Help with moss

Smithtown, NY

Please someone tell me what to do. Moss took over my front lawn (I don't mean some patches I mean ALL OVER) and I don't know how to get rid of it. Is it the soil? someone told me that my soil is no good and that is why I can't grow grass.
I'm new to the lawn thing.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Thank you, Ana

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Is it shady there? Grass will often struggle in shade but that would be an ideal environment for moss to grow.

Burien, WA(Zone 7b)

I love moss, I would keep it.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

I live on the West Coast of Scotland so believe me, I know how you feel about Moss, there are several reasons why your grass is the happy growing place for MOSS, Ecrane is right about the lack of sun or too much shade, other reasons are lack of air in the soil, too much water / damp soil meaning wrong drainage or no drainage, do you have a water issue flowing onto your lawn ?????.
How old is the lawn, IF new, then it is easy to sort out the Moss problem, IF old, then get a lawn expert in to help find the problem and dint expect to fix the trouble in a year, too much Moss is a problem you have to work at every year as we do, OR as someone else suggested, go out a cut the moss and tell the neighbours you are doing an environmental test and love the Moss, ha, ha, ha.

We had to hire an industrial scarifier (Moss rake) this really gets out the old dead thatch grass that stays down at the bottom of the blades of grass and smothers the grass, some weeds (Daisies / Buttercups etc) are also removed by this machine.
The Scarifier is not expensive when you see the work it can do in one day / half day or whatever. You should phone around for costs as they will vary from hire places.
We Tried for a couple of years to do the moss clear by hand (Lawn rake) it was good excesses but hard work, anyway once you have the moos cleared and have filled many, many bags of the stuff, you can then start to find clues to the problem.

1. IS your Lawn laid in a shade area,
2. is the (now bare soil wet / damp>
3. is there any patches that are soaking wet due to water running over this area.
4, is there a drainage problem.

All or these things cause Moss to grow, Moss likes shaded damp area and once it gets hold, it spreads out and over the years it chokes out the grass roots of light, air, and nutrients.

You can also spread Moss killer / grass green-ups in spring which will turn the moss brown and over a few weeks, kill off the moss and weeds, it also feeds the grass (whats left to feed) and is a quick fix for a small area of moss.

IF shade is the problem then it will be an on-going problem as you cant move the lawn into sunshine unless there is a tree making the lawn shaded, or some structure that can be removed, this problem will improve IF shade is removed, moss is killed, grass is fed and next year you will have your lawn back.

IF the soil is wet / damp, you need to find the source and fix the dampness problem but, it may be connected to the Shade problem.

IF the problem is number 4, then a water issue requires the water to be stopped either by diverting it to a proper outlet (drain pipe, Ground drains to be dug and placed into the lawn at strategic places, an expert can tell you where.
you can also lay field drains laid ( Herringbone style) under the lawn, again an expert can advise this, (here we lay terracotta clay drains for this) these run into a soak-a-way pit and NOT into your neighbours.

Was the area (NOW LAWN) always a wet area, if so the people who laid the lawn are not the brightest kids on the block, you just lay a continuous problem that cost you time, money and disappointment there after.

IF the Lawn was laid before you took the house, ask the neighbours IF they have problems, was your lawn a do-it-yourself job by previous owners ????
All these things point to the problems you now have, it can be fixed BUT, wont be done in the same year, unless you find and cure the problem, you will have to scarify the lawn every year and feed the grass to give it the strength, remember every bare bit of soil you expose when you remove the moss will take all the weed seeds you can think of, so resew the bare areas after you rake the bare patches (MANY) of soil so the grass seed can grow well.

Hope all this makes sense to you and as much as it sounds daunting job to do, it will make for a nice well growing lawn every year to come IF you keep on top of the cause.
Good luck, WeeNel..

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

NY is good for moss, could always just do different types of moss for a lawn, saves cutting down old trees, wish you luck...

Syosset, NY

Also moss likes acid soil and it will grow even if the soil is compacted.
I am actually trying to grow moss between stepping stones and either raccoons or birds keep tearing it up.
Does anyone have any idea how I can stop them? I tried sprinkling pepper but it didn't work.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Try treating for grubs, then the birds wont tear up the moss looking for food, since that recreation drives them pretty much 100% of the time,

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

The birds tear up the moss at this time of year for nesting material, they use it to line the nests and it acts as an insulation for the eggs and chicks, they also get small insects from under the moss, Maybe I am confused but there are hundreds of different types of moss, some decorative, different colours, different textures etc, but usually the one that grows in a lawn is very, very invasive and if you wish to have moss covering all your garden, then why would you go to the expense of growing a grass lawn, just a thought but everyone has different tastes I guess and thats what gardening is all about. good luck. weeNel.

Smithtown, NY

Thank you for all the information and ideas.
I had a nice green lawn last spring/summer and in the fall it all went down hill. I have no clue what is going on.
We had a tree specialist come and give us a quote to have the trees trim. I just can't afford the cost right now, $2,300 to trim 28 trees.

I went and got the Scotts moss killer & I'm hoping that it will help. The idea of rototilling the whole area is insane. Front lawn is about 80' x 180' and sloped, I can't even thinking of doing that.

I will write back and let you guys know how this fight its coming along.


Syosset, NY

Dear WeNel: Thanks about the idea that the birds are tearing it up for nesting material. Probably what it is. Not sure what you mean though about my lawn - I am just growing moss between stepping stones which are in the shade around my pergola,which is under a tree. I don't have moss growing in my lawn-lolasyard problem is about that.
Dear kittriana: Definitely a good point but no evidence of grubs there. thanks.

Virginia Beach, VA

I love moss, i have them in my bonsai and gather them when I see them like parking lots. I had them between the bricks at the back porch but DH killed it with diluted chlorox and walla they are gone!!! DH
used spray bottles. Try it . Belle

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