Moss in lawns: “worst I’ve ever seen!”

By | 18/03/2017
Moss growing in a lawn

My business is lawn care. I visit hundreds of customers on a regular basis and talk to them about their grass.

One of my customers is an elderly gentleman, in his eighties. He often tells me that he has lived in the same house for over sixty years. He is a keen gardener and loves his lawns.

In his whole time in maintaining his lawns, he has never seen moss as bad as it has been this year (2017). In the 3 months since we last spoke, his lawn has, “almost overnight”, developed a thick carpet.

“It is the worst I’ve ever seen” he told me.

Why is moss bad in lawns this year?

It thrives in damp, shady, cool conditions. Recent winters in the north west of England have been mild. The winter of 2016/2017 seems to have been especially mild, with spring coming early. It has had ideal growing conditions for months.

Moss reproduces via spores released into the air. This means that, given the right conditions, it can appear all over a lawn in a matter of weeks.

With the ideal conditions for moss growth lasting for so long, even the best maintained lawns can become infested.

How do I prevent my lawn becoming infested?

Tackling moss is an ongoing problem. If your lawn is shady or wet then you will have an even tougher battle. The key to keeping it down is regular treatments.

  • Keep the grass healthy and aerated during the growing season. This will give the moss less space and the grass will be able to recover quickly in the spring.
  • Apply a moss control when needed. This may mean several times in a season. I can apply a control treatment in addition to your treatment programme at any time of the year.
  • Rake out the moss if it is becoming a problem. Smaller patches will reduce on their own. Larger patches will need raking out by hand or scarifying to clean the lawn of mossy debris.
  • Remedy any issues helping the moss. Install drainage, cut back overhanging trees and shrubs or aerate to reduce compaction.

You can control moss in your lawn, but you need to be realistic about the amount of work required to completely remove it. There does not exist any chemical to prevent it from returning.

If you would like any advice, or have a question, please get in touch.

Kris Lord, Lawnscience

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