8 Tips for a Bird-Friendly Garden

Do you love to listen to the cheerful chirping of happy birds in your garden? Perhaps you’re an amateur bird watcher, and you love to see a wide variety of our feathered friends fluttering around your seed feeder? You need a bird-friendly garden.

Birds contribute to healthy soil and are good for the biodiversity of your garden. They eat the grubs and insects that often damage our plants and our lawns, so encouraging more birds into your garden can help your greenery thrive.

Follow our 8 easy tips for a bird-friendly garden, and reap the rewards of a garden that’s rich in biodiversity.

Ready? Let’s go!

Plant a lawn

Long grass with a house in the background.

Birds are attracted to our lawns because insects live within the soil and serve as delicious, protein-rich fodder.

So, planting a lawn is one of the best ways to encourage more birds into your garden. We have LOTS of great advice for lawn lovers but, sometimes, you’ll run into problems.

If you see yellow or bald spots developing throughout your lawn, you may have leatherjackets or grubs. Birds LOVE these grubs. We often refer to “people who eat like a bird” as if they barely have any appetite; they haven’t seen birds eating their way through a population of lawn-damaging insects.

Also, blackbirds love to peck the worms out of your lawn. Win-win.

Vary the plants that bloom in different seasons

Your garden is a little self-sustaining ecosystem.

The flowers on our plants attract pollinators and insects, which help our plants yield fruit and multiply. These insects, in turn, attract the birds because they’re a great source of food.

And when our plants die off in winter, the birds eat their seeds.

On top of that, the dead organic matter left behind from perennial plants makes excellent nesting material.

Plant buckwheat, rape, or sunflowers for prime nesting material.

Plant trees and bushes

Birds love to live high up in the trees, so planting large trees and shrubs will create hospitable, safe, sheltered retreats for their nests.

Bushes that produce berries and fruit provide an excellent, plentiful food source. You might not want the birds getting at your raspberries, of course, so cover those over with mesh or a polytunnel to protect your crop.

Birds love blackcurrants, blackberries, redcurrants, and raspberries. Alternatively, you can choose bushes whose berries aren’t suitable for human consumption but are perfect for birds.

The following berry-bearing bushes are bird-attractors:

  • Rowan
  • Holly
  • Whitebeam
  • Dog rose
  • Spindle
  • Guelder rose
  • Hawthorn
  • Ivy
  • Honeysuckle
  • Elder

And these attractive shrubs are also bird favourites:

  • Cotoneaster
  • Pyracantha
  • Berberis

Wait before you prune

A thoroughly pruned field

Most bushes and shrubs benefit from an annual pruning, helping encourage new growth the following year. But if you prune at the wrong time, you cut off the food source for the birds you’re so keen to invite into your garden.

Prune before March or after July, which is the breeding season for most birds. And before you prune, check for the presence of nests.

If you find a nest, wait until the last bird has flown away for the winter before you start hacking.

Feed the birds

Many UK birds migrate to warmer climes once the summer is over. However, those that remain experience a severe lull in their food supply. So, feeding the birds throughout the winter is always welcomed.

Tradition has it that birds love bread, but – actually – bread doesn’t supply enough protein or fat for a healthy avian diet and is considered an “empty filler”.

Instead, fill your bird table and feeders with:

  • Fat balls
  • Peanut rings
  • Special bird peanut butter

These treats provide the fat and protein birds need to get through the colder winter months.

And there’s no denying: a birdhouse in the garden offers hours of fascinating watching.

Build a pond

A garden pond doesn’t have to contain fish. A small, shallow pond provides birds with a place to drink and bathe and encourages a wealth of other wildlife (which birds also find irresistible).

But ponds aren’t just for birds; they attract foxes who drink from the pond and pipistrelle bats who feed on the insect life that grows there. And damselflies and dragonflies (if you’re lucky) lay their eggs on aquatic plants.

If you don’t have room for a pond in your garden, you could install a smaller water dish, which will have the same effect.

