Despite its plush, fuzzy green exterior, moss can be destructive, often spreading through lawns, eventually choking out grass. When turf grasses are weak, such as near the end of winter when grass is depleted of its nutrients, moss thrives. Moss can overtake weak turf with the ability to weather low temperatures and thrive in shady, wet areas. Moss control is attainable and easily maintained. This GrangeKnows article discusses how to halt moss in its tracks and achieve a lawn that looks its very best!
FACTS ABOUT MOSS CONTROL
The best defense against moss—and many other lawn problems—is a strong, healthy turf. Following a fertilization schedule every season is key to maintaining a strong, healthy lawn resistant to weeds of all kinds—especially moss.
Moss can grow in cool, winter climates, as well as survive through long drought periods by dehydrating itself. However, its active growing season is fall and spring. For moss control, these are also the most effective periods to treat. We recommend a product by quality synthetic and natural based fertilizer company Lilly Miller. Moss Out!® Lawn Granules kill lawn moss quickly and turn lawns a deep green.
WHAT MAKES MOSS OUT!® EFFECTIVE?
The active ingredient in Moss Out® is iron, which helps to control moss and is a favorite secret weapon of lawn care professionals and golf courses to produce dark, green grass.
The iron in this product is a staining iron. Be cautious of allowing it to come in contact with anything wet, as it will turn the surface red. Prevent damage by simply sweeping excess granules from dry sidewalks and concrete slabs back onto your lawn when finished.
When soil is compacted and acidic, moss can easily grow. Aerating your lawn at least once per year, or twice for lawns prone to compacting, like those with high clay content, will help. Shady, moist areas of lawns also cater to the growth of moss, keeping a grade that can properly drain water will assist in moss control and maintenance. If your lawn has low pH, lime will improve grass vigor to help fight off moss invasion. You can test the soil yourself by purchasing a soil pH meter to determine soil acidity/alkalinity.
Treatment involves first mowing lawn to expose existing moss. This allows the granules to fall through the grass to the soil and go to work. Apply Moss Out!® to moist lawn with spreader. Begin spreading by laying down two strips of this product at each end of lawn. Fill in remaining area as shown on package. The best procedural approach with all moss control materials is thorough coverage by spreading all over the moss. Close the spreader when you stop walking or make turns to avoid uneven coverage. Overlap previous wheel track slightly to avoid gaps in coverage.
Always follow label instructions when applying Moss Out!®, as listed on bag:
- For heavy moss: 20 lbs. per 4,000 sq. ft.
- For lighter moss: 20 lbs. per 5,000 sq. ft.
After treating your lawn, water-in to hasten the moss killing action and greening process. Do not allow persons or pets in treated area until granules have been watered in and treated area is dry.
Moss can overtake lawns if left untreated, but by applying the methods listed, you can take control. Preventing moss will lead to a healthy, strong lawn you can be proud of. Find the supplies you need to succeed at your local Grange Co-op and feel free to ask one of our Grange Gardening Experts for more information on lawn care.
When using lawn treatments or lawn care products, always follow package directions regarding proper clothing, protective equipment, application procedures and safety precautions. When using herbicides, also make sure you understand which weeds the chemical treats and which desirable plants it may also kill.