Q – My lawn has far too much moss but I can’t seem to get rid of it, what can I do?

A – Moss in a lawn is something that every gardener will have to face and get rid of at some time for to ignore it is putting their grass at risk of being taken over. Moss infestation is the most common symptom of a poorly kept lawn, since it chokes the existing grass and starves it of the nutrients it needs from the soil.

Unfortunately moss is tough and resistant to be removed and can take a lot of work to get rid of, if it gets a hold. Ideal growing and spreading conditions for moss are shady, wet compacted soil, especially heavy clay. Poor drainage with poor nutrient levels and excessive thatch will only encourage an invasion of moss on your lawn so before you even try to kill it off you need to remedy any of those problems.

One of the best things you can do to get rid of moss is to scarify your lawn on a regular basis since this helps to pull dead and rotting grass to the surface so that it can be removed and therefore lessen the likelihood of a thatch developing which if allowed to get out of control will encourage moss on your lawn. Also if you have large trees with overhanging branches surrounding your lawn it is vital to cut back the lower branches to prevent the shady environment that moss thrives in.

Another way to help reduce the risk of moss is with regular aeration using a fine tine rake or a mechanical aerator on your lawn. This helps the soil to drain properly and prevent excess water acting as a breeding ground for moss that will soon flourish in areas where water is allowed to build up. You can also use chemical moss killers which won’t harm your lawn but are always more effective when used in conjunction with creating the right conditions for your lawn but the wrong conditions for moss.