Moss in the lawn environment.

Hundreds of species of moss are found in the United Kingdom and around 30 that are commonly found in turf. Though usually not classified as a weed, moss can be a problem in the home lawn.

  • Moss is a velvety, low-growing collection of green plants that covers bare soil in shaded areas.
  • Mosses grow in moist conditions, usually in the vicinity of trees.
  • When moss appears, it is usually indicator that the soil needs fertilising. Moss usually appears in lawns as a result of poor drainage or poor air circulation, too much shade, or too little fertiliser.

Mosses life cycle:  spores for reproduction are produced twice per year during the spring and the autumn. The most important being the autumn spores. After producing these autumn spores the plant will over-winter then produce new spores in the spring dying off naturally during the first signs of prolonged hot weather during the summer. Spores are produced in a capsule at the plants head. These spore heads can prove to be a problem as we aid their spread and propagation with many maintenance practices we carry out. We can assume that even with simple raking we will be adding to the problem.

Chemical control: shortly after mowing and when the grass is wet apply sulphate of Iron or granular fertiliser with significant amount of Iron. After the moss has completely died it may be removed by raking or scarifying. It is important for you to remember that Iron leaves brown stains on the driveways or patios and it is very difficult to clean. Please be careful with handling Iron especially when you are on customer side, the last thing you want is beautiful lawn and unhappy customer because you have leaved stains on his beautiful patio. This can cost you money and loss of your customer.

Cultural control: the best cultural control will be achieved through practicing the correct husbandry preventing the conditions moss favours in the first place. Using the correct cultivation methods we will ensure that control is achieved without resorting to chemicals. Reduce shade and improve air circulation by pruning nearby trees and shrubs; fertilise lawn regularly, raise the height of cut on the mower. Test the soil pH and correct if necessary.

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