Contents

How to Kill Lawn Moss and Keep It Gone

The best time to treat moss is when it’s actively growing. That typically happens during the fall rains, warm winter rains and early spring. Lawn mosses don’t need much light or nutrition to live, but moisture is critical – both in its surroundings and in the plant itself.

Moss control products based on iron and naturally occurring iron substances, such as ferrous sulfate, are highly effective at killing lawn moss by drawing out moisture so mosses dry up, turn black and die. The Lilly Miller Moss Out! line of moss controls offers several iron-based products to kill lawn moss quickly and benefit your lawn:

  • Liquid Lilly Miller Moss Out! 5 in 1 Broadleaf Weed & Moss Killer, available in a ready-to-spray and concentrate formula, kills lawn moss along with dandelions and other common broadleaf weeds. It even helps suppress fungal lawn diseases, including rust and snow mold. Treated as directed, mosses and weeds start turning black and dying within hours. The formula is rainfast within three hours as well.
  • Lilly Miller Moss Out! For Lawns, available in liquid ready-to-spray and economical concentrate formulas, targets lawn moss with liquid iron for superior results. Used as directed, this product delivers results in hours and kills moss quickly and thoroughly.
  • Granular Lilly Miller Moss Out! For Lawns, available in two convenient sizes to suit small or large lawns, contains 10 percent iron. An essential plant nutrient, iron kills mosses and promotes rich, green color in your lawn – without stimulating growth that translates to more mowing. When applied according to label instructions and watered in to release the moss-killing action, these granules yield visible results in hours.
  • Lilly Miller Moss Out! For Lawns Plus Fertilizer 20-0-5 granules combine 10 percent iron with a nitrogen-rich, 20-0-5 lawn fertilizer to kill existing moss quickly and feed your lawn. Used as directed, you’ll see results with moss in hours. Plus, the extra plant nutrients promote thick grass and help combat moss growth.

Always follow product label instructions closely, and only use these products on lawns. Iron-based moss controls naturally cause rustlike stains, which can affect sidewalks and other hard surfaces.

How to Get Rid of Moss in your Lawn

To keep your lawn strong and healthy it’s important to remove moss from your lawn. Even though your mossy lawn might look green and healthy, if left untreated the moss will take over making your lawn unattractive.

Moss is easier to get rid of than what you think! Here’s our step by step guide on how to get rid of moss in your lawn:

When to Remove Moss

The best time to get rid of moss is during the spring and autumn months. During autumn, your lawn is still recovering from the wear and tear of the summer months but its health needs to be maintained to help survive the cold frosts of winter. Removing moss at this stage prevents a bigger problem later on. Removing moss in spring helps to prepare the lawn for the growing season, whilst making it more resilient for summer.

How to get Rid of Moss

To help you get rid of moss in your lawn we recommend using the following products:

Aftercut Ultra Green Plus

Aftercut Ultra Green Plus prevents moss in your lawn without scorching it, giving your lawn a better chance to achieve beautiful results. The fertiliser includes a water management technology that when watered, moisture is released and drawn deep into the soil. As moss roots do not grow deep into the soil, water is unavailable to the moss, therefore causing the moss to dry out. That’s why Moss can easily be pulled out of the ground.

Furthermore, the feed that is contained within Aftercut Ultra Green plus helps to strengthen and encourage the grass to grow stronger and thicker and promises to achieve greener grass in just 3 days (providing the instructions on the pack are followed). If a lawn is full and thick it creates a hostile environment and crowds out the moss eliminating its chance to grow.

Finally, Ultra Green will make your lawn more stress resistant so it becomes more durable during spring & summer, helping the grass to withstand drought.

Westland Lawn Master

Westland Lawn Master is a no raking, no staining and no blackening formula that naturally removes moss whilst feeding your lawn. The bacteria in the product transforms dead moss and thatch into feed which in turn strengthens your lawn. The feed provides essential nutrients needed for a strong, thick and healthy lawn for up to 3 months. The product is safe for children, pets & wildlife, making it an attractive product for many families.

Westland Lawn Sand

Westland Lawn Sand is a traditional and alternative moss treatment. It can be applied to lawns whenever moss is actively growing and will kill moss in days. The combination of Iron and Nitrogen will also green up and strengthen your lawn.

