With thousands of species of moss around the world, it’s no wonder these simple plants can be found growing and multiplying all around us – even in/on your well-maintained lawn, garden, walkways and driveways. Moss species are some of the hardiest living organisms on the planet and can reproduce quickly even in areas that may seem fairly inhospitable. Moss forms a thick, green matt on the soil surface, however it is not the culprit for killing grass in those areas. Moss is merely filling in the area that was not a good location for growing grass. Moss, therefore is not your problem, but rather an indicator that the area has less that ideal conditions for growing grass. Let’s look at the causes of this nuisance plant thriving in your yard.
- Shady Areas – Moss loves the shade. Insufficient sunlight can make it hard for many types of grass to grow well thus creating an ideal condition for moss to not only grow but to thrive. Shady areas also tend to stay moist longer since the sun’s power of evaporation can not occur. If you prefer not to have moss growing in your light to heavy shaded areas then you will want to plant shrubs, bushes, cut back branches to let in the sunlight or mow at a higher level to allow the roots to go deep and take hold.
- Poor Drainage – Areas of your yard may have puddling or attract more moisture than other areas. If your soil under your lawn does not drain very well and retains excessive moisture, this condition, too could invite moss. Poor drainage could have many causes including clay content or compaction due to overuse. Compact soil should be dealt with through a process of aeration that will allow the proper oxygen and nutrients to get to the roots. Dethatching can also assist with drainage and compaction. This will make your grass stronger and less likely to be overrun by moss.
- Soil Type – Moss thrives well in acidic soils. If the soil pH is below the range recommended for grasses, this would encourage moss growth instead. To determine what the soil pH is in an area, you can collect and submit a soil test sample. If the ground lacks the nutrients required for lawns to be healthy, you’ll potentially have to lime the area and then fertilize it on a regular basis.
After dethatching, having the soil tested and inspecting for drainage and sunlight problems, you may still have trouble finding out the cause of your moss issue. Contact a professional lawn care company like Pro-Tech to find out what is causing your lawn problem and come up with a solution for your unique yard.