Moss in your lawn can be a real eyesore that stands out and keeps you from having the uniform lush look to your lawn. Moss growth is a problem as it shows that your lawn is not all that healthy. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of moss in your lawn.
In our guide highlighting how to get rid of moss in your lawn, we will give you DIY methods for moss removal as well as ways to prevent moss. In addition, homeowners can consider alternatives to handling the moss problem alone and using one of the best lawn care services like TruGreen.
Removing Moss from Your Lawn
Patches of moss should be removed before they can continue to spread. Some homeowners don’t mind the look of moss and will leave it in shady areas, but if you want your lawn to fill in and grow in strength, you must remove moss from your lawn. There are several methods to do this, including baking soda and dish soap, as well as chemical herbicides.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Moss in Your Lawn
Some issues with weeds and fungus in your turf need to be handled with chemical herbicides, or they won’t clear up. However, for homeowners that want to try a more natural method, there are ways that moss can be treated. The most common moss killer out there is dish soap.
Dish Soap and Baking Soda DIY
The most common method of moss control is to use dish soap or baking soda to eliminate the lawn moss and then promote healthy turf to grow in these areas. For the dish soap method, you will take one gallon of water and combine it with two tablespoons of dish soap.
Place this mixture into a spray bottle and soak the moss. Typically within one to two days, you will notice that the moss is getting weaker and will die off. Remember that moss does not have thick roots, so it should not take long to start to die.
The baking soda method is similar; you will start with one tablespoon of baking soda for every quart of water. If this method does not work, you may need to increase the amount of baking soda. The sodium bicarbonate is strong enough to kill the moss; you must have the right formula for your particular moss patch.
Rake and Dethatch Your Lawn
One of the most common reasons moss starts to grow is soil compaction and thatch. Raking your lawn is a good thing, and it will even remove some dead moss and other natural debris that has accumulated in your grass.
In addition, when you rake, new grass growth is encouraged. Before trying other methods of removing moss, many homeowners will do a thorough rake of the entire area and asses some of the issues that are likely causing the moss to grow. Part of maintaining a healthy lawn includes periodic raking.
Chemical Ways to Get Rid of Moss in Your Lawn
If you have tried natural methods to remove moss from your lawn and find that it is not a great fit, you can apply a chemical herbicide to help. Moss is not a typical weed, and not all weedkiller products on the market will work on this ground cover; the most common are glyphosate and iron sulfate.
Apply a Chemical Herbicide
The most common chemical herbicide to use to remove moss is glyphosate. The glyphosate will allow you to kill the moss in just a few hours. There are positives to using this product, but a few negatives as well. This is a chemical herbicide that will kill anything it comes into contact with.
Many lawns have patches of moss, and if you end up spraying some of your healthy grass, it will die and then have difficulty growing back in for quite some time. The glyphosate stays in the soil, and it could take weeks before you can grow grass again in this area.
For challenging moss outbreaks, sometimes a chemical herbicide is the only choice. Be patient and do a soil test before trying to plant grass seed in an area you have treated with a chemical herbicide.
Preventing Moss from Growing in Your Lawn
The best way to deal with moss in your lawn is to prevent it from growing in the first place. If you can manage the issues like poor drainage, excessive shade, and too much foot traffic, chances are you will never have to worry about moss taking over your healthy turf.
Right Balance of Shade and Sunlight
Healthy grass, even shade-tolerant grass, needs about 4-6 hours of sunlight every day. If certain areas of your yard are experiencing too much shade, chances are the soil conditions are conducive to moss growth. Although there is sometimes no way for this to be managed, most of the time, doing some pruning in the area can be a solution.
Take a look at the turfgrass that is getting the most shade, and see if there are ways that you can prune the area above to ensure more sunlight passes through to the turf. Sometimes it just takes a few branches to create the right balance.
Manage Your Soil pH
If the pH level of your soil is off, chances are you will need to address it to control moss. The pH level of the soil should be between 6 and 7. If you are struggling with acidic soil, chances are it needs to become more alkaline for the moss to stop growing. The most common way to treat this is to add lime to the soil. However, if you address the pH of your soil in the early spring, fertilization and other additives can be used to stop the spread of moss quickly.
