A rolling stone may not gather moss. But of course, your lawn is not a rolling stone so it may have indeed gathered a large amount of moss. You may also find moss gathering in areas like sidewalk cracks, trees, and anywhere you might have bare patches in your yard.
Some people like moss, and think it adds atmosphere to their yard. It can also grow in areas of your yard where nothing else will grow, which sometimes can be beneficial. This greenery is not universally despised the way things like crabgrass are. But many people don’t want moss in their yard and would like nothing better than to get it removed. Here is what you need to know to really get rid of the moss growing on your lawn:
Understand why moss thrives
Although moss is a plant, it is not what we think of when it comes to plants. It does not have roots or stems or even seeds but needs water to live, which is why it shows up a lot in damp climates, and in wet areas on soil. Some species of moss derive nutrients directly from the soil. This means that moss can absorb both water and nutrients that your lawn should be getting, which could lead to serious lawn problems down the road.
Species of moss have been found in many places of the United States, from the colds of Alaska, to the rainy Pacific Northwest, to humid Florida, to all sorts of points in between. They can grow more in the winter than in the summer and can also affix themselves to anything in your yard from your lawn to your roof, especially if the areas stay are regularly damp!
Moss likes soil that is compacted or that has a high acidity. It also likes shade as opposed to direct sunlight. And if you have bare spots on your lawn, and the conditions are right, moss can move right in.
Generally speaking, moss can be a canary in a coalmine, so to speak, when it comes to the health of your lawn. That is mostly due to the things it thrives on:
- acidic soil
- compacted and wet soil
- bare spots
- drainage issues
- lack of sunlight
These are all conditions that can cause unhealthy lawn issues. So if you have a moss problem, you most likely also have a lawn that needs better treatment.
How to get rid of moss
While we know some people actually like the way moss looks, like when it is on a shed, covering trees, or even planted in a garden, most people do not want moss in their yards and it’s important to know the problems it could create as well as the best ways to get rid of it.
Here are several measures that can be taken to get rid of moss:
- The first is to get your lawn healthier. Prevention can help moss from growing in the first place.
- The second step is to get rid of things that attract moss. For example:
- If you have a drainage issue in your lawn, fixing that will take away the thing that the moss is most attracted to.
- Prune trees and shrubs to give your lawn more sunlight, which will also keep the lawn healthy.
- Soil aeration will break up the soil and take away another thing moss likes.
- Making sure that the soil’s pH level is not too acidic will also help prevent moss.
- Reseeding patchy areas of lawn will also discourage moss
- The Third step is to have a professional lawn service remove the moss for you. Some professional services offer moss control methods that can help treat your lawn for moss growth, such as raking, physically removing the loss, or applying products that can get rid of the moss. However, it is important to note that as long as you have the conditions in your lawn that attract the moss, it can come back.
The best way to create a yard that is moss-free is to make sure you are doing everything you can to have a healthy lawn. Make sure you know the best ways to properly care for and maintain your lawn to prevent unwanted growths like moss.