Unless you are planning to create a moss carpet, moss control can be an ongoing problem for lawn owners in the Lower Mainland. Let’s face it: moss loves our wet west coast environment. Unlike grass, which favours a more alkaline soil, moss thrives on acidic soil.
Thanks to our heavy winter rainfall, it’s easy for the most nutrient-rich soil to turn acidic. What’s more, given the low level of sunlight and the high concentration of trees in the Lower Mainland, moss can aggressively grow and take over yards.
Identifying the culprit
Do you know if you have a moss problem in your yard? Recognition is the key.
Follow these steps to check for what you suspect is moss:
- Lift off a section of grass and check for roots. Lawn moss has no root system, so it lifts off easily.
- Look for seeds or seed pods. Lawn moss reproduces from spores or vegetative parts.
Once you’ve established that your lawn has moss, late winter or early spring is the best time to address it.
Moss control solutions for the Vancouver yard require more than most off-the-shelf lime control products can deliver. The simple reason is that they aren’t designed for this climate, and can’t penetrate water-logged grass especially compacted over the winter.
Although we can’t turn on sun and heat, we can change the soil conditions by aeration and lime application.
All about Aeration
Aeration is the process of removing tiny cores from the soil with a specialized tool. This lets moisture and nutrients to move more freely through the topsoil which is important for grass growth and health.
Lime application raises the soil pH and improves the availability of nutrients and calcium that helps lawns grow better. The higher quality of lime, the better. As a start, you can check the pH level to find out if your soil has a high acidity level. There are pH testing kits available at garden centres. The amount of lime to apply can depend on several factors. It’s important to consult lawn care specialists to ensure that the best lime levels are applied.
Iron Sulphate Solution
At Bur-Han, we also use an Iron sulphate solution to eliminate moss as a key step in getting the moss problem under control.
Managing moss is not a two-step process. Establishing and maintaining a moss-free lawn needs a multi-step approach. Moss spreads by spores, so it needs to be eradicated everywhere it grows including trees and plants.
After moss is removed, you still need to take steps for healthy grass to grow, such as adding a layer of top soil and seed to your lawn in early spring especially where there are bare patches. Finally, you need to fertilize in the spring to help turf grow.