Leave the leaves behind

Fallen autumn leaves

We always know when autumn has arrived because the trees start to shed their leaves. And it’s incredibly tempting to rake them up immediately but think about the wildlife that relies on this fallen organic matter.

Insects live among the fallen leaves, which attracts the birds.

Additionally, fallen leaves create a natural mulch layer for your flower beds, which, in turn, protects your plants from frost.

Do not use poison

Many of us rely on pellets to combat slugs and snails, but have you thought about the potential consequences for the birds that eat the slugs? Applying poisons (such as weed killer) to your soil is a genuine hazard for the wildlife that enjoys your outdoor space, so try and think of more humane or “green” ways to tackle weeds and pests.

For example, you can build slug traps by filling an old jam jar with beer and burying it amongst your veg. The slugs are attracted to the beer and fall into the trap and drown. And, while that’s still pretty grim, it’s probably better to drown in a vat of beer than to burn to death from chemicals.

You’re potentially destroying a valuable food source for your birds when you kill off the pests. If they find no food to sustain them, they’ll fly away somewhere else.

If you’re looking for another way of getting rid of weeds, check out our 15 tips to control and remove weeds.

Explore Our Help & Advice Page

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our expert tips for creating a bird-friendly garden.

We have plenty more information and tips about achieving and maintaining the perfect lawn on our Help & Advice page.

And we’re always happy to help. Email us at hello@moowy.co.uk if you have any questions.

Good luck with creating your own bird-friendly garden!

How to Identify and Tackle Leatherjackets in your Lawn

Is your usually beautiful lawn suddenly peppered with yellow, dying spots? Are there more birds suddenly pecking at your grass? Perhaps new grass shoots have simply disappeared?

These are the symptoms of a Leatherjacket infestation; little grubs that live in your lawn. Leatherjackets are the larvae of crane fly (better known as Daddy longlegs), and they can do some severe damage to your lawn and other vegetation in the garden.

So, if your lawn has suddenly taken a turn for the worst, it could be a larvae infestation. This article is all about identifying this grass-eating insect with tips on protecting your lawn from its greedy maw.

What are Leatherjackets?

Leatherjackets are the larvae (or emelts) of the crane fly. While crane flies are harmless to humans, their larva can do plenty of damage to a lawn.

There are around 300 species of crane fly in the UK. But the most common and easily recognisable species is the Tipula paludosa (to use its scientific name).

Identified by their long, spindly legs, slender torsos, and long, thin wings, the Tipula paludosa is a nocturnal creature that, once fully developed,
lives a short life; solely to breed and reproduce.

Crane flies might resemble monster-sized mosquitos, but they’re pretty harmless. They don’t bite – in fact, adult crane flies rarely eat. But their larvae are hungry little critters, and they’ll munch through any vegetation nearby – especially grass.

The second most common crane fly species in the UK is Tipula Oleracea.

Crane Fly Tipula Oleracea

There’s little to distinguish between Tipula oleracea and Tipula paludosa on an aesthetic level. It can be difficult to tell them apart.

The main visual difference (although you’d probably need a microscope to see it) is that the oleracea has more prominent, oval compound eyes than the paludosa.

Crane fly Paludosa and Oleracea

The main distinguishing feature between the two species is the time of their arrival.

The oleracea (also known as the Cabbage Fly Mosquito) appears when cabbage seedlings sprout between April and July. They’re also seen again between August and October.

Crane Fly Tipula Paludosa

Tipula paludosa appear just once a year – found in flight between August and September.

It’s during their flying cycle that they breed and lay eggs. Each crane fly lays around 400 eggs, which could quickly turn into a plague of Leatherjackets if they were all to hatch.

Whether the larvae pupate or not, it’s this larval stage of their life cycle that causes the most damage to your lawn.

The Crane Fly life cycle

The crane fly metamorphosises several times throughout its life span. Life begins as an egg laid by the mother, which develops into a larva. From a larva, it becomes a pupa, which is where the grub turns into the
flying insect we all recognise.

The larval stage sometimes lasts for just a few weeks but more typically takes around a year. The larva is remarkably resilient to low temperatures – in fact, they can survive temperatures as low as -10ºC.

