At this point in the year, you’ve probably given your lawn a good few mows and have started to realise that the dodgy bald bit really isn’t going to magically repair itself.

Any damp, shaded sections probably hidden for large chunks of the year under overgrown trees are rife for an invasion of the dreaded moss. The main causes of mossy patches are over-mowing, under-mowing, failure to remove leaves in autumn, and inadequate aeration. If that list makes you feel guilty in any way, you can rest assured that you are, firstly, not alone, and yes, you can take the blame – just a little bit. Sorry!

Don’t feel guilty for too long or waste time worrying as there are plenty of environmentally friendly ways to reclaim your lawn from the clutches of our springy foe, moss.

mossy lawn

The best way to deal with moss is fairly backbreaking but ultimately worth it. For smaller lawns, get out there with a spring-tine rake and scrape at it – this is known as scarifying. If you have a larger lawn or several areas of your garden that are blighted by moss, it may be worth hiring a mechanical scarifier from a hire company as it will make your job a lot easier. 

The RHS recommends a non-chemical product called MO Bacter Organic Lawn Fertiliser. This is product that will break down the moss at the same time as feeding your lawn – double win. If the RHS recommends it, we reckon that should be good enough for anyone!

The best time of year to deal with moss is either in mid April or mid September before spores start to spread. If you can’t wait that long, do get out there and start scarifying – it may take a repeat attempt later on, but it will be well worth it.

What to do with your dead moss

Moss scrapings can be composted. It does take a long time to break down so this means you probably shouldn’t add it to relatively new or smaller compost bins. If you live in an area with council green bins (the ones in which you can chuck all food stuffs – cooked and uncooked), you can get rid of your moss that way. Do make sure you check the rules first though.

Composting moss

A word on artificial lawns

Love them or loathe them, artificial lawns are also prone to an attack of moss. While you may have opted for artificial grass thinking that upkeep would be reduced, you might not have reckoned on the invasive skills of moss. Artificial lawns require a weekly sweep with a hard broom to keep moss at bay. Also, as with a real lawn, make sure your artificial patch has plenty of natural light un-impinged by overhanging trees. Finally, as with a real lawn, don’t forget to sweep up falling leaves and other garden detritus.

So, a mossy lawn is nothing to get too worried about. Moss is fairly easy to get rid of if you’re not afraid of a little hard work. Vigilance is key!