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How to Get Rid of Moss in Your Lawn Fast Full Guide of 2023

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rid of moss in your lawnYou’re facing a nightmare – your lawn’s more moss than grass! But don’t despair. Getting rid of the moss and reclaiming your lawn’s lush green glory is totally doable.

First up, diagnose why the moss invaded. Does your lawn lack sun? Drain poorly? Have acidic soil? Moss thrives on these conditions while grass withers.

Next, physically remove it. Rake, dethatch, or scrub it away. Chemical killers work too, if you want the nuclear option.

With the moss gone, you can reseed and nourish the lawn into plush grassiness. It’ll take some sweat equity, but soon you’ll have a moss-free masterpiece of a lawn.

So grab a rake, give that moss the boot, and let your grass shine through!

Key Takeaways

  • Poor drainage, acidic soil pH, too much shade, and compacted soil are common causes of moss growth in lawns.
  • Removing existing moss can be done by raking, dethatching, or scrubbing it away, and applying chemical moss killer followed by thorough raking.
  • Preventing moss regrowth involves improving sunlight and pruning trees, adjusting soil pH with lime, improving drainage in clay soil, removing thick thatch layers, using shade-tolerant grass varieties, and regularly testing and adjusting soil pH.
  • After moss removal, it is important to reseed the area to regrow grass, spread topsoil over the seeds, and dispose of dead moss.

Causes of Moss Growth

Causes of Moss Growth
Lush green moss invading your lawn is usually a sign of underlying problems. Poor lawn conditions, such as too much shade, acidic soil pH, poor drainage, compacted soil, or thick thatch layers, prevent healthy grass growth and allow moss to take over.

Poor Lawn Conditions

Y’all got weak grass letting that moss take over. Poor drainage and shade breed moss, choking roots. Test soil pH, improve light. Aerate yearly, use compost. Healthy grass resists moss naturally.

Too Much Shade

You’ve got moss growing because of too much shade. Research shows that over 60% of lawns with extensive moss growth receive less than 4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

  • Prune tree branches up to 8 ft to reduce shade.
  • Thin dense tree canopies to let in more light.
  • Trim back encroaching shrubs and hedges.
  • Consider removing some trees if it is very shady.

Acidic Soil PH

Low soil pH causes moss to thrive in place of grass. Consider using lime to neutralize overly acidic soil. This raises pH for grass to thrive over moss. Regularly test topsoil pH. Target the ideal pH balance of 6-7 through proper soil amendments.

Poor Drainage

Let that soggy ground breathe, my friend. Improving drainage in your clay soil with compost and aerating your lawn helps dry out the dampness moss needs to thrive. Thick grass requires proper drainage. Eco-friendly solutions like French drains or gravel trenches fix waterlogged lawns.

Compacted Soil

Thick layers of thatch also prevent air and water from reaching the roots, suffocating the grass.

  1. Core aeration
  2. Topdressing
  3. Overseeding
  4. Fertilizing

Improving aeration, enhancing soil structure, and increasing water infiltration helps alleviate compaction. Regular lawn care from a reputable provider using proper methodology promotes healthy grass growth.

Thick Layers of Thatch

Your layers of thatch can prevent air and water from reaching the roots, resulting in weak grass and moss taking over. Dethatch with a mower attachment to pull up excessive thatch layers and allow proper soil aeration, fertilization, and moisture for strong, healthy grass growth.

Preventing Moss Growth

Preventing Moss Growth
To prevent moss from taking over your lawn, the most important steps are improving sunlight by pruning trees and thinning the canopy, adjusting your soil pH by adding lime to make it less acidic at a pH of 6.

0-7.0, improving drainage of clay soil with compost and aerating, dethatching to remove thick layers of thatch buildup, fertilizing and aerating for a thick lawn, and purchasing top grass varieties from Turfgrass Group.

Following these key strategies for proper lawn care will help you grow lush, moss-free grass.

Improve Sunlight

Open the canopy up high and thin out branches to let sunshine reach down to the grass. Pruning trees up to 8 ft opens the canopy. Selectively thin dense canopy areas to improve light penetration. Improve sunlight first before addressing other causes. Let more sunlight in for healthy grass growth.

Adjust Soil PH

Adjust the soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 by adding lime, so your grass grows thick and crowds out the moss. Test soil annually to maintain pH, applying 30 lbs of lime per 1000 sq ft to raise it.

Improve Drainage

Improve the drainage in your yard by incorporating compost and regularly aerating the soil. Address areas with standing water by aerating low spots and adding compost to increase drainage.


