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Old 03-02-2006, 08:16 AM   #1
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Moss growing where grass should be.


I have a shaded portion of my front yard where grass doesn't want to grow. I have de-thatched, re-seeded, fertilized, and tried everything I know to get the grass to grow. What I do get is a kind of moss that seems to grow in patches. Any help or advice would be appreciated. I am considering tilling and starting over. Thanks.

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Old 03-02-2006, 11:24 AM   #2
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Moss growing where grass should be.


I have the same problem. I also live in a wooded area. I've noticed a couple things in the last 5 years of living here. One, much of my grass is getting really thin in the back yard, muddy in spots, with some moss popping up. While my back yard is fairly open, it is bordered by several tall thin trees. It also collects a lot of water when it rains, as my yard as well as other neighbor's yards are in such a position where the water naturally drains. I think over time, as the trees have grown, their branches have casted more shade on the grass letting in less sunlight. Throw in the drainage of water, and you have a nice moist area for moss to grow and choke out the grass. I've considered cutting down, or cutting back, these trees which I'm sure would help quite a bit. The second thing I've noticed, in my front yard, is that I have a couple large trees (maple I believe) that have very shallow roots. Some of the larger roots are so close to the surface that there really is no dirt for the grass to take root....but there's plenty for the moss to grow. The shading doesn't help either. Consider also that in a race between the grass and the large trees to drink up the water in the ground, the tree will win, starving the grass. I can tell, by the green mesh popping through the ground, that the previous owners have tried to remedy the situation.

So, in my case, and probably yours as well, the best thing to do is probably to landscape the area with flowers, plants, and mulch. I have enough mulched areas, and it wouldn't really look right for me. The next option I've considered, given my root problem, and short of actually chopping the trees down (which I'm opposed to doing) is to put down a lot of dirt, build the ground up a bit, and reseed/sod. Then water, water, water. The problem I have with this is whether or not this would just be a short term fix. The heavy shade and probably even the lack of water is the real problem in trying to get the grass to grow and thicken up. If you water your lawn regularly (I don't), you could probably keep the grass healthy. Therefore, prohibiting moss to grow. Another peeve of mine, regarding the roots, is when I cut the grass.... BuMPy, bUmP, BUmpItY, BuMP, clank, clunk.....

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Old 03-02-2006, 08:33 PM   #3
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Moss growing where grass should be.


Right idea but water is already a problem, moss loves it. Look for broadleaf plants to plant around the wet area, most of them suck up water like a sponge. Fill until the roots are just a few inches below the surface, many trees depend on their surface roots for survival, then plant the grass. You should also look for a way to redirect the rainwater to another area. An edging can often accomplish this.
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:25 AM   #4
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Moss growing where grass should be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teetorbilt
Right idea but water is already a problem, moss loves it. Look for broadleaf plants to plant around the wet area, most of them suck up water like a sponge. Fill until the roots are just a few inches below the surface, many trees depend on their surface roots for survival, then plant the grass. You should also look for a way to redirect the rainwater to another area. An edging can often accomplish this.
Broadleaf plants in our yard essentially turn it into a salad bar for deer. They especially love the hostas. Instead of nice full plants, we get what looks like stalks of celery sticking up out of the ground. But their still alive, and I guess they still serve a purpose in terms of soaking up water.
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:17 PM   #5
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Moss growing where grass should be.


Sounds like first order of business is to redirect the water or raise the yard with dirt as mentioed, except, keep in mind where the water is going to go then. In your basement?or crawl space? Is there an opprtunity to tile the water away to storm sewer or drainage ditch? IF you send your water over to the neighbors and makes a problem you MAY be liable!!!
Then FIRST things first. Take a soil sample (s) and see what the ph is and fertility. You may not be able to grow grass there because of lack of something. Also you HAVE to select grasses to seed that love the shade. There are different kinds of grsses that like pure sunshine areas or shady areas, plant the right one!!! AND make sure they are 'adapted' and suitable for your area(Like not buy from big box stores where one kind fits all and they made a good cheap buy so thats the best)
Then if you really want nice grass a homemade sprinkler system is what the doctor ordered so it gets watered a little every day (or so) over watering one day and then not for a week or two cause your busy and (forgot) or gone and its toast. AT LEAST buy a timer on the hose that you get in the habit of clicking it on every day and it turns itself off after a 'short' while. When seeding dont puddle the seed and always keep it moist to get growing. Depending on where you are you may have to sprinkle it 6 times a day to keep it "damp" but not muddy. Some light clean straw can help with that too. Soaker hoses beats a splash sprinkler hands down!!
Hope something I said made a difference to help you!!!--d--
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Old 03-04-2006, 08:43 PM   #6
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Moss growing where grass should be.


Thank you all for your input. As mentioned, I believe that it is a combination of problems and one fix won't do it where a combination of all your suggestions probably will help a lot.:confused:
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Old 04-01-2006, 02:22 PM   #7
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Moss growing where grass should be.


OK i have a new to me 30 yr old house... my back yard has been over ridden with trees shrubs etc... so i have a complete back yard of moss with very compacted dirt under the moss
i have solved the trees/ shrubbs issue so i will be getting sunlight now

my question comes to the moss ... do i need to remove it ? and all ? or most ? of it
or can i rent a tiller and just go over the whole yard turning it with the moss ?

or can i core aeriate it with a rented machine right thru the moss with out removing it ?

or am i best to remove all the moss then core or rototill

my yard is about 150 x 150 feet

how about a york rake on the back of a tractor
driving around and just going back and forth thru the yard
do i need to remove the moss ?
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:38 PM   #8
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Moss growing where grass should be.


We have exact same problem, except our trees are 40 year old water oaks. Ours are definitely caused by the trees taking up nutrients from the soil and the shade. Back when I was little (junior high, elementary, high school ages) and the trees were smaller our grass/lawn was the talk of the neighborhood. Our yard was the best looking one in the whole subdivision. I am now 38, and the trees have been there since before I was born. Our front and side yard where the trees are, are almost all moss and roots. All of our grass is centepede (sp) which is supposed to be one of, if not the best for our weather in Alabama. My mother is talking about having our trees cut down and replacing them with the flowering pears..but I don't think she will be satisfied with that (she's 73 and has lived in that house 45 years!). I am also worried about our trees, since we are having problems with lots of dead limbs and bark is flaking off, and am planning on having a tree expert come in and check them, to see if they need to be taken down anyway!

Regina

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