How to deal with moss in your garden | Treating moss
Q. Kyle in Cabinteely
"I treated the moss in my garden last weekend, and now the lawn is covered with black flags of dead moss, will this recover itself, or do I have to set new grass seed?"
If its black, it indicates that fungus may be growing there. Better to rake off what you can and reset new grass seed.
Q. Owen in Enniskerry
"Our lawn was a formally a field and has a lot of moss. What should we do? Leave it of get rid of it? If so, how?"
This is a very common question. As well you know, it does tend to rain a lot here in Ireland, and its the that moisture that is left of the lawn which causes moss to grow. If your garden is sloped, or has good drainage in place, moss is less common.
It depends on what use you want from the field. Moss will grow naturally once there is moisture present. You could turn it into a wild flower meadow (see here), or make it into an orchard etc. Just make its well drained if you go the orchard route. Or, U could use it for the kids to play football on. If doing this, you will need to strengthen the grass by planting more seeds. The best type of grass seeds for a lawn ' field to play football on is rye grass.
How to treat Moss: Use sulfate of iron. You will probably have to repeat this process every year or two, alas! But anything with iron in it will help. Take note: If you get sulfate iron on your paving, it can stain it. So use with care.
Top tip: When you cut your grass, ideally the grass should be collected and disposed of. Why? If grass is left on the lawn, it can facilitate the growth of moss. The clumps of grass cuttings can act as a miniature hothouse that hold moisture, and hence enable the growth of moss. So, if your lawn is not particularly well drained or on a slope, it is better to collect your grass. It is better to take it away and to compost it instead.
Organic moss killer
The best in market is Neudorff. You dilute it down with water, and it's an environmentally friendly moss killer based on pelargonic acid. Pelargonic acid is extracted from various plants, so it occurs naturally. You know its working when the moss turns brown. Take note; some scorching of the grass can occur, but it will recover quickly, so don't worry.
Dealing with Moss - A more permanent solution...
You will often find that a particular part or corner of the garden seems to have excess moss growing in it. This can be either where there is a low spot in your garden, or a low and shaded area of your garden.
If you do find that moss is predominately in one area or one side of the garden, this is indicative of bad drainage. Water is gathering in this particular spot, and this is where moss can thrive.
A more permanent solution is to install a 'French Drain'. The idea is pretty simple. You dig a trench from the staring point of the effected area (lets say at the back of the garden), and run it out to where you would like the water to go. This 'end point' can then be connected to the 'main' run off water pipe (basically, have a look at the down pipe which takes water from the roof. That gully in the ground at the bottom of the down pipe is indicative of the 'main run off pipe network'). If doing this, make sure you use the correct fittings etc when joining the two.
Alternatively, you can run the pipe to an area that can dispel of the water naturally, i.e. into an existing ditch etc.