How do I get rid of green moss in yard?

Asked September 20, 2013, 2:45 PM EDT

Have green moss growing in back yard. Turns black shiny when the sun dries it. The area does get a little sun. Grass does not grow in the area where the moss had been. The moss is spreading. I have not reseeded that area. How do I get rid of the green moss?

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Mosses are nonparasitic, primitive green plants that reproduce by means of wind-blown spores. Mosses form a thick, green mat on the soil surface. They do not kill grass plants but rather fill in the spaces in the lawn where grass is not growing. Moss tends to grow where grass stands are thin and malnourished.

Properly timed applications of nitrogen will increase the turf''s density, vigor and competitiveness. Fall is the best time to apply fertilizer.
Bluegrass grows poorly in dense shade. Fine fescues will do better in dry shade.
Prune trees and shrubs to improve air circulation and light penetration.
Soil compaction prevents a lawn from growing vigorously. Wet soil conditions favor mosses. When the top 4 inches of soil are compacted, movement of air, water and nutrients to the grass roots is adversely affected. In addition, it is difficult for grass roots to penetrate compacted soil. A process known as core aeration will help alleviate soil compaction and improve growing conditions for the grass.
Excessively short mowing may be a source of the moss problem; a range of 2½ to 3 inches is ideal for most lawn grasses. Mow on a regular basis to avoid removing more than one-third of the leaf blade.
Avoid watering at night, particularly in fall or early spring when moss growth is vigorous.
Remove the moss, prepare the soil, and reseed the area.