Getting rid of moss

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by muddstopper, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I have a homeowner that wants me to redo their lawn. The redo will consist of tilling up the soil and adding lime, fert and seed. the problem is that the lawn is covered in moss and weeds. I have a pesticide liciense but am very inexperienced in the use of weed killers ( I just took the test to see if I could pass it). I am considering using roundup to kill off the entire lawn but am not sure if that will keep the moss from coming back. The county ag office suggested using copper sulfate, but had no recommendations as to amounts to use. The area for the redo is just over 7000 sqft. Any suggestions for the type and amount of herbicide to use. There are no bedding areas and a couple of large oak trees in this lawn. It is also located on a steep slope and bordered by hiways and driveways on each side so leaching and drift shouldnt be of much concern.
  2. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,386

    I'd do a soil test to determine what is going on pH wise and other factors.

    Copper sulfate works but will not prevent moss from re-occurring if the underlying conditions aren't changed. Also, is there even enough light gettinng to the turf area? Some of these lawns were OK light wise when they were built but now that the trees have matured there may not be enough continios light to support turf. If there is enough light make sure to seed with the most shade tolerant grass you can find. I would also lower the customers expectations. You may have to re-seed this lawn every 2 years. Maybe advise the customer to choose another type of landscape if it's determined that grass won't do well there.
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    The homeowner has removed most of the trees already and most of the lawn is recieving full sunlight now. They also decided to kill the lawn theirselfs and have sprayed with weedbegone, I just found out about that a couple of hours ago. I guess I will have to find out what is in weedbegone now before I do the seeding. Thanks for the help.
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    If you want a total kill, don't waste your time with Weed-B-Gon or any other selective herbicide. Just use Roundup on the whole site, and it will take care of everything, even the moss.

    Mosses are just the simplest of plants and they will grow just about anywhere that higher plant forms cannot survive. Moss growing in a lawn area generally (except in Pacific NW and some places in Canada) means that the area is inhospitable to the growth of the turfgrass previously planted. Mosses are very weak competitors to turf. Healthy turf will outgrow and eradicate moss when it is treated properly in our area.

    Your main job is to find the problem with the growing medium - the soil - if any, and make the site more hospitable to turf. Also pick the right turf for the site. The moss is just a symptom - it is not your main problem.

    PS- just reread your post, and now you will have to wait a month before planting. Weed-G-Gon may state on the label how long you have to wait before seeding (for most broadleaf herbicides it is 3-6 weeks). Seeding sooner can cause the seed to die as it germinates. And you still need to Roundup the site to control grassy weeds and moss. No need to wait on seeding after a Roundup application.
  5. All advice is great, but I think you need to wait three days after spraying roundup before seeding. GET A SOIL TEST! Correct all soil problems, not just ph, but also base saturation of nutrient, and possible add organic matter. Now is the time since you are going to roto till
  6. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    The main ingredent in Weed B Gone is 2-4-d. Not sure but I think that is a non selective herbicide. I usually wait 1 to 2 weeks to seed after using Round-up and havent had any problems as far as the grass seed. The 3 to 6 weeks mentioned sounds a little long. does the 2-4-D last that much longer than the Glyphosate?
    I agree about the soil test, but the owners didnt want to pay for it so I am just shooting from the hip. I have done tests in the same sub division and most of these properties are about the same. Most of these lawns are very lacking in lime, test adverage around 90lbs per 1000. These home sites are cut out of the side of a mountain and have little to no top soil or much of anything else and most of the owners wont pay whats nessicary to to get their soil right.
  7. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 264

    24D is a selective herb. Broad leaf control. If I see a problem in turf I always get a soil test.
  8. How do you know how much fert and lime to add, without a SOIL TEST! Cost me $8.00 plus shipping and time to to take samples.Be responsible to the environment and be professional to our industry. I m sure your state pesticide license agency advocates this. DO THE CORRECT AND RIGHT THING.
    Read label on reseeding time for round-up and weed killer.
    Round up adheres to soil particles. Wait 3 days to overseed, but again these is clearly stated on LABEL, REaD IT.
    Most of the lawns soil may be similar, but have all been treated a like? Somebody in the past may have done the proper thing and actually taken a soil test and have already corrected soil problems!!! The point is, you just don"t know. SOIL TEST!
    Ipm is correct that 24d is a selective herbicide, and I know the wait time is much longer on 24d to overseed, just can't remember and refuse to read label foe you!!!!!!!!!
  9. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Right on - read the label!! Makes no sense conjecturing about what is in Weed-B-Gon. That is a consumer label, and active ingredient is likely to change at any time. Have even seen active ingredients change in commercial labels. So read the bloody label - it's there for a purpose.

    Wait for seeding after Roundup is much less than after broadleaf herbicides. Some southern turf managers, who overseed regularly, will apply seed in as little as 2 hours after Roundup app. Recent thread on topic at:
  10. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    The easiest way to kill actively growing weeds is with gylosphate. The reseeding window following the second application is immediate - gylosphate will have no impact on seeds.
    The easiest way to control moss by spraying is with a good antibacterial dish soap. I use Dawn Ultrx at around 3ozs pr 1000 ft covered. You don't have to drench. The Dawn is nonphytotoxic and actually acts as a wetting agent too.
    Now, I wouldn't do any of this with out first taking the time to get a good analytical soil test done by a reputable testing lab.
    If the homeowners don't want to pay, what else are they going to stiff you on?
    In all of the properties I maintain, I have encountered customers who thought a soil test wasn't necessay and couldn't I just quess at what was needed? My response was, when you go to a Dr's office, do you want them quessing at what to do with you by not having a blood test? Well it is the same with soil and turfgrass.
    If they still refuse, and only one did, I state I will not be responsible for the outcome, and have them sign a waiver to that effect. This one person did not want to sign, I walked off, and to this day his property looks terrible.
    Don't be pushed around and don't cut your prices by cutting your professionalism - the results won't be satisfactory and that is a bad message to send to prospective clients.

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