A new roll on lawn out front can provide your home with instant kerb appeal, but moss growth can be a real nuisance that can quickly spoil the look of your lovely new grass. Here's a guide on how to prevent moss from forming in your new turf.
What causes moss?
Moss usually colonises lawns that are not well-maintained or are in poor condition. Ideal conditions for moss include the following:
- worn out turf in areas of heavy foot traffic
- areas where grass cover is thin following drought conditions
- heavily compacted soil
- waterlogged areas
- infertile soil
- acidic soil
How to prevent moss
- Reduce areas of heavy shading by cutting back overhanging trees and bushes.
- Prevent soil compaction beneath the lawn by aerating it a couple of times each year. If you have a small lawn, you can do this by spiking the turf with a garden fork. For larger areas, you might need to hire a mechanical slitter from a tool hire shop. Aeration is important, as it allows the grass roots to expand and spread, creating a thicker, lusher lawn.
- If your soil is very heavy, try using a mechanical hollow-tining machine every autumn to remove small plugs of soil. Brush an equal mix of peat, sharp sand, and sandy loam over the lawn to replace the plugs and break up the soil.
- Avoid mowing your lawn too severely as this can expose the grass roots to the drying effects of the sun, causing the lawn to thin out.
- If you have very acid soil, apply garden lime as per the manufacturer's instructions every year. Garden lime helps to reduce acidity and therefore discourages the growth of moss.
- In the spring and autumn, it's a good idea to rake over the lawn with a spring-tined rake. This helps to remove thatch and other organic debris that could provide a food supply for mosses.
- In the spring and autumn, apply a lawn fertiliser and moss killer (available from garden centres). These can be obtained in water-in form or as pellets that can be distributed by hand or via an automatic roller scattering machine. The fertiliser will help to feed the grass and encourage growth, while the moss killer will see off any moss spores that might be lurking amongst the grass.
You can prevent moss from forming in your new roll on lawn by following the guidelines given above. For more advice on keeping your new turf in great condition, have a chat with your roll on lawn supplier.