Manage Moss Naturally

Moss thrives in dark, moist areas. So, the best way to prevent moss is to provide more sunlight!

Moss in lawns

For healthier grass and less moss, prune tree branches to let in more sunlight. Grass prefers alkaline soil and moss prefers acidic soil. So, use lime to raise the pH, and fertilize with slow-release natural or organic products.

Embrace your moss! It can be a mow-free, fertilizer-free, low-maintenance alternative to grass. It also is used by birds and other wildlife for making nests and some species can even “fix” nitrogen into the soil, meaning they work with bacteria to make atmospheric nitrogen available to other plants.

Replace a shaded lawn with a shade or woodland garden. The north side of a house isn’t a great place for lawn. Try shade-loving native plants for an easy-care substitute.

Renovate your lawn. Rake out the moss in the lawn then reseed the bare spots. Aerate and use an organic or a slow-release fertilizer when you reseed. Test the pH of your soil and adjust it to a pH of about 7.

Moss on paths and roofs

  • Prune branches to reduce moss on roofs and walks.
  • Use hand or power tools to keep paths and structures clean.
  • If it is safe to walk on your roof, use a stiff bristled brush or broom to remove moss.
  • Don't pressure wash the roof, it can damage shingles and cause water damage.

Prevent runoff. If you do apply a moss control product, don’t allow it or contaminated rain water to run off the application area into the street or storm drain.

Use pesticides as a last resort. Check the label for caution statements (signal word). Even some less-toxic products can cause damage to the eyes if not used carefully and according to label directions.

If you decide to use a pesticide, pick a safer product for people, pollinators and the environment by using the product rankings in the Grow Smart, Grow Safe product tables.