How to Repair your Lawn

It’s important to understand and consider that if you kill the moss in your lawn you could be left with brown and bare looking patches. You will need to re-seed your lawn with lawn seed to bring it back to life. It is essential that you grow new healthy grass over these patches to avoid them being overgrown by moss again.

Gro-Sure Smart Patch Lawn Seed

If your lawn has suffered from a high infestation of moss, use Gro-Sure Smart Patch spreader to fill in any bare patches. Its aqua gel technology and water retaining granules locks in nutrients and water for guaranteed germination results.

For more information, read our article on how to repair patches in your lawn.

How to Prevent Moss from Re-appearing

Moss is caused by a combination of moisture in your lawn and weak grass. Moss needs moisture to spread, so you are more likely to suffer from a moss problem in shady areas or in wetter seasons like spring or autumn.

The following steps will help you to prevent moss from appearing in the future:

  • To keep your lawn in tip top condition, feed your lawn once a month with Westland SafeLawn for beautiful results
  • Thin out over-hanging trees to prevent shade on your lawn
  • Re-seed any bare patches using Gro-Sure Smart Patch Lawn Seed

How to rid your lawn of Moss

Moss becomes most prevalent in Winter when there is additional moisture around and a lack of warmth to dry out surfaces.

What is Moss?

Mosses are small green non-vascular plants that grow in clumps. They are generally only a few centimetres tall with extremely thin leaves.

Moss enjoys conditions that are wet, shaded and compacted. It is important to understand that moss itself isn’t the problem, it is the favourable conditions that the moss enjoys growing in. Turf on the other hand, generally hates these conditions, so you need to act quick before the moss continues to spread.

How to remove Moss

If you are already plagued with Moss, then you will need to remove it to enable your lawn to repair and spread back into the affected area.

  • You can do so by physically removing it with a spade or rake, being sure to get underneath it and remove the roots from the ground as you do.
  • Moss Killer usually contains iron sulphate. Iron can be good for your lawn when it is deficient. But Moss doesn’t like it too much, so an application of iron sulphate will usually cause the moss to die off.
  • Mixing water and dish soap and spraying the Moss with it, is also another method often used to kill Moss.

How to ensure Moss stays away

The key is to focus on the cause of the problem, so that moss doesn’t keep growing back again.

Aeration – Aerating compacted ground will help the area drain better and allow oxygen and nutrients to the roots of your lawn allowing it to fight back against the Moss.

Improve drainage – If there are substantial drainage issues, you may need to look at putting in a drain or ag pipe to drain the water away and stop it from pooling.

Reduce shade – By reducing the amount of shade where possible, you will help the sun to dry the area out much quicker, which will ensure it doesn’t stay wet for long enough to be favourable for Moss to grow.

Check your soil pH – Make sure the area has a pH level optimum for your grass to grow. You may find an application of Lime is required if the soil is too acidic. Moss prefers acidic soils, but it will also grow fine in alkaline soils. Grass prefers a pH somewhere between 6 to 7.5.

After removing the Moss and addressing the causes of the problem, it is a good time to give your lawn a fertilise and encourage your grass to repair.

Check out the Lawn Solutions Australia lawn care page for more helpful tips here.

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Best Moss Killer For Lawns: Reviews of Popular Products and Buyers Guide

Most lawns will be home to moss at some point and if left untreated, it can spread.

Quickly.

If you have a moss infestation don’t worry, it’s fixable. But in order to treat and remove it effectively, you need the best moss killer for lawns that you can get your hands on.

As a professional greenkeeper, I’ve always had my ‘go-to’ moss killer. That said, there are so many products on the market so I thought I’d test a few of them out to see which is the best moss killer for lawns at home.

In this article, I also offer some advice about how best to use moss killer. So, by the end of your battle with it, you’ll have a virtually moss free lawn.

Oh, and when you’ve invested in the best moss killer for you and your lawn, you should read this article: The Ultimate Guide to Removing Moss From Your Lawn and Prevent it Returning.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The presence of a lot of moss in your lawn is often a symptom of bigger problems like soil compaction and excess lawn thatch. It’s rarely the problem itself.

Killing moss without addressing the issues that caused it to grow in the first place will result in the moss growing back.

If your lawn is suffering from an infestation of moss, the killing and removal of it should be just one step in a partial or complete renovation of your lawn.

