How to Treat Moss in Lawns


Mosses are classified as Bryophyta making them different from most other plants in your yard. They develop spores rather than seed and do not have true roots. They absorb nutrients and moisture from the air. There are several types of moss that grow in lawns. They are usually coarse, green or yellowish-green clumps scattered throughout the lawn, but they can also form large, densely matted clumps.

Moss will not overtake or kill of the lawn. Instead, it will move into the bare spots where the lawn is not growing. Moss in the lawn is usually an indication that there is a deeper problem such as compacted soil, poor drainage, low soil pH, or lack of sunlight. The best time to control moss is in the fall or spring when it is actively growing; however, unless the underlying cause is corrected, the moss will eventually return.

What To Do and Helpful Tips

  • Control of moss requires more than just killing off the existing moss in the lawn. Good lawn care practices will help your lawn grow thick and be able to better outcompete moss.
  • Trim tree limbs to let in more light and reduce the amount of shade on the lawn. If the area gets at least 3-4 hours of sunlight, plant a shade tolerant grass that will be able to better compete with the moss.
  • Aerate compacted soils and incorporate organic matter to help improve drainage. Only water the lawn when needed (1" of water per week is all that your lawn needs).