If you haven’t got moss in your established
lawn you probably don’t live in Ireland.
For the past twelve months it seems like it
has never stopped raining. Moss loves humid
conditions and a moist to wet soil. While it
is possible to treat moss and get rid of it,
it will return in the blink of an eye if the
conditions aren’t improved. There are
problems of our own making which encourage the
growth of moss. Constant cutting of grass too
close to soil level is the number one
fault. You will notice that any slight rise
in the lawn which is scalped becomes mossy very
quickly. Lifting the mower by one notch is often
enough to make a difference. Compaction of the
soil favours moss. It only needs the top 1 inch
to be compacted for moss to start spreading.
Constant wear and tear with children’s
play, the lawn mower roller or walking will,
in time, consolidate the surface.
is no quick fix. The first thing
to do is get rid of the moss and that is best
tackled by scarifying. Small areas can be done
by hand using a wire lawn rake and raking the
devil and the moss out. It is hard work and
your arms will be longer by the time you have
finished. Powered pedestrian scarifiers may
be hired which do an excellent job. If your
lawn doesn’t look like bare ground when
the operation is finished it hasn’t been
done properly. As well as disposing of moss,
buttercup, complete with its stolons, is ripped
next job is to aerate the surface. Again small
lawns may be spiked by hand using a garden fork.
It is slow work but not difficult. Push the
prongs 4-6 inches into the ground. The lines
of holes should be 3-4 inches apart.
Brush grit into the holes to prevent them closing
over and allow water to drain through. Powered
slit spikers are easy to use and speed up the
job where the area is large. Without competition
the grass will soon grow away and with a balanced
spring lawn feed it will be in good condition
for the summer.