Moss likes shade; wet soil; rocks, trees, and things like benches that are left in lawns.
Moss tends to be just 1-3" in height and will grow in patches low to the ground, on rocks, in trees, and its color is dark to bright green.
A crafty creature, moss tackles lawns when they are weakest-cool, rainy winter months, when slow-growing grass blades are less able to defend themselves and moss can take the upper hand in the battle for space, nutrients and water. Winter is also the time of year when moss will spread onto other structures. Moss growth slows or stops in warmer, drier weather.
AREAS ON THE NORTH SIDE OF YOUR PROPERTY ARE MOST AT RISK TO MOSS INVASIONS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF SUN EXPOSURE.
Here's what you need to do to combat your moss problem.
There are many kinds of moss. The image above is just an example. Sometimes moss isn't typical looking, so if you're stuck, take a sample to your local tree service.
Did you know moss doesn't have roots like most plants? It has something called rhizoids, which are underground filaments to help it stay put. These filaments are weaker than the strong taproots of some weeds, making moss easier to hand pull.
Moss can be a problem if it makes a lawn uneven, causing people to trip or twist ankles. It also doesn't withstand foot traffic very well, and will wear down to the soil, leaving brown spots, points of entry for weeds.
Moss can also cause slippery surfaces on sidewalks and stairs. It can also decompose wooden structures.
Moss is often deliberately included in landscapes for its natural but unique shades of color and diversity of textures. Many people transplant moss to rock gardens in their landscape.
If moss is not in any areas where it might be dangerous to humans or manmade structures, there is probably no reason to get rid of it.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Letting moss grow in poorly draining soil or steep slopes might actually enhance your landscape. It's soft, green, and never needs mowing.
However, if you're really against moss, start by ripping moss from the soil barehanded for small areas. Use a rake for larger patches. You could also burn it out with sunlight by pruning trees and shrubs. Your lawn needs you! Help grass protect itself by giving it proper care. Call your local tree service to help you with your plant and lawn care. It's like health care, just for your plants!
You could also remove grass from shady areas where it's easily victimized and landscape with shade-loving plants like Oregon grape. And, frequently scrape moss off of manmade structures. If concrete areas are a consistent moss problem area, remove the concrete and replace with gravel.
Unfortunately, not many critters eat mosses because most are highly toxic to animals. -Moss is mostly controlled by its picky preference for wet, shady places. It has to fight for these spots, competing with other plants that prefer the same places. Therefore, many will resort to chemicals to get rid of moss, however this usually only is a temporary solution. Moss will return to shady areas where grass or other plants cannot sufficiently protect itself from the invasion. If you do decide to use chemicals to ward off moss, be sure to read and follow the directions for use, storage and disposal.
Because moss is very choosy about where it lives, it usually returns to the same places. So, keep a record of where it has been, and frequently police those areas. Don't forget to record the effectiveness of any steps you take to set it back.