Ask Gerry: How to grow: Lawns: Moss

Moss on lawn

In recent years, I have noticed that moss is a much bigger problem. What is the best way to deal with it?

Moss thrives in moist conditions and usually it peaks in autumn and spring, but with mild winters it has been active for most of the winter months too. Also as a garden ages, more shade is cast by growing trees. Another factor is the soil under lawns becomes acidic and low in nutrients, both of which favour moss growth.

To reduce moss, reduce the amount of shade falling on the lawn area, feed the grass with lawn fertilizer in March and at least one or twice more at two month intervals. Moss can be controlled by applying sulphate of iron at 5 to 10 grams per square metre, either by itself (which is tricky to do), or diluted with water, or mixed with sand. Ready-mixed lawn sand can also be used. But sulphate of iron will not control moss unless the grass is given adequate feeding, and better light.