At some point, you’ll probably have trouble with moss in your garden or on the driveway. Thankfully it’s easy to remove it but far harder to stop it coming back.
The best moss killer for lawns is a combination of solving the underlying problems and using chemicals to deal with the current issues.
What is moss?
The term Moss refers to a collection of primitive non-flowering plants which spread very quickly over undisturbed soil. While there are many different types of moss, they largely fit into three different categories:
- Upright moss – A larger, more tufted type
- Cushion moss – Tiny clusters of growth
- Trailing moss – Has a feathery appearance
What causes it to grow?
There are many reasons why moss can spring up. Some are temporary problems such as droughts or waterlogging. However, it could be as a result of the underlying conditions.
For example, the site was poorly prepared before laying the lawn. It could also be a result of acidic soil conditions, a lack of feed, poor drainage or over mowing. Moss is more likely to grow in shade and in mild climates with plenty of rain.
Is moss bad for your lawn?
As moss easily spreads, it can cause many issues for your lawn. It requires most of the same conditions as grass to grow. The two ends up competing for space and moss can often win.
As the weather becomes hotter in summer, moss starts to die leaving unsightly bald patches. What makes the situation worse, is moss is almost certain to return in autumn unless treated.
Can I just kill it?
Having a moss-free lawn is more than simply killing and removing it. And while this is a good start, you’ll need to improve your lawn’s condition to remain moss-free.
It’s essential to follow a lawn care plan which includes all the tasks you need to complete each season including aerating and feeding your lawn. These steps will make it harder for moss to take hold and grow.
If you can’t seem to rid your lawn of moss or conditions which make it more likely to appear, then consider grass alternatives such as artificial turf. While moss and other green growths can still spread, they are much easier to remove.
There are two ways to deal with moss, either naturally or with chemicals. Both have advantages and disadvantages. While chemicals provide a “quick fix”, they need to be coupled with natural methods to improve the underlying conditions.
The best natural moss killer to remove it is by vigorous raking or Scarification as it’s often known. It’s best to rake your lawn early autumn with September being the ideal month.
If you have a small lawn, then you can rake out any moss by hand or use a Darlac Telescopic Lawn Scarifier (£40 from Amazon) which uses 11 blades to removes unwanted debris and aerating the soil.
On larger lawns and you’ll want to hire or purchase a mechanical scarifier sich as the VonHaus 1500W 2 in 1 Lawn Scarifier (£80 from Amazon).
If the idea of raking doesn’t appeal, then you can use a non-chemical, bacteria-based product such as Viano MO Bacter Organic Lawn Fertiliser (£37 on Amazon) or Evergreen No Rake Moss Remover (£30 at Amazon). Both will help to control moss as well as feeding the lawn.
For the best results with either product, you’ll want to mow your lawn shortly before application. Both products require wetting to activate and can be applied from March to October.
Once applied, leave for 7-10 days before mowing again. You’ll start to see the dead moss decompose in situ, and therefore there’s no need for scarifying.
In terms of chemicals, the most popular and best moss killer for lawns contain sulphate of iron and are best applied in autumn or spring. A range of products is available which combine a moss killer and fertiliser (nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium, usually abbreviated to NPK) and are especially useful where grass vigour is low.
Ready to use products include Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 (prices start at £10) and Maxicrop Moss Killer and Lawn Tonic (which contains seaweed extract and costs £15). Either apply by hand or with a spreader. Avoid applying too many chemicals to lawn sand as this can kill the grass and moss.
Some products require watering 48 hours after treatment but it’s best to follow the instructions. After two or three weeks, the moss will blacken and can easily be removed with a rake.
Chemicals, while excellent at killing moss, they don’t deal with the underlying conditions which allowed the moss to become established are improved. So you’ll still need to continue to nurture your lawn to make it difficult for moss to grow.
Killing moss on driveways
You’re bound to see moss on driveways, as the conditions are ideal. While you can kill moss with iron sulphate such as Pro-Kleen 2.5 KG Iron Sulphate tub (£13 from Amazon), it does tend to stain and so should be a final resort.
A good alternative is to mix bleach and water. Spray the solution over the moss.
Will moss reappear?
Sadly even after using the best moss killer for lawns, it will reappear, especially if the underlying conditions remain unchanged. So you’ll want to keep maintaining your lawn ensuring it’s well fed and aerated.
If moss does starts to reappear, then treat with chemicals and scarify.