How to deal with a spongy lawn

Does your lawn feel soft and spongy to walk on? If the answer is ‘yes’, you could have moss in your lawn. Find out how to identify moss and deal with a spongy lawn with advice from Paynes Turf.

Moss

Moss usually appears in lawns as a result of poor growing conditions, and is a good indicator that your lawn isn’t maintained as well as it should be. Moss is easy to identify, as it gives your lawn an uneven colour and surface texture – moss can appear coarse, loose, or can be a yellowy-green colour. It pops up between the turfs of grass in your lawn and feels spongy and soft to walk on.

Why do I have moss in my lawn?

Moss usually appears as a result of poor lawn growing conditions including; shady areas of the garden, in cases of compacted soil, as a result of mowing the lawn too short, and in areas of sparse grass cover such as walkways and children’s play areas. Damp and waterlogged conditions also play a great part in the appearance of moss, so it’s important to maintain your lawn care regime and aerate your lawn on a regular basis, in order to keep drainage problems at a minimum.

How to deal with moss

Moss is best dealt with by scarifying your lawn, preferably in the autumn months. Scarification involves raking the lawn vigorously using a spring-tine rake in order to remove the moss. Chemical moss killers are available from most garden centres.

To keep moss at bay, apply autumn fertiliser and moss killer (if necessary) as part of your autumn lawn care regime. When the moss has turned black (as a result of the moss killer) scarify the lawn. Follow by aerating the lawn with a garden fork, and then brush in a top dressing mixed with sharp sand at a rate of 1:2. When March arrives, apply a spring fertiliser and repeat with the moss killer. Rake out the dead moss in April and overseed where needed. Apply a light top dressing if necessary.

Remember to continue with a regular lawn care maintenance programme to keep your lawn in tiptop condition