The longer the larval duration, the more damage done to your lawn. During the winter, they burrow into moist soil or decaying organic matter. In the spring, they emerge to the earth’s surface to feed, which is when they do the most damage.

After the pupal stage, the adult crane fly no longer eats fibrous food, but they may feed on nectar. Adult crane flies live a short life: they exist merely to mate and deposit eggs. They die soon after.

The average lifespan of an adult crane fly is between 10 and 15 days.

A cranefly on a leaf

Leatherjacket grub on soil

What does a Leatherjacket look like?

We could be flippant here and show you images of leather jackets – the Fonz was famously never seen without his trademark outer layer.

However:

A Leatherjacket is typically 4-5cm in length and looks similar to a worm, not dissimilar to a caterpillar.

Grey/brown in colour, they have no legs and – to the untrained eye – it’s difficult to differentiate between its head and its bottom end.

As they move, they appear to slither like a worm. Check out this video to see a Leatherjacket in motion:

How do Leatherjackets damage my lawn?

Leatherjackets live underneath the soil while they overwinter, then emerge in the spring and live in the upper layers of the earth. They feast at night, which is when the damage to your grass takes place.

On warm, humid nights, leatherjackets come up to the surface of the soil to feed. They cut through the grass plant stem and munch holes into the foliage. They bite into the grass plant and pull it down into the ground, where they can feed in safety.

This creates small circular bald spots in your grass. When one patch of grass is decimated, they move to a new lawn area where they continue to feast.

What eats Leatherjackets?

Leatherjackets are tasty, nutritious treats for the birds (mainly crows, robins, and starlings), and you’ll find that moles are also partial to a leatherback.

Of course, we all want to encourage natural diversity in our gardens, but the birds and moles that Leatherjackets attract can also do some pretty hefty damage to your lawn.

Do I have a plague of Leatherjackets?

It’s rare to see a healthy Leatherjacket above soil during the day; they’re pretty easy to miss. However, if you go out on a warm, damp evening, you’ll see them emerging from the surface of the spill.

That’s when you know that you have a problem.

Alternatively, you could lift a small section of your turf to see if any Leatherjackets are hiding beneath the soil.

If you spot Leatherjackets, action is required to save your lawn!

How do I prevent Leatherjackets on my lawn?

Leatherjackets prefer long grass. So, one excellent, ecologically sound approach to prevention is to keep your lawn short during August and September. This is when the crane fly lays their eggs – they’ll avoid shorter grass as it offers less protection against predators.

Keeping the lawn short and well fertilised will help to limit the damage caused by Leatherjackets.

Tip: Limit Leatherback damage to your lawn by keeping your grass short between the end of August and the beginning of September.

When is the best time to control Leatherjackets?

Leatherjackets are most active once the soil has reached 8ºC. This should happen around February/March in the UK.

It’s best to control the Leatherjacket population before they’ve reached full size. Catch them at 2-3cm if you can. Once they’re 4cm in length, they’re going to do more damage.

There are two ways of controlling the Leatherjacket population in your lawn: natural, biological solutions or chemical pesticides.

Biological control of leatherjackets with nematodes

Biologically controlling pests is better for the environment and less damaging to the food chain. Remember, birds and other animals feed on Leatherjackets, so biological approaches are preferable.

You can achieve biological control of Leatherjackets with nematodes.

Nematodes are microscopic, microcellular, non-segmented roundworms and a natural enemy of many insects and larvae. Once they’ve found their prey, they invade, and use it as a food source. It doesn’t take long for nematodes to work through your Leatherjacket population – just a few days.

In short: sometimes it’s best to let nature fight nature.

However, while some nematodes are beneficial, others (such as root-knot/root-lesion/dagger nematodes) will raid and destroy your vegetable patch.

Order nematodes that eat and destroy Leatherjacks online or at garden centres.

Make sure you get the right type!

Fighting leatherjackets chemically

Chemical pesticides offer an effective way to kill garden pests.

