For those of you who don't know, moss is that furry green stuff that you often see growing on the side of trees. Now, this can make forests and woods look pretty and natural but when it starts to grow on your lawn, it can become a bit of a nightmare.
You spend months of the year caring for your lawn, growing your grass to become this thick, green piece of beauty and then all of a sudden you wake up one day to find moss covering a whole section. Not something you particularly want to be seeing.
So, how does moss appear and what can be done to prevent it? The professionals here at Lawn & Weed Expert are here to help! Read on to find out more...
What is moss?
Before we can understand why moss is growing on your lawn and what you can do to avoid it, let's remind ourselves about what moss actually is shall we?
Moss is a plant that can grow in conditions that other types of plants can't, including grass. It isn't a very competitive or aggressive plant type and acts more as a filler when soil becomes bare or thin.
Therefore, when you see moss growing on your lawn and wonder why, it's because your outdoor space is home to these conditions that make moss grow and survive. Its spores are always in the air and only require moisture to germinate and mature. Once established, moss can survive in most conditions, whether that's in the sun or the shade. Due to its shallow roots, it is able to grow on pretty much any soil type and prosper as they mostly produce their own food supply through the process of photosynthesis.
So, if moss grows on your lawn as a result of a certain set of conditions, what are they? Let's take a look.
Causes of moss
There are many reasons why moss could be growing on your lawn, however, these are usually the main causes:
- Inadequate mowing - Not mowing your lawn properly, usually too short, can cause moss to grow. When you do mow your grass very short, or even scalp your lawn, more often than not your grass will not survive as it cannot produce food supply through photosynthesis. As a result, moss appears to fill out the patches. Read our blog here on how to mow your lawn properly if you need more information.
- Highly acidic or alkaline soil - In some cases, your soil may become very acidic or alkaline which causes nutrients to lock up and not reach your grass. As a result of malnutrition, the grass blades begin to die out which promotes moss growth.
- Too much shade - In order to produce the food supply needed to survive, the grass on your lawn needs to go through the process of photosynthesis. Sunlight is one of the factors which is required for this to happen, so when your lawn is deprived of sunlight, it is unable to produce the food needed to survive. This then causes the grass to become unhealthy and promotes moss growth.
- Too much moisture - As well as too much shade on your lawn causing moss growth, too much moisture can also cause it. Soggy soil types such as clay can drown grassroots which impact the number of nutrients your lawn receives thus promoting moss growth.
- Tree roots - Tree roots can also promote moss growth in a couple of ways. The first way is down to the roots growing too close to the surface of the soil which stops the grass from digging into it, preventing the grass from establishing and receiving the nutrients it needs to survive. The second reason is when your lawn is not watered deeply enough, tree roots move upwards towards the surface of the soil for water and space, competing with your grass. As a result, your grass becomes weaker which allows moss to establish.
- Compact soil - When soil becomes very compact and dense, it is almost impossible for grass to establish its roots. When this happens, it does not have the ability to receive the nutrients it needs to survive thus encouraging moss growth.
These are the conditions that allow moss to grow on your lawn, without them, your grass should become established and receive everything it needs in order to survive. To prevent moss from growing, ensure care is taken to avoid these conditions from occurring. Sometimes, however, there's little you can do when it comes to preventing moss growth as not all of these conditions are easily managed. Therefore, you are left to deal with the moss yourself. If this is that case for you and you'd like to manage it, read our blog on how to deal with moss in your lawn.
If, on the other hand, you don't have the time or resources to manage moss growth on your own, you can also get in touch with professionals like ourselves to come and do the job for you. Lawn & Weed Expert provides a highly efficient and effective moss control service that removes any visible signs of moss from your lawn as well as helping to prevent future occurrence. Learn more about how we can help below!
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For more information, be sure to contact a member of our helpful team, we'd be more than happy to help! Don't forget to keep with up with regular updates from Lawn & Weed Expert by following us on Facebook and Twitter!