Table of Contents

The Best Moss Killer For Lawns: My Top Picks

If you just want to know which moss killers I recommend and not have to trawl through this whole buyers guide, take a look below.

You can either click on the buttons to go buy your favourite product or click on the ‘My Review’ to read my review of that product.

TradeFarmNI Iron Sulphate: The Best Liquid Moss Killer

– Easy to Mix and Apply
– Starts to Kill Moss Within Hours
– It Also Hardens Turf and Green Grass

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review

Evergreen Mosskil: The Best Granular Moss Killer

– Easy to Spread
– Moss Blackens in 7 days
– Not as Effective as Other Mosskillers

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review

Moss Off: The Best Chemical-Free Moss Killer

– Safe to Use Around Kids and Pets
– Use it as Often as You Want
– Can Apply it All Year Round

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review

Why Do I Need to Use a Moss Killer?

The most common procedure for getting rid of moss is to apply a moss killer, wait for a couple of weeks and then rake it out.

But why apply a moss killer in the first place, why not just rake it out?

Well, there are a couple of reasons;

Raking Untreated Moss Can Spread it to Other Areas of Your Lawn

Let’s say you have areas or patches of your lawn that have moss in them and areas without it.

If you rake it while it’s alive you better collect every bit of it. If not, or if you drop it or rake it into an area that’s not infected, it can establish itself quickly.

The result is that you spend all your time chasing the moss around your lawn, never getting it under full control.

Moss is Easier to Remove When it’s Dead

When you apply a moss killer, it desiccates the moss, breaking it down, killing it and turning it black.

Dead moss has no strength which means the moss is much easier to remove than it would be if it was alive.

How to Choose the Best Moss Killer For You and Your Lawn

There are many different types of moss killers on the market and it comes in a range of different ways.

So how do you decide which is the best moss killer for your lawn?

Here are a few things to consider;

How Much Moss is in Your Lawn?

Moss killer comes in a range of different products.

For example, you can buy dedicated moss killers or you can buy lawn feed and weed products that contain moss killer.

So take a look at how much moss inhabits your lawn. If it has been completely taken over by moss, use a dedicated moss killer.

If there is only a little bit then chances are you can use a feed, moss and weed killer if that’s what you prefer.

As a groundskeeper, my philosophy has always been to fertilise the lawn, kill weeds and deal with moss separately. So I always use a dedicated moss killer.

Liquid vs. Granular Moss Killer?

Like different types of lawn feeds, moss killer comes in both granular or liquid forms.

Liquid or soluble moss killers generally work faster than granular products but tend to be lighter and only kill the top layer of moss.

Granular products, on the other hand, work slower but are heavier so are more successful a killing the lower sections of thick moss. That said, there are very few granular products that are dedicated moss killers. They’re generally part of a lawn feed product.

Do You Prefer Not to Use Chemicals?

There are a number of reasons to not want to use a chemical product on your lawn.

Three good reasons include;

  1. Classing yourself as an organic gardener
  2. Having kids and pets that like to use the lawn, and
  3. Not wanting to alter the pH balance of the soil with chemical products

Chemical free moss killers do take longer to work. However, there’s one product that works very well.

It’s called Moss Off.

Because it’s a natural product you can use it often as you want, kids and pets are safe and you won’t risk making the soil overly acidic.

The Best Moss Killer For Lawns: A Closer Look at My Top Picks

So now we’ve talked about what to consider when choosing the best moss killer for your lawn, let’s take a close look at my top picks.

1. TradeFarmNI Iron Sulphate Review: The Best Liquid Moss Killer

Iron Sulphate (or Ferrous Sulphate) is the traditional moss control product of greenkeepers. It’s the moss killing component of most killer products and lawn sand.

TradeFarmNI moss killer is excellent!

How it Works

TradeFarmNI is a soluble moss killer which means it needs to be mixed with water and applied with either a watering can or knapsack sprayer.

When applied in smaller doses, Iron Sulphate can also be used as a liquid fertiliser to give the grass a boost of green colour, and also harden the turf against the stresses of winter.

However, there are two ways to use Iron Sulphate against moss.

Firstly, you can use it as a straight-up moss killer. Use it at a higher rate and it will kill moss. That said, because this is a soluble product, it’s will only kill the top 1-2cm of moss. If you have really thick moss in your lawn, rake first, apply it to the remaining moss and then rake a second time.

