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From the team at Gardeners' World Magazine
Raking moss from a lawn


Published: Sunday, 10 March, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Prevent moss growth in your lawn using organic or chemical methods, described in our expert guide

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Moss loves to grow in poor conditions and will thrive where other plants struggle, taking over their space. It will appear in areas of compacted soil, poor drainage, low fertility, insufficient light, extremes of pH level, and also where grass has been mown too closely. Once it's established it will quickly spread, appearing as an undesirable and unsightly addition to a lawn.



Moss appears in lawns in compact, spreading, springy patches that inhibit the growth of the grass.

Find it on

all over the garden, but particularly in lawns


In lawns, improve the growing conditions to discourage moss and help the grass fight back. Encourage the grass to grow vigorously by feeding it and avoiding mowing too closely. In autumn and spring, scarify the lawn with a spring-tine rake to remove any moss. On compacted soils, aerate the turf by making holes in it with a fork, then top dress with gritty compost to assist surface drainage. In shaded areas, sow grass seed or lay turf that is appropriate for such conditions.


In spring or early autumn, use a proprietary product based on sulphate of iron. When the moss has blackened (after two or three weeks), use a spring-tine rake to remove it. Apply it in calm conditions when there is least risk of accidentally damaging nearby garden plants.


To help keep your lawn in the best condition, our experts have tested the best scarifiers and best aerators.


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