View Full Version : Removing moss from lawns - Advice please

6th Sep 2013, 15:16
Despite seeking info from a plethora of gardening books and scouring the internet for advice I’m aiming this request at the gardeners out there who have experience in removing moss from lawns.

The lawn in question (East facing) is covered in what can only be described as a really thick covering that is extremely spongy underfoot. There is grass but the moss has completely taken over. So the first question is when is the best time of year to tackle the problem? Then it’s whether to scarify or use chemicals? (Which?) Any rough guide to recovery timespan? Anybody have any tips based on their own experience?

6th Sep 2013, 15:22
Rotavate and 'lift' the soil to improve drainage (maybe mix-in some sand to lighten the loam) then replant or returf.

If you've got that much moss you'll just waste time (and money) on chemicals or raking.

Believe me, I learned the hard way.

If your lawn is reverting to moss it isn't suited to growing grass.

Edited to add:- Moss in Lawns - Treatment to kill Lawn Moss | Gardenseeker.com (http://www.gardenseeker.com/lawns/moss_in_lawns.htm)


6th Sep 2013, 15:25
I had a moss problem for years and spent lots of money and effort trying to get rid of it myself. I then signed up to a franchise called green thumb, which i believe are countrywide. They were not expensive for visits every three months and my moss was gone in less than six months and the condition of my lawn improved.

6th Sep 2013, 15:27
Well, some people would kill for nice soft moss, so shame on you!
But if you really can't appreciate it, then G-CPTN's right. You should reorganoise something in the soil. Moss is not that easy to grow generally, the conditions have to be right. Take out some variable and it does not bother you any more. :sad:

6th Sep 2013, 15:37
I don't know how big an area you are talking but I'd try raking/scarifying then aerating, this should help with any compaction. Soil should be nice and warm after the summer and now would be a good time to reseed, plus fertilise the existing grass.
I had exactly the same problem last year and I now own a rejuvenated lawn which is going from strength to strength. :ok:

6th Sep 2013, 15:41
I've always found the deployment of a low-yield, and small, nuclear explosive device works wonders in ridding ones lawn of moss. (Although the neighbors tend to get somewhat alarmed at the sight of a mini-mushroom cloud) :}:}:}

6th Sep 2013, 15:47
Related question.....how do you get rid of English Ivy that keeps trying to take over every thing. Roundup just makes it sick....sadly not Terminally Ill.

Flap 5
6th Sep 2013, 15:58
These are good:

GreenThumb: Lawn Care, Lawn Maintenance, Lawn Treatment, Lawn Advice Service, UK Lawn Specialists (http://www.greenthumb.co.uk/)

Moss is dealt with by the nitrogen in the grass fertilizer. Green Thumb do a quarterly treatment of fertilizer and weedkiller and will do scarifying in the autumn / winter if needed. Although the application of a good rake will scarify quite well.

6th Sep 2013, 16:09
I had ivy growing through drystone walls that had been allowed to swell to the thickness of my arm (forcing the stones apart and 'destroying' the integrity of the wall). Once I was free to tackle the ivy (ie allowed to kill it) I went at it with a vengeance until it was all eradicated.

I used to use SBK Brushwood Killer (http://www.vitax.co.uk/home-garden/sbk-brushwood-killer/), mixed with paraffin and/or used engine oil - messy but effective.

Current SBK BK doesn't mention ivy, so it might have been reformulated. :ugh:

The paraffin and engine oil served to combat the sheen on the ivy and allow the chemicals to 'bite'.
You might try mixing Glyphosate (Roundup) with paraffin (there are industrial strengths of Glyphosate available - which we use to control Japanese Knotweed - you might need to get these from an agricultural merchant).

Another method is to sever the stems near the base and dig out the roots (if possible).

Once the stems are cut the leaves will die and lose their grip, allowing you to pull it away without damaging the host/wall.

6th Sep 2013, 16:23
You might try mixing Glyphosate (Roundup) with paraffin (there are industrial strengths of Glyphosate available - which we use to control Japanese Knotweed - you might need to get these from an agricultural merchant).

Don't try using this anywhere near a lawn unless you prefer the "scorched earth" look! I accidentally got some on my shoes, walked on the lawn and got nice earth footprints coming up after a few weeks. :{

Dak Man
6th Sep 2013, 16:26
RGB, he said "moss" not Mossad......:E

ps, crabgrass is my nemesis :mad:stuff

6th Sep 2013, 16:28
Industrial strength Glyphosate (http://www.pitchcare.com/shop/ivy-weed-killer/bayer-super-strength-glyphosate-18-sachets.html).

6th Sep 2013, 16:31
"to combat the sheen on the ivy"

You can pour Round Up straight onto large cut stems,
some of it always ends up in the root system.

Best to use one of the stems nearest the ground / roots.

6th Sep 2013, 16:34
I used the severed stems method on the ivy here. Works well but be prepared to wait a few months for it all to wither.

