How to Handle a Moss Invasion

Has moss left you feeling a little… green? Don't worry – the inground sprinkler system specialists at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa can help!

What is Moss?
Moss is a group of primitive, non-flowering plants that can quickly spread, especially on undisturbed soil. This spongy mass is normally found in two very distinct places: shady areas and areas where the soil drainage is poor. Moss can reproduce quickly; if even a small colony is able to float to a new patch of soil, watch out!

What Does a Moss Invasion Mean?
If you're noticing mossy coverage around your automatic sprinkler heads, it could be a good indicator that:

  • Your grass is being overwatered. Adjust the settings on your Ottawa sprinkler system to avoid over-watering.
  • The nutrient level in your soil is low.
  • Your soil is compacted and in need of an aeration treatment.
  • You're cutting your grass too short.
  • Your grass isn't getting enough sunlight.

While you can get rid of moss, it's very difficult to remove it from your property for good unless you change the conditions that are causing the growth. Here's how to go about doing just that.

Step 1 – Adjust Your Mower
Start by checking to see just how low your mower blade is set. Cutting your grass too short will only make your moss problem worse. Cutting your grass too short will cause the grass blade and root to weaken, leaving the soil open to spreading moss. Let your grass grow so that it's at least 2.5 centimetres long. Try to mow your lawn once a week in order to keep a consistent length and improve blade health. The healthier your grass is, the less chance there is for moss to take control.

Step 2 – Check Your Soil Drainage
The second leading cause of moisture growth is improper drainage. This can be a big problem if your Ottawa automatic sprinkler system was installed incorrectly. In order to improve drainage, try "spiking" your soil. This is best left to a core aeration professional. For more details, contact Nutri-Lawn Ottawa directly.

Once the soil has been properly aerated, avoid watering your lawn for a day or two. This will enable the excess water to soak into the soil. If your grass begins to wither and wilt during the hot summer months, it's time to reset your automatic sprinkler system. Be sure to set your watering schedule according to the recommendations of your Nutri-Lawn irrigation technician.

Step 3 – Don't be Shady
If you can, try and cut back tree branches and reduce the height of hedges in order to let the sun through. This will help dry up any extra water and discourage moss from spreading.

Step 4 – Feed Your Lawn with Fertilizer
Your grass can't grow properly if it's undernourished. As such, it's important that you remember to fertilizer regularly. The nutrients from the fertilizer, along with the moisture from your automatic sprinkler system will keep your turf healthy and discourage the spread of moss.

Step 5 – Reseed
Once you’ve gotten a handle on your moss problem, make sure you take the time to reseed the impacted area with a shade-tolerant grass mix. Water regularly, but not too deeply to ensure even coverage and drainage.

Moss doesn't have to suffocate your Ottawa property. Contact Nutri-Lawn today for more information about moss coverage and control.