Though not as problematic as some of the more damaging lawn diseases, having a lawn covered in moss is still an undesirable and extremely frustrating problem, and even more unfortunately it’s a very common problem, particularly if you have neglected your lawn throughout the year.
Moss grows primarily in the damp and dark conditions in which grass otherwise struggles to survive, therefore you’re most likely to have moss on your lawn during the cold winter months, and whilst it can be tricky to prevent it appearing at all, you can certainly take steps to reduce the impact and damage it can cause.
So if your lawn is:
- Prone to clogging with water and poor drainage
- Shaded (perhaps north facing)
- Acidic soil
- Lacking adequate nutrition
- Sparsely covered with grass in the first place, perhaps worn out due to heavy footfall
… Then you will be more prone to a large outbreak of moss
To prevent moss from striking you should try and rectify whichever of the above problems are applicable to you, this includes:
- Improving drainage, and top dressing may be one solution to this
- Aerate the lawn to get air into the soil and reduce any compaction
- Try to reduce the amount of shade and increase the level of sunlight
- Feed the lawn correctly
- Ensure you don’t set the cutting height of your lawn mower too low
If the above methods are not enough to combat moss then there are chemical methods available, the most commonly used being lawn sand, this contains ingredients to kill the moss, and promote the growth of grass.
If you haven’t timed your preventative measures correctly, or you’ve only just noticed that you have moss then you can take steps to remove it, with scarifying being the most effective method. Once you’ve gone through the task of removing the moss it’s a good idea to reseed the lawn and stick with a solid feeding and watering program, as well as all the other methods mentioned above.
What to do with Dead Moss?
There is no issue with adding dead moss you have removed from your lawn to your compost heap. You’ll find it is slow to decompose, so it’s best to mix it in with a greater concentration of other compostable material to help things move along more quickly. If you’re concerned about reintroducing the moss to the lawn when applying the compost later down the line, then avoid using it for this purpose. To be honest though, moss is so widespread that anything you do will have little effect on whether or not it will show up again or not.