Moving Out the Moss
Saturday, March 29, 2003
By: Paul Schnare
Moss is found in lawns that suffer from low fertility, excess moisture, compaction, poor surface water drainage, soil acidity, and shade. Moss will compete more aggressively than lawn grasses under these conditions, and will eventually take over a lawn area. Even though excess moisture is required to establish moss in an area, it should be noted that moss, once established, could withstand drought conditions for long periods of time.
If moss is present, it can be removed mechanically by raking. In addition it can be killed with an application of copperas (iron sulfate) at the rate of 4 pounds per 1000 square feet. You can apply it either as a granule, or in solution with water.
If you kill the moss with iron sulfate, or remove it mechanically, it will soon return unless the adverse environmental conditions are alleviated. Increase light incidence on your lawn by removing or thinning out trees in the landscape. Provide additional nutrients through fertilization. Aerate the lawn area spring and fall for several seasons to reduce soil compaction. Make sure that surface water drains off the area, and eliminate excess lawn sprinkling. Finally, be sure to apply lime to the lawn to counteract acidification due to the iron sulfate application.