The second way to use iron sulphate against moss is to use it as a moss suppressant as part of your annual lawn care plan. The idea is to use it during periods of moss growth which is between Autumn, through the winter and early spring. I like to give my lawn a dose of Iron Sulphate in November, January and March.

This will keep the moss from overtaking your lawn over the winter and make it much easier to rake out in the spring as part of your spring lawn care regime.

What’s Good About TradeFarmNI Iron Sulphate

Simply put, TradeFarmNI works.

It dissolves well for easy application through a watering can or knapsack sprayer.

You’ll see the moss turn black within a few hours of applying it. Just make sure you give it a good 10-14 days to kill as much moss as possible before raking it out.

And as Iron Sulphate should, it’ll give your lawn a nice green boost of colour.

Also, it contains absolutely no Nitrogen. This means you can safely apply it in winter and there will be no surge in grass growth. Instead, it’ll help keep moss at bay while hardening the turf against the stresses that winter brings.

It’s not a branded product like Scotts or Evergreen, but it works.

What’s Not So Great

The only problem I see with this product is the lack of a measuring scoop. Including one in the bucket would make measuring the dose amount easier.

As it is, you’ll need an old spoon or something of that nature.

What Other Users Think

Out of over 1,000 reviews, TradeFarmNi’s Iron Sulphate scores 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

Naturally, there are a few complaints.

There are one or two reviews stating that it doesn’t dissolve very well. I’ve never experienced this but I always dilute it in warm water, not cold.

One reviewer complained that it made their lawn look really poorly before saying they applied it in the middle of a long, hot, dry summer. Iron Sulphate should always be applied in cool, damp conditions.

Then there are one or two complaints about the packaging. A couple of people complained that the bottom of the bucket was cracked and some of the powder leaked into the box so they had to store it in their own containers. I doubt this an issue with the product as much as some couriers not being as careful as they should be.

Overall Thoughts

TradeFarmNi’s Iron Sulphate does a stellar job at;

  1. Killing and preventing moss
  2. Stalling its growth over the winter
  3. Giving the grass a boost of colour and
  4. Hardening the turf for winter

I always have a tub of it in my shed!

– Easy to Mix and Apply
– Starts to Kill Moss Within Hours
– It Also Hardens Turf and Green Grass

View on Amazon.co.uk

2. EverGreen MossKil Review: Best Granular Moss Killer

Like I said earlier in this article, there aren’t many granular moss killers on the market. The only one I could find for home use is Evergreen’s Mosskil.

This is a granular product so there’s no need to dissolve it in water. You can either spread it by hand or with a spreader.

Unlike pure iron sulphate, Evergreen Mosskil contains Nitrogen which causes the grass to grow. This means you should apply it between April an September when grass is actively growing. Don’t apply it in winter, the Nitrogen will cause growth surge which can weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to disease and stress.

What’s Good About Evergreen Mosskil

The fact that it’s a granular product makes Mosskil very easy to spread and you should see the moss start to blacken and die with seven days.

Remember though, granular moss killers tend to take longer to get to work than liquids. Give it a good two weeks to penetrate the moss as deeply as possible.

The combination of Nitrogen and Potassium does help with grass colour and growth too.

When used on a lawn with not much moss, it does a pretty decent job. That said, on thicker areas of moss, it didn’t penetrate as deeply as I thought it might.

Deeper levels of moss were still alive and kicking.

As such, I’d recommend raking your lawn before applying this product and then raking again a couple of weeks after application.

While plenty of users really like Evergreen Mosskil, there are plenty who are pretty underwhelmed by the results they experience.

A common complaint echoes mine; it greens the grass and encourages growth but when it comes to killing the moss it’s not great.

Several long-time users claim that it seems to have lost its potency and doesn’t seem as effective as it once was.

Maybe the people who really like it don’t have much moss in their lawn, to begin with? In that case, it’d be pretty effective.

Like I said earlier, there aren’t many granular moss killers available, at least not for home use. So I was pretty limited in choice.

Although I’ve said this is the best granular moss killer for use on home lawns, I still prefer Iron Sulphate. Or if you prefer not to use chemicals, my next choice.

