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Green type moss growing on the ground.

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Jeffd1979, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. Jeffd1979

    Jeffd1979 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I have noticed i have a green type moss growing on some of the bare spots on my lawn.. The new seedlings seem to be coming up ok around it but will it cause any harm? Someone told me i need more lime if that is growing.. we have been getting alot of rain lately. what do you guys think?
  2. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793


    Dealing with Moss Problems
    Moss invading lawns is a common problem typical in shady locations. Other causes of moss invasions, in addition to excessive shade, include compacted soils, poorly drained soils, low soil fertility, high or low soil pH, and poor air circulation. Moss thriving in lawns signals that grass is weak and has thinned for some reason, allowing the moss to take over. Poor lawn care practices are another source of moss problems. General lack of care, including irregular mowing and little or no fertilizer applications are common problems leading to poor turf growth.

    Adding limestone is a common "remedy" mentioned for moss control, but is not suggested unless a soil test has shown the pH needs to be raised. Many soils in northern Illinois tend to have high pH values; adding limestone will make this pH go even higher, adding to the lawn problem. Ferrous ammonium sulfate or ferric sulfate (iron sulfate) can be used to control moss to some extent. The moss will temporarily burn away, but tends to return fairly quickly. Raking out moss is another option; usually followed by reseeding.

    Modifying site conditions to favor lawn grasses and discourage moss is a suggested way to manage the problem. Too much shade for acceptable grass growth is a common underlying cause for moss invasion. Pruning trees and shrubs to improve air circulation and light penetration is a good starting point. Evaluate the site to assure the proper grass for the conditions is being used.

    Take a good look at the soil conditions. A soil test can be helpful, as it could be the soil pH is out of line, contributing to the problem. Reduce soil compaction by core aerifying. This may also help correct drainage problems; although serious drainage problems may require more extensive work to correct.

    Evaluate lawn care procedures, especially fertilizing, and adapt to the conditions, such as shade, as mentioned earlier. Lawns need adequate fertility, in particular nitrogen, but less in shade. Excessively short mowing may be a source of the moss problem; a range of two to three inches is ideal for most lawn grasses. Mow on a regular basis (based on rate of lawn growth) to avoid removing more than one-third of the leaf blade. Also avoid excessive watering, as this may contribute to moss problems. Water deeply and as infrequently as possible, based on lawn needs.

  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Jeff, I am going to take a different direction than what coffecraver did on this subject. From your post it seems that you are looking at new seedlings. This leads me to think that you just had your lawn seeded. In the Charlotte area you have been recieving more than your share of rain. My guess it that the green moss like growth that you are seeing is most likely a fungus that is feeding off the nitrogen from your fertilizer. With the cooler weather that should be coming in the next few days this fungus shouldnt present a problem. Also the information about Illinois concerning the lime and Ph of the soil doesnt adhere to your area. Most NC soils have extremly low ph's and can benefit greatly from the addition of lime. More particuarly dolomitic lime because NC soils are also deficient in Magnesium as well. In fact the NC. Dept of Agr. recommends approx 2 tons dolomitic lime per acre. Of course these amounts are meant to be incorporated into the soil. Since you just seeded your new lawn these rates can do more harm than good. Not knowing if any lime was added at the time of seeding, I recommend not using more than about 10 to 20 pounds per 1000 sqft. Rule of thumb suggests not to ever use more than 50lbs per 1000 sqft in any one single application unless it can be incorporated into the soil. For new seedings I have found amounts in excess of 30lbs per 1000 sqft to actually slow seed germination.

    Not seeing your site I have no way of knowing if what you are seeing is fungus or really moss. Either can be caused by excessive moisture. This moisture can be because of to much rain or poor drainage or both. Eliminate the moisture by improving drainage, along with improving your soil fertility will help eliminate the Moss. The Ferrious Sulfate will kill the moss but it wont keep it from coming back unless drainage is improved, soil fertility is improved and adequate sunlite is provided.

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