Moss typically grows in damp, shady areas and can pose a big problem for gardeners. This is because when left too long it forms dense mats which creep across your lawn, competing for valuable nutrients and moisture and hindering grass growth. Moss also prevents rainfall from reaching grass roots and can impede mowing with excessive build-up, jamming lawnmower blades.
Therefore it’s very important that as part of your lawn care you treat it regularly for the growth of moss as a form of weed control, in order to ensure long-term healthy grass. Here are a few of our top tips on dealing with moss infestation for a moss-free garden.
Moss growth is often a symptom of larger problems with your lawn such as:
– Compacted soil
– Acidic soil ( this is due to a low pH imbalance, you can purchase soil pH meters to test your own soil conditions)
– Lack of nutrients
– Insufficient aeration
– Poor drainage
– Lack of sunlight
All of the above can leave lawns weak, undernourished, and prone to moss. This is why it’s a good idea to try and resolve these underlying issues first to avoid persistent moss problems.
Moss spores in April and September, so the best time to kill moss is in early spring and early autumn (when there is enough warmth, fertiliser and moisture available for the grass to recover). The most widespread method is to apply a moss treatment or chemical moss killer before raking the moss out a week later. An alternative method is to rake first then use a lawn moss killer to remove the remaining moss. However, filling spreaders and sprayers with moss control products or weed killers will not 100% get rid of moss on your lawn.
So what is the most effective method?
Keeping your lawn healthy in the first place is the best way of preventing dead grass. However, it’s easy to forget that lawns require maintenance (they aren’t evergreen!) and just treating grass with lawn fertilisers is not enough.
Lawn sands can be used, as they contain granules of ferrous sulphate (sulphate of iron) that directly kills moss. However, lawn sand can also discourage earthworms and should be used with discretion – to level low areas, cover exposed tree roots and fix particularly heavy thatch build-up. The sand particles contain no nutrients, so applying layers year after year will eventually reduce your soil’s fertility, as will excessive application of pesticides.
Scarification is the best way to help keep moss at bay by removing organic matter such as moss or thatch from the surface of your lawn. Also, this stops your grass plants or lawn seeds from becoming suffocated before you plant them – so you won’t have to go through the stress of re-seeding!
Among the most user-friendly moss removal solutions currently available are the following Bosch scarifiers:
The ALR 900 Electric Lawn Raker is a Bosch scarifier designed specifically to rake lawns. It uses a reel of sprung tines to lift the moss and other debris without damaging the turf. The 50cm collection box features a ‘Jet-Collect System’ which uses inlets on the reel of tines to boost airflow for enhanced collection. It comes with 4 working heights and so can also be used to collect autumn leaves, de-thatching, and keep your lawn tidy.
The AVR 1100 Verticutter is a Bosch scarifier that offers a similarly effective solution to moss-ridden lawns. In addition to all of the scarifying features that come with the ALR 900 Electric Lawn Raker, the AVR 1100 Verticutter comes with some extra deep-cutting action thrown in. It uses a reel of fourteen rotating stainless-steel blades to slice into the soil, removing thatch and moss. Simultaneously, the scarifier aerates the soil and allows water to penetrate to the grass roots to relieve the effects of compaction. Therefore, this handy power tool helps to address some of the underlying causes of moss while providing a tidy surface finish.
Both models can be quickly folded and converted for compact storage and transportation. With either of these machines, treating your lawn for moss becomes a lot easier and quicker. And since they are Bosch scarifiers, you can rely on them to provide years of dependable service.
Remember, once you’re done you don’t have to throw away all the dead moss and dead grass you’ve collected. You can use it for composting or as a cheap, environmentally-friendly substance for lining hanging baskets. Alternatively, you could put it out for garden birds to use in their nests (blackbirds and starlings are particularly fond of a little bit of lawn moss in their bedding). Moss can be useful for insect hotels also, providing a place of refuge for creepy crawlies. Read about more easy DIY garden art ideas from our blog post to get inspired!
Read our article on garden tools to learn more about lawn rakes and scarifiers. We also have a buyer’s guide on scarifiers, and share tips on how to use a scarifier like a pro. If you have any questions, please do get in touch.