A Good Year For Moss

A Good Year For Moss

Over the past two weeks I’ve had many customers come to me asking about the moss in their landscape. “Where did all the moss come from?” or “What can I do about the moss in my lawn?” If you’ve been concerned about the amount of moss in your lawn and garden, this blog post is for you.

It’s typical to notice moss more in April because the other plants aren’t vigorously growing yet, so the moss is more predominant. We’re also seeing more moss this year because the summer and fall of 2017 were damp and we had regular rainfalls. Here is what you need to know about moss:

1. Moss will grow and thrive on compact soil, in shade, or in moist environments. Any one of these conditions will promote moss growth, and two or more will provide the ideal growing conditions.
* If you haven’t aerated your lawn recently, or top-dressed with compost, you probably have compact soil.
* If your sprinkler system is going off more than every five or six days, you’re providing the perfect environment for moss growth. Water deeply less often.
* If your yard is shady, have some trees limbed up or removed in order to provide more sunshine.

2. You can use a moss killer but if you don’t change the conditions listed above, the moss will be right back.

3. It’s a myth that moss grows only on acid soil. Have the pH tested to be sure you have a good pH for growing your lawn or other plants, but an application of lime alone won’t get rid of moss.

4. Mulching flower beds every other year will help prevent moss growth.

5. Mowing the lawn high, allowing the clippings to fall on the lawn, fertilizing spring and fall and watering deeply less often are all practices that will encourage a healthy lawn while discouraging moss growth.

Moss thrives on compact soil and in shade. Both conditions are present in this lawn.

Sometimes moss is the best plant for the job! If you have a very shady area, consider that the moss might be a good ground cover that out-competes weeds. And as this photo shows, the moss is bright green when other plants are still brown and dormant.

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