Garden Moss & What to Do About It

If you've discovered garden moss growing on or near your lawn and are worried about what it may mean, don't worry, Taylor Total Weed Control are here to help!

Here in our comprehensive guide to garden moss, you'll learn everything that you need to know when it comes to moss, including why it appears, whether it's good or bad to have around and, of course, how to get rid of it. So, let's take a look.




What is garden moss?

Many species of garden moss exist, with only a few classed as common lawn weeds. Moss are simple plants with thin cell walls that require a moist atmosphere to survive and reproduce. The most ideal environments for these are wet and shady places and are commonly found growing under grasses in lawns. Although moss does not flower and seed, they do produce masses of dust-like spores. These germinate into tiny filaments which eventually turn into the familiar feathery growth that we all know and love (kind of).

These spores are often produced in the autumn and then again in the spring. Mosses that produce spores in the autumn survive into the spring where they spore again, along with the plants from the autumn spores. When the weather turns hot and dry, these plants die out but the spores survive and will grow when the wet autumn rain returns.


What causes garden moss?

If you want a healthy-looking lawn, then you need to help the grass to grow healthy and not help the moss. Remember, it's lawn care versus lawn moss. If the conditions in your lawn aren't perfect, which they rarely are, then you may begin to have a moss problem. Without proper intervention, your moss issues may begin to get worse, and in some cases, you may have it so bad that you have all moss and no grass.

There are three main causes of moss in lawns:

  1. Lawn care practices – These include not removing excess thatch or autumn leaves, infrequent grass cutting, scalping the lawn by mowing too close and poor use of fertiliser products.

  2. Environmental factors – These include shady lawns, acidic soil, poor air circulation and heavy dew.

  3. Climatic factors – Ideal conditions for moss growth include a wet climate, excess rainfall and cloudy cool summers.


Is moss good or bad?

When it comes to moss, one question that you may ask yourself is whether it's even a good thing to have in your garden or on your lawn. It may come to as a surprise but there are actually several ecological benefits of a moss garden. One of the biggest is that moss can be a lightning bug nursery. Lightening bugs such as fireflies as well as many other insects will live in or under moss such as spiders, ants and worms. These insects provide a valuable food source for several other animals such as birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Moss is also a bioindicator, which means the presence or absence of moss can tell us things about the quality of the air. Garden moss is sensitive to particulate pollution in the air such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The majority of these pollutants come from combustion engines in motor vehicles and some manufacturing industries. If you have moss growing in your garden, you will likely have cleaner air quality than gardens where moss is not found growing.

Additionally, moss can help your soil retain water. By acting like a sponge, the moss will quickly absorb water and slowly release it into the surrounding soil and air. So, as you can see, a moss garden does actually bring a number of different advantages!


Problems with garden moss

In terms of the downsides to garden moss, there is only one real issue. When moss dies out during the summertime, it leaves unattractive brown patches, which then begins to accumulate 'thatch' at the base of the grass. This prevents air and water from reaching the grassroots which, of course, has a negative impact on the overall health of your lawn.


How to get rid of moss

If like many homeowners, you would like moss to not be a part of your garden and lawn, there are ways that you can get rid of it.

The best time to get rid of moss from your garden is during the spring and autumn months. During the autumn, your lawn is still recovering from the wear and tear of the summer but its health needs to be maintained to help survive the cold frosts of winter. Removing moss at this stage prevents a bigger issue later on. Getting rid of moss in the spring helps to prepare your lawn for the growing season, whilst making it more robust for summer. To help get rid of moss, there are a number of lawn products that you can use, available from any lawn care retailer.

It's important to remember and consider that if you kill the moss in your lawn you could be left with brown and bare looking patches. If so, you will need to re-seed your lawn with lawn seed to bring it back to life. It is imperative that you grow new, healthy grass over these patches to prevent them from being overgrown by moss again.


How to prevent moss from re-appearing

Garden moss is caused by a combination of moisture in your lawn and weak grass. Moss requires moisture to spread, so you are more likely to suffer from a moss problem in shady areas or during wetter seasons. By following these steps, you will help prevent moss from appearing in your garden in the future:

  • Feed your lawn once a month to keep your lawn in top condition

  • Thin out over-hanging trees to prevent shade on your lawn

  • Re-seed any bare patches


How we can help

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we offer professional lawn moss control services that help control, remove and prevent moss from appearing in your garden and on your lawn. If you don't feel confident with dealing with your garden moss problem and would like experts to take over then please free to get in touch with a member of our team today or visit our moss control page to learn more about how we can help!

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When it comes to maintaining a healthy garden, moss can be a real pain in the grass.

Typically found in damp or shady locations, these dense, greeny clumps of matted mess can be a real blemish to an otherwise beautiful lawn.