Evergreen Mosskil: The Best Granular Moss Killer

– Easy to Spread
– Moss Blackens in 7 days
– Not as Effective as Other Mosskillers

View on Amazon.co.uk

3. Moss Off Review: The Best Chemical-Free Moss Killer

If you prefer to not use chemical products on your lawn then VivaGreen’s Moss Off the best moss killer.

Regular moss killers use high doses of iron to kill moss.

Moss Off is different.

It’s a completely natural and chemical-free product. It contains natural oils and starches that coats moss in an invisible, biodegradable film. This coating stops the moss from drawing surface moisture or moisture from the air and because moss doesn’t have roots, it can’t draw moisture from the ground either. As a result, it dies.

When using Moss Off you’ll notice the moss doesn’t turn black as it dies. Instead, it turns brown. This is because there is no chemical process or reaction.

What’s Good About Moss Off

Because Moss Off is completely free of chemicals, it’s completely safe to use around kids and animals as well, as other plants and even pond life.

The fact that there are no chemicals in it also means you can use it all year round, whenever you like. You can also use it as often as you want too.

Although chemical products like Iron Sulphate can be applied multiple times a year, there should be a gap of several weeks. This is because you can alter the pH of your soil if you use it too often.

Also, high concentrations of iron in chemical products can cause orange or brown staining to paths and driveways. This staining is permanent.

No such problems with Moss Off.

This really isn’t a criticism, more of an observation.

And that is the fact that Moss Off does take a while longer to work than a chemical product. The company behind the product, VivaGreen openly admit this.

If you like to work fast this could frustrate you but in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the extra time it takes to kill moss.

Also, when compared to a product like Iron Sulphate, Moss Off is pretty expensive. That said, if you’re concerned about the health of your kids and pets, the environment and you’d prefer not to risk ruining other areas of your garden by staining them with Iron Sulphate, I’d say it’s well worth the extra cost.

Moss Off is an excellent product.

Yes, it’s more and expensive and it does take a little longer to kill moss than a chemical product. But if you care about the environment, have kids and pets that play on the lawn this is the best moss killer for you.

Moss Off: The Best Chemical Free Moss Killer

– Safe to Use Around Kids and Pets
– Use it as Often as You Want
– Can Apply it All Year Round

View on Amazon.co.uk

How to Use Lawn Moss Killer to Get the Best Results

The best way I have found to rake out a much moss as possible first, before using a moss killer to get the rest;

Step 1:

Rake out the dead moss with either a springbok rake or powered lawn rake. If you use a springbok rake, expect hard work and blisters. Wear gloves with talc in them will reduce the chance of getting blisters ever so slightly.

Rake the lawn twice, each time in a different direction to remove as much moss as possible.

Step 2:

Apply your chosen moss killer and give it 2 weeks to kill the rest of the moss. You’ll see it get blacker and blacker as it starts to die and break down.

Step 3:

Rake the lawn again to remove the remaining dead moss.

This should remove 90% – 95% of the moss in your lawn. Now you can get to work on other jobs like scarifying, aerating or re-seeding.

In Conclusion

To sum it up, here are my favourite moss killers again:

– Easy to Mix and Apply
– Starts to Kill Moss Within Hours
– It Also Hardens Turf and Green Grass

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review

– Easy to Spread
– Moss Blackens in 7 days
– Not as Effective as Other Mosskillers

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review

– Safe to Use Around Kids and Pets
– Use it as Often as You Want
– Can Apply it All Year Round

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review

There are a lot of moss killers on the market. Some of them are excellent and some not so much.

Take Evergreen’s Mosskil.

It’s made it onto my of best moss killers for lawns as the best granular product but that’s only due to a lack of options and it definitely wouldn’t be my first choice.

TradeFarmNi’s Iron Sulphate and VivaGreen’s Moss off are both excellent and I’d choose either one of them over the Mosskil.

Now it’s Over to You

Has this article helped you choose a moss killer for your lawn?

Or do you have a favourite moss killer that I haven’t mentioned?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my top choices and if you have any questions or anything to add, leave a comment below.

Control and prevent lawn moss

Do you have moss in your lawn? Use this guide to find out why you have it and what steps you can take to kill moss and stop it taking over!

Moss in lawns thrives during wet weather when and gardens are flooded or waterlogged creating problems everywhere in the garden.