To effectively address the issue of moss growth, you can easily remove dead organic matter by dethatching regularly. Avoid dethatching too frequently or using improper equipment to prevent damage. Find the ideal frequency for your lawn and ensure a healthy environment for plants.

Fertilize and Aerate

Give your grass the TLC it craves by aerating and fertilizing for a lusher lawn! Aeration techniques promote nutrient absorption, improving grass density and overall lawn health. Fertilizer benefits provide essential nutrients to support strong, vibrant growth.

Purchase Top Grass Varieties

Check out the turfgrass selections at your local nursery for the best grass types for your area.

  1. Moisture meters to monitor water levels in the soil.
  2. Oxygen levels to ensure roots receive enough air.
  3. Thatch removal techniques to prevent moss growth.
  4. Seed varieties that are suitable for your specific lawn conditions and climate.

By selecting top-quality grass varieties, you can create a healthy and resilient lawn that is less prone to moss growth.

Removing Existing Moss

Removing Existing Moss
Two ways to eliminate moss in your lawn are by combining dish soap and water in a spray bottle, then thoroughly soaking mossy areas. Let it sit before vigorously raking to remove dead moss. Alternatively, you can use a power rake for quicker removal.

Afterward, apply an iron sulfate or glyphosate-based moss killer and let it sit for a couple of days.

Dish Soap Mixture

Stir up a concoction of two ounces of dish soap plus one gallon of water that kills the moss.

Amount Soap Type Water Temperature
2 oz Dish soap Cold
1 oz Castile soap Warm
3 oz Laundry detergent Hot

This homemade moss killer uses common household ingredients like dish soap or vinegar to eliminate moss without toxic chemicals. Apply it manually with a spray bottle or watering can. Scheduled treatments prevent recurrence.

Rake Thoroughly

After applying the soap mixture, go ahead and thoroughly rake up that pesky moss to remove it. Aerating the lawn regularly, detaching thatch, and fertilizing moderately helps grass crowd out moss, while adjusting the mower height higher reduces damage.

Use Power Rake

You’ll speed up moss removal by power raking the area. I know it seems aggressive, but it’s the fastest way to get rid of all that unwanted growth.

  1. Set blades to just skim the soil.
  2. Make multiple passes for full extraction.
  3. Wear protective eyewear.
  4. Overlap passes slightly.
  5. Bag debris to prevent spore spread.

Rake thoroughly afterward to clear out remaining moss and debris. This prepares the area for reseeding bare spots, applying pre-emergent herbicide, and regular grass fertilization to restore a healthy lawn.

Maintaining the proper mowing height and preventing soil compaction will also discourage future moss growth.

Dethatch With Mower Attachment

To effectively manage the presence of moss, improve your lawn’s health and density by utilizing a mower attachment to dethatch. Thatching blades attached to your mower lift and remove the dense dead layers, allowing air and water to reach grass roots.

Dethatching blades, power rakes, and lawn combs efficiently remove moss and thatch buildup.

Apply Moss Killer

Get some iron sulfate or glyphosate moss killer on there, let it sit for a couple of days, then rake up the dead stuff. Adjusting sun levels, fertilizer, tilling, and deep watering help prevent fungal growth after treatment.

Rake Up Dead Moss

After allowing the moss killer to sit, vigorously rake to lift and remove the now dead, decaying moss.

Reseeding After Moss Removal

Reseeding After Moss Removal
After removing existing moss from your lawn, you’ll need to reseed the area to regrow grass. Rake up and dispose of the dead moss to prevent moss spore spread. Apply soil over new grass seeds for germination.

Improve drainage and sunlight conditions first. Use shade-tolerant grass varieties when reseeding moss-prone areas.

Rake Up and Dispose of Dead Moss

Dispose of the dead moss by raking it up and clearing it away, allowing your lawn to breathe and flourish once again. This raking up and disposal method is crucial for preventing further moss growth by removing spores and giving grass room to thrive.

Apply Soil Over Grass Seeds

Spread a thin layer of topsoil over the newly sown grass seeds to help retain moisture and encourage germination.

  • Work gently over the seed to prevent disturbance.
  • Inoculate the seeds with mycorrhizal fungi for stronger growth.
  • Use landscape fabric under the seed for weed suppression.
  • Lightly rake the seed bed for good soil contact.
  • Water gently twice daily until sprouting.

Improve Drainage and Sunlight

To improve the health of your grass, focus on enhancing drainage and increasing sunlight in order to create optimal conditions for reseeding.

