Lawn Care and Weed Control
Before you try to control moss you must identify why it is appearing in your lawn and solve the reasons why it develops in your lawn.
Moss doesn’t have roots, obtaining its nutrients from moisture sitting on the soil. Moss removal treatments need to target the conditions as well as the moss growth, something that standard moss killers won’t do effectively so your moss will return time and again.
Moss is probably the worst problem facing most lawns and it spreads by means of airborne spores. It does not put down roots, it just spreads across the damp soil surface, absorbing soil nutrients that have dissolved into the moisture on the surface. Dead moss is fibrous unlike a dead weed which is 70% water and will not just wither and gradually shrivel away. Dead moss turns into thatch which does not decompose and needs to be raked and removed from the lawn.
Heavy moss may require scarifying or verti cutting to remove if from the lawn. If not removed, dead moss turns into thatch which absorbs and keeps moisture on the surface away from the grass roots where it is needed. The damp conditions created by thatch are ideal conditions for moss to develop.
Lawns do not look very attractive after scarifying or raking. Lawns with thick moss will look very bare and may require over seeding and top dressing to help them recover. Do not rake or scarify the moss unless you have applied a moss control. You will just be spreading the spores and making things worse.
It is important that you time the moss control and any scarifying to be followed by a sustained period of wet warm weather to help the lawn and grass to recover and any sown seed to germinate.
Moss thrives in damp and shady areas and will rapidly develop in lawns that have thatch. Damp thatch acts as a perfect environment for moss to develop. Compacted soil or poorly drained soil which can be a feature of heavy clay soils tend to have a damp surface that offers a perfect environment for moss spores to develop. Areas of lawn that have been scalped or areas that have thin growth will also be quickly colonised with moss.
If you have compacted soil the lawn needs to be aerated regularly. Thatch will also need to be removed by scarification. Simple raking of the lawn while removing the moss will not remove the thatch which is the main reason the moss is developing. Scarification should follow an application of moss control. If you rake your lawn while the moss is still alive and green you will spread the moss spores across your lawn. After Devon Lawn Care has applied moss control it should be left for two weeks until the moss has turned brown black. We will then arrange to return to scarify and aerate your lawn.
Removing the conditions that encourage moss to develop will reduce the possibility of moss returning. However if you have a heavy soil and or shaded areas in your garden then you will always have to be vigilant.
Garden Moss Killing Treatment and Control
Devon Lawn Care are trained to deal with moss in lawns. The products we use are efficient and safe and should be combined with scarifying, aeration, top dressing and over seeding in chronic cases.
Moss is the most common problem we have with lawns. The mild damp autumns and winters are ideal for moss growth. Moss becomes established if grass growth is reduced and weak. It is essential to ensure the grass has the appropriate fertiliser to ensure vigorous healthy growth particularly in the spring and autumn, cutting the grass too short will weaken grass as will insufficient watering in dry spells. Moss thrives and quickly develops where grass is weak. Weeds are easy to control, moss is slightly more difficult and requires regular attention. Strong healthy grass receiving regular applications of lawn care resists moss better than under nourished lawns.
Moss is not a weed. It does not put down roots but spreads across any damp surface. Nutrients in the soil dissolve in damp conditions and are absorbed by moss. Moss is spread by air borne spores in the spring and autumn and will thrive and spread colonising large areas of your lawn if left untreated.
The moss plant is fibrous and tough. Once it has been treated the dead moss plant does not decay easily and it may be necessary to remove the dead plant by scarifying your lawn followed by aeration and top dressing depending on the level of moss in your lawn. Dead moss left on your lawn will act like thatch and prevent new grass growing in those areas.
If grass suffers stress and is weakened and dies in cold or dry conditions. Moss and weeds will quickly colonise any spaces or areas of weak growth in your lawn.
The following conditions encourage moss:
- Warm moist weather conditions
- Compacted poorly drained soil heavy soils will become compacted and need to be hollow tine aerated to reduce the effects of the compaction in the soil and can be top dressed with a 70 % sand loam mix to improve soil ventilation once every 2 to 3 years.
- Lawns thick with thatch. Thatch is dead organic matter sitting on or below the soil surface and has to be removed by scarification.
- Cutting the grass too short or scalping significantly reduces the health of the grass, weakens it and allows moss to move in.
- Not watering the grass in the dry summer months can weaken the grass and allow moss to move into your lawn.
- Clay based soils.
- Shaded or poorly ventilated lawns where the grass and soil surface rarely dry out.
- Poorly fertilised lawns with weak and sparse grass usually have lots of moss present.
If you neglect your lawn for even a short time moss will quickly move in and colonise large areas of your lawn pushing out the grass. Call Devon Lawn Care and let us tackle your moss problem.