Moss can be an attractive lawn cover if it grows where you want, but it can also be a nuisance in unwanted areas. Although moss does not kill your grass, it can make your lawn look uneven and splotchy. You can get rid of moss from your lawn by using; iron sulfate moss killer, lime to make your soil less acidic, dish soap, or vinegar.
Moss is a plant that reproduces by spores and which is a thick mat of thread-like stems and tiny green leaves. This plant grows on bare soil, wood, rocks, or any other surface with moisture and shady conditions. Use the following methods to kill moss from your lawn;
- Using Dish Soap
You can use suitable dish soap to kill moss from your lawn. You will need the following items;
- Lawn spreader
- Dish soap
- Garden sprayer
- Place two to four ounces of suitable dish soap into a gallon of water
- Use a squirt bottle to spray the soap solution on the patches of moss
- If there are large areas with moss, use a garden sprayer to spray the mixture until runoff.
For every 1000-square feet of lawn, use 4-ounces of dish soap in 2-gallons of water. Ensure that the grass is moist when applying and that it will not rain within 24-hours of application.
- Once the dead moss turns yellow or brown, rake it up. Repeat the treatment if more moss appears until you don’t see it again
2. Using Vinegar
You can use vinegar as a pesticide or herbicide since it is inexpensive and environmental-safe compared to chemical products. According to USDA, vinegar that is 5-10% concentrated effectively eliminates weeds within the first two weeks of their life. Older plants require a higher concentration of vinegar to be eradicated.
You can use either white or apple cider vinegar to eliminate moss and prevent its future growth.
- Spray full-strength vinegar onto moss directly. You can use household vinegar for newer moss growth or industrial-strength vinegar for older plants
- Allow the vinegar to stand for 5-10 minutes
- Scrape off the moss with a putty knife if the surface allows, to remove it
- Scrub the surface and rinse off the vinegar and any remaining plants. If necessary, repeat the procedure
- Mix 2-table spoons of dish soap, 1/4-cup of salt, and 4-cups of vinegar
- Place the mixture into a spray bottle or sprayer
- Spray the mixture on the moss until saturation and let it sit for a few minutes. Remove the moss
3. Using Iron Sulfate (sulfate of iron)
You can also kill moss using a chemical known as iron sulfate. You can spread the chemical as a dry powder, use a watering can, or spray directly on the moss. Spreading the powder by hand may produce patches. Iron sulfate turns moss into black within20-minutes, and it is easy to know whether you missed some spots.
- Add three heaped teaspoons of iron sulfate into one liter of water. You can increase the volume depending on the area covered with moss. To avoid lumpiness, place the chemical in the sprayer first, add a few cups of warm water and shake until it dissolves.
- Top up the sprayer with warm but not boiling water and shake well to mix thoroughly. You can filter the solution or decant it after mixing to prevent your sprayer from clogging.
- Mark your lawn in strips to know the parts you have covered. You can wrap two pieces of string onto rebar or metal rods. Mark out a strip that is a yard wide and move the strings once you are through spraying
- Wear goggles before spraying to prevent the spray from getting into your eyes. It is advisable to apply the solution on a windless day. If you are using a knapsack sprayer, you can operate the handle and re-pump when the spray pressure starts reducing.
If, on the other hand, you are using a gallon sprayer, pump until the safety valves operate or the recommended number of times.
- Spray within the marked strips and move the spray head right to left while walking backward or forward. Move the lines to create a new strip and continue spraying until you cover the whole area.
- Check out for any unsprayed parts since moss turns black within twenty minutes of spraying.
- Rake out the dead moss after about a month
How to Prevent Moss
Moss produces its food and does not kill grass, but its presence indicates that your lawn isn’t healthy and needs to be addressed. The following methods help to prevent moss;
- Raising the Soil pH
Use a lawn spreader to add lime to your soil and raise its pH. High pH value makes the soil less acidic, which is favorable for grass to grow but less favorable for moss. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package for the application of lime.
2. Improving Drainage
Improved lawn drainage also helps to get rid of moss. Aerate the soil to improve air circulation and dig trenches or add soil for water to drain off the lawn into the desired area. If you have less water in your lawn, it will reduce moisture suitable for moss.
3. Fertilize Your Lawn
Call an expert to test your soil and determine if it lacks any nutrients. Use the right fertilizer for your soil according to the test and follow the package instructions.
4. Reduce Watering
Avoid watering your grass regularly and do it only when the lawn is dry. Reducing watering prevents excess water from collecting in the soil and thus preventing moss.
Although moss is not considered a weed, it becomes a nuisance when it grows in your lawn. It may also show that your grass has some health issues that call for your attention. You can get rid of moss by applying the correct moss control and create a healthier lawn environment.