Great Lawns Made Simple: How to remove moss

Great Lawns Made Simple: How to remove moss

Learn how to remove moss from your garden lawn by scarifying with our Great Lawns Made Simple series.

Moss is very common in garden lawns as it likes damp conditions and thrives in shady areas. Unfortunately, it can block water and choke grass. Moss can usually be found along fences and under trees.

See our video below for some helpful tips on how to remove moss:

The underlying reason for moss taking hold is poor drainage, poor or compacted soil or grass in poor condition. This can be a continuous problem if not addressed as moss spreads by spores and quickly takes hold again. Moss lawns feel spongy to walk on, and if you look at the base of the grass, you will see leafy green stems or fronds woven around the grass blades. To get rid of moss, you can either remove it by manual means or with a chemical moss killer.

How to remove moss tips mentioned in this video:

  • If you only have a small patch of moss, you can use a 'spring tine rake' (not a soil rake) to pull the moss out. This is known as scarification. Rake in crosswise directions to get as much as possible, but lightly, as grass can be damaged by over-scarifying.
  • If you have a large area to deal with, you can use a scarifier machine.
  • The best way to tackle a very mossy lawn is to apply a feed, weed and mosskiller. When the moss is dead, you then need to rake it out. Then, you can assess if you need to overseed the lawn. Remember – to keep it in check, it is wise to address the reasons why the moss is growing so well.
  • If the soil is compacted and waterlogged, it will need spiking or aeration.
  • Try not to cut the grass so short that it lets water flood and sit on the surface – a perfect moss breeding ground. Also, look and see if hanging branches from trees are blocking light; grass surfaces dry out with the sun and wind, so if you let more light in, moss will be less likely to thrive.
  • Lastly, if you have a shady garden, always choose a good shade tolerant grass seed.

Want to know more? Check out the rest of our Great Lawns Made Simple series.