Homemade Solution to Kill Moss in Lawns

Moss is a familiar problem on roof shingles and brick walls. While you might be able to convince yourself that moss growth on a building gives it character, you won't be able to do the same for moss growing on your lawn. It is invasive and unsightly. You can get rid of it using items you likely already have around your home.

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Moss can ruin the appearance of your lawn.

Moss

Moss usually appears in bare patches of your lawn, often in areas where too much shade or water has led to a failure of grass to grow. Compacted soil or poor drainage can also make an area in your lawn attractive to moss. While the moss is often green at the base, it can have longer shoots that are gray or silvery, which make it stand out when compared to the healthy parts of your lawn. The mossy patch can spread, replacing grass over time.

Solution

To get rid of moss on your lawn without resorting to commercial chemical-based solutions, use white vinegar and a thick piece of plastic, like a tarp or a portion of pond liner. Vinegar contains acetic acid. While this acid isn't strong enough to be dangerous to humans or animals, it is strong enough to damage moss. Thick plastic works with the sun to both dry out and starve moss. While they aren't instantaneous killers, vinegar and plastic combine for an effective homemade solution to get rid of lawn moss.

Application

Begin by soaking the moss with undiluted white vinegar. It damages the moss growing on the surface of your lawn but doesn't penetrate the soil deeply enough to cause lasting problems. Next, cover the treated moss with the plastic. The tarp doesn't just prevent the moss from receiving any water; it also traps heat and concentrates it, drying out the moss and killing it. Already damaged by the acetic acid in the vinegar, the moss will die under the plastic in a week during the summer. It could take two or three weeks to die in winter. If you are impatient, reapply the vinegar every three days to speed the process.

Considerations

While this solution kills moss, it doesn't prevent it from coming back. If moss is a repeat problem in your lawn, add cultural changes to the homemade solution to get rid of it for good. Trim back overhanging tree branches or shrubs to increase sunlight to the problem area. Sunlight impedes moss growth. Frequent light sprinkles keep grass and soil wet, creating a welcoming environment for moss. Water your lawn deeply and infrequently.