Moss is a serious problem that is usually found where the lawn remains wet for prolonged periods, where drainage is poor and the lawn is in the shade. Moss is the name for a group of primitive non-flowering plants that quickly spread as a spongy mass on undisturbed soil.

Moss reproduce from millions of microscopic spores produced on the leaves that then spread away from the mother plant on rainwater.

When you find moss in your lawn it is a good indicator that:

  1. The ground remains wet for long periods.
  2. The nutrient levels in the soil are low.
  3. The soil is compacted and lacks organic matter.
  4. The grass may be cut too short or even scalped down to bare earth.
  5. The area is shaded from regular sunshine, possibly from overhanging trees or shrubs.

To kill moss in your lawn, burning off moss with a suitable lawn treatment is easy – but unless the conditions that favour its growth are changed, then the moss will return, springing up from spores that remain on the soil surface.

Apply a lawn treatment containing a mosskiller, Miracle-Gro EverGreen offer a comprehensive range of products which work to control moss in lawns:

  • Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1
  • Miracle-Gro EverGreen Mosskill
  • Miracle-Gro EverGreen Mosskill Liquid
  • Miracle-Gro EverGreen Premium Plus No Rake Moss Remover Lawn Food
  • Miracle-Gro EverGreen Autumn Lawn Care

Having used a lawn treatment, try to remove the causes for lawn moss. Spiking the soil with a garden fork or hollow-tine aerator will improve drainage. Overseeding with a grass seed mixture especially for shaded areas such as Miracle-Gro EverGreen Shady Lawn Seed will improve the vigour of the lawn.

How to treat and then prevent lawn moss

Do not try to rake out the moss before it has been killed by a lawn treatment, because this will only spread the spores and make matters worse. Apply a moss control in spring and the moss will turn brown in a week. Then you can rake out the debris.

To prevent the moss from returning, you need to take action to improve the conditions for the grass and make it inhospitable for the moss.

Check the cutting height of your mower

Check the cutting height of your mower. Never scalp a lawn too short. This will weaken the grass and leave the soil open to moss invasion.

Where moss is a problem, leave the grass so that it is at least 2.5cm (1in) long at all times. Mow regularly (at least once a week) to encourage the spread of grass. In autumn and winter leave the grass even longer. See recommended cutting heights in our lawn cutting article.

Improve drainage

Improve drainage so the soil doesn’t remain permanently wet. This means spiking the affected area to let in air, improve drainage and generally reduce the compaction of the soil. There are two methods:

  1. For slight moss problems drive a garden fork into the area at 15cm (6″) intervals as deep as possible.
  2. Where moss is a continual problem, use a hollow thin tool that can be driven into the lawn to remove plugs of soil at regular intervals. These plugs need to be brushed off the lawn and the holes filled with good, enriched soil. This enriched dressing will improve the organic content of the soil, improve drainage and reduce compaction. As a result, roots of grass plants will be encouraged to root even deeper and the grass should become thicker and healthier.

Avoid watering the lawn in summer, unless the grasses are wilting from lack of moisture. If watering is essential, spike the area with a garden fork to reduce run-off and to ensure good drainage of any excess water.

In areas that get water-logged regularly you will need to build a soak-away system to take away any excess water. This could be a simple soak-away sunk at the lowest point of the lawn. Dig a hole 60cm (2ft) square and 1 metre (1yd) deep. Fill the bottom 60cm with broken bricks and other rubble – top this with a 15cm (6in) layer of small stones topped off with a layer of free-draining top soil. If the lawn still remains wet, then you may need to dig out gravel tunnels 30 cm down which will naturally take water from the lawn to the soak-away.

Where possible, ensure your lawn gets as much daylight as possible

Wherever possible cut back branches of trees and reduce the height of hedges to allow the sun to reach all areas of the lawn. Sun and wind will dry out the soil surface and moss will therefore be discouraged. If shade can’t be reduced, bite the bullet and turn this area of lawn into a bed and plant up with shade loving plants.

Regularly feed your lawn

Starved grass can’t grow well and will dominate your lawn, to the point it can out-compete the moss in lawns unless it receives supplementary energy. Feeding the lawn in spring, again in the summer and finally in autumn will help no end.

In spring and summer use a lawn product that also contains a moss killing ingredient and slow release energy to feed the grass for months not just weeks.