Think of it as a beer stain on a dark suit – it won’t ruin the whole thing completely but you know it’s there and you could definitely do without it.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can combat your garden’s fuzzy feature. Maintain lawn and order on your property with these handy hints and tips on lawn moss control.


lawn moss control


How to get rid of lawn moss

The best time to remove moss from your lawn is during the spring and summer months. This allows your garden to prepare/recover from the summer period, where it will be at its peak in terms of growth.

Moss doesn’t fare well in iron-rich soil… which is great if you have high levels of iron in your soil. For those that don’t – which, if you’re reading this, probably means you – giving your mossy tenant a dose of iron is a great way to ensure it has a rocky stay.

Now before you begin pouring gallons of Guinness all over your lawn, there is an easier way to supplement iron. Besides, that’s a colossal waste of perfectly good Guinness – save that for a celebratory toast to a job well done later on.

Most lawn moss killer products typically contain iron sulphate, so a simple spray of any good moss killing agent should provide more than enough iron to give your green enemy a hard time. Think of it as Iron Man battling the Incredible Hulk… only far less exciting and a lot more one-sided.


Easy moss removal techniques

Another great method of removing moss from your lawn is one that will be easily achievable by any self-respecting homeowner. Everyday washing-up liquid is something that any household should have readily available and can also make for an effective partner in lawn moss control.

It’s recommended that you use around 50ml of washing up liquid with 4.5 litres of water (for smaller patches, reduce measurements accordingly). From there, mix well and spray using a garden sprayer, being mindful not to drown the area. Spray the moss patch until there is visible run-off and let nature take its course.

Additionally, moss isn’t great with lime either, so adding lime to your sprayer may also be helpful in eradicating your unwanted garden guest. This will make the soil less acidic, which is more favourable to grass as well.

Ideally, try to time these methods so that they don’t coincide with an impending spell of rain, as this will likely dilute the formula and reduce the effectiveness of the treatment – putting a literal dampener on your mossy mutiny.


how to prevent lawn moss


The root of the problem

Dead or dying moss will soon turn bronze in colour before drying up completely. Moss has very shallow roots so, once it turns orangey-brown, simply rake over the auburn excess and let the healthy grass take back its patch.

However, while the above methods can be great solutions to your moss problems in the short term, they may not solve your garden gripes in the long run. You could simply repeat the previous steps ad nauseam; however, there’s no guarantee this will stop the moss from returning time after time.

If there’s an underlying issue that is causing moss to grow in the first place, this is something that needs to be addressed in order to prevent it from rearing its ugly head once more.


How to prevent lawn moss

You can prevent lawn moss growth in a number of ways, from mowing technique and scarification to sufficient fertilisation and healthy water coverage. However, for peace of mind, why not get in touch with us for some expert advice on moss treatment?

At Taylor Weed Control, we specialise in lawn moss control and know exactly how to identify, treat and rid your lawn of its unwanted eyesores, once and for all. We even use specialist fertilisers unavailable to the general public to ensure your lawn gets a new lease on life – moss-free!


Cure your mossy headaches today with a FREE moss treatment survey! Hit the button below for more details or visit our Moss Control page.

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Moss Control on Paths

A mossy path can be problematic for a number of reasons. Not only is it unsightly, it may be dangerously slippery, and the moss can - in some cases - actually cause damage to the path by lifting stones or creating cracks as it grows.

For these and other reasons, it's a good idea to act quickly when you notice moss growing on your path or driveway. An Internet search for 'how to kill moss' will provide you with dozens of home remedies - most of them involving vinegar - but if you want results that last, the best course of action is usually to call in a moss control specialist who can treat the problem properly.

Why is moss growing on my path?

As the RHS website explains, moss - and similar growths like algae and lichens - are usually found in damp places where there's plenty of moisture. Your path may be more prone to moss growth if:

  • The path is in a shady spot
  • There are trees and/or other plants overhanging the path
  • Water remains on the path for a long time after rain (poor drainage)

The RHS actually recommend allowing moss and lichens to flourish in areas they don't present a hazard (e.g. on stone sculptures), but we've already touched upon, a mossy path can present a serious slip hazard, especially in winter. So what can you do?

Get your mossy path under control!

Here at Taylor Weed Control, we offer a professional moss control service that's available in Cardiff, Bristol, Swansea, and most other parts of South Wales and South West England.

Our seasoned moss control experts will use specialist treatments to control your moss and keep it under control for the long term. We've helped all kinds of clients to deal with their moss problems, including sports clubs and local authorities as well as private residents.

If you'd like to request a FREE moss control survey, please call Taylor Weed Control on 029 2039 7554 or email today.

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay