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When to apply moss killer?

DesthemoanerDesthemoaner FlintshirePosts: 182
Afternoon all, and a happy new year.  I may have touched on this topic in previous discussions, but it would have been a while ago, so starting afresh. 

I use the services of one of those lawncare companies, and generally I'm satisfied with the result. Their final treatment this year included a moss killer, and it certainly picked out a lot of moss which I was able to rake out once it blackened and died off. However, we've had a ridiculous amount of rain over the last 6 weeks or so, and the moss is back with a vengeance, leaving me feeling as if I should try to get on top of it sooner rather than later. Prior to bringing in the lawn people I found a moss control product in a local DIY store that could be mixed with water and sprayed on the grass, but most treatments available now seem to be applied in granular form. 

Is there any product out there that I can still buy in soluble form and use now, rather than waiting till Spring when the lawn treatment is due again?
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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,314
    mosskiller only deals the the symptoms, not the cause.
    The cause is almost definitely poor drainage. Unless you address that, you'll get moss coming back.
    Devon.
  • DesthemoanerDesthemoaner FlintshirePosts: 182
    It’s not an easy lawn to drain, with clay soil and being quite steeply sloped in some places. There’s also the issue of rainwater run off from a field next door and at a higher  level. I’ve been out pricking the lawn and aerating over the last couple of days, but in the meantime, I would like to hear from anyone who knows of a soluble moss killer that you can still buy. Thanks anyhow for your response. 
  • You can keep it fully at bay in almost all lawns, but I suspect a few things have been done wrongly. 

    Your lawn will probably be thatchy, and be made up of a relatively thick layer of material on top of soil. Has it been scarified? If so, before or after they applied iron? Does this lawn firm use feeds that make it grow fast during the season? 

    The general approach by some of them is to feed the grass like hell from March-November then try and scratch the excess out in the winter. It's a rubbish approach and you'll never have a great lawn that way. 
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,705
    Best moss-killer I use on my own lawn is ... scarifying.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    At this time of year it is not worth dealing with moss. If moss returns after a 6 week gap, it's a sign that your soil is either compacted or just too wet. I agree with Papi Jo, the best way to deal with moss is to scarify the areas. But in winter, this is not the right time to do it. Wait till the soil warms up in spring to start light scarifying. Then deal with the soil condition.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,705
    [...] I agree with Papi Jo, the best way to deal with moss is to scarify the areas. But in winter, this is not the right time to do it. Wait till the soil warms up in spring to start light scarifying. Then deal with the soil condition.
    Yes, of course, scarifying is best carried out in the Spring.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Does your lawn company use a hollow tine aerator? This is a heavy duty machine which takes out plugs of soil rather than just making holes.
    The idea of aeration is that lighter material such as sand, grit and soil fill up the holes, reducing compaction and improving drainage. However, on heavy clay, this doesn't seem to happen, the clay is compressed as the thin tines go in and then relaxes back into place.
    When a hollow tine machine has been used, you spread a layer of grit and compost and then brush it into the holes before they can close up. It's backbreaking work but, done often enough, it really should improve the soil, which is where the problem lies.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,705
    edited January 2020
    There are lots of discussions on this matter of "hollow tining" on this forum:
    I am still waiting for the "miracle" hollow tining tool to be available. ;)
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • DesthemoanerDesthemoaner FlintshirePosts: 182
    Thanks for all contributions, folks. The lawn company does offer hollow tine aeration, and I have an electric scarifying machine of my own which I purchased in desperation a couple of years back when we had similar weather to this autumn just gone and the moss became particularly bad, although its rather difficult to use the machine safely on the sloped parts of the garden. For that reason I have scarified the entire garden by hand over the last couple of years, though I think the current level of infestation is probably beyond me unless I break out the machine again and risk tumbling down a slope behind it. My main concern is whether this is the right time to deal with the moss and that's been answered above. I'll let things be for now, and then tackle the situation with gusto come April or March. 
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Papi Jo, you can rent or buy these machines if you are rich enough. A good deal of physical strength is needed, too, I should think.
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