In September or October use a lawn product specifically designed for Autumn use, to help grass to strengthen over-winter and control any existing moss that would otherwise spread throughout the dark days of winter. A well-fed lawn is thick, strong and vigorous because it encourages the growth of grasses and inhibits the growth of moss.

Regularly aerate your lawn

The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. In autumn or early spring, take out plugs of soil with a hollow tine tool and brush an enriched lawn soil into the holes that have been created and leave a thin layer of the material on the soil surface so this can be pulled into the ground by worms. This is especially beneficial on light sandy soils that are shallow. This article gives you a detailed ‘how to guide’, for aerating your lawn.

Reseed your lawn with a shade tolerant grass seed mix

Where bare patches have occurred as the moss dies off, re-seed the area with a shade tolerant grass seed mix.

A good shade tolerant grass seed should be a mixture of carefully selected varieties of grasses including fescues and Browntop Bent, that have been developed to give good shade and drought resistance. The best time to sow this type of mixture for quick germination of grass seed, is mid- spring (April) or autumn (October).

Rake the soil to make a fine seed bed and sprinkle the selected grass seed over the area lightly. Cover the seed with good soil and keep moist until the grass seed germinates. If the whole lawn is thin, then over-seed the complete lawn with a sprinkling of the shade tolerant grass seed applied in the autumn or spring. In just a few weeks you will have a thick, dark green lawn that will be strong enough to fight off moss problems.

Check out our video tutorials for how to achieve a great looking lawn on our YouTube channel here.

Westland Lawn Feed Weed & Moss killer | Dewaldens Garden Centre

Westland Lawn Feed Weed & Moss killer

Balanced lawn fertiliser with added moss control
High level of nitrogen for controlled growth
Stimulates growth, kills moss & eriadicates weeds

Westland Lawn Feed, Weed and Moss Killer is a balanced lawn fertiliser with a combination of two complementary herbicides for optimum weed control and iron sulphate for moss control. One of the highest levels of readily available nitrogen to ensure controlled growth. * Uses: Apply to lawn to stimulate growth, kill moss and eradicate lawn weeds for a greener, stronger, healthier lawn. * Apply: From March to September. * Application Rate: 35g per square metre. * Nutrient Content: NPK 12-2-4 + 7% Iron (Fe). * Active Ingredients: 2, 4-D and Mecoprop-P. * Caution: Do not over apply. Do not apply in drought, freezing conditions or if rain is imminent. Keep off skin, wash hands and exposed skin after use. Harmful to aquatic life. Store in cool, dry conditions, away from children and pets. May be harmful if swallowed. To avoid risks to man and the environment, comply with the instructions for use. *

Contains 2-4-D, Mecoprop-P & Ferrous Sulphate* NPK: 12-2-4

How do you remove moss from a lawn ?

I have been asked this question many times. Unfortunately, their is not one easy answer that I can give you.

Why not? Moss is a product of a few different problems and usually you need to take care of all of them to keep the moss form coming back.

Do Moss Killers Work? Yes and No. They do work, but most of them Don’t solve the problem and it just turns the moss a dead orange color. You still need to rake it out and change the enviromental conditions that it favors. Until I was ready to take care of it the right way, I would rather see green moss than bright orange moss. Save your money.

Does Lime Kill moss ?

Let me say this. No, lime does not kill moss. Never did. Its a popular misconception because Lime increases PH and moss usually likes acidic (lower PH) soil. Adjusting your PH will help, but it wont kill any moss you have. More on Ph below.

Well, how do you get rid of moss then?

Moss is usually a product of Shade, low PH, bare spots, moisture and drainage problems.


It is most commonly found in the shade (but not exclusively) where grasses don’t usually grow real well. It prefers acidic soil (low PH) and likes moisture.

I would try these steps:

Rake out the moss with a hard rake.

Try pruning nearby branches to allow even a little more light in

Adjust PH. Lime is fine, but can take 4-6 months. Try using a product called Solu-Cal. It works real fast and that speed may help prevent the moss from coming back. It will also create a better enviroment for any seeding you do.

Try seeding with the proper seed to fill in the bare spots. If its shade, then a quality shade seed. Heavy shade will be difficult to grow grass, and that is a topic for another day. If you need help see my previous post Selecting Grass Seed. You will need to water it to germinate it.

