Moss control

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by JFGLN, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 941

  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    We (Barry and I) just saw a presentation yesterday by a landscaper that embraces moss rather than fighting it, he showed many sites where he encouraged its growth and they were magnificant, especially under trees where it would be difficult at best to grow turf

    I say go with it
     
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,560

    I do ACT applications at the sites Bill mentioned. I always make sure I have some time to lay on the moss under the trees for 5 minutes. Wonderful.
     
  4. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 941

    The moss doesn't necessarily bother me. I often suggest letting the moss take over or just remove the lawn in heavy shade areas. I worked for an organic lawn company in Seattle (no chemicals) where we used the thatcher to remove moss.


    So, back to the question, Is moss killer a "bad" thing? Is it harmful to microorganisms?
     
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    pretty broad question and hard to answer with a yes or no

    the soil and its critters are very dynamic if you remove the moss you are removing a whole bunch of food for things that are depending on it right now, they will die off or go into spore or dormant form and be replaced by critters that like the environment that you change it into

    look up succession in soils and it will give you an idea of how soils progess and the critters that support them
     
  6. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 941

    This is how we are currently dealing with moss which keeps it down to tolerable levels. Can I claim that we are organic if we are using moss killer? Mostly organic?

    1 Apply moss killer.
    2 Aeration.
    3 Spread compost(sometimes)
    4 Overseed.
     
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    do you guys compost your own stuff?
    the reason I ask that is have you tried to munipulate the make up of the compost so it is more alkaline, what is the typical soil pH there and what kind of soil is it
     
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,548

    It sounds to me like you are fighting a losing battle with your methods.

    Moss will just return if you don't change the site conditions.
    Damp shade, poor air circulation, and usually low nitrogen = moss.
     
  9. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    I would just do cultural things that limit the moss.

    Moss likes low ph, wet soils, shady conditions. So i would try and raise your ph. Aerate more often and improve your soil characteristics. Allow more sunlight to penetrate the area by trimming lower branches.
     
  10. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 941

    We do all that. I understand why we have moss. My question was about what affect, if any, does using moss control products have on soil microorganisms.

    Here is a quote from WSU Extention,

    "Moss can be killed with products containing ferrous sulfate, ferrous ammonium sulfate, including Moss-Out, Moss-Kil, Rid-Moss, and a variety of Lawn Fertilizers with Moss Control; or moss & algae killing soaps such as Safer's. None of these materials pose serious threats to the environment; in fact iron and sulfur are essential nutrients for grasses and tend to improve their color. Although these products will kill existing moss, unless the underlying conditions are changed, moss or other weeds are likely to reappear."


    http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/lawn003/lawn003.htm

    http://gardening.wsu.edu/column/09-20-98.htm
     

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