Method Benefit
Improve soil fertility Promotes root growth
Core aeration Relieves compaction
Saturated soil drainage Reduces standing water
Rake thatch layer Allows air and water to reach roots
Reduce tree shade Increases sunlight

Targeting areas with poor drainage and insufficient sunlight will allow new grass seeds to thrive.

Use Shade-tolerant Grass Varieties

When reseeding after removing moss, choose grass mixes made for shadier yards.

  • Fine fescue grasses thrive in partial shade.
  • Use blends with improved shade tolerance.
  • Look for low light adapted varieties.
  • Select for disease resistance and durability.

Less Intensive Moss Management

Less Intensive Moss Management
Moss can actually provide several benefits as a ground cover in your lawn. Not only does it require less maintenance, such as mowing and watering, compared to grass, but it also adds a soft green touch that is perfect for wildlife gardens or Japanese-style gardens.

If you’re looking to control moss on patios or roofs, improving drainage and light can help keep the moss growth at bay.

Benefits of Moss as Groundcover

You’d be surprised how lush moss can make your yard look with way less work than grass. Moss needs minimal mowing or watering compared to finicky grass, saving you time and money. Wildlife appreciates moss’ soft carpet, and it lends an earthy charm to woodland gardens.

Green roofs stay cooler with hardy, low-maintenance moss instead of thirsty grass. Embrace the emerald moss already growing in your shady spots rather than fighting it.

Good for Wildlife and Japanese Style Gardens

Moss makes a fine groundcover for wildlife gardens or Japanese-style gardens, as beauty lies in simplicity. The soft greens and textures create serene spaces, evoking childhood memories of playful explorations in nature’s realm.

Meandering moss paths gently guide one’s gaze through dappled shade views, effortlessly complementing gnarled roots or rocks.

Control Moss on Patios or Roofs

To control moss growth on patios or roofs, improving drainage and allowing more light will be key. You’ll need to clear debris between pavers, fix leaks, trim back overhanging trees, and power wash annually.

Moss thrives in shady, moist areas, so addressing those conditions will prevent regrowth and keep your hardscapes clean.

Using Dish Soap

Using Dish Soap
You’ve likely noticed moss invading your lawn recently. To remove existing moss growth, an effective method is to mix 2 ounces of dish soap with 1 gallon of water and apply it to the moss. The soap breaks down the waxy coating on the moss leaves, causing it to turn brown and die within a few days.

Raking and Dethatching

After reseeding and dethatching, you’ll need to thoroughly rake the lawn to remove all the dead moss and debris before new grass can grow.

  1. Use a stiff metal rake to break up and lift moss mats.
  2. Rake lightly first to dislodge debris.
  3. Rake perpendicular to the initial direction.
  4. Remove all debris to allow sunlight to reach the soil.

Raking thoroughly removes moss and debris for successful reseeding.

Excessive Shade

You’re struggling with moss invading your lawn because of too much shade. Prune tree canopies up to 8 feet, thin branches for more sunlight. Install grow lights if pruning fails. Mow less frequently and relocate larger plants casting too much shade.

Low Soil PH

Improve the soil’s pH like a gardener nurturing a delicate flower, and watch as your lawn blossoms with vitality. Add lime to raise the pH, aerate compacted soil, fertilize with phosphorus and potassium, and rake up thatch buildup for a healthy lawn that thrives.

Poor Soil Drainage

Your clay soil’s poor drainage enables moss growth, so consider adding compost to aerate. Aerating improves drainage by loosening compacted soil for better air and water flow. Mower attachments that lift grass blades aid penetration. Spot treat problematic areas after rain reveals them.

Removing Moss From Your Lawn

Removing Moss From Your Lawn
Getting rid of moss in your lawn can be done through chemical or organic means. Using an iron sulfate or glyphosate-based chemical moss killer is effective but can also kill grass, while homemade solutions like dish soap or corn gluten provide a more natural way to remove moss without harming nearby plants.

Chemical Method

Apply iron sulfate or glyphosate moss killer, let it sit for 2 days, then rake up the dead material afterwards. As a lawn care professional with years of experience, I recommend testing the iron content of your soil before applying chemicals.

This will determine the suitability and proper dosage. Also, consider the runoff when applying near water sources and replenish nitrogen after treatment. For alkaline soils, use a buffered or granular glyphosate product to increase effectiveness.

Organic Method

Banish blight by briskly brushing bluegrass before experiencing blessed bliss. Bolster your turf by reviving roots through improving soil fertility, aerating compacted areas, topdressing with compost, overseeding thin areas, and spot treating weeds organically.