Try improving air flow and/or drainage in the area. The pruning will help. Aerating deeply may also help. Incorporating some organic matter may also help.

Once grass is germinating and the moss is out, try to maintain the PH levels with regular Lime or Solu-cal use. You don’t want to give it an invitation to come back.

One last thing.

I have seen moss in full sun and in thick lawns. In these lawns, I would suspect the PH to be low and compacted soil. I usually see moss in the full sun in newer lawns. New developments in wooded areas that are 10 years old and less seem to have the most trouble. I suspect it has something to do with excavating the wooded area that naturally contained moss to build the houses. They also drive many heavy machines all over the place to build these developments. This creates heavily compacted soils that don’t drain well. Contractors usually bring in 2-3 inches of topsoil on top of these native compacted soils so you could have a compaction problem even if the top 2-3 inches is aerated and drains well. Once it gets below that layer is when it runs into problems.

In cases like this, Correct the PH and do your best to improve drainage. Maintaining a proper fertility program will also help .

Here are a couple other links to moss help from universities. they pretty much sum up what I explained here, but some other points as well.

University of Nebraska moss control

moss control in greens and grass Penn State

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Garden Myths – Learn the truth about gardening

Lots of people want to know how to get rid of moss in the law, but a better question to ask is, “why does moss grow in lawns?”The most common response to this question is that the lawn receives too much shade and that the soil is acidic. The common advice is that grass will grow better if you limb up the trees and add lime to the soil to make it less acidic. Or you can spread a moss killer for lawns.

What about moss that is growing in a sunny area? What about moss growing in soil that is alkaline? There is much more to the moss story and the only way to really get rid of moss in a lawn is to understand why it is there in the first place.

Mossy alkaline bolder at Aspen Grove Gardens

Moss in Lawn is Not a Sign of Acidic Soil.

Moss does prefer to grow in acidic soil, but it will grow just fine in alkaline soil. Part of my lawn is shady, wet and has a pH of 7.4. Moss grows much better than grass in that area. The picture above is a 4 foot high limestone bolder that is covered in moss – it is certainly not acidic.

The common advice of liming the soil will make it less acidic if done properly, but it will not get rid of moss. Liming can actually make the situation worse. Unless you know for sure that your soil is too acidic for growing grass, do not add lime.

Moss is one of those plants that can grow in spots that are inhospitable to other plants, including:

  • Too much shade
  • Too wet
  • Compacted soil (ie lack of air in the soil)
  • Low fertility

When you have moss in your lawn, the moss is not the problem. The real problem is that you are trying to grow grass in a spot where it will not grow well. If the grass is not growing well, moss takes advantage of the situation and moves in. Moss will not invade a healthy growing lawn.

Moss Killer

You can spread lawn moss killer, which usually contains some form of iron sulphate (ferrous sulphate or ferrous ammonium sulphate). This will kill moss since moss does not grow well with high levels of iron in the soil. You can also rake out the moss and physically remove it from the lawn.

The problem with either if these options is that they do not work long term. Unless you fix the real problem ie grass not growing well, the moss will soon return to the lawn. There are really only two options. Leave things alone and embrace the moss as a natural ground cover, or fix the problem so that the grass grows better.

How to Get Rid of Moss in a Lawn?

In order to fix the problem, you need to first identify the problem, but any or all of the following will improve the growing conditions for the lawn.

– Reseed with shade tolerant varieties of grass – if the area is shady

– Aerate the soil – reduces compaction

– Add organic matter to the soil

– Fertilize more if there is a nitrogen deficiency

– Reduce the amount of shade ie thin or limb up the trees

– Water less if it is a wet area, water more if it is a dry area

– Cut grass higher to encourage stronger grass roots

Moss Grows in Full Sun

It is a myth that moss grows only in shady wet areas. There are many kinds of moss and some of them like to grow in dry sunny areas, even desserts. Sun loving moss will invade a sunny lawn.

Moss is Not Always Moss

There are some garden plants that look like moss and some that even have ‘moss’ in their name. The following are not true mosses

  1. Spanish Moss (is an epiphyte)
  2. Caribou Moss (is a lichen)
  3. Iris Moss (is a vascular plant)
  4. Scotch Moss (is a vascular plant)

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