What can I do to prevent moss in my yard? It’s taking over the grass and spreading to my flower garden. -Sally
Like many other weeds and undesirable plants, moss is a red flag indicating that conditions in your yard are not favorable for turf grass. Once a thick mat of moss gets started, the lawn grass doesn’t stand a chance. However, the opposite is also true – moss won’t invade a thick, healthy lawn, so the best way to prevent moss growth is to focus on improving your soil and encouraging the grass.
How To Prevent Moss
Moss thrives in cool, shady, damp areas with poor, compacted soil. And as you know, these are the conditions that lawn grasses hate the most! To improve your lawn health and prevent the growth of moss, try these tips:
- Remove the Moss: Dig or rake out the moss by hand, to give your lawn a fresh start.
- Aerate and Top-Dress Lawn: This is particularly important in moss-prone areas, since it increases drainage, add nutrients, and improves soil texture.
- Reseed Lawn: Replace the existing grass in the mossy area with a shade-tolerant grass variety.
- Thin Trees: This will reduce shade while increasing sunshine and air circulation.
- Change Tactics: In areas where grass simply won’t grow, outwit the moss by naturalizing the area with mulch – or building that patio or gazebo you’ve always wanted – to discourage the moss and keep it from spreading to the rest of your lawn.
- Check Soil pH: Overly acidic soil is often a cause of moss growth. Do a soil test and add lime if needed.
- Improve Drainage: Make sure rainwater can drain throughout your yard. Regrade if needed, or install French drains, to route water away from soggy areas.
- Target the Moss: Most moss-control products are either iron-based (such as Moss Out) or potassium-based (such as Bayer 2-in-1 Moss and Algae Killer). Keep in mind, though, that simply killing the moss will not prevent it from returning if you don’t improve the growing conditions for your lawn.