Moss (though technically not a weed) is a problem in areas where environmental conditions promote its growth. During rainy years the moss can take over areas that are marginal for turf but conducive for moss growth. During droughts or dry years the moss is less noticeable and your lawn care program can suppress it to some extent. Suppression is the key word here and this suppression can be misconstrued as total control. The old myth is that if you have moss your soil is acid and you just need to add lime to raise the pH to get rid of the moss. This is true in some cases, to some extent, but if your pH is between 5.5 and 6.5 adding lime won’t help rid your yard of moss. We maintain your soil pH in the correct range for turf and unfortunately moss will grow when and where conditions permit.
After high rainfall amounts, areas that are shady and/or have poor drainage have become inundated with moss. The turf that was growing under these conditions was marginal at best and began to fade creating growing conditions that began even moreso to favor moss. All turf (even fescue) will decline in areas of poor drainage and shade. Poor drainage does not mean sloppy wet soil. Soils that stays excessively moist for an extended period of time are considered poorly drained.
Once moss becomes established it self perpetuates by maintaining a solid cover over the soil surface and keeping the moisture it requires in the soil further reducing any chance of the soil drying out.
There are temporary controls for moss but as the moss fades you are left with bare ground. The turf still will not grow well in the area. (Don’t forget, the reason the moss is doing so well is because the turf does not have the conditions it needs to do well.) Even if you resod the area the turf will slowly decline and the moss will return over time.
If you are seeing more moss than usual it is an indicator that turf just won’t thrive in those areas. You should rethink your need for grass and replant with dwarf mondo grass or encourage the moss and grow a moss garden or just turn the area into a mulch island.
Lawn care programs are designed for healthy turf growing in good conditions. Trying to grow turf in areas that just won’t support turf is simply throwing good money after bad. Moss may actually be the answer and not the problem.
Moss is a big neon sign sticking out in your yard saying ” Quit trying to grow grass in this spot and embrace your inner Moss!”« Back to Glossary Index