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Our back yard has fruit trees and used to have beautiful grass…

Fred Asked

Our back yard has fruit trees and used to have beautiful grass. It borders the woods, and moss has covered about 80 percent of the yard and smothered out the grass. What would have to be done to get rid of that much moss and get my grass back? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

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The Gardener’s Answer

I hope your fruit trees are productive for you! I suspect that as the fruit trees matured, they have shaded out the grass and the moss has moved in. Moss thrives in shaded, moist, and acidic environments. Soil compaction and improper mowing can also contribute to the spread of moss. Given the right conditions it can spread rapidly.

In your case, I assume it was living in the bordering woods and has moved its way into your lawn. Your lawn was probably originally seeded with a sun-loving grass blend that is no longer suitable. If turf grass is to be grown, you will need a shade-loving blend.

Before raking up the moss and seeding, you will want to have your soil tested. Your local Cooperative Extension Office is the best source for having this done. You can reach the Jackson County offices at (606) 287-7693. You may also consider incorporating some shade-loving plants if the space allows.

It’s not realistic to completely eradicate the moss, but with the results of your soil test and recommendations taken, as well as choosing the proper grass seed, you can once again have a lawn and not a moss garden.

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