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Learn Your Lawn: Moss

What Is Moss? 

Moss is a small, non-vascular plant that typically grows in damp or shady environments because of its limitations in processing water and nutrients. There are hundreds of species of mosses, but only a few are commonly found in turf. Moss often grows on lawns in shaded areas where the soil is moist, or where the grass is thin or poorly growing due to compacted soil, low soil fertility, or high acidity.

Moss may be a problem whenever one or more of the following conditions are present: 

• Low levels of nitrogen 
• Poor air circulation 
• Excessive shade 
• Low soil pH 
• Poor drainage or compaction 
• Low mowing height 
• Any maintenance practice that puts stress on the grass plants 

How Can I Control Moss In My Lawn? 

The best way to control moss is to correct the underlying conditions that encourage moss growth. Here are a few measures you can use to prevent or reduce moss growing in your lawn.

• Prune trees to reduce shade and increase air circulation 
• Aerate to improve drainage 
• Adjust mowing height to meet or exceed 3 inches 
• Apply regular applications of fertilizer to increase nitrogen 

Sometimes it’s necessary to adjust the pH level of the soil with an application of lime. Our licensed and trained Weed Man lawn care professionals can also perform a moss control application, either in the spring or fall. 

Once the moss turns black and dies, it must be raked up and the bare areas should be top dressed and over seeded to stimulate new grass growth.


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