Treatment and Control of Moss In Lawns

By first understanding why moss is growing, we can also understand the correlation of what is happening in the health of the lawn that it is allowing the moss to grow at all.

Moss thrives and grows in soil conditions that are usually moist and wet and heavily shaded. While in contrast, lawns will not tolerate growing under those same conditions of excessive moisture and combined shade. So with this in mind, if we have moss in our lawn, then we have optimal growing conditions for that moss to thrive, while also having the same conditions which causes lawns to deteriorate in health and to die off while living under those same environmental conditions.

So by removing the problematic conditions that cause moss to grow, we simultaneously improve the conditions in which lawns will grow and thrive. The purpose of this article then will be to improve environmental conditions to most greatly favor the lawn, while becoming the most hostile in which moss can grow, thereby removing the moss problem altogether and improving lawn health.

The number one environmental condition that favors moss and weakens lawns is when there is too much shade covering any lawn area. Therefore removing excessive shade is our highest priority to tackle the problem of moss in lawns.

Prune back all excessive growth from trees and shrubs to increase the amount of direct sunlight to the affected lawn area as much as possible. The more direct sunlight we can bring onto the lawn, the better. Moss will not grow in direct sun, and lawns love direct sunlight.

Continue to remove all other environmental conditions in the yard which may be causing excessive shade onto the lawn. This may be any type of shelter, fencing, shed, or other structure that can be moved to another place in the yard. Whatever object that can be moved away from the lawn, which is causing shade to the lawn, should be moved.

In areas where there is shade caused by objects which cannot be moved, like permanent fencing, a fixed shed or even the side of the house itself, then it may be a better option to remove the lawn altogether in that area and plant a shade tolerant garden bed, or to add paving, or outdoor storage or similar to that area, and to remove the lawn permanently.

The other major factor which encourages the growth of moss in lawns, as well as the deterioration of lawns, is the presence of large amounts of moisture that stay present in the soil for extended periods of time. So by removing this excessive moisture in these lawn areas that may be affected by moss, we then create a much more hostile growing environment for that moss to ever take hold.

This involves adjusting our lawn watering schedules if necessary, as well as making soil improvements if the soil itself is retaining too much water in its profile for too long.

We cannot cover all the factors involved in correct lawn watering in this article, as that is a long article in itself. Suffice to say that the homeowner should monitor the watering schedule at their property to determine if these can be reduced. This is an important factor, and any reduction to the water being applied to any lawn area affected by moss, is very important.

Next, we want to treat the soil itself in the affected area where moss is growing.

First dig out and dispose of the moss from the area.

Then we want to dig into the soil to determine its condition. Is the soil heavily compacted? Then we will need to heavily aerate and break up that soil. If the soil is very wet, then adjustments will need to be made to the soil so that water is more able to freely flow away. This is most often the case with clay or very silty soils, whereby we would then want to remove some of that soil and replace it with a coarse sand. The coarse sand is then mixed in with existing soil so that the area becomes more free draining of water.

If this type of soil improvement is undertaken, then we would want to treat the soil at a depth of up to a foot deep, turning over the soil and mixing in plenty of coarse sand, before finally levelling off and compacting the soil again.

For clay based soils, there are many different types of clay breaker products available to help treat clay soils, such as Gypsum type products. These should be strongly considered for use on clay soils where drainage is an issue for lawns.

After these soil repairs, we can then choose one of several options to repair the lawn itself, dependent on what type of lawn we have growing. Those choices will be to install new sod, or to re-seed the lawn area, or to allow the lawn to spread over the repaired soil area on its own – if the lawn is a runner type grass.

Commercial Parking Lot Lighting

Metal halide lights – They are excellent in color rendition because they offer a light that is almost white. They are efficient compared to mercury vapor lights, but less efficient compared to low pressure sodium when it comes to energy use.

Mercury vapor lights – They are not as good when it comes to color rendition and give a blue-green light. The lamp life is however very reliable but light levels, reduce was the lamp ages. The lights are very good when it comes to energy efficiency.

High pressure sodium lights – They give off yellowish amber light but the lamp life is long and light levels do not reduce that much even when the light ages. These lights are energy efficient making them ideal for the parking lot that needs to remain lighted throughout the night.

Low pressure sodium lights – They have an orange yellowish light and a lamp life that is relatively short. These lights, however do not reduce light levels as they age and they are very energy efficient and this makes them great for places that might need lighting throughout the day.

LED lights – They are cost effective, energy efficient and come in a wide range of wattages so you choose the perfect one in relation to the specific demands you have. They last long and rarely need to be replaced for years. The LED parking lot lights are dark sky friendly too, making them perfect for your lot.

Why light the parking lot?

It protects your business. When you install lights for your business premises, you enhance the safety and security of your assets. Lighting keeps intruders off your business because there is no hiding place around your property.

It protects pedestrians. Many people robbed in the parking lot, especially when there is poor lighting, especially during late night hours. Proper lighting therefore minimizes criminal activities. A well lit up space will provide a safer environment for local pedestrians and passers-by. You will also manage to give your employees a sense of security, especially when working late night.

It makes pulling out of the area easier. Your customers or even employees do not have to worry about bumping into objects and other cars when the place is well lit. Proper lighting gives them an easier time pulling out of the parking area.

Lawn Sprinkler System Maintenance

Water Production

The first thing to do is find out how long it takes your sprinkler to produce an inch of water. You can discover this information using a watering gauge, or by placing an empty tuna can under a stream of water. This information acts as a baseline. It allows you to anticipate your monthly irrigation costs, and it also reveals the standard amount of water used in an allotted time. By identifying normal function, you’ll be able to notice when something is not working properly.

