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A Moss Free Lawn

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Apr 06, 2016

Moss can be a big problem with lawns
In last week’s article we started to look at lawns and I don’t know if it is just me but since then I have just been thinking about summer and spending time sitting out on the grass at home relaxing. It might be the bright sunny days we have been enjoying over the past few days that has been thinking like this. Even though it is nippy out you can’t help but appreciate the improving weather and longer days.

Everyone wants a green lawn -Photo Credit FlickrFrom meeting people in the CountryLife Garden Centre over the past week it is clear to see that many gardeners are starting to turn their attention to lawns and are looking for ways to get lush green grass for themselves.

One of the most common lawn problems people ask me about is moss and how to get rid of it. This has to be one of the most common issues people face with their lawns, particularly in Ireland. Moss can be cause by shade, wet weather, mowing too close to the ground or just poor maintenance. Luckily it is relatively easy to treat it.

Traditionally many gardeners would treat moss by applying sulphate of iron in spring or early autumn. This would kill off the moss and was very visible in the garden as it turns all the moss black. Gardeners would then have to go out with a spring-tine rake and scarify the lawn. This basically means raking up all the dead moss and removing it from the lawn.

Scarifying can be hard workAs you can see this method has two short comings. Firstly the lawn is left rather unsightly for a few weeks as the sulphate of iron kills off the moss. And secondly it is a relatively big workout to scarify the lawn afterwards. Even if you have a small enough lawn it does take a good bit of elbow grease to get all the moss raked up.

Luckily in the past few years there is a new range of products on the market now that are taking most of the hard work away for gardeners. MO Bacter is an organic fertiliser that also controls moss. The product has live bacteria mixed through it which destroys the moss in  lawns. In simple terms the bacteria digests the moss which means it does not leave any debris behind. So there is no need to scarify your lawn after treating it.

We have been selling this product for a few years now and having talked to customers who have used it before they say it works almost like magic. Apparently you don’t notice it working just that one day you come outside and there is no moss left and your lawn looks lush and green thanks to the slow release fertilizer.

MO Bacter is best used in the spring, or early summer, to eliminate moss and is most effective when the ground temperature is around 12c so that the bacteria can work to their best. The company that manufactures MO Bacter also makes a Bio-Lime lawn treatment which can help remove tatch and improve soil structure and its pH.

No matter what mosskiller product you use to treat your lawn it is important to note that this will only be temporary unless the conditions that caused moss are improved. This means looking at improving the lawns drainage, the lawnmower cutting height or light levels on the lawn. 

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

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