Moss on Lawns - Control & Seasonal Management.
Lawns - Moss Problems.
Moss growth often appears following drought or prolonged water logging, more persistent spread suggests a problem with the underlying lawn growing conditions. On new lawns this is commonly due to poor site preparation, underlying builders rubble and lack of top soil. On older lawns poor vigour, acidic soil conditions, a lack of fertilizer, neglecting aeration, poor drainage, shrub and tree shade, close mowing and over-use worn areas where children play and dogs run are likely to be the cause.
Controlling the moss and removing by scarification is just the start, the vigour of the grass must be greatly improved. Good Spring and Autumn Lawn Management is essential to maintaining lawn health, regular feeding, over seeding and improving drainage and air circulation by aeration.
Lawns - Appearance of Moss.
There are several types of moss that grow on lawns. Coarse, loose, green or yellowish-green tufts between the grass, forming densely matted tufts or, in the case of Polytrichum, appear like small forests of miniature Christmas trees.
Moss gives the turf an uneven colour and surface. Loose mosses make the lawn feel spongy to walk on but when lifted reveal totally bare patches of soil with no grass growth beneath.
Control of Moss on Lawns.
Non-chemical control of Moss on Lawns - Scarification: Removing loose moss in early Spring & Autumn, by Mechanical Scarification (vigorous raking). Aeration to improve air flow to roots. Followed by over seeding to improve sward (thickness of remaining grass).
Chemical Moss control - Applying sulphate (sulphate of iron) in Early Spring & Autumn. When the moss blackens scarifying to remove it. Any Moss Control will only be temporary unless the conditions which allowed the moss to become established are improveD.
Moss removal programme.
- Early Autumn: Apply autumn fertiliser & liquid moss control.
- When moss has browned or blackened, scarify the lawn and then Aerate. Brush in a light lawn top-dressing.
- If grass is sparse, lightly over-seeding before applying the top-dressing with new lawn seed
- Mid- to late March: Apply spring fertiliser & liquid moss control during fine weather
- Early April: Lightly scarify the lawn.
- Lightly over-seeding sparsely grassed areas and lightly top-dress as above if necessary
Moss Prevention in Lawns.
To discourage moss from returning to your lawns, encouraging vigorous grass growth by feeding and regular lawn maintenance is the prime target, paying particular attention to the following:
- When over seeding or re-laying a lawn in a shaded area, use a grass seed specified for shady areas. Reducing shade will also help, trim back trees and shrubs seasonally. Remove all leaf fall.
- For compacted areas aerate the lawn regularly, use a mechanical slitter on large lawns. This will greatly improve the health of the lawn.
- On heavy soils use a mechanicalhollow-tiner in autumn to take out small plugs of soil. Top Dress.
- MOST IMPORTANT - Lift the blade height on your mower. Avoid mowing grass too short
- On very acid soils an application of garden lime, will slightly reduce acidity and discourage moss
You will be rewarded with a healthy, strong and beautifully 'verdant' green lawn.