What if you have more moss than grass?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 10, 2019

Cool season fescue is growing with the warming weather, but moss seems to be a continuing problem.
Moss grows because of poor growing conditions such as poor drainage, low light, poor fertility and low pH of the soil. Any one or a combination of all these conditions is conducive for moss to development.
For example, even a fertile, well drained soil can have moss in areas of the lawn with low light intensities.
Clay soils drain very slowly, holding excessive amounts of water, creating the perfect medium for moss establishment.
Remedy: fill in low areas to allow for proper drainage after excessive rains or irrigation.
Low light is another a major culprit of poor turf establishment and excessive moss growth. Poor quality and thinning turf occur in areas with more than 50 percent summer shade.
Remedy: prune lower tree limbs to increase light in order to stimulate turf growth.
In addition, proper fertility with a correct soil pH will discourage moss growth and development.
Remedy: soil tests eliminate having to guess application rates and fertilizer formulations, especially lime.
Last ditch effort: Physical removal of the moss may be the only solution in renovating an existing lawn. The use of a heavy bow rake is often the only option.