The Q&A Archives: Mold

Question: I have green mold in many different areas of my home outside - on the tree trunk, in my flower beds by gutters and between bricks all over. What to do. It seems to come back every year. I've used a weed control to kill it. It leaves for a while and then returns. If I use the weed control to close to the edge of the grass it turns the grass in that area brown too. Please help.

Answer: Moss is a symptom of several things: too much shade, poor drainage, compacted soil, acidic soil. If you can address each of these causes, you can eliminate moss from your trees, lawn and gutters, too. Limbing up nearby trees or thinning out the canopies might supply more sunlight to the area. Poor drainage is usually caused by clay soils or those that are compacted due to heavy foot traffic. Amending clay soils (to a depth of 4-5") and aerating every few years will give your lawn a better opportunity to drain well. Aeration can be done with a machine you can rent at most garden centers. The machine pulls 1/2" by 3" plugs out of the ground. You can leave the plugs where they lay and they will break down over a period of several weeks. After plugging you can sprinkle sand on the lawn. The sand will work its way down into the holes left from the plugs and will help improve the drainage and compaction problem. Acidic soils can promote the growth of moss so you might want to have your soil tested. If it is 6.0 or below you can spread lime over your lawn in the fall. It will break down over the winter months and help sweeten the soil. There are moss killers on the market but you'll find that the moss will turn black when it?s killed and you'll need to rake it out anyway, so I always suggest foregoing the moss killers and simply raking the moss out. After raking you can aerate the lawn as above and then reseed the bare areas. This fall you can address the problem with acidity by spreading lime. Best wishes with your lawn!

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