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How To Remove Moss & Thatch in a Paddock

See our A > Z guide on Moss HERE

With the colder, damp conditions through autumn and winter, moss can become a common problem. Moss can cause hard surfaces such as paths, patios, drives and artificial sports turf to become slippery and dangerous, as well as looking unsightly. In grass it can take over and force the grass out, causing an unsightly and spongey surface to walk on. 

Poor paddock maintenance, growing and weather conditions are often the common causes of moss problems in grass. With good paddock care practices and ideal growing conditions your field will have little or no moss. Encouraging gentle grass growth by feeding and undertaking regular maintenance will help prepare your grass for Winter and help prevent the growth of moss.

Moss is a problem in paddocks and grazing land as it will take over, reducing the amount of wanted grasses for livestock or horses to graze on, or for hay production.

What is the difference between Moss and Thatch?
Mosses are small flowerless plants which have no true roots, stems or leaves hence why they are able to grow in areas which most other plants cannot. There are over 12,000 different species of moss found throughout the world found on all types of surface including lawns. Moss is sign that the environment is not correct for your paddock e.g. Ph in balance.

Thatch is a layer of both living and dead grass shoots, roots and stems which lies between the grass blades and the soil on your lawn. A build-up of too much thatch is caused when turf produces organic debris quicker than it can be broken down. It is important to note that having some thatch on grass is not a bad thing as it is a good protector and can provide good insulation against temperature extremes and differences in soil moisture.

Why should I remove Moss / Thatch from my paddock?
Moss competes with the grass blocking light and restricting airflow which in turn prevents the growth of grass. Dead moss turns to thatch. Thatch can cause extensive root damage by heating up and cooling down too quickly. Thatch also restricts airflow which can encourage fugal diseases. Thatch also holds too much water during rainy periods and acts like a sponge which can lead to root rot.



Apply an Iron based product such as iron sulphate or soluble ferro gem. You can also apply a Fertiliser which contains iron such as Moss Top to do two jobs - fertilise the grass and treat the moss. Our MossTop is a quality fertiliser which is ideal for areas suffering from moss. Although not classed as a moss killer, it can significantly reduce the moss population due to its high level of Iron (Fe). MossTop also contains a balanced amount of nutrients which are ideal for the autumn/early spring. It is a mini granule compound fertiliser which means it is ideal for use on paddocks, lawns, sports turf or amenity areas. It will slowly release over a 6 week period.


Before removing the thatch, the soil conditions need to suitable for scarification. Ideally the soil needs to be moist but not to wet but then also should not be too dry. We recommeding using the Towable Dethatcher or the Petrol Scarifier.

How do I prevent Moss/Thatch?

Good Autumn paddock maintenance is highly important. Applying Autumn fertiliser will help prepare the paddock for winter. Ideally this should contain Iron to prevent moss as previously mentioned. We also recommend preventing the grass becoming too short by over grazing as this can weaken the grass. If you need to re-seed or overseed some bare areas, we recommend using a grass seed which contains ryegrass and fescue varieties.

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