However, chemical agents can be harmful to humans and animals, so make sure you use them wisely and sparingly to protect the kids and your pets.

Chemical pesticides are spread or sprayed over the surface of the grass, which penetrates the ground and poisons the Leatherjackets.

You’ll need to employ a professional to apply a chemical pesticide for Leatherjackets, as they’re not widely available to buy within the UK.

Restoring bald spots after a Leatherjacket attack

Leatherjacket damage on a lawn

It’s possible to re-sow bald patches of your lawn with grass seed.

Lawn Expert Louis recommends:

„For repairing bald spots in your lawn I would recommend our Quick Repair grass seed. This grass seed mixture germinates rapidly and repairs damage in no time.“

Front image of the Quick Repair grass seed product pouch with grass seed in front of the pouch

Go to product

In most cases, it’s just a case of overseeding (laying seed over your existing lawn).

When overseeding, ensure that the soil temperature has reached at least 10ºC – otherwise, the seed won’t germinate.

Check out our article on everything you need to know about laying grass seed.

Don’t confuse Leatherjackets with Chafer grubs!

Leatherjackets look similar to Chafer grubs – another garden pest that can damage your lawn.

Check out our article about Chafer grubs, and find out everything you need to know to control them in your garden.

Get started or ask for more information?

Hopefully, you feel a little better informed about identifying and tackling Leatherjacket infections, but if you have any further questions, we’d be delighted to help.

If you have questions – whether it’s about this article or anything else to do with creating a picture-perfect lawn, get in touch.

Email us at hello@moowy.co.uk.

We’re looking forward to helping you!

Thanks for reading!

The top 10 gifts for gardeners

As you know, we’re utterly potty about pottering in the gardening here at MOOWY (awful, compound pun intended). So we’ve put together a list of gifts for gardeners that we’d love to receive (heavy hint intended 🙂 ).

We love nothing better than being out in the open air and getting our hands dirty. And because we have such enthusiasm for gardening, we’ve tried literally every gardening gadget that’s ever been invented.

Which is handy, because this blog is all about our favourite gardening gadgets. So, if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration for that extra special gift, look no further.

We’re going to explore a range of affordable gift ideas that any gardening fanatic will love and use (rather than bung it in the bottom of the drawer).

Ready? Let’s go

1. A Mushroom Knife

A mushroom knife

You might be astonished to learn that fungi can actually be beneficial for your lawn. Letting fungi grow and live on in your garden is an excellent idea because mother nature uses these complex organisms to help decompose organic matter.

And decomposed organic matter makes excellent compost. Fungi is the only type of microbe that can decompose wood, so sticks and branches from fallen trees rely on our mushroomy friends to feed the soil.

However, you’re not alone if you’d rather have a mushroom-free lawn.

If you’re looking to eradicate the fungi from your lawn, you need a mushroom knife. This type of tool is ideal for both edible and inedible fungi, with a crafted blade that cuts the mushroom clean from the stalk and a brush for cleaning soil from the mushroom itself.

Of course, you have to know what you’re doing if you’re looking for edible mushrooms. Never eat a mushroom unless you are 100% sure you know it’s edible. Always forage for mushrooms with an expert – otherwise, you could be in for an odd, psychedelic experience or worse.

2. Engraved garden tools

Personalised Garden Gift Set

Personalised gifts are memorable and will remind the individual of your thoughtfulness each time they use their tools in the garden!

There are some tools that no avid gardener can do without:

  • Gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorns
  • Measuring trowels for transplanting and digging small sections of soil
  • Plant mister for keeping plant leaves moist when the temperature is hot, and the air is dry
  • Decent soap for cleaning all the muck off your hands after a full-on gardening session

Luckily, all of these items are packaged together in a beautiful hessian sack with this kit – each item is personalised with a beautiful engraving of your choice.

So, if you’re looking for a great set of personalised gardening tools, look no further.

How cool are these?

3. A Robust Garden apron

Khaki and brown gardening apron

As we all know, gardening can be a dirty business. Whether you’re digging, re-potting, planting seeds, or just maintaining your plants, there’s plenty of opportunities to ruin your clothes.

