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Yet more moss in lawn advice needed

I have always used a granular weed, feed and mosskiller but have read recently that a liquid mosskiller is better.  What do you think and if I use a liquid would it help to scarify first or wait until it dies off?  If I scarified first I would be able to compost the moss which would be an advantage rather than have to take endless bags to the tip. Oh yes........and which mosskiller do you prefer?



  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 260

    Moss killer is invariably iron sulphate (check your old boxes - I bet they mention iron sulphate or ferrous sulphate). You can buy tubs of it on Amazon etc, although they're not supposed to market it for the garden.

    The most common way to apply it is as a liquid, making up a solution of 4-5g per litre and applying one litre per square metre of lawn. I make a concentrated solution that's enough for the whole lawn, then dilute it in the watering can before applying it to the lawn. It's best to use warm water to help the crystals dissolve, and don't make up more than you need - I don't think it keeps.

    Other people spread dry crystals of iron sulphate on the lawn, although it's best to mix it with lawn sand so you don't apply too much. Wear gloves when handling iron sulphate.

    Most people tell you to apply moss killer before scarifying, only scarifying when it's dead, as this prevents you spreading the moss around the lawn. 

    I add my moss to the compost bin after applying iron sulphate. As far as I'm aware the iron sulphate isn't a problem, especially as it takes months for moss to decompose - by that stage you'll have diluted it out with lots of other grass clippings, kitchen waste etc. I might be wrong though image

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    Yes - kill off the moss first and then remove it when it's blackened and dead. 

    Perhaps the reason for liquids being better is that they're slightly easier to apply than the granular ones? Less chance of overdoing it?  I've always used granular weed and feed ( I don't use moss killers on their own) and don't have any issues, but I have a liquid one to use this year, soit'll be interesting to see if there's any real difference. 

    I never add any grass clippings or moss to the compost bin if it's had a treatment, G.noob. Don't know if iron sulphate is different though. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 260

    I use Weedol Lawn Concentrate weed killer, which you can add to the compost bin but you can't use the compost for a minimum time. I think it's 3 months off the top of my head. 

    My biggest concern about iron sulphate is that it can acidify the soil slightly, so some plants may be more sensitive than others. In high doses it can discourage worm activity too. 

    I'm not going to worry unduly but it may be best to dispose of it elsewhere if you have lots of waste.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    As with all things, you pay your money and make your choice. Evergreen is my choice after years of trials and yes the all in one ontains iron sulphate they all will. On another post sea weed was the choice, never used it so looked it up, it contains salt and some trace elements, not a lot. Salt is what we used as a weed killer in my Dads garden when I was a lad, the worms take to the hills at the first sign of salt.

    Over the years it suited me to weed and feed in spring as soon as the grass started to grow and then again six weeks later. In Autumn scarify first and compost the moss and mat that is pulled up then winter weed and feed. Obviously as Fairygirl Daughter says in spring feed and weed first then scarify the lawn binning the lot, do not add to compost.

    That is what works for me in the NE, others may differ, I was once told ask ten gardeners a question you will get ten different answers, that is true they will tell you what works best for them, the funny hing is they are all right.


  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 260
    Palaisglide says:

    ask ten gardeners a question you will get ten different answers...they are all right.

    See original post

     image So true

  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 3,339

    I've spent the last couple of weeks scarifying peoples lawns then hand raking...back breaking work but it is a success. I don't use moss killer, just manual labour. image i have been known to get on my knees and pick it from the lawns by hand! Good luck! 

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Wonky, seen the day as they say then started helping on a bowling green for many years. Everything apart from the Autumn layering of £600 worth of compost was machine, that was hard enough, my own lawns then got the machine manicure, quicker easier and less of a backbreaking event.

    Lawns are high maitenance, hard work however we tackle it, anyone thinking put a lawn in then sit drinking wine the rest of their lives have it completely wrong. A few hours a week in summer and leave it alone in winter will give a good green sward, well that is me, there will be many who do things in a different way.


  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 3,339

    Hello Frank, some of the gardens I work in are lovely old town house gardens with a lot of large evergreen trees lining the premises. The lawns have been neglected for years and the moss has taken over! I do find scarifying rewarding, but its so frustrating that people think that a lawn takes no work at all! image I also have a suspicion that there is period hard landscaping beneath that was just covered up, therefore drainage is non existent!

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Hello W.W. I know what you mean, neglect things for years then when it is too late get the help in. You could well be right about the hard stuff under the lawns, fashions came and went quickly at one time up to the decking period, I call that the dark ages then lawns laid on top of everything, they were told grass grows on  nearly anything we know that is not true. My first Lawn had the ground dug out for nearly eighteen inches, brick hard core put down then gravel. On that went twelve inches of good topsoil and then compost mixed with sand, then seeded. I got two years out of that before we moved, the people moving in said they had been attracted to the lovely lawn they would have nothing to do? What. I never went back but shed tears for that lawn.


  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 260

    In my previous posts I was thinking about the potential harm that iron sulphate could do to plants if found in the compost (probably not too much).

    I forgot about the harm it could do to my compost bin! I have ZERO worms in my compost bin now! image

    I'm really not sure what I'm going to do next... I might have to park the contents of the compost bin and start again from scratch, perhaps adding the old compost back into the new bin in very small doses over time.

    So yeah... Probably best not to compost treated moss.

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