Moss in your lawn in a problem for many Vancouver lawns. No matter what you seem to do each year, it keeps re-growing, killing healthy grass and over-taking your lawn. May is the best time of year to deal with this pesky problem, but in order to rectify the issue, we need to learn a bit more about it.
Why Does Moss Grow?
The climate in BC, with its heavy spring and winter precipitation, is perfect for moss to grow since it likes shady, moist locations and it thrives in soil that isn’t well-drained. Poorly drained soil is usually more acidic and doesn’t have the same healthy fertility that drier, more neutral soil and will cause the moss to spread like wildfire.
Aerating is one way to try to solve this problem. Aerating involves removing plugs of soil with either a mechanical or manual aerator. A mechanical aerator is best for larger lawns as they remove multiple plugs at a time. After the plugs have been removed, it’s best to rake coarse-grained sand into the holes to keep them from growing in and to help with drainage.
Grass grows best in soil that is fairly neutral and since wet soil tends to be acidic, reducing the acidity is one way to keep moss from growing. You can have your soil tested to see how acidic your soil actually is, but if moss is already growing, you’ll be safe applying the lim. Applying lime to your soil will reduce its acidity, but most lime, especially the least expensive ones, can take upwards of 5 months to work. Time is of the essence so finding a fast-acting, easy to apply lime is key. Even so, it can still take up to a month for it to neutralize the lawn, so ideally, it’s best to apply this in February. A good rate of application is a 20kg bag per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
After the pH level in your soil has increased, it’s time to get rid of the moss once and for all typically by burning it with a moss killer which contains iron sulphate or ferrous ammonium sulphate. It can come in liquid or granular form, but application is typically the same. The trick is to ensure you’ll have a few days straight of warm (double-digits), dry weather before wetting the moss, applying the chemicals, then letting it sit to dry. The moss will turn black when it’s dead, at which time you can rake it out. Try to get it all, otherwise the likelihood is high it will return.
Keeping The Moss Away
Keep the moss away by adding slow-release fertilizer with a high nitrogen content to encourage healthy grass growth. It will also be a good idea to re-aerate in the fall and again next spring and test your soil to ensure it has a healthy pH level. Keep an eye out for other areas of moss on your roof or sidewalks to prevent it from returning on your grass.
You're already on your way to a healthy lawn. If these tips have you interested in taking your lawn maintenance program to a new level, then request your complimentary quote from Nutri-Lawn Vancouver today!
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