The Q&A Archives: Moss and Ivy

Question: how do I eradicate ground
ivy and moss in my lawn and beds?

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. As for the ivy, the only way to completely eradicate it is to dig it out, roots and all. Best wishes with your lawn!

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