The Q&A Archives: Moss In The Lawn

Question: My lawn looks like its more moss than anything. What should I do?

Answer: Moss is a symptom of several underlying causes: poor fertility, too much shade, poor drainage, soil compaction, and low soil pH. You can rake to remove moss and then re-seed the bare spots. To really eradicate moss, you need to address the reasons it grows. Put your lawn on a regular feeding schedule, using a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK). Apply one pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn, divided into 3 or 4 applications. (April, June, Septemberand November) Try to plant shade-tolerant grasses, and improve the drainage by adding a curtain drain. You can apply lime in the fall to raise the soil pH. If it appears that lawn maintenance is more than you have time for, consider planting a lawn substitute. There are many groundcover type plants that tolerate shade and poor drainage and still hold up under light foot traffic.

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