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how to treat a lawn with moss

how to treat a lawn with moss

A mossy lawn is always a headache. Troubled hobby gardeners are right to ask themselves what to do? Moss destroyers promise a quick solution, but only solve the problem temporarily. I  will explain how to permanently remove moss from your lawn.

Root cause analysis brings light into the darkness

Mosses are among the most underestimated plants. During their 400-million-year evolution, rootless land plants have developed ingenious survival strategies, including sophisticated habitat selection.

If moss spreads in your garden, it will find ideal living conditions here in order to displace the actually stronger lawn grasses.I’ve compiled the most common causes of a moss-covered lawn for you here:

  • Shady location with too few hours of sunshine for lawn grasses
  • Compacted, moist soil
  • Acidic pH below 6.0
  • nutrient deficiency

Soil analysis by a special laboratory provides well-founded insights into the condition of the soil that cannot be seen with the naked eye. You can determine the pH value yourself using a test set, which is available for around 10 euros in hardware stores and garden centers.

Experience has shown that a combination of all of the above causes is responsible for the moss-covered lawn.

All-round action removes moss and revitalizes the lawn – this is how it works

The problem of a shady, cool location can often only be solved by replacing the moss-covered lawn with a firm, shade-tolerant ground cover as a lawn substitute, such as ivy or star moss. You can get rid of all other causes by subjecting your lawn to a revitalization treatment. How to do it right:

  • Mow the moss-covered lawn 3 cm (1.17 inches) deep in spring or autumn
  • Using the scarifier, comb out all of the moss lengthwise and crosswise and sweep away
  • If the pH value is too low, raise it to an ideal 6.0 to 7.0 with lawn lime or dolomite lime
  • Sand and fertilize the scarified green area

From now on, fertilize the lawn with an organic-mineral long-term fertilizer in spring and summer. In September/October you strengthen the winter hardiness with potassium fertilizers. This care program results in strengthened lawn grasses that can no longer be displaced by moss.

Iron fertilizer is counterproductive

Fighting moss with iron fertilizer is like sweeping sand in the desert. Superficially, the existing moss is dying due to the toxic iron-II sulphate. In truth, Iron fertilizer also lowers the pH value in the soil, ultimately paving the way for the next generation of moss.


After scarifying, a whole mountain of combed moss piles up. Avoid throwing the pile onto the compost in one fell swoop as rotting may develop. It is better if you compost the moss residue in layers, alternating with other organic waste, rock and algae lime, and garden soil.

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