Have you looked across your lawn and wondered why you’re seeing strange patches of moss pop up?
Sure, moss may not be a weed, but it might as well be when it sours the appearance of your thick, green grass.
And while moss is a fairly simple plant with a shallow root system, it’s just as opportunistic as weeds, meaning it will grow anywhere that your grass isn’t thick enough to keep it out.
Moss can also signal that your lawn has some needs that aren’t being met.
Let’s talk about moss in your yard in Northern Virginia, why it’s there, and how to get rid of moss in your lawn so you can get back to your regularly scheduled lawn enjoyment.
Learning About Moss In Your Yard
Moss is the last thing you need in your grass. It’s kind of a menace the way it stands out so differently from your normal grass.
You want to enjoy the outdoors, toss the ball with your dog, and hang out with your family. You don’t need a nasty lawn appearance making your property look unkempt.
Here we dive into how to get rid of moss in your lawn after talking about what makes moss thrive so you can better understand how to prevent it.
What Is Moss?
Moss in your yard is a spore-bearing plant that has a green, sponge-like appearance.
It can actually look pretty growing in areas where it’s not bothering you. But when it’s growing in your lawn, you can become quite frustrated with it. It can make your lawn look uneven in color and be an eyesore when all you really want is a thick, green, thriving lawn.
Why Do I Have Moss In My Yard?
There are a few reasons why you might have moss in your yard.
The main culprit that leads to moss usually has to do with the surrounding environmental conditions, such as excess moisture and a lack of drainage.
Moss can also result due to poor pH. Soil that is too acidic can promote moss growth.
Where Does Moss Grow in My Yard?
Moss tends to thrive in wet conditions. So if you have a shady area of your yard that doesn't get much sun or air circulation, you might find moss there. Or maybe you have an area of your lawn with poor drainage. This can also be more prone to moss growth.
Moss in your yard will also tend to grow in areas where your lawn has more thatch.
How to Get Rid of Moss in Northern Virginia Lawns
Your yard may have both the environmental conditions and the pH imbalance that can support moss growth.
As you address the root issues that are causing moss in your yard, you must remember to battle all of the factors in order to prevent further moss growth.
Here we’ll go over the best ways to remove moss step by step.
Get a Soil Test
First step in learning how to remove moss: Get a soil test. A soil test will show you your current soil pH. You need to know this in order to determine if high acidity is a problem.
To do this, you take samples of soil in different spots and send those into a local extension service. Or your lawn care professional might be able to conduct a soil test for you as well. A soil test will provide a nutrient makeup report of your soil, as well as give you your current pH levels. All of this information is beneficial when determining how to take better care of your lawn.
In fact, the data can show you why you might be having other problems in addition to moss, such as weed growth or bare spots.
If you find you have overly acidic soil, limestone applications can help. This soil amendment is made from ground limestone rock, which naturally includes both calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. Both of these compounds help increase soil pH back to an acceptable level for Northern Virginia.
Limestone can be applied at any time of year, but fall is a great time because temperatures are cooling and your lawn can soak it in before winter and the influx of growth come springtime.
But if you need limestone to remove moss, any time of year works. Though it isn’t an instant cure. It takes some work to change soil pH.
If you’re looking for something faster, a lawn care professional may have some options for you. Iron sulfate products, for instance, may help remove moss quickly, but you’ll still want to tackle the soil pH problems and any other issues causing moss growth.
Address the Environmental Conditions
To get rid of moss, you may also need to look at the environmental conditions in areas where it’s growing. Why? Because if you don't, moss will just grow back again.
If you have a drainage, thatch or compaction problem in your lawn, for instance, aeration can help you solve this. Aeration is the removal of small plugs of soil with an aerator. This helps your lawn breathe by breaking up compaction and enabling the soil and roots to absorb oxygen, nutrients and water much more easily. This helps aid drainage by getting water to penetrate to the root zone and below versus staying on the surface where it can promote moss growth.
If you have a shady area, pruning nearby trees could help let some sunlight in and fix those conditions.
Talking to your lawn care professional about what’s going on in your yard, as well as options to fix the problem, can help you get rid of moss.
Focus on Proper Lawn Care
In addition to using the tactics above to remove moss, you also want to focus on correct lawn care practices. This creates a thick, healthy, thriving lawn, which is your best defense against moss and weeds.
To create this type of grass, you have to deliver proper care.
What does adequate maintenance look like? Mowing to a 3.5- to 4-inch height to keep your lawn from stressing out, providing the proper nutrient balance through fertilization, delivering longer, infrequent irrigation to about 1 to 2 inches a week (including rainfall), and aerating and overseeding and topdressing once annually to limit compaction and fill in bare spots. Your ultimate goal is to create the best environment for your lawn to grow and give weeds less of a chance to find their ways into your lawn.
Turf’s Up Can Help You Fight Moss In Your Yard
Moss in your yard can certainly ruin a great expanse of lawn. No one wants that.
You don’t want to give moss even a slightest opportunity to take over a section of your lawn, or it will definitely use it.
You might be so focused on the nice weather that you don’t realize before it’s too late that getting rid of moss in your lawn is now necessary so you can get your lawn back to that good-looking grass you love.
Turf’s Up can help you by providing a complete, proactive lawn care program that includes everything you need to keep your lawn strong – proper fertilization based on soil test results; pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control treatments; lime applications to get your pH in the right range; and aeration, overseeding, and topdressing services. We also answer questions and offer solid advice when you need it.
When you have a professional eye on your property who can recognize moss and other problems, you can keep it in check before it gets out of hand and maintain that lawn you’re not embarrassed to call home.
Ready to learn why Turf’s Up could be your totally awesome choice for lawn care services in Northern Virginia? We’re stoked to learn more about you and help you have the best lawn on the block. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we can prepare a customized plan that is perfect for you and your lawn.