moss and hydrocotyle from lawns
am having terrible trouble with my lawn this year. I have big patches
of moss and hydrocotyle all over. I have spent many hours (and dollars)
preparing, laying and caring for it and I am not doing anything
different this year. Can you help me as I do not know what to do?
first thing to understand is that moss grows in conditions that
grasses do not enjoy. Because most grasses fail to thrive in winter,
moss is able to establish and dominate a lawn in a short period
of time. Moss can also tolerate long periods of drought in a dehydrated
state it rehydrates and grows again with rain in autumn.
The best thing to do
is to remove it and improve conditions to prevent it from reappearing.
Increase the amount of
sunlight reduce shade, if possible, by pruning overhanging
trees and shrubs.
Improve drainage. Unlike
grass, moss does not require a good supply of oxygen in the soil
to survive. Improve drainage by digging a drain back-filled with
scoria, re-contouring the area with top soil to elevate it, or digging
a sump and back-filling with scoria. Aerate the lawn to improve
drainage using a garden fork.
Apply lime. Mosses enjoy
acidic soil conditions. Lime will not kill moss, but will encourage
better grass growth.
a build-up of old grass, which forms a spongy layer that increases
water retention and reduces grass vigour. Remove by raking.
Mow grasses in shady
areas on a higher setting. This will increase the amount of leaf
exposed to all available sunlight. Mowing too closely reduces grass
vigour, and so eventually moss and weeds will take over.
Regularly feed lawns.
Use a specially blended lawn fertiliser high in nitrogen such as
Yates Gro Plus Lawn Food. This will encourage fast, lush growth.
Apply in autumn and spring and water in after application.
Sow a type of lawn seed
that grows happily in shady areas fescue grasses are best.
Apply Sulphate of Iron.
Iron compounds are effective moss killers and work quickly to stimulate
grass growth. Sulphate of Iron comes in a handy 500 g pack. Mix
it with water in a watering can, and apply. Over time, the moss
will turn black and can be raked out of the lawn. Over sow with
a suitable lawn seed. Some lawn fertilisers contain iron compounds
to control moss such as Yates Moss Killer and Fertiliser.
There are many chemicals
that control moss Yates Surrender controls moss, algae, lichen
and liverworts in lawns. Yates Moss Killer is also effective, giving
long lasting control.
Chemical control will
give only temporary results. Conditions need to be improved to encourage
permanent good grass growth. To be effective, a combination of chemical
control and cultural practices will be needed to achieve the desired
effect of a green carpet.
Hydrocotyle can be controlled
using Yates Hydrocotyle Killer or Woody Weedkiller. Spray on a fine,
still day. Spray drift can cause damage to other desirable plants
and some burning may occur on fine turf grasses. Avoid using clippings
for compost or mulch for six months after treatment.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH