Moss

21st Oct 2021

Moss is one of the most common problems associated with lawn and turf care, and is often the trigger for homeowners’ initial contact with us.

They occur in almost any terrestrial environment where moisture is available. Moss spreads by releasing spores into the air. It does not have roots, however they do produce structures called rhizoids that have a purely anchoring function, with water and nutrients being absorbed via the arial part of the plant.

Moss gives the turf an uneven colour and surface. Loose mosses make the lawn feel spongy to walk on.

There are approximately 600 species of moss in the UK, and approximately 30 of these species can appear in turf. They can be grouped into 2 major categories, according to their growth habit:

  1. Cushion or mat-forming, found on hard surfaces, paving or tennis courts.
  2. Trailing mosses, symptomatic of poor drainage and shaded areas.

There are normally 2 major growth periods for moss during the year. These are autumn and spring, when spores are produced, before later dying.

The Causes of Moss in Lawns

mossThere are several conditions that can cause the growth of moss on your lawn. Some of the most common environmental impacts include:

  • Poor drainage – Here in the UK we have no shortage of rain, and it’s a sad fact that lawn grass does not tend to thrive in wet soil. When that soil becomes too waterlogged, the conditions favour moss over grass, and this can quickly become a problem.
  • Shady areas – The lack of sunlight will mean that soil stays damper for longer and the grass does not receive as much light as it needs. The damp soil, combined with poor drainage can lead to conditions that allow moss to excel.
  • Shallow soil – Turf grass typically needs soil deeper than 4-5 inches. Without this, the grass will struggle to gain the nutrients it requires, making it weaker. The weaker the grass is, the harder it will be to stop moss establishing.
  • Mowing the lawn too short – This is an all too common mistake, because whilst in the short term it makes your lawn look great, in the long term you are actually weakening the grass, which will allow moss to take over.
  • Acidic Soil – Turf grass generally does not fare so well in acidic soil, whereas moss will often establish easier when the soil is acidic.

Other potential causes include diseased, weak or sparse turf, low fertility, spongy swards and compaction.

Treatments

If a lawn is infested with moss, it needs to be treated before other applications will work properly. Because moss is such a common problem, when we provide a quotation and lawn analysis, the first treatment that we usually recommend is a moss killer application, as untreated lawns are most likely to be infested with it.

Aeration and Scarification are treatments that can remove moss from your lawn.

Lawn Moss Damage Lawn Moss Removal
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