Someone on Facebook asked a question, “What’s so bad about moss?”
According to one of our Bur-Han experts,
[blockquote author=”Tim Bourke” float=”left”] Moss is not necessarily a bad thing, but most people prefer to have grass in their lawn. It’s really a matter of preference. [/blockquote]
Living in the moderate coastal climate of Vancouver means you will likely have the problem of moss in your lawn. Ideally, your grass would have great drainage and lots of sunshine. But sometimes, it’s not feasible to remove the tree branches that are shading your turf. You can aerate your lawn; aeration helps grass roots get the air it needs, and it improves drainage, both of which discourage moss growth. If your lawn has a thick layer of hatch (dead grass stems that have grown, died, and are waiting to be decomposed), then air, water, and fertilizer will not get through to lawn roots. So you will want to rake it out.
A simple soil test will tell you the pH of the soil under your lawn, and this will inform you whether or not dolomite lime is necessary. In addition, if you have your soil tested for its microbial count. If this is low, a thin layer of compost can be added to boost the microbial population of that soil.
If you can’t prevent moss, then remove it. This may be done with a wire-toothed rake or a de-thatching rake. It will be good to get as much off manually before the moss is treated. Plus, raking is good exercise! There are a variety of treatments for moss, from baking soda to chemical herbicides. The important thing to realize, though, is that treating the moss is only half of the solution. Your lawn health must also be boosted, so that the moss cannot grow back.
If you want to make your life simple, hire someone to remove and treat the moss, and your lawn. Make sure they don’t use moss control, which is a blend of fertilizer and powdered ferrous sulcate. Instead, they spray a commercial grade ferrous sulfate solution- that is mixed specifically for the Lower Mainland climate. Makes sure they will apply what is necessary based on the size of your lawn so that it gets just the right amount. The fertilizer they use should be environmentally kind. It is composed of stabilized nitrogen- which simply means that the nitrogen stays in your lawn, waiting to be used by the grass, instead of escaping into the atmosphere.
The cost of a lawn care service with moss removal means that you don’t have to worry about the labour or the spring or fall scheduling. Your time is freed up to do things that you really love.
Rod lived and worked Vancouver, BC for 4 years. Currently, he runs his own urban farming business "Leaf & Lyre Urban Farms" that uses the SPIN Farming (Small Plot Intensive) model to maximize land use for food production in the urban setting. He knows farming, gardening, and landscaping.