Lawn moss rarely appears on vigorously growing lawns. In fact, moss is oftentimes a sign that your lawn is experiencing health problems such as lack of sunlight, nutrients and water, according to the Oregon State University. Moss can be raked up, but it will simply return if the underlining lawn problem isn't addressed.
Removing the Moss with Chemicals
Gardeners can control the moss growth by applying a moss and algae control soap to the lawn, according to Washington State University. In addition, products that contain either ferrous sulfate or ferrous ammonium sulfate can kill off offending moss on your lawn. Certain moss killing products that contain sulfur or iron can actually benefit the lawn's appearance. Unfortunately, moss killing products will not prevent moss' return to help solve your lawn's underlining health problems.
Dethatching can both remove the moss from the lawn and fix the underlining health problem causing the thatch. Thatch is the living and dead organic build up between the grass blades and soil. When thatch is over 1/2 inch in diameter, grass suffers from lack of air circulation and nutrients. Rent a dethatcher form your local gardening supply store. Remove your lawn's thatch when it is vigorously growing. Dethatching can cause stress to your lawn, so remove warm season grass thatch after its has started growing in the spring or remove your cool season grass' thatch in the fall. As you remove the thatch, the dethatcher's blades will remove the moss.
Give your lawn the amount of water it needs according to its growing requirements. All grass types have different water needs to remain healthy. For example, Bermuda grass needs 1 inch of water a week to keep it looking green. Grass that has been overwatered is at risk for moss growth, because moss prefers to grow in soggy areas. Also, grass that isn't watered enough will wilt until the next rainfall. Moss absorbs water faster than grass and will spread across the lawn at a quicker rate than your turf.
Fertilizing and Sunlight
Fertilize your lawn in the fall and spring to grow a turf dense enough to prevent moss growth. Increase the amount of sunlight in your yard to help prevent moss growth. Most grass types need at least six to eight hours of sunlight to grow. Avoid trying to grow grass in areas that receive less than four hours of sun. Prune back overhanging trees, or remove trees and shrubs that are casting too much shade on your lawn.
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