- Tackle moss infestations
- Aerate the soil
- Scarify to get rid of dead matter
- Give your lawn a good feed
- Have a sensible mowing regime
Tackling moss in your lawnMoss is one of the most common problems I have come across in my greenkeeping and lawn care careers. It’s a wonderfully successful plant which seems to love the climate here in Ireland. But it doesn’t do our lawns any favours. Healthy grass is good at outcompeting other plants. Moss is often a symptom that something is suppressing the grass growth. It could be shady conditions, compacted soil, a thick layer of thatch or simply a lack of nutrients in the soil. My approach to moss is not to apply chemicals, it is to change the conditions so that lawn grasses can outgrow the unwanted plants. That starts in early spring with aeration, scarification, feeding and, if necessary, overseeding.
Aeration and scarifying will help to control moss in your lawn without using chemical weedkillersRead more about moss in lawns
Aerate the soil beneath your lawnMoss loves compacted soil that doesn’t drain well. You can change both of those conditions by aerating. I like to use a hollow tine aerator in spring time. It makes little holes in the soil which lets air get to the roots and allows water to percolate through the soil. Again, you can hire an aerator or you can ask a lawn care professional to do the work for you. It’s less expensive than you might think and will make an enormous difference to the way your lawn looks in late spring and summer.
Scarifying your lawn in springMoss tends to grow fastest in winter time, so come spring, a lawn can be pretty choked up with the stuff. Scarifying is like a good spring clean. It clears all of the moss, dead leaves and weaker plants out of the lawn so that the soil can breathe. Start by mowing the lawn and removing the clippings. That makes scarification much easier. You could scarify a small area using a springtine rake. However it’s hard work, it takes a long time and you could easily be a bit too thorough and end up exposing too much of the crown of the plants. That makes them vulnerable to drought. Far better to hire a scarifier from your local tool hire shop, or ask for professional help. Waste from scarifying is surprisingly bulky. In theory, it can go on the compost heap (provided you haven’t used any herbicides on your lawn lately) but you might find there’s just too much of it.
This lawn had a thick layer of thatch that was spoiling the colour. Just look how much debris was removed by scarifying!