Moss has taken over entire yard.

mycupofjoe(zone 7 - central NJ)February 19, 2008

Hi,

Yesterday we hit 70 degrees here in Jersey so we were out back taking stock of what needs to be replaced/replanted come spring. It's very evident that the moss has taken over our entire yard. Even in the sunny areas. Last year the husband scraped and planted seed - that worked but again, it's taken over by moss -- even after using lime. I've read about Moss Out and am going to try that this year.

How soon can I start the process of redoing the yard? I'd like to have the grass green come May/June. Are there any other suggestions on how to stop the moss? The back yard is not entirely shady - matter of fact just one area is. The rest gets bright sun. The soil is acidic and sandy. We have tons of wild onions growing as well. :(

On a side note: we do have a sprinkler system that we haven't changed since we moved in 5 years ago. It runs in each zone for 30 minutes early morning during spring into early fall. Should this be changed?

Thanks so much for any/all suggestions, I am at a complete loss and just want to cry over this. :(

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texas-weed(7A)

Moss is generally associated with thin turf, low fertility, highly acidic soils, shade, wet soils, and turf injury from insects, or management practices. Long-term moss control is impossible unless these conditions are corrected.

Most often turf thins because it lacks fertilizer. Properly timed nitrogen fertilizer applications will increase turf density, vigor, and competitiveness. Late fall and spring are important times to fertilize cool season lawns to minimize moss growth. Liming soil to raise the pH to between 6.0 and 6.5 will benefit some grasses in the long run but will have no direct effect on moss.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 6:10PM
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tak2w

You are watering too frequently. Should be watering no more than once a week and putting down an inch of water at one time.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:33AM
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mycupofjoe(zone 7 - central NJ)

@texas-weed: Thanks for the information! I looked up some fertilizers (I know my husband does use fertilizer, but I'm guessing not often enough to curb moss) and found Scott's Turf Builder with Moss Control. We're going to scrape and use this. And I've already told him that we need to keep on this. He was under the impression that lime would handle the moss. Thanks so much for clearing that up! :)

@tak2w: Really? Not every day? Even in hot heat? I'll definitely lower the amount of time! Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:58AM
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tak2w

I know it's hard to believe...almost everyone in my neighborhood waters every day, some twice a day, but I water once a week and my yard looks better than any of them. Most of my neighbors have big weed problems because of daily watering.

Do a search of the forum and you will see LOTS of posts on the subject, and the conclusion is always the same. Here is a quote I lifted from another post:

"Frequent (daily), light waterings promote shallow root systems that do not result in healthy turf. To develop a deep root system, water your lawn when the first signs of wilt occur. When the lawn needs water, you'll see spots in the lawn that turn bluish-gray, footprints that remain in the grass long after being made, and many leaf blades folded in half lengthwise. Apply only enough water to wet the soil in the rootzone. 3/4 to 1 inch of water is generally sufficient. (see link below) Do not water the lawn again until signs of wilt occur again. This technique works regardless of turfgrass species, soil type, season, or other environmental conditions. It may take up to 6 weeks to condition your turf to survive several days to a week without wilting between irrigations or rainfall. During this time the root system is developing and growing deeper into the soil. In time, your lawn will establish a more uniform appearance with less thatch and a deeper root system"

And a follow up post:

"In other words, you want to gradually work up to only once or twice a week watering, instead of three times a day. The total for a week (including rain) should be 1 inch. You can see how long it takes your sprinklers to deliver 1 inch by putting some tuna cans on the lawn. Don't be surprised if it takes hours. Oh, and the best time to water is early morning. Afternoon is OK, but more water will be wasted due to evaporation. Never water in the evening or at night; it encourages disease."

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:30AM
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texas-weed(7A)

mycupofjoe, don't discount the water issue, it is part of the problem along with all other culural management. Get them all right and the moss problem will go away.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 1:17PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Better advice for watering is to wait till 50% of the lawn have wilted before watering deeply 1-2 inches. Usually, 1 inch of water saturates 6 inches of ground but it pretty much depends how much organic matter are in the ground. 5% organic matter holds much more water than 1% organic matter. Only organic lawn program will do it, not synthetic. I'm able to go as long as 2 weeks between watering during the hottest part of the summer in Texas where my st augustine aka water hogging grass grows on rocks while my neighbors' bermuda aka don't need much water grass gets watered 3 times a week....

The point is don't rely on once a week watering too much. I never do that at all. It ranges from every two weeks to several months depending on the weather...

Watering at night is no problem. i do it all the time and I don't get disease. Disease only happens if its watered every night, not once every in a while. It is almost nonexistent for organic cared lawns. Heck, lawns along coast are always wet every night because of high humidity.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 10:20AM
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okeewap(6a)

Moss has also totally taken over my yard. I always did everything I needed to do to have a nice lawn. But, I was at my daughter's house while she was on complete bedrest from September through October when she gave birth to two beautiful twins. I am still there every day helping from 9:00-5:00 helping an having a blast. Because of this, I didn't lyme nor fertilize in the fall. What a mess!!

My question is should I try to kill the moss out and salvage what little grass is growing between the moss or just rake the moss up and start all over with a new lawn? It is do-able since I have a small city yard.

Thanks, Elaine

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 12:23PM
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shortlid(Derry, NH)

I have the same issue. I will be using a drop spreader to feterlize with Blue Seal Feeds weed and feed corn based pre-emerginace. Then how much lyme shoudl I put down. I have acidic, clay soil, in the partial shade. Should I rake the moss before applying?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 1:05PM
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mycupofjoe(zone 7 - central NJ)

Just wanted to follow-up to say what I did so it may help others. :) We put down the Scotts® Turf Builder® With Moss Control and after 3-5 days, the moss was brown and dead. We haven't turned our sprinklers on just yet and the grass is growing beautifully -- and replacing the dead moss. There are some areas in the full shade that needs another dose, but for the most part - the moss is gone. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Scotts® Turf Builder® With Moss Control

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 2:07PM
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shortlid(Derry, NH)

OK, Scotts turf builder with moss control! Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 7:07PM
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