About Gardening: Ridding Your Lawn of Moss

by Mira Dessy

Hi Mira,
The lawns in our area are being inundated by moss this year. Do you have any good ideas for getting rid of the pest?

Dear Bill,
Moss usually makes an appearance in a lawn when the conditions are right for it to grow and propigate. Basically this means that the soil does not have good drainage and that there may be a lack of nutrients in it or that the soil has become extremely acidic. Moss spreads by spores so there is no quick answer to get rid of it. However, the long term solution is to improve the drainage in the lawn (probably simple aeration will work - walk around in cleats for a while), you also need to fertilize the lawn regularly to return nutrients to the soil and encourage grass growth. It also wouldn't hurt to add a little lime to your lawn in order to reverse the acidity.

You don't mention how pervasive it has become but if the patches are big enough you could try digging them up, putting in good topsoil and then planting grass seed. This will not help for the spores that have not yet germinated, but it should at least cut down on the moss patches that could proliferate this year.

Hope this helps.

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