Question: Easy way to control moss and dog lichen?

By | 13/02/2018
Moss and dog lichen on a lawn

I received this question in January 2018 from an older reader. She asked about easy ways to keep her lawn free of moss and dog lichen.

Hi Kris,

I have a lawn covered in moss and dog lichen. For years I have kept the moss under control.

Now not so young and fit it is out of control.

Can you please advise me what exactly I can do and what products I can buy that would be easy to do so with in the Spring.



Hi Eleanor, Thanks for your question.

The existence of moss and dog lichen on your lawn goes to suggest that the lawn is suffering from compaction and lack of nutrients in the soil. This can build up and get worse over time.

You can tell a compacted lawn as the grass will be weak and thin. It will hardly grow and moss and lichen will start to take over. Test your lawn by trying to push a thin stick into the soil. A good lawn will have a nice soft soil which goes deep into the ground. A compacted soil will be almost solid.

Compaction is a very common problem in lawns. The only way to address it is through physical aeration of the soil. There are no chemical treatments which can address a compacted soil. Unfortunately there is no quick fix or easy shop-bought solution.

How to tackle moss and dog lichen?

The lawn will need aerating and, depending on the severity, scarifying and overseeding. These are difficult jobs for a homeowner, but are essential if you wish to get your lawn back to it’s best.

I recommend contacting a local lawn treatment company and they will be able to help. The treatments shouldn’t be expensive and the results will be dramatic. A much better solution than a new lawn or re-designed garden.

If your lawn does receive a welcome make-over, make sure you keep it looking nice. Cut back any over hanging bushes or trees to give the lawn plenty of light. Keep it fed and mow it nice and high. You will have a lovely lawn again, free from moss and dog lichen, in no time.

Good luck!

Kris Lord
The Lawn Man

Note: The main image is a stock Lawn Man photo of moss and dog lichen, and not the garden in question!

2 thoughts on “Question: Easy way to control moss and dog lichen?

  1. David Alder

    Having read your articles on dog lichen I was considering cutting out the area lawn affected 3 feet by 3 feet improving the drainage and returning .
    Would the removed turf be ok to compost ?


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