Last Updated on July 12, 2021
A moss invasion can destroy the quality of your lawn and turn your garden into a mess. Moss in lawns will not damage the soil underneath. However, it will compete with your grass for the area and cause the lawn to become spongy and uneven. It is therefore essential to control moss before it spreads too much. A great way to do this is to kill lawn moss using special moss killers. In this guide, we look at how to use moss killer to make your lawn healthier again.
What Causes Lawn Moss Growth?
You must first understand what causes unwanted moss growth. If you do not tackle the underlying conditions and problems, the moss could return once you have removed it. Common causes for actively growing moss include:
- Insufficient aeration
- Too much shade
- Poor drainage
- Highly acidic soil
- High foot traffic
The above is essentially perfect growing conditions for moss. In order to grow effectively, moss needs shady areas, compacted soil, damp conditions, and acidic soil conditions. Most of these conditions can be improved by using lawncare products. However, you can also improve drainage by adding materials like lawn sand into your soil. It is important to note that high usage of your grass can also promote moss growth.
Getting rid of moss involves improving the condition of your whole lawn. If you can stifle its growing conditions, you can stop it from returning once you have removed it and discourage moss growth on your lawn.
You can also look at the type of moss to discover any underlying issues you have. For example, fern-like mosses that are feathery are typically found in new lawns that have poor drainage. Alternatively, densely matted tufts of moss are usually found in lawns that have highly acidic soil.
How to Use Moss Killer – A Simple Guide
Now that you understand the conditions for moss growth, we can tackle the problem and remove it from your lawn. It is not a simple case of applying moss killer – there are other steps and considerations involved that we discuss below.
A Tri-Pronged Attack – Moss Killer, Scarifying, and Lawncare
To remove moss, whether you have established lawns or new lawns, it generally requires three stages. First, you must assess if moss killer is required or not, which we discuss further down. If so, apply moss killer to your lawn. It is a relatively simple process, but it can be time-consuming, and you need to be careful and fastidious when you do it.
Once the moss killer has taken effect, the next stage is to rake your lawn. This process is also known as scarifying. Here you are essentially removing the dead moss to leave bare soil/grass underneath. You must be careful during this stage, too; otherwise, you can risk damaging your grass.
Finally, if you do not want moss to return, you should apply lawn care and tend to your grass. How you do this depends on the lawn and what you want to achieve. It also depends on any underlying issues that caused the moss in the first place.
Using the Moss Killer
The first step of moss control is to use the moss killer! Before doing anything, we always advise reading the instructions thoroughly. The instructions will contain important information like how much solution or crystals to use, how evenly to disperse them, and how long they should take to work.
Moss killer is usually fine crystals that can be dispersed onto the moss by hand or using something like a trowel. You should spread the moss killer evenly. If you only apply it to visible moss patches, you can end up with bare patches and uneven colour on your grass. Apply the moss killer evenly over the entire surface of your lawn. It should fully address the problem.
Once the crystals are applied, you must then leave them to work. Depending on the make of the moss killer, it can take up to three weeks to kill moss.
Scarifying is the process of raking your lawn. By raking the grass, you will remove the dead moss. It is essential to only rake after the allotted time stated on the instructions. You should essentially notice that the moss has turned black – this means it is dead.
There are many tools available for scarifying. For example, you can use a green fork, a garden rake, or even special mechanical scarifying tools. Mechanical scarifiers usually look like a lawnmower and will effectively remove the dead moss. A rake and enough elbow grease are also just as effective!
If the solution has worked properly, you should not have to rake too hard. The dead moss should quickly come away, and you should not cause any damage to your grass. It may take several passes over large lawns to get rid of all the excess moss. Regardless, even for small lawns, it is still advised to rake the entire surface a couple of times to make sure.
Once the lawn has been raked and all the dead moss removed, you can turn your attention to lawn care. It is essentially the process of improving the quality of your soil and grass so that it will re-grown and help stop the future growth of moss.
Firstly, any areas that were badly affected by moss should be re-seeded with grass seed. It will bring your lawn back to its former glory and ensure that the surface is even once it has re-grown. Many people also take the time to aerate their garden to improve the drainage – this is achieved simply by punching holes into the grass at set intervals.
Finally, using lawn care solutions like miracle gro can also be applied to promote a healthy lawn and improve the underlying quality and acidity of your soil. It is also essential that you do not cut your grass too short when the grass has re-grown. Close mowing and cutting grass too short can stress the grass and reduce its health and growth.
Moss Killer Considerations and Tips
Finally, we have also provided some general tips and considerations for lawn care and moss removal. It is important to look at the size of your garden and think about what you want to achieve with your lawn. The following tips will also help.
When to Apply Lawn Moss Killer
There are several basic rules to remember when considering when to treat your grass. Firstly, moss killer should generally only be applied during fine weather. Secondly, it is best to apply moss killer in the autumn or spring. Generally, people aerate their lawn by punching holes in the soil during the autumn and then apply moss killer in the spring.
Is Moss Killer Necessary?
It is important to understand that moss killer isn’t always necessary. It depends on how severe the problem is. If you only have a mild moss problem, it could be removed by scarifying and lawn care. Often, effective lawn care can stop the growth of moss. Therefore, if you remove any existing moss, none should grow back.
However, if you have a growth series, moss killer may be the only viable option, together with deep scarifying and lawn care.
What Type of Moss Killer to Use?
There are generally two types of moss killer – chemical moss killer or organic moss killer. Chemical moss killers contain ferrous sulphate. Ferrous sulphate is the main component that kills the moss. Ferrous sulphate chemical killers are considered the most effective, and some of them also contain fertilizer to encourage lawn growth afterwards.
Organic moss killers do not contain ferrous sulphate. Instead of ferrous sulphate, they utilize bacteria to break down the moss. Organic moss killer has a benefit in that it requires much less raking afterwards. It is because the bacteria effectively dissolves the moss as well as killing it.
Dead Moss Can Be Used as Compost
It should also be noted that the dead moss and dead grass you rake away still have a use. If you have a compost heap, you can add the dead moss as compost! Please note that moss takes longer to decompose; therefore, it should only be added to your compost heap in smaller amounts.
Moss Killer FAQs
Can You Kill Moss Using Other Items Rather Than Moss Killer?
Yes, but they are often not as effective. A simple mix of 3 tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of water can be sprayed onto your lawn’s moss as a solution. It will kill the moss, and it can then be raked as usual.
Is Moss Killer Safe for Pets?
Not usually. It is essential to read the instructions and check if you can use the moss killer with pets. There are specific products that are pet-friendly, but caution should still be used regardless.
How Often Should I Use Moss Killer?
Most gardeners use moss killer whenever a moss problem arises. Regularly check your surrounding grass for moss and practice regular moss control. This way, you can keep on top of it and have a moss-free lawn.
Use Moss Killer in Your Garden
Keeping your lawn is important if you want to encourage vigorous grass growth and have a garden that looks fantastic. Getting rid of loose moss is a part of this, and you should always tackle a moss invasion sooner rather than later. It can soon get out of control and threaten the quality and surface area of your grass. Hopefully, this guide has shed some light on how to tackle moss and remove it from your garden using moss killer.