Getting Rid Of Moss

Moss can be a temporary problem following drought or waterlogging, or more persistent, suggesting a problem with underlying conditions. On new lawns this may be due to poor site preparation. On established lawns poor vigour, acidic soil conditions, a lack of feed, insufficient aeration, poor drainage, shade, close mowing and over-use are likely to blame.

Killing and removing the moss is just the start. To remain moss-free, the vigour of the grass must be improved and any other contributory factors addressed. Good autumn lawn maintenance is essential to maintaining lawn health. If, despite remedial action, moss remains a problem, such as under trees or in a poorly-drained site, consider alternatives to grass. Bear in mind that artificial turf may also suffer from problems with moss and other green growths.

Remove loose moss in autumn, by scarification (vigorous raking). On small lawns this can be done by hand, raking out the moss with a spring-tine rake, but on larger lawns mechanical scarifiers can be hired.

For moss control use a proprietary product (e.g. Vitax Green Up Mossfree), such as those based on ferrous sulphate (sulphate of iron) in spring or early autumn. When the moss blackens after two or three weeks use a spring-tine rake to remove it. The dead moss can be added to the compost heap. Although slow to rot in bulk, moss can be composted if well mixed with plenty (four times the volume of the moss) of other ingredients. Moss can be stored and added gradually as other ingredients become available. As moss is very widespread any spores that survive the composting process won’t add significantly to the risk of moss forming in the garden. Best practice is to avoid consigning moss to the green waste collection, and disposal by composting, or in extreme cases stacking or burial is recommended.

Mosskillers combined with a fertiliser (nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium, indicated by the abbreviations NPK) (e.g. Scotts Lawn Builder Lawn Food Plus Moss Control, Vitax Green Up Lawn Sand Moss Control or William Sinclair J. Arthur Bower's Autumn Lawn Food & Mosskiller) are beneficial where grass vigour is low. Apply mosskillers either by hand or with a push-along spreader. Be careful not to apply lawn sand (ferrous sulphate mixed with a carrier) at too high a rate as this can blacken and kill the grass as well as the moss. Apply lawn mosskillers in fine weather. Some require watering after 48 hours if there has been no rain. Check pack for details. Control with a mosskiller will only be temporary unless the conditions which allowed the moss to become established are improved.

We at nicenstripy tackle moss problems on a daily basis and will be pleased to provide you with advice and provide a free no obligation quotation for carrying out the works involved for you.

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