Solving the Moss Problem

Moss is a common problem in many home landscapes. The home gardener may spend many hours of time and a great deal of money in an attempt to control it. Unfortunately, the results are futile if the cultural conditions that favor moss are not understood.  There are many potential causes of moss invasions including thinning grass, excessive shade, compacted soils, poor drainage, low soil fertility, high or low soil pH, and poor air circulation. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the presence of moss in your lawn.

Consider a soil test
Work with your local arborist to evaluate your lawn and determine whether the proper grass for your conditions is being used.  Also, take a good look at the soil conditions. A soil test can be helpful, as it could be the soil pH is out of line, contributing to the problem.

Let there be light!
Modifying site conditions to favor lawn grasses and discourage moss is a suggested way to manage the problem. For example, too much shade in a landscape can prevent optimal growth and create conditions that favor a moss invasion. Pruning trees and shrubs to improve air circulation and light penetration is a good starting point.

Let it breathe
One way to reduce soil compaction is by core aerifying. This may also help correct drainage problems although serious drainage problems may require more extensive work to correct.

Proper Mowing
General lack of care, including irregular mowing and little or no fertilizer applications are common problems leading to poor turf growth.   Short mowing can also be a contributor to a moss problem (a range of 3 – 3.5 inches is ideal for most lawn grasses.) Mow on a regular basis (based on rate of lawn growth) to avoid removing more than one-third of the leaf blade. Avoid excessive watering, as this may also contribute to moss problems. Water deeply and as infrequently as possible, based on lawn needs.

If moss is a problem in your landscape, contact your local arborist for a free consultation.  SavATree will help you to get it under control over time so you can enjoy a lush lawn all season.