrients.
It can add to the aesthetic beauty of home gardens especially by filling in those empty spaces where the grass has already died down.
However, for other garden enthusiasts, moss tends to be a nuisance.
This is because it attracts various bugs and quickly becomes home to insects such as spiders, worms, ants, and mites.
Plus, the growth of moss discourages the growth of grass, and can be detrimental to the health of surrounding garden plants.
Since you are here, it’s our fair guess that you belong to the second category of gardeners.
But before we move on to explain how to get rid of moss in lawn, it would help to know what exactly moss is and whether or not it can cause any harm to you and your loved ones.
What is Moss?
Moss refers to a species of tiny herbaceous plants in the Bryophyta family.
These plants are quite small (generally a few centimeters tall), have no woody parts, and are non-vascular in nature.
Non-vascular means that these plants do not produce flowers, fruits, or even seeds for that matter. Moss reproduces through spores instead.
You can think of the moss as algae’s older sister.
Is Moss Harmful?
Some homeowners believe that moss can be harmful to them or their pets. However, that is not the case. Moss itself is harmless in the sense that it does not produce any toxic fumes or spread any dangerous spores.
While some types of garden weeds can be poisonous to humans or pets, moss will do no harm even if it is accidentally ingested.
It is free of irritants and, despite dense growth, lacks the weight and mass to cause any damage to physical structures such as roof shingles.
The only reason why moss is considered to be harmful to gardens is because of its ability to retain moisture.
It creates damp velvety patches that various garden pests and insects love to live in.
Plus, its moisture-sucking ability means that other plants growing in the vicinity might not be able to get the desired amount of water from both soil and the surrounding air.
Thus, it is usually a good idea to get rid of moss because it can alter the natural ecosystem of your lawn.
3 Ways to Kill Moss In Your Lawn
There are several different ways to get rid of moss in your lawn.
These can be broadly classified into two main categories: physical removal and chemical removal.
Read on to learn more about the different methods for moss removal included in each category.
Dethatching Your Lawn
Dethatching, also known as scarification, refers to the process of physically removing moss and other unwanted organic materials from your garden floor.
If you have a relatively small lawn and there are only a few patches of loose moss spread here and there, you might be able to pull them out by hand.
Alternately, you can use a spring-tine rake too. Rake through the unwanted patches with sufficient force to pull the tiny plants out from the ground.
Physically removing the moss is preferred over the use of strong chemicals designed for the purpose because by spraying these agents over your garden floor, you risk killing off the perfectly healthy plants too.
Even if you have a large lawn and raking it requires too much time and effort, avoid using chemical until it is absolutely necessary. You can buy a dethatching blade for your lawn mower to get rid of moss in no time.
Moreover, there are power rakes available for rent. These rakes feature a spinning blade that loosens thatch for clean up.
Dish Soap Spray
Using a dish soap spray is one of the simplest and safest methods to get rid of moss in lawns. It is a tried and tested technique that is equally popular among expert and novice gardeners alike.
There are many advantages of using a dish soap spray for moss removal. To begin with, it doesn’t require you to spend any extra dollars on lawn care as you can easily whip up this mixture from existing kitchen supplies.
Secondly, it can be prepared in less than a minute and only takes a few more to effectively spray all over the affected areas. Plus, unlike other ways to get rid of moss, this method is neither heavy on your muscles nor on the otherwise healthy plants.
To prepare your own homemade moss-killing spray, you need:
- Dish wash soap (preferably one with a mild cleaning action)
- Clean water
- Spray bottle
Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do next:
- Combine 2 ounces of a mild dish wash liquid with approximately one gallon of water. Stir gently to properly mix both the ingredients.
- Fill the mixture in a clean and empty spray bottle. If you don’t have an old one lying around, you can buy it from any home or garden store.
- Holding the bottle a few inches above the target area, spray the mixture directly over the moss patches. Spray generously to make sure these tiny invaders are completely drenched in the solution.
- Leave the solution to dry naturally. You will notice that the green velvety patches start turning orange after a few hours before changing into brown.
- After 24 hours, you can rake the yard to remove all the dead moss.
- There is no need to add fertilizers or anything to the treated areas because surrounding grass will automatically grow over it after a few days.
- A two-gallon mixture will suffice for a lawn with an area of about 1000 square feet. If you need to spray over larger areas, double the ratio defined above for every 1000 square feet of garden floor.
Note: To dispose off the dead moss, never add it to the compost box as the spores from the plant can easily spread over the area again. Rather, take it an isolated area and bury under the ground.
Many homeowners advocate the effectiveness of glyphosate herbicides in killing unwanted moss. However, you need to be careful as using this chemical hastily end up killing your beloved plants too.
Glyphosate works by being absorbed into the roots of the plant. It then gets transferred to the leaves, eventually causing the whole plant to die.
If you are willing to try a glyphosate herbicide for killing moss, we suggest that you do so only if there are no other plants in the vicinity that might be affected by the chemical.
Also, don’t forget to carefully read the instructions on the product and follow them to a T to avoid any possible health risk.
Iron-sulfate solutions are rarely used by home gardeners, but they are just as effective in getting rid of unwanted plants.
The reason why this solution work is that a large amount of iron in the plant’s system disrupts the absorption of healthy nutrients from the soil.
When using an iron sulfate solution for moss removal, the recommended amount is about 5 gallons for every 1000 square feet of lawn area.
The mixture should contain no more than 3 oz of iron sulfate crystals. If you are using copper sulfate crystals instead, aim for a concentration of about 2 to 5 oz per 5 gallons of water.
Spray the solution over the affected areas and wait for the moss to wither away before raking the yard.
Why Do I Have So Much Moss In My Lawn?
The main reasons why your lawn might be prone to moss attacks include:
- Low soil pH level
- Lack of nutrients in the soil
- Lack of sunlight or areas with excessive shade
- Poor soil drainage
My Final Thoughts On Getting Rid Of Moss
If it were only about decorative ground cover, moss definitely has no parallel. Its fine green foliage can serve as an impressive spread for your lawn.
However, moss is beautiful only when it grows where it is wanted. If a thick layer of these tiny plants starts growing uncontrollably in your backyard, it can leave your lawn looking wild and unkempt.
We hope you now know how to get rid of moss in your lawn and keep your place free of uneven green patches.