The Expert's Guide to Moss Removal and Lawn Care

While moss thrives in damp cold conditions and shaded areas, if left untreated it can become a year-round problem. So if you are looking at your lawn and all you see is unwanted moss, you've come to the right place for advice on removal and the right products to do so.

While we are here we will educate you on what moss is, why you get moss on your lawn and how to get rid of moss on lawns.

What is moss?

Looking at the picture above I'm sure you've seen this on your lawn or a family members/friends at some point. It's that carpet-like texture in your lawn, that always seems to pop up after that long, dark and damp winter spell. In UK gardens, moss is often considered a weed due to the fact it can ruin uniformity and signify a problem with your lawn's health. For many a moss problem is stopping healthy lawn growth and stopping you from having that green lawn you dream of.

The causes of moss on your lawn

Moss loves a damp environment which brings us to the main cause of the problem - poor drainage. Poor drainage allows excess water to sit on your lawn, causing a boggy environment where moss thrives.

Lawns where moss has been left untreated leads to thinner grass coverage, which in turn, leads to more moss - can you see the problem here? Moss breeds more moss.

Unlike grass, moss absorbs nutrients and water through their leaves which just so happen to sit above the ground. This means that for any lawns with compacted soil where grass generally struggles, moss will have no problem growing. So if you've got an overused lawn, with little air circulation you are asking for it mossy lawn.

How can I remove moss from my lawn?

We need to consider what we can do to discourage moss growth, thinking back to the causes of moss and what steps we can take to rectify these.


As we've mentioned moss loves a boggy lawn so lets start to improve drainage. You can do this by carrying out a technique called aeration. A term for creating channels for air to reach the soil and improve circulation. There is the added benefit of thatch removal which will allow your grass to thrive and should be a key step in everyone's lawn care plan. There are a few ways you can carry out aeration.

Budget version (may cause further compaction in the long run):

You can use a garden fork if you have no other available tools to spike the lawn to try create more flow of oxygen and relieve compaction. However, as you do not remove a plug of the soil then you will likely end up adding more compaction to your lawn and lead to poor soil conditions so this should be a short-term fix only!

Hollow tiner

The next step up is using a hollow tiner, these can vary in price and effectiveness but they do remove small plugs of soil to combat soil compaction.

Mechanical aerator

The best results will be seen when using a mechanical aerator, you can hire these as you shouldn't need to continually use them.

Chemical moss killer

Moss killers isn't a term you will see often when looking for a chemical way to removing moss from your lawn. This is because any product which 'controls' moss is now classed as a herbicide, and this requires the product to have an expensive and complex approval. You will often see it sold by it's chemical name: Iron Sulphate or Ferrous Sulphate.

Using Iron Sulphate is a great way to tackle moss in your lawn, and we will run through how to apply it now.

You can begin and apply moss killer following the dilution rates on the product you have purchased. You will often need a heavy dose to kill moss. I would recommend using a sprayer for the easiest application and to ensure you cover the whole lawn with the mixture. Once applied, the moss in the lawn will turn black and you can use a spring tine rake to remove the dead moss. You will notice there will be a lot more moss in the shady areas so ensure to remove all the dead material from these areas.

Once removed your are likely going to be left with bare patches with bare soil showing. This is a great starting point to use a lawn seed to thicken it back out with healthy grass that will also act as moss prevention as it will outcompete the moss for nutrients and water and prevent the moss growing.


So we have lightly touched on this point in the previous section. Using a moss killer is useful because it makes the moss much easier to remove by killing moss and turning it black which can then be scarified out much easier.

However, those with larger lawns may just opt to hire a mechanical scarifier and use this remove moss, usually done in early autumn if planning to re seed to create a new lawn. The added benefit of using a mechanical scarifier is that it will also be effective in removing thatch from the lawn.

How to stop moss returning?

So you've aerated, scarified, applied moss killer but you have still been unable to prevent moss from returning?

You'll need to have a look into lawn drainage solutions, as it is likely that your lawn is suffering from excess water that is creating a breeding ground for moss.

Not only is scarification and aeration good for removing moss, it is also really beneficial at preventing moss on your lawn. So I would recommend carrying these out at least once a year.

Mow your lawn regularly to keep the grass blades in the best shape which will boost the thickness of your lawn.

Finally, reseeding your lawn will help the grass to outcompete moss in the future.

What products to purchase?

We do offer a lawn moss killer, which is advertised as Iron Sulphate and is sold as a stand alone product or you can buy it in our lawn care bundles The Lawn Pack and The Lawn Pack Plus.

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