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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? – kevinsky Apr 2 '15 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. – OrganicLawnDIY Apr 2 '15 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 '15 at 21:55
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    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 '15 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 '15 at 13:07
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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 '15 at 20:48
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    Technically, you will kill the moss, but it'll be back anyway... :D – J. Musser Apr 3 '15 at 22:25

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