[Infographic] How to create your urban garden?
I actually feel quite sorry for moss. In itself it is a perfectly respectable plant – let it grow on an old rock or tree and we soon appreciate its beauty. But, like any plant in the ‘wrong place’, the moss in our lawns is public-enemy number one. And Modern Lawn Care gives us an intelligent way to tackle this much-moaned about problem.
If there’s moss in your lawn, it is there for a reason. Modern lawn care is all about understanding how your grass grows naturally in your unique garden environment. And we need to approach moss with the same philosophy, understanding why it’s there and learning how to discourage it naturally.
So, first of all how does moss get into your lawn? It reproduces by spores that spread in the wind and can land anywhere. Once there, if the conditions are right it will establish and thrive. Now, I defy any gardener to invent a way to prevent wind-borne spores, so we need to assume they’re already in your lawn and focus on stopping them from taking root and taking over.
The single most important moss-prevention technique is good lawn care. Keep your grass healthy and thick, and Mr. Moss simply won’t find enough room to take over. However, like any successful weed, moss can show surprising tenacity and predatory instinct.
So – what is it that moss loves most?
The number one condition it craves is moisture. And you don’t need an overhanging tree to create shade and excess moisture, just dew and rainfall and an unhealthy lawn. Ideally any excess water is removed through evaporation or by percolating through into the soil and thatch. But there are a number of ways we can inadvertently trap this water on the surface, creating ideal moss conditions:
So, forget the chemical-based fire-fighting response you see on TV. You can certainly use a ferrous sulphate moss killer to get back to a baseline each year, but remember this: you will not have killed off the spores. The only way to stop these turning into mature moss plants is to remove the conditions they love so much, and to maintain a lush, happy and health lawn – the modern way.
David Hedges-Gower is the UK’s leading lawn expert and has more than 36 years of lawn and turf experience. Professional grounds people, landscape specialists, commercial property developers and leisure gardeners – have benefited from David’s enthusiasm and knowledge.
David is a National Trust advisor and was formerly advisor to Homebase, he is a regular on BBC Radio and a favourite on the national horticultural lecture circuit.
David’s fantastic new book on Modern Lawn Care extends his love for and knowledge of the topic. This is the first comprehensive and authoritative guide to lawn care for over 40 years!
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