How to Get Rid of Moss on Your Lawn

Moss growing on lawn
While some homeowners like the look of moss on their lawns and may even use it as a decorative ground cover to fill in bare spots, it can also cause problems you should be aware of. While moss isn't going to kill your lawn, over time, it can overtake your once lush, green grass and become a prominent feature.

For homeowners who consider moss to be a pesky weed that leaves their grass looking uneven and splotchy, we have some practical ways to get rid of lawn moss. Read on to learn more.

Table of Contents:

  • Identify the Cause of the Moss
  • Rake the Moss
  • Use an Organic Moss Killer
  • Use a Chemical Moss Killer
  • Aerate the Lawn
  • Improve Drainage
  • Overseed the Lawn
  • Add Compost or Sand to the Soil
  • Adjust the pH of the Soil

Identify the Cause of the Moss

Moss covering lawn

Let’s start by talking about what moss is. For one, it’s been around since prehistoric times, so it’s a survivor. Second, it’s a weed that grows without roots. And while it’s a weed, you’ll have to use something other than a traditional weed killer to get rid of it. But before we dive into the effective methods of getting rid of moss in a lawn, you should know that its presence is a noticeable sign that your grass is struggling. If the issues with your lawn are not properly addressed and the moss is left to grow uninhibited, you’ll eventually have a lawn that consists strictly of moss.

Issues such as too much shade, compacted and acidic soil, and poor drainage can all cause moss to develop and grow. In fact, moss thrives in these conditions. By resolving the issues that lead to the growth of moss, you can prevent it from taking over your entire lawn. However, if it’s already growing in full force, the best time of year for getting rid of moss in lawns is from late spring to early summer or late summer into early fall.

Now that we know what causes it to thrive and the problems it can cause, we’ll focus on how to get rid of lawn moss and prevent it from showing up in the first place.

Rake the Moss

Thatch buildup on lawn

If your lawn only has a small amount of moss. In this case, you can use a rake to gather it up. Raking at different angles will be the most effective approach as it should remove all of the moss. If you want to speed up the process, use a power rake. Either way, once you've gathered all the moss in a pile, place it in a trash bag.

Depending on the size of your lawn and the amount of moss on it, the time it takes to remove moss from your lawn can be considerable. If you need help, request a free estimate from a local lawn care professional. They have the knowledge and experience to make quick work of removing moss from your lawn. They can also help with advice and services that will return your lawn to good health.

Use an Organic Moss Killer

Spray bottle of organic moss killer on lawn

If you have an extensive amount of lawn moss would you like to learn how to get rid of lawn moss without using chemicals? Here is an alternative to using harsh chemicals. Spray it with a mixture of dish soap and water! This natural solution will dry up pesky lawn moss after just a few applications.

Also, look for ways to let sunlight into moss-prone areas. Moss thrives in shade and moisture, so changing these conditions will slow its growth and keep any new growth at bay.

Use a Chemical Moss Killer

Landscaper spraying chemical moss killer on lawn

Want to know how to get rid of moss on a lawn quickly with a chemical solution? Most commercial herbicides will have no effect on getting rid of moss. You need to look for a chemical that is specifically designed to kill moss, which will include iron sulfate and glyphosate ingredients. These ingredients won’t kill your grass but will remove moss within a couple of days of application. As with any chemical, handle them carefully and always keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

Aerate the Lawn

Landscaper using lawn aeration tool

Heavy foot traffic on your lawn eventually leads to compacted soil, which creates conditions that moss thrives on. When your lawn has compacted soil, it doesn’t receive the water, air, and steady flow of nutrients it needs to stay healthy. The solution is to aerate your lawn. Aeration will poke small holes into your grass, making the soil less compact and allowing the lawn to breathe. You can use an aerator machine, or better yet, contact your local landscape professional and let a lawn care expert do the work.

Improve Drainage

Holes in grass from lawn aeration

Moss thrives on lawns with poor drainage issues. You can get rid of moss in lawns with poor drainage by amending the soil to ensure water drains properly. We already discussed aeration, which can loosen up the soil and allow water to reach the grass roots, so it won’t create puddles on the lawn. The grass will be healthier when moisture can pass through easily, which will also help keep moss from overtaking your lawn.

Overseed the Lawn

Lawn seed spreader on grass

Overseeding is an excellent way to improve the appearance of your lawn and keep moss out. But before you start to overseed, be sure to resolve any compacted soil and drainage issues. New seeds will not be able to take root if they can’t get through the soil. Once you’ve fixed the problems, overseeding the lawn will bring out fresh, healthy, and strong grass. This new grass will make it difficult for anything else to grow, including moss.

Add Compost or Sand to the Soil

Compost in wheelbarrow on lawn

Another effective way to combat moss is by adding organic compost to the soil. This will provide your lawn with valuable nutrients, which will nourish and encourage strong grass root growth. Moss won’t feel welcome when your lawn has healthy soil and strong grass to compete with. Using lawn sand is another effective way of getting rid of moss in lawns. Iron sulfate is one of its main ingredients; sand sticks to moss and weeds to slowly scorch them into oblivion.

Adjust the pH of the Soil

pH testing tool in soil

Acidic soil can be a haven for moss and accelerate its growth. So, when you’re learning how to get rid of lawn moss, it’s important to understand the role that the pH of the soil plays, and how to adjust it. Ideally, your lawn should have a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. If you don’t know how to test your lawn’s soil pH level, a local lawn care expert can help. You can also send a soil sample to your local college or university for testing.

Get Help from The Pros

While the appearance of moss on your lawn may not seem like a big deal, it does indicate bigger problems with your lawn. If moss starts to take over your lawn, it’s time to take proactive steps to protect your lawn and return it to good health. But not everyone has the time or tools required to keep a lawn looking its best. Fortunately, The Grounds Guys can help. Our experts know exactly what your lawn needs to look and stay healthy throughout the year. We back it all up with the Neighborly Done Right Promise, which means your satisfaction is guaranteed. Contact us today to take the first step toward getting rid of moss on your lawn!

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