Lawn: The ‘spiking’ trick to remove all signs of moss and give you a lawn ‘to be proud of’

Bunnings show how to remove weeds and moss from your lawn

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Thick healthy lawns in the garden is always a surefire way to see spring is arriving. Although, with many gardeners avoiding their lawns in the colder winter months, now is the perfect time to give it some TLC. Temperatures have been conducive for weeds and moss springing up, and this can look unsightly. Luckily, a gardening expert has just the tip for removing moss from lawns.

Moss can grow in almost any lawn, and if it crops up may indicate that grass health isn’t the best.

Distinct brown-yellow patches, general discolouration and different textures are all signs of moss growth.

Damp conditions, with poor drainage, can cause moss to crop up – however, the best time to treat is just around the corner.

Matt Fieldwick, Head Gardener at Terlingham Gardens explained how moss is formed and the best way to get rid of the signs.

He said: “Moss can appear in lawns almost overnight in late winter, caused by a myriad of conditions.”

The main causes of moss include:

  • Shade from trees, hedges and buildings
  • Low nutrient levels in soil
  • Poor drainage/water logging
  • Over compaction of soil
  • Diseased turf i.e. red thread fungus
  • Mowing lawns too short/broadleaf turf weeds
  • Pet urine damage

Matt added: “A simple regime of control measures will give you a lawn to be proud of all summer.

“On a warm dry day in March, sharpen your mower blade and trim your lawn to a height of 6-8cm removing the clippings where possible.”

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Lawns need to be aerated to help avoid moss growing.

Matt said: “To relieve soil compaction around roots, aerate soil and improve drainage.”

For this trick he explained how gardeners should use a drainage fork to spike their lawns.

Matt said: “Use a drainage fork to spike your lawn by driving the lines into your turf to a depth of 10cm and then lever the fork back to slightly lift the turf one to 2cm. 

“Work in lines across the lawn, spiking every 20cms.

“For large lawns, mechanical spikers are available for hire.”

Once the lawn has been spiked, Matt detailed how a moss killer treatment can be added to the grass.

He said: “Following manufacturers instructions, apply a proprietary lawn moss killer containing ‘soluble sulphate of iron’ or a general ‘weed and feed’ spring lawn treatment. 

“Now put your feet up – you’ve earned it!”

After 14 days Matt explained that the moss will be ready to remove.

He said: “After 14 days the moss should now be nice and black and needs to be removed. 

“Using a springbok rake or mechanical ‘scarifier’, rake the moss out of the grass. 

“You’ll be surprised how much comes out. 

“Do not compost these arisings.”

Once the moss is removed, Matt said: “Overseed any sparse or bare patches with grass seed containing ryegrass for a hardwearing lawn.”

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