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Are you unhappy about the moss that has taken residence in your lawn? Looking for ways to get rid of it? You've come to the right place.
For some, having a moss yard is the perfect accent to their home, but for others, it can be a nuisance. If you have a problem with moss, you may be wondering what you can do to get rid of it so you can replace the area with plush, green, and vibrant grass. As a gardener, many people have asked me the best way to get rid of moss. To assist with your issue, I have found some solutions that I would like to share in this post.
Moss has a habit of growing in yards that have either acidic soil, soggy soil, or too much shade. Because of this fact, there is actually a two-prong approach to getting rid of moss:
- Putting an end to the factor that attracts the moss and
- Getting rid of the resulting moss using either a garden tool, a chemical found in stores, or a product you probably already have at any home such as baking soda or dish soap.
Yes, there are many ways that you can get rid of moss. Try the methods below and see which one works best for you.
Eliminating Moss from the Source
Before you can completely eliminate moss, you need to find out why your yard is so conducive to moss in the first place and then fix that problem, so the moss never returns again.
Here are a few of the most common reasons for moss and what you can do to get rid of it.
You may not realize it, but you might have acidic soil, and while having acid will make it difficult to grow grass, moss thrives in this condition. If you find that your yard has more moss than grass, then you should first test your yard for acidity.
The first step is completing a soil test. The health of plants is based on the pH of the soil, which has a scale of 1 to 14. Any number below 7 is acidic, and any number above 7 is alkaline. Ideally, your yard will have a pH of 6.2 to 7.2.
You can do your own soil test with a kit found online or at a gardening store. While each kit is different, you will either use an electronic soil tester or take samples and send it to a testing facility that will give you the results.
If you find that you have acidic soil, then you need to solve the problem, and the easiest way to do so is to use pulverized limestone or dolomite limestone. Spread this lime on your yard and garden. Use five to 10 pounds per 100 square feet to raise the acidity up one level, so from 3 to 4, for example.
Once you have your soil back to the sweet spot of around PH7, you can use one of the methods below to get rid of the existing moss so your grass can thrive.
It may seem contrary to popular belief, but if your lawn gets too much water, your grass could suffer, and you could see an increase in moss. You see a lot of moss growing in forests and near rivers, and that is because moss thrives on dampness.
To eliminate this problem, water your lawn only when necessary and combine that with natural rainfall.
Another reason why you have soggy soil is that your yard may not be properly draining the water it receives. If you find that water pools on your soil and it is leading to moss, then you have several options including extending your downspouts or adding a drainpipe.
Once you have this issue solved, use the methods below to get rid of existing moss.
Too Much Shade
In addition to enjoying damp environments, moss also thrives in shade. If you find moss in your yard in a spot that isn’t getting enough sunlight, then you will have to remedy the issue, or else new moss will grow once you get rid of the old moss.
The easiest solution is to trim and prune your trees and shrubs so sunlight can get through and shine on your yard.
If there is a part of your yard where shade is inevitable, say next to your house, or under a tall tree, then you can replace the grass in that area with bushes, shrubs, or another ground cover plant such as Creeping Phlox or Stonecrop.
Methods for Getting Rid of Moss
Now that you have altered your yard, it is time to get rid of that troubling moss once and for all. There are many ways to get rid of moss, including the use of tools, chemicals, and household products.
Tools To Use When Getting Rid of Moss
There are a couple of different gardening tools that you can use to get rid of a layer of moss.
One of the easiest ways to get rid of existing moss is to use a standard rake or a hand rake. The difference between moss and most other plants is that moss has very short roots that don’t go deep into the ground, so using a rake will get rid of the moss without leaving any roots behind so that it won’t regrow easily.
You can also use a power rake or a dethatching blade. Moss usually grows within the grass or in the layer between the soil and the grass. Dethatching your yard includes adding a dethatching blade to your lawn mower and then running it across your yard as the blade pulls up this unwanted layer.
Once you have finished dethatching your yard, it becomes easier for water and nutrients to reach the soil so your grass can grow strong and healthy. This process can be done at any time of the year, but for the best results, try it in spring or early summer.
Moss Removal Products
Because you are not alone in your struggle with trying to eliminate moss, there are many products on the market that can do the job. Keep in mind that every yard is different and not every product will work for everyone, so try them out and see which one is best for you.
Also known as Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Sulfate is a component of many lawn fertilizers, so it is not harmful to your grass. However, it can end your moss problem by drying it out. Within hours, your moss should turn black and then officially die after a day or two. After that, use a rake to brush away the dead moss.
Keep in mind that Iron Sulfate is a chemical, so you must be careful about using it. Although it can’t hurt your grass, it can leave stains on stone, brick, and concrete.
Aftercut Ultra Green Plus
As the name suggests, Aftercut Ultra Green Plus is a product that you spread on your yard after cutting it. When you apply this mixture to your lawn, it releases moisture deep into the soil where the roots of moss cannot reach, so the moss eventually dries out. After three days, you should be able to pull out the moss with your hand rake.
The product also helps your grass grow thicker and fuller within a week, and this effect can crowd the moss, giving it a lesser chance to grow in the future.
Bio Advanced Moss and Algae Killer
If you have a concentrated area of moss, then you might be better off with a spay solution such as the Moss and Algae Killer from Bio Advanced. With this product, you can spray directly at the moss to kill it where it grows, often within hours.
As an added bonus, this product can be used on yards as well as on decks, patios, and driveways and it will not stain. After the moss dies, you can rake it away or wait for the rain or wind to remove it.
Lilly Miller Moss Out For Lawns
For a more heavy duty job or a yard that is completely full of moss, look to Moss Out from Lilly Miller. Moss Out is made up of 35-percent Iron Sulfate, and it can cover lawns of up to 2,000 square feet. It is another fast-acting product that kills the moss while also helping your grass to grow fuller and stronger.
If you want to eliminate the moss but keep your beautiful yard, then try using Lawn Lime. In general, lime is great because it actively works to balance the pH level in the soil, making it more alkaline. As discussed, moss prefers a more acidic environment, so lime works to freshen up your yard first, before killing the moss.
Because lime alone is not a direct threat to moss, using a product like Lawn Lime could take a few months. However, it should still do the trick and leave you with a plush yard.
Common Household Products
If you are dealing with a manageable moss problem, then you might be able to find a solution with a product that you already have at home.
Assuming that you have fixed the conditions in your yard that have allowed moss to grow in the first place, then you can get rid of the existing moss using a mixture of dish soap and water. Fill a bucket with one gallon of water and add 2 to 4 ounces of dish soap. Use a spray bottle to disperse the mix onto the moss in smaller areas or use a garden sprayer for bigger areas.
The best time to use this mix is when the grass is moist, and you are not expecting a rain storm for at least the next 24 hours. Once the moss has turned brown, rake it up and dispose of it.
Baking soda is another household item that can help with your moss problems, and as an added bonus, it's natural so it won’t hurt the environment. When the grass is dry, preferably during the winter or early spring, combine one tablespoon of baking soda to every gallon of water and spray it on the moss. This process works best for smaller patches of moss.
If you have a larger area of moss, first lightly sprinkle dry baking soda over the entire area and then use a mixture of eight tablespoons of baking soda to one quart of water and spray over the space. It may be necessary to repeat this process a few times during the week until the moss dies and then rake it away.
Many Options for Moss Removal
As you can see, there are many options available for successful moss removal. You have your pick of the litter of available products, both chemical and natural that can transform the exterior of your house from a moss sanctuary into a bright, vibrant, and plush lawn of which you can be proud.