Ground has turned into moss

Asked June 1, 2020, 12:04 PM EDT

Our yard has been growing moss and it’s spreading so much that I’m not sure how to rid or stop it . A couple years ago a neighbor asked how we don’t have moss growing . Had no idea could be a problem , he has since moved. Jinx. I wonder if it has to do do with removing leaves in fall seems the raked areas have more moss everywhere especially by front entry way which makes it slippery. I tried digging it up and did use a moss preventative which seems to have made the little we had into too much. The soil was sandy with grass and grass patches which makes grass tricky to grow when it’s now moss of various kinds now. Please help.

Clare County Michigan

1 Response

The first step in diagnosing lawn problems is to have a soil test done. Read the following and obtain a soil test from MSU. It's $25 and comes with instructions and a pre-paid mailing envelope to return your sample in. You will be emailed a code to access your results online which will tell you the fertility and pH of your soil + recommendations for your concern about moss. https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/dont_guess_soil_test_get_your_home_lawn_and_garden_soil_test_kit_...
Moss flourishes when conditions don't support healthy turf. The most common are: (a) low fertility, (b) acidic soils, (c) poor drainage, (d) soil compaction, (e) heavy shade, (f) restricted air movement. Knowing (and improving) your soil conditions and reducing/eliminating site conditions that favor moss will keep it at bay. Over-seeding may be necessary to thicken the lawn as well. If needed use a grass seed tolerant of shade and/or moisture. Here are some articles to read with info on removing moss and correcting yard conditions favorable to moss:
https://archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/Ag.%20Ext.%202007-Chelsie/PDF/e1516-1986-print2.pdf
https://extension.psu.edu/moss-in-the-lawn
https://lancaster.unl.edu/hort/articles/2006/moss.shtml
https://ag.purdue.edu/btny/ppdl/Pages/POTW2018/POTW04302018.aspx
https://web.extension.illinois.edu/lawntalk/weeds/solving_moss_problems_in_lawns.cfm
You will need to determine what conditions in your yard favor moss and what you can change to enable turf to succeed over moss. Fine fescues do well in shady, well drained soils and rough bluegrass favors shady, moist soils.
See the attached articles on mulching leaves into the lawn: https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/mulch_leaves_into_turf_for_a_smart_lawn
https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/dont_sweep_your_leaves_to_the_curb_mulch_them_back_into_your_lawn_or_g...
https://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2018/10/should-i-mulch-or-bag-my-leaves-this.html
https://turf.purdue.edu/what-should-i-do-with-all-these-falling-leaves/