lawn is almost covered in moss. We tried spreading lime on it last
year but it doesn't seem to have helped.
grows most strongly in cool, moist conditions, so it can be really
bad by the time spring arrives. Unfortunately, lime doesn't necessarily
help and too much may even raise soil pH to the point where it suppresses
Moss spores are everywhere
and take advantage of bare patches in lawns. Moss growth is a symptom
that all is not well with your lawn and that grass growth is poor.
Waterlogged soil in winter, drought in summer, pests such as grass
grub and crickets, mowing too short, shading from nearby trees or
buildings can all contribute to poor grass growth which allows moss
to take over.
This is a good time of
year to tackle the problem. First, get rid of as much of the moss
as possible. You could simply rake it up or apply a moss control
agent such as Moss in Lawns, Yield Moss Control or Moss Killer.
Follow the label recommendations carefully and after a couple of
weeks you should be able to rake out much of the dead moss.
Then do what you can
to encourage strong grass growth. If winter drainage or soil compaction
is a problem push a fork deep into the soil going down at least
15-20cm, and rock it a little to break up the soil deep down. Do
this every 10-15cm or so across the lawn to allow excess water to
drain away and air to penetrate to the roots. You could brush sand
across the lawn and into the holes to keep them open. Sow fresh
grass seed in the bare patches after breaking up the soil. Once
grass is established, you could apply lawn fertiliser over the whole
area to encourage strong growth. Prune trees to let as much light
as possible through to the lawn. And don't mow too short, especially
in dry summer conditions, as this can weaken the grass severely
giving bare patches that will be colonised by moss in autumn.
Gardener, Issue 205, 2006, Page 33
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.