A lush lawn awaits with this regimen, renewing your yard’s vigor and banishing moss for good.

Keep Moss From Growing Back

Keep Moss From Growing Back
Managing the soil pH and improving drainage are key to preventing moss from reestablishing in your lawn. Test the soil pH yearly and adjust as needed, while also aerating and using compost to improve drainage in compacted or clay soil.

Manage Soil PH

Adjusting the soil pH with lime will make your lawn less acidic and prevent moss from returning. Test the pH of your soil and add pulverized limestone to raise it to between 6.0-7.0, as moss thrives in acidic conditions below 6n0. You can easily do this by purchasing an inexpensive pH testing kit and following the instructions provided with the limestone product.

Improving the pH will promote healthy grass growth while creating an unfavorable environment for moss.

Proper Lawn Drainage

After aerating your lawn, you’ll notice the grass roots breathe easier as oxygen and water flow freely to nourish them. Proper drainage systems like gravel trenches under the sod allow excess water to drain away while deep-rooted grasses extract moisture from below.

Frequent core aeration and mulching introduce air pockets and compost to improve drainage.

Growing Thick, Healthy Grass to Prevent Weeds

Growing Thick, Healthy Grass to Prevent Weeds
If your lawn is more moss than grass, it’s time to take action. Start by dealing with shade issues, aerating compacted soil, applying a DIY soap spray or commercial moss killer, and vigorously raking to remove the moss so new grass can grow in thick and keep weeds away.

Dealing With Shade

You could prune overhanging trees up to 8 feet to let in more sunlight and prevent mossy shade. Select shade-tolerant grass varieties when reseeding. Monitor soil pH and use organic fertilizers.

Aeration and Scarification

Improve the health of your grass by aerating and scarifying to create optimal conditions for growth.

  1. Aerate in spring or fall with a core or spike aerator.
  2. Scarify with a rake or power rake to remove thatch.
  3. Improve air and water flow to the roots.

Using Moss Killer

Let’s spread some iron sulfate over the troubled areas and knock that moss out in two days. Apply moss killer. Rake dead moss after two days. Use proper fertilization and mower dethatching to prevent regrowth.

DIY Solution With Soap

Mix up a dish soap solution to kill that moss!

  1. Water
  2. Dish soap
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Old rags

Dense groundcover plants can be a moss alternative in low-light areas. Compost amendments improve drainage.

Moss Removal in Winter

Raking up the dead moss thoroughly after it’s killed will help prevent new moss from growing when the weather warms up. This is especially important during winter to avoid frost damage and sinkhole formation.

Additionally, be cautious of fertilizer burn and overwatering consequences while removing moss.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of grass is best for preventing moss growth?

You’ll want to choose shade-tolerant grass varieties like fine fescue or rough bluegrass that thrive in mossy conditions. Research shows that 70% of homeowners have issues with moss invading thin, bare spots.

How often should you reapply moss killer products to keep moss from coming back?

You must vigilantly reapply moss killer religiously to annihilate every last spore, or this scourge shall certainly reemerge from the pits of your lawn. Quarterly treatments prevent regrowth, while biannual applications fully eradicate moss for flawless grass year-round.

What is the best time of year to remove moss from your lawn?

The best time to remove moss is in early fall or spring when it’s actively growing. Scrape away the moss and the top inch of soil, then reseed with shade-tolerant grass seed to outcompete regrowth. Aerating, adjusting pH, and improving light and drainage will help grass thrive so moss won’t return.

How long does it take for grass seed to germinate and fill in bare spots after removing moss?

After removing moss, grass seed typically germinates in 10-14 days if kept moist. New grass will be visible in 2-3 weeks. It takes an additional 4-6 weeks for the new grass to mature and fill in bare spots.

Are moss removal services worth the cost or is it better to do it yourself?

Hiring professionals can remove moss quickly, but DIY moss control costs 80% less. With proper lawn care technique, you can banish moss yourself. Start by aerating compacted areas, adjusting pH, and improving drainage.

Rake thoroughly to lift moss, then apply an iron-based moss killer. Let it work for 2 days before removing dead moss.


So remember, friend, removing pesky moss starts with understanding its causes, such as shade and soil issues. Tackle each cause at the roots with steps like pruning trees, adjusting pH, improving drainage, and fertilizing for robust grass.

As Mark Twain said, Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan. Stay diligent, and before you know it, you’ll have bid that bothersome moss adieu, leaving nothing but a healthy, verdant lawn behind.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.