Tips on how to control Moss with Sulphate of Iron
Moss and Moss control in lawns is a practice normally performed in the spring lawn care months. There will soon (honest) be the first great weekend of weather when you venture out into the garden and take a good hard look at the state of the lawn. If the grass plants activity has thinned or weakened over the past 12 months, now is the time to start Moss control and eradication and some mechanical operations just ahead of over seeding the lawn to turn the tide on the moss and re populate with existing or new grasses.
Moss is traditionally controlled and killed using Sulphate of Iron. This is the constituent of lawn feeds that will always turn the moss black just ahead of scarification to remove it some two weeks following application. There is never a great quantity of Sulphate of Iron or Ferrous Suphate active ingredient in the well known brand of spring lawn fertiliser and feeds. For better moss control results, it is possible to purchase straight Sulphate of Iron in a 10 Kg tub, sufficient to treat up to 10,000 square metres that is mixed with water and will easily go through a Knapsack. It will be almost 95% Sulphate of Iron and will literally turn the moss black in front of your eyes, also adding some much needed colour to the lawn in the early spring.
It has a low cost per square metre and easy to apply as a foliar spray. It dissolves in cold water easily without the need for constant agitation. If your lawn has a moss problem and you have the method and kit available to apply a foliar iron and moss control product, then this is the one you need to use and it sells like hot cakes!
Mosses are plants, comparatively simple in structure and function and, with the Liverworts, comprise the Bryophyta family – one of the least complicated groups of the plant kingdom.
Mosses are found in very many situations, for example, on stones, tree trunks and turf. If you have moss on your lawns then it is primarily an indicator that you are not looking after the millions of individual grass plants that make up your lawn.
Where moss is a persistent problem, it often indicates some fundamental weakness in the turf and treatment with a moss killer is often only a short-term answer.
From the ‘Causes of Moss Invasion list’, it should be obvious that persistent moss problems are an indication of some fundamental weakness in a turf area. The presence of significant quantities of moss for long periods each year suggests that the turf may be excessively acid, lacking in fertilizer dressings or excessively wet with a small percentage of actual grass content.
Correcting these deficiencies will result in stronger grass growth and the moss then tends to disappear naturally because of the increased competition presented by healthy grasses.
Simple treatment with a moss-killing chemical is, therefore, often not the complete answer to moss trouble. Cultural control should always be considered first. Prevention is always better than cure.
A lawn should have nothing in it except good dense healthy desirable grasses – neither weeds nor moss.
Causes of Moss Invasion
1. A moist turf – poor drainage encourages the fern-like and tufted mosses
2. A soft, spongy sward with a thick fibre layer
3. A very dry soil, e.g. over drains, on mounds and ridges. Inadequate watering or
over-drainage encourages the upright type
4. Bare areas remaining after weeds have died
5. Cutting the grass too low
6. Diseased turf
7. Dry acid soil
8. Low fertility, e.g. deficiencies of plant nutrients
9. In appropriate maintenance
10. Inadequate or poor grass cover and growth
11. Low nutrient status
13. Over-consolidation of the soil - compaction
14. Poor surface levels which may lead to scalping
15. Shade from trees, hedges and buildings and topography – north facing lawn
16. Turf that is not growing under ideal growing conditions
17. Weak and sparse turf
18. Compaction & over consolidation
19. Prolonged periods of wet weather
20. Time of year – autumn, winter and spring
For more information on Moss and Moss control.
To purchase Sulphate of Iron and other lawn treatments.
Related topics - How to Scarify a Lawn