What Causes Moss To Grow On lawns?

What Causes Moss To Grow On lawns?

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Something that a lot of homeowners trying to remove moss from theirlawnsdon’t understand is that the moss plants are not their real problem. Yes, they are the visible part of the problem, but moss growth on your lawn is an indication of the poor conditions for grass growth on your yard. In other words, these primitive plants are not the cause of the problem but merely the symptoms.

Removing the moss is only the first stepin solving the problem. You will also need to improve the conditions in your yard to make them more conducive for grass to grow and less favourable for moss to thrive. Spray and Go suggests the main causes of moss growth on lawns and how you can remedy them:

  1. Infertile or acidic soil.The first thing you need to do as you work to rid your yard of stubborn moss is to measure the pH of your soil as well as its nutrient composition. Soil that’s too acidic hampers grass growth while enabling the growth of moss. Generally, grass requires a pH of between 6 and 7 to do well. If your soil is below this level, apply sufficient quantities of lime to bring up the pH to ideal levels for grass growth.

From your soil test, identify the soil nutrients that are lacking so that you can add them to improve the soil’s fertility. When grass cannot get the right amounts of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, moss will be more likely to outgrow it. Apply a suitable fertiliser to improve the quality of your soil.


  1. Bad soil conditions. Excessive thatch and soil compaction create an ideal situation for moss to encroach. That’s because these conditions limit the movement of water, oxygen and other nutrients to the roots of the grass as well as contributing to poor drainage. Dethatch and aerate your lawn to improve the conditions for grass to thrive.


  1. Too Much Shade.Excessively shaded areas are more favourable for moss than grass. Prune shrubs and trees on your yard to allow your lawn to access more sunlight. Another solution for this problem would be to replace your current grass with a more shade-tolerant grass in the affected areas.


  1. Too little or too much water. Wrong moisture levels will discourage the growth of grass and encourage moss to grow. Make sure to water your lawn only when it is necessary to supplement rainfall. You can monitor the amount of water your lawn is getting using a rain gauge. Also look out for drought-stress signs in your grass – dull colour, grass that does not spring back when stepped on and wilting.

You should also ensure that your lawn is well drained to prevent water logging that will also cause moss to grow. Fill in low spots and improve the grading of your lawn. If this does not work, consider installing a drainage system.


  1. Other lawn stresses. Lawns that have been injured or thinned out by other stresses are also highly susceptible to moss invasion. Diseases, excessive foot traffic, pet/pest damage and diseases will make it difficult for grass to grow well. The bare spots that result from these problems will often begin filling with moss. Mowing too close to the ground will also damage your grass providing the opportunity for moss to grow.

You can remove moss on your lawn by spot-spraying a biodegradable moss killer as an immediate solution. Then work on the aspects mentioned in this article to effectively keep moss off your lawn. Don’t just treat the symptoms, work on fixing the root of the problem for permanent results.

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