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my lawn has lots of moss, what causes this? whats the treatment?
- Oakland, OR
Moss results when the growing conditions are more favorable to moss then to grass, or when the grass is too stressed. Areas that are shady, compacted, improperly fertilized, have poorly drained soil or overly acidic soil all favor the growth of moss. The key to keeping moss out of your lawn is to address the underlying problems. If the area is too shady, then trim branches from the tree or trees shading the area. If the area is too wet or drains poorly, then amend the soil with organic matter to help with drainage; install a French drain or trench; or improve the drainage by raising the level of the soil. A soil test is key to know whether your soil is too acidic. If it is, then treat with lime to raise the pH.
The other avenue of attack is to grow a healthy lawn, which includes proper feeding, mowing, and aerating. When mowing your lawn, mow high and mow often. (Mowing your lawn too close will weaken the grass.) Cut no more than one-third of the grass in one mowing. This method of mowing will encourage deeper root systems for a healthier and stronger turf. Fertilize and aerate your lawn in fall to encourage a stronger root system and better flow of oxygen, water and nutrients to grass roots. (Aerate about 5 to 10 percent of the surface area of your lawn.)
If you’re determined to get the moss out quickly, look for products containing ferrous sulfate or ferrous ammonium sulfate. But keep in mind that unless you fix the underlying problem, the moss will most likely grow back. Good luck!