Lime to Kill Moss

Save

Mosses of several species commonly out-compete turf grasses. These plants spread through spores, which blow in the wind and settle in areas where grass is weak, thin or intermittent. Moss establishes itself quickly. Little to no grass grows in areas dominated by moss, as the presence of moss prevents grass seed from establishing. Lime proves useful in the management of moss, but not necessarily in the way that many gardeners believe.

Lime and Moss

  • Many gardeners believe that lime kills moss. Expert resources such as the gardening extensions of Washington State University, Clemson University and the University of Connecticut attest that lime does not kill moss. This commonly held belief arises from the fact that lime may help control and diminish moss populations by encouraging the spread and dominance of turf grass in areas where it competes with moss species. However, even when used for such purposes, lime isn’t always effective in controlling moss.

Lime and pH

  • Lime, and more particularly agricultural or dolomitic lime, raises the pH of soil. By raising the pH level of soil, these types of limes make soil less acidic. Many moss species prefer acidic soil while turf grass flourishes in neutral soil. Thus when applied to soil, lime makes conditions less hospitable to moss species and more hospitable to turf grass. This change in conditions may give grass an advantage when competing against moss for dominance in a particular area. However, lime does not constitute a foolproof method of moss control. In fact, in alkaline soils with high pH, the application of lime may increase moss presence.

Applying Lime to the Lawn

  • Measure the pH of soil before making any attempt to use lime as a moss control. If soil proves alkaline or neutral, or posses a pH measurement of 7 or more, do not apply lime. For acidic soils, or those with pH levels of 5.5 or below, apply 50 lbs. of dolomitic limestone per 1,000 square feet of garden surface. Apply ground limestone and pelletized limestone at the same rate for pH change, or apply burned limestone at a rate of 10 lbs. per 1,000 square feet or hydrated limestone at a rate of 20 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Burned and hydrate limestone may prove hazardous and are difficult to apply. Mix lime in with soil for the best results.

Other Methods of Moss Management

  • Moss grows in conditions often unfavorable to grasses. To control moss in lawns and encourage turf grass growth, modify conditions such as shade, soil and water levels. Moss grows in deeper shade than grass. If moss out-competes grass, introduce more sunlight to the area by pruning large plants and cutting existing grass shorter to expose moss to the sun. Moss also tolerates compacted soil, while grasses don’t. Remove compacted grass and introduce loose, well-aerated soil with a pH range of 5.8 to 6.5 to encourage optimal grass growth. Reducing moisture by withholding irrigation helps prevent the spread of moss. Removing moss from the ground by hand or raking it up provides a sure form of control though may also be very time consuming and laborious.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Remove Moss From Concrete

    Moss, a velvety green plant organism, grows on exterior concrete surfaces that are not exposed to sunlight and remain in a persistently...

  • How to Kill Moss on the Lawn

    Moss growth on lawns typically occurs in bare, moist and heavily shaded areas of the yard. While moss doesn't pose any risks...

  • How Much Dolomite Lime Per Gallon of Peat Moss?

    Peat moss is the dried, partially decomposed remains of mosses that grew in very acid bogs and its pH ranges from 3.5...

  • Does Lime Kill Grass?

    Not only does lime not kill grass, it can benefit lawns and pastures.Too much lime will damage grass, but when you apply...

  • What Does Lime Kill?

    Lime is a naturally obtained mineral that has been used in agriculture and gardening for centuries. The primary use of lime has...

  • What Kills Lichen & Moss on Trees & Shrubs?

    In old, overgrown landscapes, mosses and lichens are a common sight on trunks and branches of trees and shrubs. In sunny areas,...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!