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Why so much moss in my lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by hedgefog, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. hedgefog

    hedgefog Gardener

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    I have been raking the lawn everyday this week, and there were so much moss coming out every day.

    The lawn is patchy with lots of moss taken out, and also looks brown. I looked closely into the lawn, and there are some normal grass, but most of them are thatch and moss.

    Why is this happening? It used to be like that in the past but not as bad as this year.

    What could be causes fir this situation, and what would be best way to deal with the problem? Thanks.
     
  2. Marley Farley

    Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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    @hedgefog, it could be down to quite a few different reasons...
    Is your garden shady
    Is the soil very compacted, do you airate your lawn each year
    Is your soil too acidic
    Do you feed, weed and feed your lawn regularly because if the grass is weak the moss will take over
    Is the ground very wet
    Do you cut your grass very short.. ie are the cutters on their lowest setting

    I usually find a good feed takes care of my lawn, I never have the cutters low I start and end season with them on highest setting, but during the summer I only drop them midway so I suppose my lawn is a good inch still even after cutting and on the whole looks soft and lush and green..
     
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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      Hiya hedgefog :)
      Agree with Marley Farley. cutting the grass too short discourages grass growth and encourages moss.....my own grass is regularly cut but always done on a medium setting. Feeding too is important. Moss will thrive in shade.

      Have you noticed this moss recently Hedgefog? Did you apply a moss killer or are you simply raking it out? I would apply a moss killer then rake it out a few days later. An autumn feed will help the grass.

      I would not expect a great improvement though over winter but as spring arrives a combination of over seeding, feeding and raising the mower blades will make a big difference to your lawn next year.:)
       
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      • hedgefog

        hedgefog Gardener

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        Hello MF

        Thanks for your feedback and advice.

        Yes, our garden is now shady with birch tree and blackthorn tree got so tall. I cut 2x birch trees into half, but I noticed this afternoon, that sunlight is coming in through the branches of the tall trees, but not fully direct sunlight like a few years back.

        I have airated the lawn soil, maybe about 5-6 years ago, and after that I had not done it. So it might be compacted now.

        Strange that my neighbor's lawn is very green and looks healthy, but they never seem doing these things ???

        Not sure if the soil is acidic or not. How do you check it?

        Feeding and weeding had not been done for 4-5 years now.

        This year the lawn hadn't been cut at all until about 3-4 weeks ago due to having been so busy, and grass was very tall and there were a lot of weeds. I had to cut the weeds with shears first, then had to cut the grass with shears too because mower wouldn't cut the long grass.
         
        Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
      • hedgefog

        hedgefog Gardener

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        Great info and advice Verdun.

        Yeah maybe some serious amount of work and care is needing to be put into the lawn care again. Hadn't done it for a few years.

        Last time when I airarting the lawn, I recall it was back breaking just using my garden fork, and that was about 4-5 year ago.

        Hadn't feed the lawn at all. Used to feed with coffee ground and stuff, and it was fine, but now the grass is looking poorly.

        Still mystery about neighbors lawn. They just seem cutting the lawn once in a blue moon, but their lawn looks healthy green. Grass is greener on next door was real life saying, rather than proverb I feel :)
         
      • Freddy

        Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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        Shade and our recent wet spell are perfect conditions for moss, I feel. Regarding your neighbour, does his garden have more light @hedgefog ?
         
      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        Some work yes hedgefog but worth it.....a nice green thick lawn next year can be expected if not scalped but cut regularly and fed in spring :)
        Ha ha, your neighbour's lush green lawn was probably fed and watered. But yours will be just as good :)
         
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        • WeeTam

          WeeTam Total Gardener

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          I have the same fight , never winning but keeping the upperhand,just.

          Shading from neighbours monster trees is the cause in my case.

          My advice, reseed with seed thats better suited to shade. Feed next year with chicken manure pellets. Saw this on tv recently,and the lawn looked perfect.

          I use a iron sulphate spray in autumn or spring to kill the moss the scarify it.
           
        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          I think it just needs some TLC then @hedgefog if it has gone without for so long.. As said Weed and feed and cut regularly on medium and you will have a great lawn again.. ;):thumbsup:
           
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          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            Feeding the lawn with chicken pellets has three problems (from personal experience) ....animals will and do dig; Foxes, dogs, cats etc. Secondly the smell. Thirdly not a nice fertiliser to use if anyone wants to sit or play on the grass. :sad:

            Agree, again, with Marley's summation. :)
             
          • hedgefog

            hedgefog Gardener

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            Yes, they do. They don't have trees at all. All they have is a lawn, and sheds. Their lawn get all the sunlight from east to west all day.

            We have trees on the South, huge hedge on the east of the neighbors (its their west, so they are alright with the sunlight.)
             
          • hedgefog

            hedgefog Gardener

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            Will keep raking away taking out the moss, airate, and then give feed for the autumn, and will see how it goes.

            Ashes from wood burning stoves, and coffee ground was lawn feed I used to give in the past, and it used to work.
             
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            • Marley Farley

              Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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              @hedgefog I think I would go for one of the proprietary autumn weed and feed and also look to see if it has moss killer in it as some do and get your lawn fed well before you go back to your coffee grounds etc as that might be too acidic at this time. :SUNsmile:
               
            • hans

              hans Gardener

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              I use Iron Sulphide and Scarify,as Wee Tam does, then apply a general fertiliser. This fixes it for a while but the moss seems to always return in the Autumn. My trees are probably something to do with it.
              I titivate mine in the Spring. I have been tipping wood ash from my neighbours log burner on the lawn for while but the jury is still out on this.
               
            • Selleri

              Selleri Gardener

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              My tiny front lawn had luxurious moss growth when we moved in a year ago, and over the summer heat turned into a plant world equivalent of a '70s combover with an apologetic strand here and there. :mad:

              The main reasons seem to be very hard, compacted clay soil underneath, and not much sunlight.

              @Verdun very kindly helped me to get the principles right :) Even though I'm not able to dig it all up to improve the underlying soil, heavy spiking with garden fork, filling the holes with sand and compost and finally overseeding with a mixture of seed, compost and sand in early September has helped a lot.

              The seed germinated well and has now grown to about 5cm high. The moss is still there, but I hope the grass will overtake if I keep the conditions more suitable to grass than the moss. More spiking, sand and compost, what better way to spend one's free time :snorky:

              Unless the large building across the road gets demolished, there's not much that can be done with the sunlight. So I'll settle with mossy lawn, but preferably with more grass than moss, and healthy looking growth. :)

              (BTW hedgefog, your neighbours who rarely work on their dazzling grass have probably invested in high quality artificial lawn. Cheats! ;) )
               
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