How do you get rid of moss that is taking over the lawn?


Sphagnum moss is taking over our lawn, especially in shady areas. I have tried changing the soil pH with wood ashes and lime, but no success thus far. Is there a better way without laying down poisons? 


Jonathan Foster, Special Project Assistant

Moss in the lawn can be very frustrating, and is almost always a result of underlying conditions in the yard (e.g., too little light, pH of the soil, compaction, etc.). Shady areas in particular are very hard to keep grassy, as they lend themselves to the conditions moss loves. But I can send along a few resources to help you diagnose what’s going on and get an idea on remedies.

Univ of MD Moss in Lawns

Univ of IL Solving Moss Problems

Penn State Univ Moss in the Lawn

Your first step should probably also be to perform a soil test, if you haven’t done so recently. We highly recommend it when diagnosing lawn issues and before adding any supplemental amendments. You can find out more information about this at the UMaine Soil Lab website.