Therefore, a garden apron is an essential accessory for anyone who loves nothing more than getting down and dirty in the garden.

This beautiful khaki garden apron is crafted from waterproof canvas, with a large central compartmentalised pocket to hold your trowels and seed packets and, of course, your phone.

Functionality aside, we love this stylish unisex garden apron at MOOWY – in muted autumnal colours; this would make a lovely, thoughtful gift.

4. Personalised garden gloves

Personalised Gardening Gloves

Every gardener needs a robust pair of gardening gloves. It’s not so much about keeping your hands clean (although they do help, of course), but it’s more about protecting your hands while you prune and chop. And, come late autumn/early winter, summer bush growth will start dying back.

So, if you want optimal growth next year, it’s essential to prune your bushes and shrubs.
But it’s scratchy work.

These excellent personalised garden gloves are durable but breathable, with strong leather palms for maximum protection. The backs of the gloves are flexible nylon that helps your skin breathe – no more sweaty hands!

What a thoughtful gift!

5. A Golden watering can

Watering Can,Gold

Everyone loves a bit of bling!

Watering cans come in a range of sizes. Your large, multi-litre watering can is great for irrigating large areas, but the water flow from the rose spout can damage small plants and seedlings.

So, a houseplant watering can is perfect for greenhouse watering (and, of course, houseplant watering!). The spout is long and thin – perfect for reaching the soil rather than spraying the leaves.

The thin spout flow makes it easy to gauge how much water you’re providing for your plant – you can’t always tell when you water the leaves.

This funky gold-coloured watering can holds 1 litre of water and makes for a super-stylish gift for a green-fingered friend. They’ll be the envy of the neighbours in no time!

6. Garden inspiration book

There has always been this idea that giving books as a present is a bit dull. At MOOWY we think giving a book makes a fantastic gift! Especially when this book is full of garden inspiration.

7. A Funky Firebasket

Funky fire basket with palm-leaf detail

Those of us lucky enough to have outdoor space have certainly made the most of it through the intermittent lockdowns of 2020/2021.

Homes with gardens are like hot cakes on the housing market these days, providing an escape from the isolation of the home. Indeed, the garden becomes another room of the house.

Of course, the optimal time for lounging in the garden is during the day when the sun is high in the sky. However, the garden makes an excellent venue for nighttime parties, even if the temperature drops.

This funky palm leaf cast iron fire basket would make a brilliant gift for garden lovers, allowing you to sit around a dancing, warming flame into the wee small hours.

Just make sure you don’t place this little firepit directly onto your lawn – put it on a raised platform to protect your grass!

8. Soil and Light tester

Soil acidity meter

All gardeners know that you need the correct type of soil or compost for plants to thrive. So, these affordable soil and light tester kits would make a great gift for a keen gardener.

These devices help control the soil’s pH level, testing for acidity or alkalinity to help the gardener create the most hospitable home for their plants.

Acidity is often localised – one part of the garden could have high acidity levels, making it great for acid-loving plants such as magnolias and Japanese anemones. Other areas might have more alkaline soil, making it perfect for geraniums, lavender, and dianthus.

Soil acidity can be affected by other plants. For example, pine needles that drop from pine trees make the soil acidic below the tree. You can add Lawn Lime to acid soil to neutralise it.

So, a soil and light tester gift helps your friend or family member identify where to plant their veg and bedding plants for the best chance of success.

9. Aerator sandals

Lawn Aerator sandals

Aerating your lawn is one of those essential garden tasks that lots of gardeners dread. If they have a large lawn, aerating can take forever. However, failure to regularly aerate the soil causes the earth to become compacted, making it difficult for deep grassroots to spread.

And strong roots make for healthier lawns.

These lawn aerator sandals might look a bit out of place on your average Paris catwalk, but they fit in nicely as part of your gardening arsenal. And any keen gardener will appreciate these in their Christmas stocking.

