Fern like or trailing moss
The main types of these mosses are Hypnum and Eurhynchium spp. And are some of the most common mosses found in lawns, they have feathery, fern like stems and are pale green in colour, although they can vary between different species. They are often found on areas that suffer from poor surface drainage, especially where the lawn is suffering from excessive shade.
When there is a heavy infestation the lawn is very spongy under foot, due to the growth habit of the moss. Both of these species produces spores during the autumn and spring periods. Some species will establish in a range of soil types while other will prefer either and acidic (low ph) or an alkaline (high pH) soil, however all require moisture.
The optimum time to control this moss is early spring or autumn.
Mat forming moss
These moss types are known as Byrum and Ceratodon spp. And can be quite troublesome in turf, especially on acidic soils. The small vertical stems grow from 1mm – 25mm high and form in tight mat.
If left unchecked the patches will form into larger areas and of the two Byrum is the more compact and dense type. Ceratodon is known as ‘winter moss’ as it appears to die out in the spring when grass growth starts, only to return again in the autumn.
This moss type is known as Poltrichum and is found on lawns that have dry areas and are mainly troublesome where the soil is acidic. However they are probably the least troublesome of the three moss types.
They form an upright growth habit and can grow up to 100mm high but can adapt and tolerate close mowing down to a height of 25mm.