The conditions that moss favours are as follows:
- Poor surface drainage – This encourages fern and tufted type mosses.
- Lack of fertility or nutrients – Any lawn low in essential nutrients will be thin and weak and open to invasion.
- Acid soil conditions – Soils with a low pH encourage moss.
- Shaded lawns – Lawns which lack light tend to have poor grass coverage which leaves them open to invasion.
- Mowing lawns too close – Mowing too closely weakens the sward resulting in thin grass coverage inviting moss into the lawn.
- Drought – Lack of irrigation during drought conditions causes to grass coverage to suffer and moss can invade.
- Compacted soils – These soils are likely to be lacking in grass coverage giving it the opportunity to invade.
Dead moss in your lawn
The above image shows a close up of the lawn following moss treatment. Note that the moss has turned black and died and it now ready to be removed with a lawn rake or scarifier.
To prevent the invasion of moss you will need to address the problems and conditions that favour it as outlined above.
Addressing the following will help improve the quality of the lawn surface and help reduce the problems:
- Improve the drainage – This will remove surface water keeping the surface drier.
- Aeration – This reduces compaction and keeps the soil in good condition.
- Correct fertiliser program – This promotes a healthy thick sward leaving the moss with little opportunity to invade.
- Reduce the shade – Lets more light onto the lawn, again discouraging moss which favours shaded areas with very little light.
- Raise the height of cut on the mower – Raising the height of the mower reduces the stress on the grass and encourages a healthier sward.
- Irrigation – During dry periods water the lawn to maintain grass coverage and health.