As regards moss - the four badgers I currently have in my garden will remove that for you, and the grass, and a lot of soil.

6th Sep 2013, 16:39
Perhaps all you need is a tame moose? They like eating moss apparently. Imagine having your own reindeer at Xmas time, children and grand-children around the hearth, singing carols...?! :ok:

6th Sep 2013, 16:42
I want to ATTRACT moss to my lawn - Kate Moss, that is.

Ancient Observer
6th Sep 2013, 17:08
I have much more moss than grass. Mine is a drainage problem, is yours?
Until I fix the underlying soils inability to shift the water away, the moss will thrive.
In the few places where I have dug down about 10 to 12 inches, and revitalised the soil, the grass loves it. However, I have about an acre, so that isn't going to happen everywhere as my back won't take it.

6th Sep 2013, 17:19
four badgers
Badgers | 10 Hours - YouTube

(sry, just couldn't resist :oh:)

6th Sep 2013, 17:26
I've always found the deployment of a low-yield, and small, nuclear explosive device works wonders in ridding ones lawn of moss.

I used an excavator, then replaced the moss with hardcore topped with concrete. This also gets rid of grass, mower, edging shears, "Feed and Weed" (completely useless [email protected]), loads of other chemicals that I used once and then sat festering in the shed and SWMBO's moans about the state of it.

6th Sep 2013, 18:35
Moss is green,grass is green.From a distance it all looks the same.Sorted.

6th Sep 2013, 18:44
Have to agree with oopspff7. Japanese Zen gardens are mostly moss. Just refer to it as your Zen garden rather than lawn. Sorted, cost nothing.

james ozzie
6th Sep 2013, 19:44
My lawn: needs to be mowed, watered, fertilized, weeded and sprayed for lawn grubs. All this for the neighbours cat to crap on.The rest of the garden gets occasionally hacked back and binned. There is every good reason to remove the lawn completely and replace with a combination of ground covers and hard landscaping.

I worked with a property developer who 100% refused to allow any lawn/turf in the landscaping areas of his developments. Too much maintenance.

6th Sep 2013, 19:51
That's probes off my Christmas card list!

What sort of person even finds stuff like that? http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/puppy_dog_eyes.gif

6th Sep 2013, 23:25
Scrape, scrape....then scrape :p

B Fraser
7th Sep 2013, 06:43
"Feed and Weed" (completely useless [email protected])

The liquid stuff is useless whereas the pellets are too strong.

Does anyone have a petrol driven scarifier for sale ? The garden is a bit big for electric tools. I need to rake out all the dead grass that was toasted in the hot summer in spite of having the lawn sprinklers on every other evening.

7th Sep 2013, 07:15
That's probes off my Christmas card list!
What sort of person even finds stuff like that?
Good to know I was at someone's list - real uplifting! :E
What sort? The sort that reads JB, notices nasty stuff and is nasty, of course. http://mail.yimg.com/ok/u/assets/img/emoticons/emo19.gif

As for moss - it is really beautiful actually, if one takes a closer look... provided it's not that bad yet:

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQllESrZpOM3Kgquya3TVengEDxvONdpCo_0nZP5Dm SnfZkX-An5w

"...fascinating plants that have been “greening” Planet Earth for over 450 million years. The myriad of greens, textures and shapes will amaze you."
Mountain Moss (http://mountainmoss.com/)

7th Sep 2013, 10:44
Could I suggest. Most lawn fertilisers contain Ferrous Sulphate as a moss killer. It is this, not the nitrogen, that does the moss killing.

Good scarifying in the fall, aerate (with a folk or if the area is too big hire one). In the spring fertilise with a product containing "moss killer", leave a week or so for the moss killer to take effect, then scarify again. Thereafter, (and perhaps most importantly), don't cut the grass too short. If you leave the grass to get a bit longer (even if it's only an inch or so long) it gains more strength and is more able to compete successfully with the moss :ok:

FWIW - I have an ATCO cylinder mower (with a scarifying cartridge), boy can that cut "low" and I learnt my lesson the hard way :{

If that doesn't work, fence off the lawn and put 20 cattle on it. What they don't eat they'll trample to death :E

7th Sep 2013, 11:50
I have a lot of moss, which I don't bother about. In spring, first there's snowdrops appear, then daffodils, followed by primroses, cowslips and snakes head frittilleries, bluebells and white bells and a few lily of the valley. Where they all came from I know not, as the area was thoroughly rotavated some 25 years ago and previous to that, it was all shrubs. So there's no grass cutting there until about mid June. Some of these flowers come up through moss.

It may be that before the previous owners put in shrubs, some of the other things were there and were buried too deeply.

7th Sep 2013, 12:07
You should let your lawn get a bit hairy at least once a year as it promotes strength. Cut it tall during winter when it doesn't grow so fast.