When to remove moss
Removing moss from the lawn should only be undertaken once it has been treated and killed. This is usually about two weeks after the moss killer product has been applied. Ideally the moss would have been treated mid-late March so it should be ready to be scarified out early – mid April. However this can vary somewhat, as the weather and temperature can be a bit unpredictable, especially during springtime.
How to remove moss
Once the moss is has turned black and dies it is time to remove it, using either a scarifier or a suitable hand rake.
- Hand rake – A hand rake is ideal for removing moss from the lawn, especially if the area of lawn is relatively small infestation is not particularly severe. However it may prove hard work on larger lawns unless you are quite fit or in need of a good workout. A spring tine or spring-bok rake is ideal for this task or alternatively there are rakes specially made for this task. Do a couple of passes over the lawn or the area that is infested to successfully remove the moss. If the infestation is very severe an additional pass may be required for to remove all the debris.
- Lawn rake or scarifier – If your lawn is quite large then a powered lawn rake or scarifier is the best solution for removing moss, especially if the infestation is severe. These rakes and scarifiers are capable of removing a large amount of moss and debris from the lawn in a minimal amount of time. On most of these machines the depth of the blades are adjustable, so it is important to test the depth on unnoticeable area of lawn and adjust accordingly. Remember you only need to remove the moss so don’t be too aggressive, especially if it spring time and grass growth is still inconsistent. Again do two passes over the lawn, the second pass should be at a 45 degree from the initial pass.
To get the best from the scarifying when removing moss, mow the lawn beforehand as this will help with the clean-up process if the scarifier is not fitted with a collector. Remember not to mow too short at this early stage of the year.
Like mowing a lawn it is better to scarify when the grass is dry so it leaves a cleaner finish. If it is too damp it will make the task very messy. Ideally the thatch/soil needs to be moist, not too wet and not too dry for the best results.
Once the moss has been removed it will need cleaning off (unless the scarifier is fitted with a collection box) the surface of the lawn. A rake can be used for this or if ground conditions allow then a sweeper may suffice if the lawn is on the larger size. If possible run a rotary mower with a collection box fitted over the lawn to clean up any debris left on the lawn.
Once the dead moss has been cleared away then you can go ahead and carry out any renovation work required to get your lawn back in tip top shape. This may include overseeding, topdressing and fertilising. Remember, it will return again if the underlying causes of moss are not rectified.