UACES Facebook Moss
skip to main content


(November 2012)

QuestionYour article on growing moss a few weeks ago was very good, but you failed to address how to get rid of the stuff that we do not want and is taking over my yard. I have tried digging up the moss, lime, covered with tarp, even round up to no avail. Any suggestions or helpful hints??

AnswerTo kill moss, you have to correct the reason you have it--liming acidic soil will help if your soil is acidic, but look at compaction--aerate if it is; shade-- limb up trees to get more light; and moisture issues--correct poor drainage. If you have all of the situations that cause moss, quit fighting it and embrace it!

(March 2010)

QuestionCan you tell me please, how to get rid of moss in my lawn? Thank you!

AnswerI actually like moss and try to encourage its growth, but if you don’t like it you first need to solve the reason you have it—either compacted soil, acidic soil, poor drainage and/or heavy shade. If you have all of the above, you can’t grow grass anyway, so embrace the moss! If you simply have an acidic soil, liming can help. Have your soil tested at your local county extension office and follow the lime recommendation. Aerate the soil if it is hard and compacted and solve any drainage issues. Copper sulfate is a product that will also temporarily kill the moss, but it can also damage your lawn if they are entwined.

(April 2010)

QuestionIn a recent article, you said you actually liked moss. Parts of my yard like moss also. Can you give me any advice on how to encourage more moss to grow and prosper since all other attempts at growing other cover has failed. Do you fertilize, feed or plug the stuff to have an attractive lawn of moss?

AnswerMoss grows best on compacted acidic soils. Take a soil sample to determine the pH of your soil. It actually grows best in low nutrition soils, so fertilization is not necessary. You can spread moss yourself by dividing what you have or creating a moss slurry in a blender with moss, beer and/or buttermilk, and a little dried clay similar to what is sold in craft stores for ceramics. Then pour on compacted sites. There is also a nursery that specializes in moss--Moss Acres. They not only sell sheets of moss but have come up with a "Moss milkshake" which you can buy. All you do is add water and shake then pour on a prepared site. I saw it last year at a trade show and have been dying to try it myself. For more information visit their website at:

(June 2006)

Question good friend of mine has moss in his yard and its killing the grass. Also, in his yard are three large oak trees. The lawn man had soil tested and the tests came back that they needed to add lime. Lime was added but the moss persists. They even went so far as to add about 4inches of topsoil before they added the lime. I suggested that he (aerate) by working gypsum into the soil. Then I wasn't so sure, thought I better ask you.

AnswerMoss can be present if you have any of the following conditions: heavy shade, compacted soil, acidic pH and/or moisture problems. You need to solve all the problems to get rid of moss. Chances are good that the moss is not killing the grass--the lack of sunlight is. The moss is simply coming in to take over bare space---a good idea in my opinion. Growing grass in the shade is never easy. IF he truly dislikes the moss, try growing a groundcover that likes shade. It should be more competitive with the shade than grass. If you want a lawn look alike, try mondo grass. It is a low growing groundcover and you only have to mow it once a year. It won't tolerate high traffic, but put down some stepping stones to handle that.

(March 2005)

QuestionWe have a thirty ear old pin oak tree in our front yard. There isn’t a lot of sun under the tree, and as the years have gone by, there is less and less Bermuda grass. The ground is covered in green moss. What can we do to get the grass growing again and get rid of the moss?

AnswerGrowing grass underneath a large shade tree can be difficult, if not impossible. First, do you need grass everywhere in the yard? You may want to attempt grass in the areas where shade is not so intense, and let the moss or other groundcover grow where the shade is deepest. Zoysia grass, turf-type tall fescue, or for central and southern Arkansas—Centipede and St. Augustine, will all tolerate more shade than Bermuda, but all will need some filtered light to grow. Have the soil tested to determine the pH and fertility levels, and then assess the situation. Trees and shade are great—especially in the summer, so I would never advocate removing them to grow grass. I personally wish we grew more moss, but not everyone would agree with me!

All links to external sites open in a new window. You may return to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture web site by closing this window when you are finished. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information, or the accessibility for people with disabilities listed at any external site.


Links to commercial sites are provided for information and convenience only. Inclusion of sites does not imply University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's approval of their product or service to the exclusion of others that may be similar, nor does it guarantee or warrant the standard of the products or service offered.

The mention of any commercial product in this web site does not imply its endorsement by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture over other products not named, nor does the omission imply that they are not satisfactory.