Tips and Tricks for Moss Removal?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DBM, Mar 21, 2001.

  1. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    My first year. Lawns are infested with moss and most of my calls have been for moss removal. I know the things that have to be done to help with the moss problem but what I'm looking for are any tips or tricks that will help me to actually remove it.
    I've been killing the moss, then running a power rake over it twice (at a setting where it's just scratching the soil). I've been doing nothing but this for the last week and I pray there's an easier way.(vigorously handraking all day is making me sore)
    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Metroman

    Metroman LawnSite Member
    from Va.
    Messages: 41

    I have a small yard that i'm going to start in the next day or so that has alot of moss. I'm just going to tiller the yard up and lime the heck out of it. Then tiller that in real good and seed. But getting to your question what about an sod cutter? I've seen small ones before. (like a rake)

    I had to lay some drain pipe last year about a 100ft and I used my garden tractor with the plow and it took the sod up pretty good up to about a foot wide. I might have a guy make me one about 4ft wide and see how that works.
  3. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    Metroman, use pulverized lime instead of pelletized. You will have to spread it with a drop spreader but it is much quicker at killing the lime.
  4. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Most of the time the moss is mixed in with the grass here, sometimes it has patches of moss which I'm able to rip up to expose bare soil. I try to pick out the moss while keeping as much grass in the lawn as possible. I can imagine what would happen if I removed all of the top layer. I'm sure my customers would have a bird.
    What I'm doing is removing most, not all of the moss that I've sprayed while still having it look like a lawn.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'd love it if my customers would let me set the blades deeper so that I could get all the moss, but it would be a massacre.
    I've managed to upsell the majority of them to core aeration, and a fertilizer program; however most are opting to lime themselves. So although I'm not fond of the work, it has gotten me referrals and allows me to sell other services.
    Of course I've been letting them know I won't be able to get it all and that even though they may follow a proper lawn care regiment, there is a good chance it will be back next year.
    Thanks again. I'm open to any ideas to make it easier on me because frankly, I would much rather be mowing.
  5. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    Moss is a pain in the butt. You can quote me on that much. hehe. I have been talking to some ppl lately about it and becuase i live near you i sincerely understand your problem. Here is what you do. (So i am told)

    1. Spray the moss with chemical moss killer. These items include but are not limited to scotts moss out, lilly miller moss killer, and moss be gone. I like the lIlly miller one myselft.

    2. After the moss is dead (4 days to a week) then lightly thatch it out. By killing it first you weaken its roots and thus you will get alot more out.

    3. Lay new seed and put down starting fert. I wont get into how to do that because it would be the blind leading the blind here.

    4. For the first three months add 5 lbs of lime per 1,000K. After that just put down like 3 i think. Not sure here cause i have never done it myself. The toatl liming for the first year only lasts for 7 months.

    5. Next year add lime spring, summer, and fall. Just 3 times. You will NOT be able to get rid of it all together. Moss is inherant to our neck of the woods. Grass grows in perfect environments, but moss will grow anywhere. The main thing is to keep on it. I may even move up and start tine thatching lightly once a month if i find out it helps at all.

    The best person i know to ask is Kirbyslawns. It seems to me that he is very knowledgeable about soil growth and so forth.

    Hope i helped
    But PLEASE, dont quote me here, this is just what i have heard.
  6. Matt

    Matt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Before everyone starts throwing lime, fertilizer and pesticides around you need to have a soil test/analysis done. Before you can correct the problem you need to know what the problem is, this is why a doctor will do tests before he treats peaples problem. We as professionals have to educate the customer on the correct way to solve the problem. A lot of times we get called after someone else has tried to solve the problem, we explain what steps need to be taken to get the final results the customer wants. If they don't want to take those steps we are going to have a difficult time correcting the problem.
  7. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    I must be waxing philosophical today, but this sure brings back memories! The first house I ever owned was in Bellingham just south of DBM. That was 25 years ago and I bought it with earnings from my summer job as a commercial fisherman in Alaska while I was going to college.

    Well I didn't know anything about lawns except I had to push mow our acre as a kid but I was really proud of that house [a duplex so I could rent half which made the house payment - you could still do that in those days LOL] and wanted it to look good. I could see that the yard had moss in it and knew that wasn't good so I put down moss killer. This was in the fall and what I didn't know was that the yard had only a small amount of actual grass and the rest was MOSS! When that stuff kicked in, well you guessed it, all the moss was dead but now I didn't have a nice green yard anymore just a pile of dead moss. The place looked awful all winter but I learned.

    DBM, just remember to see what you've actually got before you kill it off! I see lots of yards around here which have moss 'lawns'.

    AcuteCut, if you buy produce at Youngstock's on State and Carolina, my old house is right next to it--it's a crime what they've done to it, I had it looking good!
  8. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Will, I know what you're saying about using moss killer on a lawn that's all moss. Last week I used the power rake on a lawn, I went over, and over and over it. The moss was still there. I then used a granular moss killer to kill what was left. I didn't have time to rake it out today but I've noticed the whole stinkin' lawn is black! I'm going back to rake out as much as I can on monday but you can be sure that I'll have a closer look before I accept another lawn like that. This lawn needed a total renovation and unfortunately my inexperience bit me in the butt. I'll be lucky to make $30.00 an hour before expenses on this one, and truth be told I'm unsure what the customer's reaction is going to be when her nice green lawn becomes a nice bare lawn (she said she is going to seed it). Live and Learn.
  9. WINTER 3

    WINTER 3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Have you seen the shindaiwa powerbroom ??
    I was using it today and their was some moss. When I was done there was no moss left. This broom removes dead grass, sand, salt (basicly everything but the live grass)

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