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moss problem

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by pagarden on March 30, 2006 12:50 AM
how do i get rid of moss in the yard. the stuff growns like crazy. i pull it up in sheets and then it seems like in a few weeks it's back. what does that say about my soil? and how do i correct it?
by obywan59 on March 30, 2006 01:00 AM
Moss likes acidic soil, so to help control it apply lime to keep the pH from 6.5 to 7.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by johnCT on March 30, 2006 03:22 AM
There is no "One" thing that causes moss. It is a common misconception that moss grows in acidic soil. Acidic soil COULD be the reason that your grass isn't growing well, which would allow moss to move in. Moss is a creature of opportunity. If given a chance to grow, it will. If conditions aren't right for turfgrass to grow well, ie. shade, moisture, poor soil pH, etc., the moss will establish itself.

Pagarden, what can you tell us about the conditions where it is growing? Is it where you'd like grass to be growing? Is it shady? Too wet?

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John - Zone 6
by obywan59 on March 30, 2006 04:40 AM
Right, you might need a more multi-pronged attack plan. Here's a more thorough discussion:

Getting Rid of Moss

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Terry

May the force be with you
by pagarden on March 30, 2006 07:15 AM
well, yea it the backyard it's mostly at the edge of the yard under a line of trees and some are pines. it probably only gets early morning sun and late afternoon sun. in the front it's not under pines, but mostly 1/2 shade. i do have some sort of grass growing in between the moss and yes i'd much rather have the grass! LOL i limed the yard for the first time since we'd been here (3 yrs) last fall. so think by pring i'd notice a difference in the lawn and the moss??? and we also have some sort of wild chive like things growing basically in the same spot- under the line of trees in the back. they smell good when we mow but i'd still much rather have grass. do they also thrive in the same conditions as moss?? i will check out the link a little later- dinner is cooking! [Smile]
by The Plant Doc on March 31, 2006 11:39 PM
The fact is that grass likes a more neutral pH then moss. If the soil turns acidic, the grass thins out and the moss comes in to replace it.
The biggest mistake in correcting the pH of a lawn is not applying enough lime to do the trick. Assuming that your lawn has turned acidic, you will need to apply 30 lbs of lime for every 1000 sq. feet of lawn area. This will only raise the pH one notch. It is very possible that you will need to reapply the following season. Another thing that factors into this is leaving leaves on your lawn over the winter, or mulching them into the lawn. Hardwood leaves can turn a lawn acidic in one season.

Applying lime will not kill the moss; it will just make the ground more hospitable for the lawn to take over. The best thing that you could do is to rent a de-thatcher, and power rake the area, and remove the moss itself. Then reseed.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by pagarden on April 01, 2006 01:52 AM
can you lime in the fall AND the spring or is that too much? should i just wait to do it again in the fall? i should probably just take myself over to the local nursery (or lowes because home depot didn't have one) and get a soil tester huh? i have a weasel and that worked pretty good last fall to get up a lot of the moss.
by obywan59 on April 01, 2006 04:36 AM
I always lime in the spring. That way, you're grass has all season to make some headway against the moss.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by The Plant Doc on April 01, 2006 07:23 AM
Actually it takes lime 4 to 6 months to do anything to the soil. It is different then feeding the plants with fertilizer, this is a actual chemical change that takes quite some time to happen.

You can hasten the effect by using a pelletized limestone, which has been all ready been broken down, then it is reformed into water soluble pellets. In this form it may still take 2 to 3 months.
Doing it in the spring is fine as long as you get it done early enough so you don't have to worry about high temps. Lime and high temps can yellow your lawn.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by The Plant Doc on April 01, 2006 07:25 AM
Whoops, I forgot to say that the fall is the best time to do this. But if your lawn is in need, I would do it now.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by pagarden on April 01, 2006 07:48 AM
thanks guys! [Smile] I'll have to let you know how the progress goes....
by johnCT on April 03, 2006 07:36 PM
Applying lime without a soil test is like taking cholesterol lowering drugs without taking a blood test.

Most turfgrasses prefer a pH of around 6.5. Lower than 6 and the turf has a more difficult time absorbing the nutrients it needs. Moss is much less fussy about soil pH. Creating conditions that the turf can thrive in will get rid of your moss. It sounds like there's too much shade. Turfgrass will not grow in shade.

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John - Zone 6

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