Is your grass green for right reasons?

A rolling stone may gather no moss, but your yard certainly can. Knowing the reasons why moss is prevalent can help in ridding and preventing it from taking over your yard.

When moss is present, it’s a sign that conditions are bad for grass growth and longevity. There are literally dozens of varieties of moss, and most of them simply fill in areas in your yard that are already bare or have dead or dying grass.

Moist, shady areas are prime spots for moss growth and can be fixed by pruning and cutting back overhanging branches from trees and shrubs so sunlight can shine through. This will also help to create air-flow, another necessity for healthy turf growth and a deterrent to moss. Alternately, ask your landscape professional about shade-loving ground covers or turf.

Another condition to look for when moss is prevalent is poor drainage. This fix can be tricky and may require a professional adding drainage piping or a drainage gutter. If not corrected, the poor drainage results in wet soil and drowning roots, providing a haven for moss.

Dense, compacted soil is also a den of refuge for moss. When turf roots can’t grow down into the compacted soil, grass dies, leaving ample opportunity for moss to grow. Aerating your yard is the answer here.

The Ph balance of your soil is an important factor in grass growth. The acidic level of your soil may be the culprit if moss is taking over and grass is dying off. Ask your landscape consultant to test the acidity of your soil. They will know what actions to take to correct the situation. It’s possible your soil will need lime.

Finally, make sure you do a nutritional analysis of your soil. Finding the right nutritional balance is the key to a thick, lush yard that is green for the right reasons.

Sean Dayley is owner and operator of Action Landscape Management, a Federal Way-based residential and commercial landscaping company serving King and Pierce counties. He can be reached toll-free at 877-355-5296.

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