The Q&A Archives: How do I control Moss in my lawn?

Question: How do I control moss in my lawn? Where there is a shady area I seem to have too much moss growing and killing my grass. Year after year I dig ir up, apply lime and fertilizer, reseed, and the moss always comes back.I almost want to forget the grass and just grow moss, at least it's guaranteed! Just kidding. Am I putting down enough Lime? Thanks
Mike R. Oxford MA.

Answer: Moss is usually a symptom of several problems, including poor drainage, too much shade, low fertility, compacted soil, and acid soil. If you can correct these problems, and put your lawn on a regular feeding schedule, you'll have fewer moss problems. Start fertilizing in April with a 3-1-2 ratio of NPK (the 3 numbers on the bag of fertilizer). Apply one pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn per year. Feed again in June, September and late November or early December. Instead of using chemical moss killers, just rake and reseed any mossy areas in your lawn. If your grass is healthy, it will crowd out the moss in the future. You didn't mention whether or not you aerated your lawn. If not, do so this spring with a core aerator, leaving the plugs on the lawn. Spread a thin layer of sand over the lawn and allow the plugs to dissolve in rain water or irrigation water. The sand and the soil from the plugs will work its way into the holes left by the aerator effectively reducing compaction and giving excess moisture a way to escape. This should help. Best wishes with your lawn!

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