Moss on a damp lawn

How To Get Rid Of Moss From The Lawn

Moss on lawns can be unsightly, but can be removed with a little work


Moss on the lawn is most commonly a problem of poor drainage; other less common causes include: too shady, soil too acidic, too heavy use, poor quality grass. You also have to determine whether the problem is a permanent condition or the result of temporary waterlogging. The moss must first be removed then the underlying causes remedied; to remain moss free the vigour of the grass must be maintained. There are several species of moss that colonise lawns and result in the lawn feeling spongy.

Chemical control

There are several chemical solutions available in garden centres; from a complete moss killer and feed to a specific moss killer. They are usually applied in spring and autumn. Once the moss has gone black it needs to be raked out with a spring-tine rake and put on the compost heap. Make sure you apply the chemicals at the correct rate, if applied too strongly they will also kill the grass. Apply in fine weather, some need to be watered several hours after application. Be careful of applying to new lawns as they need at least 6 months to become established.

Non-chemical control

Rake out with a spring-tine rake, called scarification, in autumn.

Aftercare and Prevention

After the moss has been removed there may be bare patches so reseeding will be necessary with a product such as Patch Magic.
If the lawn is too wet then drainage must be improved. Use a lawn aerator or garden fork to make small holes approximately every 30cm (1’), as deep as possible. Brush a mixture of 4 parts good loam based compost to 6 parts sharp sand over the lawn.
If the area of the problem lawn is too shady try and reduce the amount of shade; this could be difficult if the shade is from a specimen conifer which would suffer from pruning. The only solution could be to remove the lawn and replace with bark mulch, gravel or a bed of shade loving plants, this last option may not be possible if the tree is a conifer.
Keep the lawn vigorous and healthy by feeding in spring. Don’t mow too short. If there is a drought in summer keep the lawn watered. Try and avoid compaction through too much wear and tear. If the problem is acid soil sprinkle with garden lime in spring, this will increase the ph but will need doing every year.

Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas