Sunday, 29 April 2012 19:50
Taking a Closer Look at Moss Control
Moss is a group of primitive, non-flowering plants that can quickly spread as a spongy mass on undisturbed soil. Typically moss is found where drainage is poor and the lawn is in the shade. They can reproduce quite quickly as they float away from the original plant on rain water.
If you have moss around your automatic sprinkler systems, it's a good indicator that:
- Your ground remains wet for long periods
- The nutrient level of your soil is low.
- Your soil is compacted and is cut off from organic matter.
- Your grass may be too short or even scalped down to the bare earth.
- Your grass is shaded from regular sunshine.
While you can get rid of moss, it will keep coming back unless you change the conditions of your lawn, as the spores will remain on the soil surface.
How NOT to Treat Moss
Don't try to rake out the moss before it has been treated, as it will only spread the spores and create more work for your Ottawa automatic sprinklers.
Adjust Your Mower
Start by checking the height of your mower. Scalping your lawn too short will only make matters worse for your automatic sprinkler system, as the grass will be weakened leaving the soil open to moss invasion. If moss is an issue, leave the grass so that it's at least 2.5 cm (1") long at all times. By mowing once per week, you can encourage the spread of grass plants (as opposed to moss plants). In the autumn and winter, it doesn't hurt to leave the grass blades even longer.
What if Soil Drainage is the Problem?
Often times moss is caused by soil that doesn't drain properly. In order to improve drainage in your soil, the easiest thing to do is "spike" the affected area to let in air, improve drainage, and also reduce soil compaction. This is best left to a professional - ask about Nutri-Lawn's Aeration services for more details.
Once the soil has been aerated, avoid watering the lawn for a few days. You'll want to pay close attention to your property during the summer. If your grass begins to wither and wilt, turn on your inground sprinkler system to remoisten the soil. Be sure to set your Ottawa automatic sprinklers accordingly so as not to over-water your property.
Avoid Shading Your Grass
If you can, cut back branches of trees and reduce the height of hedges to allow the sun to reach your lawn and help evaporate water that might pool around your automatic sprinkler system. Sun and airflow will help discourage moss from growing.
Don't Starve Your Grass!
If your grass is malnourished, it can't grow properly, which will leave your property open to mossy coverage. Try to remember to feed your lawn with fertilizer in the spring, again in the summer, and once more in the fall. The nutrients from the fertilizer, along with the moisture from your Ottawa automatic sprinkler system will help to keep your lawn looking great all year long.
Once you have your moss problem under control and it starts to die out, re-seed the area with a shade tolerant grass mix. Then, sit back and watch it flourish under the care of your automatic sprinkler system.
Moss doesn't have to suffocate your Ottawa property. Contact Nutri-Lawn Ottawa today to learn more about residential moss control.