If you have a shaded, damp yard, chances are you are dealing with moss growing everywhere, including your lawn. This pesky problem is tricky to solve and unless you get rid of it all, it will keep coming back, killing any healthy grass you may have.
Moss thrives in soil that is moist and doesn’t drain well, and if you have a lot of trees in your yard, precipitation takes longer to evaporate since the sun gets filtered and the temperatures stay cooler. This type of soil also tends to not be as fertile and more acidic, making it more difficult for healthy grass to grow, and allowing moss to take hold.
Here are some steps to help you deal with moss and get your grass to grow:
Often damp soil is quite compact or can have a layer of thatch from plant matter that hasn’t broken down quickly enough. An aerating machine will take small plugs out of the soil, allowing for air and nutrients to better penetrate and help the soil dry out. Raking course sand into the holes aids in drainage and prevents them from quickly filling in.
- Test Your Soil for pH Levels
You can purchase a soil test kit from a gardening centre which will determine the pH levels of your yard. If your soil doesn’t drain well, then chances are the soil is highly acidic. Grass grows best in relatively neutral soil, so you will need to apply lime to reduce the acidity. Look for a fast-acting lime which will take about a month to neutralize your yard (some lime takes as long as five months to work). You’ll need approximately 20 kilos of lime per 1000 square feet of lawn.
- Apply a Moss Killer
Before you apply any sort of product to burn off the already existing moss, you’ll need to re-test your soil to ensure the acidity has been reduced (hence the fast-acting lime). Look for a moss killer containing ferrous ammonium sulphate or iron sulphate, which will come in granules or liquid. Take a look at the weather forecast before you apply the chemicals, because you’ll need 3-4 days with no precipitation and with temperatures of more than 10 degrees Celsius.
Then, wet the moss, apply the products and let it dry. You’ll know when it’s dead because it will turn black, at which time you can rake and dispose of it.
- Over-seed & Fertilize
You’ll want to plant grass to fill in the space where the moss was removed, so over-seed and keep it well watered until the grass sprouts. Fertilizer can also be added to increase the nitrogen levels in the soil, helping the grass to grow lush and healthy.
- Trim Trees, Bushes & Get Rid of Other Moss
To help keep your yard from being damp, trim back any large trees or bushes to allow the sunlight to penetrate down to the grass. You’ll also want to tackle any other moss that might be growing on your roof, eaves troughs or along sidewalks or pathways. If you can kill it all, the less likely it will be to return and spread again to your grass.
Sometimes, however, the moss may have spread too far to deal with it yourself. Call the experts at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa for a free consultation and get rid of moss for good!
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