The dangers of lawn moss

Why lawn moss is damaging your lawn and how to treat it.

Moss isn’t usually a word that inspires fear.

More commonly associated with thickets, fairies and a return to nature.

But when looking to keep a healthy and beautiful lawn: moss is not on your side.

How does moss damage my lawn?

Aside from aesthetic damage, moss threatens the health of your grass plant by taking up growing space.

As it grows thickly, moss prevents essential water and nutrients from lawn fertilisation from reaching your grass.

This suffocates your lawn and hinders its ability to grow strong and healthy.

Not only that, but the dried-out patches of moss are also likely to die out and leave unsightly patches on the surface of your lawn.

How do I know my lawn has moss?

Moss is quite easily detectable.

If you note your lawn is spongy or springy underfoot, this is usually a surefire sign of moss.

Moss occurs most often when there is poor drainage, meaning the soil is compacted and low in nutrients.

There are various reasons for the build-up of moss in the lawn, but very damp and shaded areas are at the most risk.

Moss is commonly caused by:

  • Excessive moisture
  • Shade
  • Clay soil/Compaction
  • Poor drainage
  • Excessive thatch

When can moss be treated?

Moss is very likely to grow thick and fast on your lawn after damp and overcast conditions.

Acting quickly and using effective treatment is vital.

Moss can most efficiently be treated during two main times of the year:

  • Early spring
  • Early autumn

In the spring, this is because moss may have become infested over the winter period, especially if you have not previously had any form of moss control.

Autumn treatment can be necessary after a wet summer.

In autumn, moss treatment will allow the lawn to be in the best possible condition at the start of the following year.

How do I treat lawn moss?

The good news is that though moss can be dangerous for your lawn, it is easily treatable through a combination of professional lawn care treatments.

Iron Sulphate Application:

The first of these treatments is the application of iron sulphate.

Commercial liquid applications containing Iron Sulphates will attack and kill moss.

All whilst giving your lawn further essential nutrients and increasing your lawn’s tolerance against diseases.

For example, some spring fertilisers contain iron sulphate, which works on lawns where moss is less of a problem but also blackens and kills moss where it is.

As a result, iron sulphate application is ideally suited for use during periods of low soil temperature, such as early spring and autumn, when moss is most prevalent.

However, moss treatment should not be limited to only liquid applications and should work in tandem with other lawn care processes to achieve the best results.


Scarification is a mechanical operation which will remove all unwanted organic matter from around the base of the grass plant.

This includes, but isn’t limited to, moss.

Our TruGreen lawn care technicians carry out scarification at the beginning of the growing season.

This is the early spring or autumn, so it is ideal for moss elimination.

Because of the stress that scarification places on healthy grass plants, it is not done routinely, but only when it is apparent that it will specifically resolve some difficulty or problem – such as a heavy build-up of moss, lawn thatch or lateral growth.

We take care taken to remove as few healthy plants as possible during the process. However, it may result in a need for overseeding.

Therefore, the lawn should be aerated following scarification to facilitate root penetration.


Aeration is another procedure that we commonly carry out to treat lawn moss.

Aeration uses professional machinery to puncture holes in the lawn surface. Thus allowing air and water to penetrate the grass root.

This is not only helpful for defeating lawn moss.

It can also thicken turf, reduce weeds growth, and increase your lawn’s stress tolerance.

We also undertake aeration in the early spring and autumn periods and is ideal for combating moss growth.

To learn more, and to see our aeration process in action, check out our blog post on the importance of lawn aeration.

Need to eliminate moss from your lawn?

If you’re worried moss may be affecting your lawn’s ability to grow and flourish, contact your local TruGreen lawn care experts.

Whether dealing with moss or something else entirely, our experts come fully equipped with the know-how and best possible tools for any job.

By conducting a free 14-point analysis, your local expert will assess your lawn’s health and advise on the best treatment plan to help it achieve its true potential.

With the optimal time for moss and other lawn treatments fast approaching, now is the time to ensure your lawn is treated and ready for summer.

To schedule a visit from one of our expert lawncare operatives, find your nearest TruGreen business today or call 0800 021 3074 to learn more.