moss question?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mikey, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. mikey

    mikey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    1st off u guys r all great i really mean that,i sound like a pro when i talk to pot. a solo op. but im working really hard to educate myself.My questiion is i have a pot. cust. who has a lot of moss growing on his lawn of which ive never seen something like this and i was pretty much grasping for words when he asked me what do i think?i pretty much changed the subject.anyway what should i tell him next time i talk to him and what should i use?Also he has these little,little bald spots about the radius of
    2 silver dollars.and i told him i can use my spreader and spread some seed all over his lawn there are tons of these little bald
    spots what else can be done beside using a spreader?was i right by telling him this?

    thank u,
  2. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    the reason for moss on the lawn is due to an acidic soil level. you need to have to soil checked to see what the exact ph is and then apply lime at the right amount to correct the ph level.
    nothing comes to mind on your other question but its been a very long day.
  3. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob3: josh makes a great point, you may also want to check the level of sunlight the area is recieving, if there's moss there's usually lack of light. T
  4. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Drainage. if the area is not drying thoroughly (low shade canopy like General Grounds said) another solution could be moving te downspouts from the house, leaky hose, etc. Then aerating and amending the soil to allow it to drain and dry instead of remaining waterlogged. I am going by what I have seen in my area and on my customers properties..
    Personally I can say that when I moved into my house 4 years ago the yard had a lot of moss (with thin grass mixed in). After 4 aerations and overseeding (as well as regular feeding and lime) the moss is all gone and the grass is much thicker. If I had more sunlight it would be even better, but the trees are on my neighbors property.

  5. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Much like what has already been said... I would summarize by saying/adding the following. Moss is considered a weed in the lawn. It's unlike a broadleaf weed that you can simply spray and kill. Rather moss is more like a disease in that it has to have favorable environmental conditions to grow.

    What are those conditions? Moisture primarily. What can you do about this? Increase air circulation or sun light to the area (thinning and limbing up of trees), reduce soil compaction (get rid of the hard pan on the soil surface) and increase drainage through aeration.

    As well, moss seems to like acidic soil, but this isn't always the case, particularly if other factors, such as listed above, are certainly present to allow moss to grow. You need to do a soil test to see if you need to apply lime and how much. Remember though that lime takes months to incorporate into the soil and change the pH, so lime is not the instant solution.

    What should you do? What should you tell your customer?

    First, verti-cut/dethatch the lawn to remove as much loose moss as possible. Aerate a minimum of once, preferably twice a year for the next one to two years, than a minimum of once a year thereafter.

    Anyone who wants grass to grow in the shade will need to be committed to seeding frequently. Shade tolerant grasses, such as rye and fescue, are "bunch" type grasses, they only grow where the seed is planted. They do not spread like blue grass or creeping bent. Since the grass plants have reduced exposure to light, they can not photosynthesize and create food for themselves (remember, fertilizer is not food for the plant). Eventually the grass plants die off since they can't create food/energy for themselves. Reseeding is the only way to keep the lawn looking decent in shadier areas.

    You should adjust your customers expectations for shady lawns and let them know the natural limitations of turf in the shade. You don't see grass growing in the woods for reason. Cultural practices should be adjusted as well. Reduce the amount of fertilizer you put on turf in the shade. As well, raise the mowing height to maximize the amount of turf blade that can be exposed to sunlight. Skip a week of cutting here and there to allow the lawn to grow a little more. And, water according to budget. Anytime trees are there to suck up available moisture, the grass will suffer.

    Lastly, since the grass can't create food/energy for itself, the root system tends to be weak. This means that it has a tough time pulling available moisture from the soil - and it's already competing with the surrounding trees. Therefore aeration is doubly important - as it will help with drainage and encourage enhanced root development due to added oxygen, moisture and nutrients getting to the root zone.

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