Moss can be one of the most persistent and annoying unwanted plants in your lawn and most lawns will have trouble with lawn moss at some stage. A significant Moss infestation within a lawn is an indication that your lawn is not healthy. This can be a result of poor soil fertility, soil compaction, poor drainage and lawns growing in shady areas. All of these can cause the grass to thin out and it is here that lawn moss will develop in your lawn.
To solve any lawn issues, especially lawn moss, it is necessary to understand what the underlying cause of the condition is and what is encouraging an infestation.
Your lawn may have one of the following issues and once these have been dealt with, alongside regular lawn care maintenance, your lawn will be on its way to develop into a lush green and healthy lawn.
Poor Soil Fertility
Your soil’s pH level can dramatically affect the important nutrients, such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Iron and Sulphur, needed for your lawn to thrive and be healthy. It will also affect the activity of soil microorganisms, which are very important elements of a healthy soil. Soil microorganisms will break down soil organic matter into a form that is beneficial for grass plants, resulting in better soil fertility.
Soil pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of the soil and is measured on a scale from 0 – 14. An ideal balance for your lawn’s soil would be 6.5 – 7. Higher measurements of soil pH indicate an increase of soil alkalinity and lower measurements than 7 indicate an increase in soil acidity. Moss thrives well in acidic soils. Although the ideal pH for most grass types is 6.5 – 7, there are some grasses that can tolerate a range of pH levels. This is something your lawn care professional can discuss with you when an inspection of your soil’s pH level is carried out, by using a Soil Compact Meter.
Lawns with poor fertility will become thin and patchy and Moss will quite easily take over these areas. If your lawn receives a regular application of the correct and seasonally balanced quality fertiliser it will help to maintain the health and appearance of your lawn, encouraging the grass sward to thicken. We can apply Fertiliser for lawns throughout the year as part of its annual treatments cycle. See more about Lawn Fertilisation here.
Poor Soil Compaction
If your lawn has Soil compaction it will prevent it from having good drainage, encouraging Moss to grow instead of grass. Compacted soils will have solid soil particles crushed together, which reduce open spaces in the soil. Soil needs open spaces so it can take in oxygen, water and nutrients which allow the roots of your grass to thrive and develop.
A regular lawn Aeration will reduce any soil compaction your lawn has by creating tiny channels in your lawn’s root zone allowing oxygen to circulate and refresh the beneficial bacteria, which will create a much healthier root zone. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements. See more about Lawn Aeration here.
Your lawn will become waterlogged if water sits on its surface and drains away slowly. A lawn that is compacted is more likely to become waterlogged and become an environment for Moss to develop. You can improve drainage by using hand spiking tools such as a garden fork or for larger lawns, an Aerator is recommended. Remember that lawn moss loves damp and waterlogged areas in your lawn. See more about Lawn Aeration here.
Not enough sunlight
Most lawn grasses will need 4 – 6 hours of sunlight to thrive. If your lawn is not getting enough sunlight, it will most likely be covered in Moss as Moss tolerates shade better than grass. There are more shade tolerant grasses, but bear in mind a deeply shaded area with less than 4 hours of sunlight per day is much too shady for any type of grass to grow well.
Sunlight is essential for a lush green and healthy lawn. Without sunlight, grass cannot photosynthesize to transform sunlight into nutrients that are needed for your grass to grow. You may have a shady lawn because of shrubs and trees that are stopping sunlight from getting to your lawn. These may have to be pruned regularly or removed altogether if you want your lawn to thrive and be Moss-free. If the area is lightly shaded, you can mow the grass in the area on the high end of the recommended mowing height which will encourage deeper rooting, allowing maximum leaf coverage to take in as much sunlight as possible for good growth and health.
Once we understand what the underlying cause is, it will be easier to solve and repair your lawn’s Moss problem.
Firstly, we will need to treat the Moss by applying a quality iron sulphate based moss treatment. After this is applied, you will see the Moss in your lawn turn black very quickly. After a few days, we will then scarify your lawn. Scarification is carried out by using a powerful mechanical scarifier, which drives a series of sharp blades into your lawn to remove lawn moss and lawn thatch. After your lawn has been scarified, the Moss will be raked out and bagged for disposal or composting. The aggressiveness of the Scarification will be determined by the amount of Moss found in your lawn and after an invasive treatment such as lawn scarification, your lawn will need some help to recover. We will then treat the area affected with a quality grass seed. This will thicken the grass in your lawn and prevent lawn moss from reoccurring.
If you need help to solve Lawn Moss issues in your lawn, why not take advantage of the Lawnscience lawn review service. One of our fully trained lawn professionals will be happy to arrange a free lawn review with you, during which they will identify the issue(s) and provide you with a fully costed solution for you to consider. To take advantage of this opportunity just contact us.