Lawn aerator sandals strap onto your shoes – the spikes on the bottom aerate the soil as you walk around your lawn.

They might look like torture weapons, but grass loves them!

10. A Bee hotel

Ceramic Bee Hotel

Our bees are facing an enormous crisis. Much of their natural habitat has been lost to urban buildings over the last 60 years, so our most essential pollinators are under serious threat.

Compounded by harsh pesticides, bees really are experiencing their nadir.

All gardeners love bees. They pollinate our crops and flowers and help the ecosystem of our gardens to flourish. So, this fabulous bee hotel would make a brilliant gift for your gardening chums – and, of course, the bees.

OK – it might not have a pool and room service, but bees just need a safe place to live and thrive. Because a healthy bee population keeps the human population intact, after all.

Get in touch

Hopefully, our list of fantastic garden gift ideas will make future birthdays and Christmases that little more straightforward. But if you know of a brilliant item that we’ve missed, please let us know, and we’ll include it in our list.

Get in touch with questions and suggestions at hello@moowy.co.uk. We love hearing from you!

Thanks for reading.

 

How to get rid of moss: THE Lawn Moss Killer Guide of 2021

Is your lawn covered with spongy green moss? Perhaps, when you look really closely, your lawn blades are thinning out, replaced by a carpet of invasive green or brown lichen? You need lawn moss killer.

Applying lawn moss killer helps you restore your waning lawn.

Moss is both a problem and a gauging stick for the health of your lawn. This is because it spreads into a thick layer on top of the soil, growing between the individual grass plants, making it difficult to get oxygen down to the roots of your grass. The presence of moss on your lawn is a sign of the general weakness of your grass.

There are many reasons why moss develops. This article explores WHY moss loves your garden and how to kill it off for a more beautiful, robust lawn that can withstand the challenges of the changeable British weather.

The causes of moss in your lawn

Lawn in serious need of moss killer
Lawn in serious need of moss killer – Photo by P. Qvist on Shutterstock

Moss loves a poorly maintained lawn where the grass is thin and the soil malnourished. These conditions allow moss and weeds to get the upper hand.

It might feel like a vicious circle: a poor lawn encourages more moss, and more moss weakens your grass even further.

However, it’s possible to overcome the problem in a variety of ways.

The following conditions contribute to the development of moss in your lawn:

  • Acidic or compacted soil
  • Poor air circulation
  • Stodgy, wet soil
  • Poor drainage
  • Malnourished soil
  • Bad lawn maintenance

Luckily, none of these conditions are insurmountable.

So, on top of regular mowing and fertilising, there are several ways to kill the moss on your lawn.

Lawn Moss Killer: Fight moss naturally

There are some fairly harsh chemical treatments on the market which will kill off the moss in your lawn. But chemicals can be harmful to your soil and the wildlife that relies on your garden for sustenance.

We always recommend going green. It’s better to protect the environment by fighting moss the natural way.

TIP 1 | Create more light & air:

Moss loves the shade, which is why it tends to develop enthusiastically around large trees and below shady fences and buildings.

So, if possible, create more light and air for your lawn.

Those low-hanging branches create the perfect ecosystem for unwanted moss, so prune them back and open up the canopy. This offers more light and air circulation to your lawn, making a less hospital home for moss and weeds. It’s the natural lawn moss killer!

 

TIP 2 | Increase soil fertility:

Gloved hands holding fertiliser

Most moss species thrive in poor soil conditions. They love acidic soils and earth with depleted nutrients. On the other hand, a healthy lawn needs nutritious, pH-balanced soil.

Perform a soil analysis to find out your lawn soil needs.

Acidic soil blocks the nutrient absorption of plants like grass. This stunts the growth of your lawn while encouraging the development of moss.

Use Lawn Lime to neutralise your soil’s pH, increase fertility, and create a less hospitable environment for moss. Lawn Lime acts as a more natural lawn moss killer than harsh chemical solutions.

Or you could choose a Lawn Moss Killer which contains everything your lawn needs to recover after killing off the moss. All soil becomes acidic over time. This is because dead organic material (such as fallen leaves and garden waste) breaks down, producing an acidic mulch that raises your topsoil’s pH level.

