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Causes of moss in lawns

Grassclippings - MossIt's that time of year again when gardeners re discover their lawns or covering of moss.  It's been a really wet winter with almost 400mm of rain in the last 5 months, thats 16" old money.

Moss and Moss control in lawns is a practice normally performed in the autumn and spring lawn care months. 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 whilst the soil is still warm.

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 autumn and 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.

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
12. Neglect
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


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