According to Don McLean’s 70’s classic, American Pie, ‘moss grows fat on a rolling stone’. According to my experience, moss grows fat on a winter lawn.
Many suffer moss growth in their lawns. It’s easy to spot, lush and green amongst the grass. Thriving as it smothers its less vigorous winter bed partner. The good news is it responds well to treatment. Moss can be brought under control with specialist lawn-care. The bad news is, left untreated it will thrive and it encourages infestation from chafer grubs. This can cause a huge amount of lawn damage.
From a distance moss gives the impression of a green, lush lawn. The grass it is smothering struggles to survive. The percentage of moss in the lawn increases and the grass gradually dies away.
Why is this a problem?
Wait until the drier summer months and you’ll soon see. Moss thrives in wet conditions. Unlike healthy, well maintained grass, which is far hardier, moss dries out and dies in dry, warm summer weather. At the height of summer, when you want to be enjoying your garden at its best, you are left with brown, scorched areas of lawn and areas of dead moss. Most unsightly and far too late in the season to treat. Spring is the ideal time for dealing with moss issues.
Mowing and moss issues
Mowing too short, too infrequently or not following the correct mowing height for the time of year can be a big contributor to moss growth. As can incorrect nutrition, not dealing with thatch or compaction and not removing leaves from the lawn regularly. Bare areas should also be dealt with promptly so as not to leave space for moss spores to germinate. A healthy dense grass sward leaves little room for moss or weeds to take up residence.