 

Iron Plus 2-in-1 fertiliser and moss killer

Front image of the 2-in-1 Moss Killer and Fertiliser lawn feed product pouch with lawn feed in front of the pouch

Iron Plus 2-in-1 fertiliser and moss killer colours your grass a deep, lush green, helping the lawn recover after its winter dormancy. Iron sulphate is suitable for all lawn types (with or without moss).

Go to product

 

 

TIP 3 | Correct pH:

Perform a pH test. It’s a simple process that takes very little time.

The ideal pH level for a healthy lawn is between 5.5 and 6.5. Neutralising the soil’s acidity optimises the earth for healthy lawn growth and prepares it for better nutrient absorption.

And, remember: strong grass growth is the most natural lawn moss killer! Strong grass prevents moss.

 

TIP 4 | Aerating compact soil:

Aeration sandals to pierce holes into the lawn

Compacted soil hinders root development which causes a thinning of the grass blades, making way for the moss.

Regularly aerating the soil helps nutrients, water, and oxygen reach the roots of your lawn.

Test your soil texture: squeeze a handful of soil in your hand for a couple of seconds, and then open your palm.

If the soil crumbles easily, you have a sandy soil (which is well-drained but struggles to hold onto nutrients). If the soil is compacted and clay-like, you have a heavy clay soil (which is poorly drained but nutrient-rich).

Sprinkle compost and sand over clay soils for better aeration or rent an aeration machine that will churn up compacted soil for better oxygen penetration.

You can aerate your soil with an aerating machine or using aeration sandals as shown in the image above.

TIP 5 | Verticutting / scarifying:

Once moss is present in your lawn, you need to remove it manually or mechanically before grass can grow in its place.

Scarifying is the process of removing moss from the surface of the lawn. One way of scarifying is to mow your lawn vertically (also called “verticutting”).

Verticutting combs out the dead material and allows you to cut the sideways-growing shoots of your grass, creating a natural boost in growth hormone.

Verticutting helps remove the moss and gives your waning grass a fresh boost of natural hormones.

After verticutting, your lawn will look a little thin. Make it bounce back by providing the nutrients and grass seed it needs to recover.

Lawn Moss Killer: Fight it chemically

Moss spreads in a variety of ways, but the most effective is wind and insect dispersal. You have to be careful when you manually remove moss because you could release microscopic spores that actually spread the moss even further.

You can use the following products to prevent reseeding the moss as you disturb it. (Please note that these products kill the moss, but if the root cause of the problems goes unaddressed, moss will always return.)

Copper Sulphate:

Copper sulphate is dissolved in water and applied to the moss with the help of a backpack sprayer. This particular chemical compound can stain porous materials badly, so use old gloves, shoes, and clothing. Keep it away from concrete slabs and patio tiles.

Iron Sulphate:

Iron sulphate is very effective against moss – the correct dose kills the moss within four days.

After use, the moss turns dark brown and dies off.

Iron sulphate is also often added to granulated fertilisers as a micronutrient for the lawn, making it easy to spread.

Please note, however, that iron sulphate can make the soil more acidic, so be sure to counteract it with Lawn Lime.

Use iron sulphate in humid conditions or before watering for a faster effect.

Ammonium Sulfate:

Ammonium sulfate is a chemical fertiliser; high in nitrogen sulfate.

This product can lower the pH of your soil and works by burning the moss. Avoid watering after application as it minimises its effect.

Please note that not every grass species can handle ammonium sulfate – it can seriously burn the lawn. Carry out a spot test to make sure.

Never use Ammonium Sulfate during the summer.

Get started or ask for more information?

Hopefully, you feel a little better informed about identifying and killing moss in your lawn, but if you have any further questions, we’d be delighted to help.

If you have questions – whether it’s about this article or anything else to do with creating a picture-perfect lawn, get in touch.

Email us at hello@moowy.co.uk.

We’re looking forward to helping you!

Thanks for reading!