Asked March 10, 2019, 3:48 PM EDT

This has been a bumper year for moss. I'm familiar with drainage issues and proper ph. I have raked a great deal of moss out of the lawn toward the end of winter. I've used a chemical in the past. It turns the moss black and the grass deep green. But the moss still must be raked out. I'll seed as soon as possible because there are many bare spots among the fescue. Is there anything I'm missing and do you have any advice on dealing with moss on lawn that has a lot of shade. Many thanks, Tom

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Moss is native and considered a beautiful groundcover. If you don't need to have grass in that location, you might want to consider leaving it, at least as a groundcover around beds of shrubs or other plants.

Moss moves in when grass thins and dies. Moss tolerates what grass cannot: dense shade, low pH (acid soil), compacted soil, wet soil, and low fertility. In order to grow grass, you'll need to change all of these conditions.

Start by doing a soil test. Then follow the recommendations for lime to correct the pH, and for fertilizer. In the future, your lawn should be fertilized every fall. Here is a comprehensive fact sheet that explains how to renovate your lawn and how to maintain it in the future:

But if you have a lot of shade, especially, you will just be wasting your time and money trying to grow grass where it does not want to grow. Take a look at this:

Also, this is a good publication about moss: