How To Get Rid Of Moss In Your Lawn Naturally
If you're having trouble with moss taking over your lawn, this could be an indication of a number of different things about your lawn, but generally speaking it's an indication that the condition of your lawn soil is not optimal for grass to grow. As a result, moss is growing in places where you'd rather have grass grow.
The big question is, how do you get rid of that moss that's in your lawn naturally, and without harming your grass?
Thankfully, killing moss and growing grass go hand in hand.
So as you change the conditions of the soil to prevent moss from growing, you'll also be optimizing the soil to better grow grass.
First, we'll explain a few of the best ways to get rid of moss in your lawn quickly. Then, we'll get into some helpful prevention tips so you don't have to keep addressing this issue.
Moss Killing Methods
Recommended: Baking Soda Method
Applying a mixture of baking soda and water to the moss will make the conditions more alkaline, and since moss prefers a slightly acid environment, this will help to kill the moss.
This method tends to work well on small patches of moss. And it's natural, so it won't hurt the environment!
Safety tip: Before putting together a baking soda and water mixture, put on some gloves to prevent skin irritation.
You can apply the moss killing solution described below almost any time of the day and any season during the year, but we recommend applying it during the late afternoon when the grass is dry during the winter or early spring.
Depending on the density and quantity of moss, you can make as diluted of a mixture as 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 gallon of water, to the other extreme of simply pouring dry baking soda on the moss.
For small patches, we recommend starting with 3 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and spray generously until the moss is soaked. If the moss doesn't seem to be responding after a day or two, increase the potency.
For larger patches of moss, we recommend lightly sprinkling dry baking soda over the entire patch(es) and then spray a mixture of 8 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water. To save time, use a garden sprayer for very large patches.
After the moss has died, rake it up carefully (to avoid spreading the spores to far) and discard the dead moss.
You may have to apply the solution two or three times over the course of a week or two to get rid of the moss completely and kill it at its roots. Keep in mind that this is just a temporary solution. Scroll down and read the "Long Term Solution" section below to learn how to prevent the moss from growing back again.
We recommend the baking soda mentioned (described above) but we've heard that some people have had success mixing 3-4 ounces of dish soap with 1 gallon of water and spraying the mixture generously onto the moss patch.
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As with the baking soda method, you will probably need to apply this mixture several times to kill the moss from its roots.
Unlike baking soda and water, lime doesn't directly kill moss very quickly. Instead, lime helps to balance out the pH of the soil and make it slightly alkaline, and since moss prefers a slightly acidic environment, applying lime regularly over time can help to kill off moss over the course of several months.
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If you're looking for quick results, we recommend baking soda and water (explained above) followed by implementing the longer term solutions mentioned further down in this article.
Rake It Out (If You Have Minimal Moss)
If you don't have much moss and/or for whatever reason you're not eager to apply a liquid solution to the moss, you can start by raking it out using a garden rake and discard the raked up moss.
For incredibly dense and large patches of moss, you may actually find it helpful to rake out the majority of the moss first, and then apply a baking soda and water mixture to the remaining moss.
Long Term Solution: Prevent Moss From Growing Back
Regardless of what temporarily solution you choose to get rid of moss in your lawn naturally, you should also learn how to prevent the moss from growing back and plaguing your lawn again and coming back again and again.
Keep reading to learn about various aspects of your lawn's environment that are conducive to proper grass growth (and thus naturally prevents the growth of moss or other weeds).
Increase Exposure To Sunlight
Since moss prefers minimal sunlight, you may notice the moss patches in your lawn are most severe in shady areas.
If that's the case, then consider pruning or trimming any trees or other plants that could be causing excessive shade.
And if that's not a possibility, we recommend consulting with a local landscaper to see if they recommend planting a different type of grass that would be more shade tolerant, such as St. Augustine grass.
The reason we recommend trimming as your first step is that no grass is 100% shade tolerant. It would be a shame to make a rash decision to replace your grass type only to find out that it wasn't the root of the problem.
Don't Water Lawn As Often
If you're watering your lawn (whether manually or with a sprinkler), the growth of moss in your lawn is probably an indication that you're watering too much. Decrease the quantity and/or frequency of watering and see if that stops the moss from spreading.
If that works, try the baking soda and water solution explained above to kill off the moss and continue to decrease the frequency of watering your lawn to keep the moss at bay.
If you're not watering your lawn (i.e. the only water your lawn gets is what comes naturally with rain), and yet your lawn still seems to be unusually damp, then you may need to improve the drainage in the lawn.
In large lawns, especially commercial land, you may be able to create ditches or canals to direct the water into a larger ditch or a pond.
However, in most situations, the best way to improve drainage is to aerate or dethatch your lawn, which we'll explain next.
Aerate or Dethatch Your Lawn
As odd it as it may sound at first, poking holes in your lawn can dramatically help water to drain properly, if done right.
You may have heard this method called by a variety of names, including aeration, dethatching, or spiking. Each method varies slightly and things can get complicated quickly, so we recommend sending a sampling of your lawn soil to local diagnostics lab to get some hints as to why your lawn soil isn't optimal for grass growth.
But in short, dethatching your lawn involves poking holes in the lawn to give water a place to go. You may even consider filling in the holes with sand to make the soil more absorbant.
Hopefully you've learned a bit more about how to get rid of moss in your lawn naturally by reading this article.
In conclusion, we recommend evaluating what about your yard or soil could be preventing grass from growing properly. Once you find a long-term solution, use one of the short-term solutions described above to get a head start on moss removal.
Got any tips from personal experience that you'd like to share about getting rid of moss? Please let us know in the comments below! Or feel free to ask specific questions that you may still have.