by Chris Sigurdson, Peninsula Landscape Supplies –
It has been a wet winter and moss is overtaking your lawn. Now is the time to deal with this and devise a regular maintenance program to rid your lawn of this pesky green stuff!
Moss thrives in areas of poor drainage, acidic soil conditions, and lack of light. However, there are measures that you can take to rectify these problems to deter moss from growing.
First you should cut the lawn to a height of two to 2.5 inches. Apply a granular or liquid moss control product containing ferrous sulphate on your trouble areas. Ferrous sulphate will help to initially control the moss. Once it has died (it will have turned black), remove as much of it as possible. This can be done with a good fan rake if there is minimal moss. If there is an abundance that needs to be removed, a power rake (lawn comb) can be used to speed up the process.
It is now necessary to change the soil conditions that are causing the moss to grow. Typically, it is because the pH of the soil is too low (acidic). A more neutral pH (6.0 to 6.5) will help to deter the moss from growing back. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to lime your lawn with prilled lime, which can be applied at a rate of up to 50 lbs per 1,000 ft 2. It is advisable to do a soil pH test before applying lime.
Aerating your lawn is always a good option if you are going to go to the effort to refurbish it. Aerating pulls cores of turf/rootmass/soil from the existing lawns. This allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate to the root zones of your lawn. It also aids in relieving compaction. Leave the plugs on the lawn when you are finished; they will break down and add valuable organic matter for your lawn. You may also consider topdressing your lawn with additional organic matter to help improve soil structure, drainage and drought resistance.
Finally, fertilize your lawn with a suitable spring/summer fertilizer such as 28-3-8. We recommend using a fertilizer that has a certain percentage of slow release qualities. Fertilize every three months until fall arrives.
Please note: it is advisable to over seed if there is minimal lawn remaining after you have removed the moss by power raking. Use a high quality lawn seed suitable for the light and traffic conditions of the current lawn. Starter fertilizer should be applied (in lieu of spring/summer fertilizer) with the grass seed to help promote healthy root development.
This is a brief synopsis of the steps to spring lawn preparation. Feel free to drop in for a visit for more in-depth information.