I have some very mossy areas in my lawn, I began to address this with soil samples, aeration, branch removal for more sun and of moss killer last summer/fall. This spring I plan to top dress areas of my lawn. Specifically the really poor areas where the moss has taken the biggest foothold.

Do I need to kill the moss first, or remove it before top dressing? Will a new healthier soil promote moss growth?

My intention is about 1.5 to 2 inches of soil over the very poor areas. So the moss would be covered.

I am interested in specifically what the effect of covering the moss with soil will do. Will it kill it? Make it stronger? Do nothing?

  • possible duplicate of How can I remove the moss growing on my lawn?
    – kevinskio
    Apr 2, 2015 at 20:03
  • How much area are you talking about? Moss scrapes up pretty easily. Did you also adjust the pH? I don't know the answer but since moss needs light and it doesn't grow on long stems so in theory if you smother it with that much soil it should kill it. Apr 2, 2015 at 21:39
  • Sections are anywhere from 2 x 2 feet to a larger 4x4 section. I tested the PH last year prior to my efforts and according to the most recent test soil has improved. Last fall after aerating I scraped up as much as I could. The remaining moss wont go willingly which is why I am considering covering it.
    – treeNinja
    Apr 2, 2015 at 21:55
  • 1
    Lime it more. As per the other answer linked, moss thrives in acid conditions. Or go with the flow and don't lime it - put a blueberry bed or potato patch there... ;^)
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 3, 2015 at 0:15
  • Would love to plant blue berries :) Sadly the location is not ideal. I limed twice last year and have seen an improvement to the soils PH as well as the areas drainage. I am hoping top dressing will be the final step to creating a solid base for grass to do well, I just do not want to give the remaining moss strength as well :)
    – treeNinja
    Apr 3, 2015 at 13:07

2 Answers 2


Unless you change the conditions that allow the moss to compete successfully with grass you will not kill the moss. It will be back...

  • increase the amount of light in the area
  • improve the quality of the soil
  • better aeration

see here

  • Yes I mentioned in my post, the steps I have already taken, which is the list you replied with. I am interested in what the effect of top dressing will do to the moss.
    – treeNinja
    Apr 2, 2015 at 20:48
  • 1
    Technically, you will kill the moss, but it'll be back anyway... :D
    – J. Musser
    Apr 3, 2015 at 22:25

I got rid of moss by

  1. aerating the area;
  2. topsoil of about 1 inch;
  3. all-weather grass seed (about 2 handfuls every 1 square foot;
  4. give it some water every day (once a day works);
  5. if it rains and water doesn't drain will, take out you leaf blower and blow the grass for about an hour (over and over), until the grass is somewhat free of sitting water.

The lawn will be awesome in about 4 weeks.

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