Check on Water Drainage and Amend if Needed
If you mow your lawn and notice areas where the water starts to pool up and drainage problems can be visibly seen, this is a perfect breeding ground for moss. Sometimes a drain can be installed in low-lying areas to ensure that water can move under the ground and not sit on top of the lawn grasses. The longer the water sits, the easier it is for the moss to start growing.
Aerate Compacted Soil
Aeration is a great way to ensure that nutrients and air make their way into your turf. We recommend aerating your lawn in the spring and again in the fall. Aerating the lawn at the right time of year will keep moss out and allow lawn fertilizer to do its job. Some lawn mowers come with an attachment that can be used for small tine aeration, but other lawn service companies like TruGreen can also complete lawn aeration.
Apply a Chemical Herbicide
Although a chemical herbicide can treat moss once it arrives, you can also use it as a preventative measure. It can be very helpful to have a sprayer with the chemical herbicide ready to treat issues in the late spring when they first start popping up.
Remember that once you see the moss making its way into your lawn, chances are there is already a problem from above that needs to be addressed.
Tips for Growing Green and Healthy Grass
Having green and healthy grass will give you plenty of pride in your home. Patches of dead grass or even moss in the grass are frustrating and will take away your curb appeal. Here are some of our best tips for growing green and healthy grass and keeping that moss at bay.
- Know the type of grass you have and the recommended best practices; all grass types have unique requirements
- Mow at the proper height so that you do not stress the grass; this will mean following a mowing schedule that encourages taking about 1/3 of the blade each time you mow
- Follow fertilization and pest control methods to keep issues from starting; most grass needs fertilization to make up for missing potassium and nutrients that it needs to thrive
- Aerate your lawn twice a year to avoid soil compaction, especially in areas with high foot traffic
- Seed bare spots and attend to the seen carefully with the proper watering protocol; put seeds down using a spreader to create more uniformity in the grass
Follow a proper watering schedule; watering for longer periods of time on a less frequent basis will encourage deep roots and stronger turf
Professional Lawn Care Services: TruGreen
If our methods for getting rid of moss on the lawn seem a bit too much for you to handle on your own, a professional like TruGreen can help. TruGreen offers a complete lineup of services to make it easier for you to spend time enjoying your grass as opposed to working on it.
TruGreen will not specifically come to your home to kill moss in the turf. Instead, they will put together a complete plan of action for creating a healthy and thriving lawn that will prevent moss from growing. If you notice issues with moss, grubs, fungus, or even just weak turf, look at our TruGreen review and find out more about what this impressive lawn service provider can do for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get rid of moss in my lawn naturally?
The best way to get rid of moss in your lawn naturally is to allow more sun and air to get into the area where the moss is growing. When things dry up, the moss will not be able to thrive, and it will die off. Dish soap is another natural way to get rid of moss.
Why do I have so much moss on my lawn?
Moss grows on your lawn due to too much shade, pooling water, and soil with a low pH. Moss can be treated relatively easily, but to stop it from coming back up, you will need to treat the issues that cause it.
Will lime kill moss?
Lime will not necessarily kill moss, but you can use it to amend the soil and increase the pH. When the pH gets into the healthy range of 6.0-7.0, moss will be less likely to grow.
Is it bad to have moss on your lawn?
Having moss on your lawn is typically a sign of poor turf health. Some homeowners will keep moss in areas with total shade, as these primitive plants help to provide some green ground cover. However, if you want tuft to grow healthy and strong, it’s important to get rid of moss.
How do you stop moss from growing back?
To stop moss from growing back, make sure that you are aerating your lawn, raking to remove thatch, increasing the sunlight that your grass gets, and following a proper water and fertilization schedule. Following recommended practices for keeping a healthy lawn will greatly reduce the chance of moss growing back.
Today's Homeowner Rating & Methodology
At Today's Homeowner, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each lawn company/service according to our methodology.
Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each lawn care service’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the lawn care companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.
We developed a formula to objectively determine the best lawn care companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:
- Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
- Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at the number of lawn care coverages, including weed control, seeding, irrigation, aeration, dethatching, and more.
- Trust (10): What do customers say after their lawn has been serviced? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
- Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same lawn services.
- Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as organic treatments, pest control, or a mobile app? We looked for perks each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
- Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
- Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.