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killing off a moss lawn

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by NewPilgrim, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. NewPilgrim

    NewPilgrim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    One of my customers has asked me to kill off the moss on her lawn to let the grass come through. The worry I have is that the moss constitutes a substantial part of the lawn and if I kill it off, there may be very little lawn left. The best idea I have come up with is to treat it with one of those "Lawn-builder" treatments that kills moss and weeds while also planting grass seed. I suggested to her that we should try a sample patch of the lawn first to see how it goes. Any helpful advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated.
  2. NewPilgrim

    NewPilgrim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Well, a whole week and not a single piece of advice. Where are the experts hiding??? Thanks for looking at least.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    You Nned to do some research on this (not just on this forum,,...but on the whole net). You will find there are 3 major factors that contribute to optimum moss growth conditions.
    1. Poor drainage
    2. Poor air circulation - lack of light.
    3. Lack of proper nitrogen in soil.
    Now, notice the first two are basically tied together. Many times, it is area with alot of trees or that is surrounded by trees that is affected. Lack of light contributes to thin grass and spots that moss can easily grow (also brough on by lack of PROPER fert.. Also, with many trees, there tends to be blocked air circulation. Surrounded by trees can do this, too. I have a yard that has a wall of high trees on the east and west sides, so sunlight is limited - timewise. There wasn't alot of air traveling back and forth either because of this forest setting on both sides.
    Anyway, if you research, you will find that opening the area up for better air circulation, proper nutrition, proper drainage (aerating helps in a fraction of these cases), and sometimes a litle help from copper sulphate in extreme conditions for overseeding will help expedite matters.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    To further comment on #3, it's usually LOW ph (high acid) that contributes to the growth of moss, in addition to like you said, constant (or lots of) shade AND yes, humidity.
    What I've done with one of these yards is dumped over the course of 2 years, 2 thousand pounds of lime on the yard and kept cutting what little grass there was... Now there are SOME spots remain extremely mossy but overall the yard looks better and here in a couple weeks, I'm going to Aerate, put down some fertilizer, MORE lime and a TON of seed - New, STRONG grass helps devour the extra humidity and gets rid of moss BUT...
    I have found in a LOT of cases, customers with moss-yards do NOT want to spend any money (at least nowhere near 200 dollars, the cost of doing a REAL aeration + *LIME* + fert + *SEED*) and they want some cheap solution and when I get that crap, I'm outta there. The yard above is an exception to the rule thou I did have to do it over time because of customer budget.
  5. NewPilgrim

    NewPilgrim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks for the help guys, I'm able to make a start now :)
  6. You only see moss in a thin stand of turfgrass, so you must correct the mini environment to favor turfgrass!

    Moss can grow on alkanline soil also!

    Get the soil chemistry correct, improve drainage, increase air circulation and LIGHT, especially getting the morning light in!

    DON'T LIME without a SOIL TEST. Follow the recommendations! Add what is necesarry to correct the soil chemistry. Make sure you use the correct lime ( calicitic or dolomitic) if soil ph is acid!

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