Watering Schedules

Your watering schedules need to be adjusted depending on the season. Also, different zones of your yard contain different species of plants and need be tailored and adjusted accordingly. You can hire a serviceman to complete these settings if you aren’t confident, or you can set and monitor water output yourself using a “weekly watering number” for each section. The guidelines for weekly watering numbers can be found online, and include the necessary water percentages for various types of vegetation and climates.

Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your overall watering system to identify leaks that will lead you to broken lines and misdirected heads. First, do an overall visual assessment, checking for pools of water and wet sidewalks. Both broken lines and misdirected water will cost you money, so take a few minutes once a month to make sure your water usage is efficient. A large, in-ground lawn sprinkler system should then be assessed zone-by-zone for leaks and damage to ensure proper functionality. Make any necessary repairs or replacements as soon as they are found to avoid worse, more expensive issues later.

Check Spray Patterns

Next, check the spray patterns of each sprinkler head to make sure water isn’t blocked by dirt, plants, or other material. If the heads are clear, but you’re experiencing poor water pressure, you may need to get your backflow checked. The backflow connection needed for automatic irrigation is required by law to be checked annually, but having it checked more often is a good idea. This testing process should be completed by a state-certified tester. Rules and regulations vary depending on your area, so contact your local water provider for specific information.

Save Water Outdoors

  • Avoid watering the lawn every single day. This is really wasteful considering that weekly watering is enough for the lawn even during summer months. You should actually avoid watering the lawn for some time when there has been a heavy downpour.
  • Plant your plants in such a way that they can make use of your roof runoff when it rains. Landscaping should actually be done smartly in that you can have water thirsty plants around areas where water collects and takes time to drain away.
  • If you must water your plans and the lawn, then make sure that you do this during early mornings before the temperatures rise and wind speed increases. When you time your watering schedules you will be able to minimize evaporation that can be wasteful. Consider the weather conditions before watering.
  • Use a broom to sweep clean your sidewalk or driveway instead of using a hose that uses gallons of water to clean off the debris and leaves from these areas. Alternatively, you can use an energy efficient blower for the same task.
  • Position your sprinklers so that your water does not get wasted on paved areas and instead lands where it is really needed. You should also consider irrigation devices that are water efficient such as drip irrigation and soaker hoses which go a long way in saving water.
  • Consider a higher cut for your lawn so as to promote deeper grass root growth, hold soil moisture and to offer shade for the root system so moisture is not lost faster. It is also very important that you avoid using fertilizer for your lawn because it increases the water need by the grass. If you must, then choose fertilizers that have nitrogen that is water soluble.
  • Consider a shut-off nozzle for your hoses so you are able to adjust the spray as needed for different areas. Once finished, you should remember to turn off your faucet instead of the nozzle because it can leak even when shut. It also helps to ensure that your sprinklers and hoses remain attended because you end up wasting too much water when you forget to turn them off. Make use of a timer to make sure you give only the intended amount of water to your garden.

About Snow and Landscaping

Snow acts as a natural insulator, so your landscaping will survive under snow all season, it’s when we come to shovel it that it may cause a problem or two. If everything is under a foot of snow, do you know where your driveway starts and ends? What about your walkway?

The most important and obvious thing is to keep your shovel on hard ground. Seems easy, but it is a lot harder than you may think. Where that landscaping starts is lost in a sea of white. This is why it is a good idea to use driveway reflectors to mark the boundaries of your hard surfaces. This way, you’ll know when to stop shoveling and hopefully you won’t have gone into any trees or shrubs that are hidden.

If there is a lot of snow it’s a good idea to shake it off of trees and shrubs that you can see, just so that the branches aren’t burdened with the extra weight. The roots will thank you for the added protection, but the branches, especially if they are on the small side will not.

Don’t pile the snow that you have shoveled onto your landscaping if you can help it. This just adds more weight. Instead try to pile it on the side of the driveway or walkway with no landscaping, or put it on the lawn itself. Remember to keep it away from public sidewalks and the road or you may end up with a fine.

If you are using a snowblower, be careful where you shoot the snow. Again, avoid trees and landscaping and the public walkways around your property. People don’t want to be blasted with snow from a snowblower and trees don’t either!

Lastly, be careful where you salt. Remember that during a thaw and in the spring the water will carry the salt residue with it and you don’t want that ending up on your plants or trees. You don’t want them damaged so limit the salt to areas away from landscaping if you can.

About Wire Mesh

It’s preferred by many people due to the benefits that it comes with. Some of the benefits include:

  • Cost: wire mesh is cost effective thus you can afford it even if you aren’t operating of a large budget.
  • Versatile: as mentioned above you can use it in a wide range of applications. For example, you can use it in fences, in screens and many other applications.
  • Easy to install: although, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to install the mesh for you, you can also install it if you have the right skills.
  • Durability: since it’s made from stainless steel wire, you are guaranteed that it will last for a long time. There are some types of meshes that are galvanized to reduce the chances of corrosion.

There are many types of mesh that you can go with:

  • Woven: also known as wire cloth, this unit is characterized by very small openings. It’s the most popular and it’s used in door and window screens. It’s also ideal for enclosing patio and porch.
  • The mesh is recommended for areas that require extra security. These areas include: stock rooms, window barns, and storage facilities. Its primary function is to prevent outsiders from getting into the facility through the window.
  • Welded: here the wires are welded together to form a very firm product. They are often used for fencing where they come in different gauges. One of the most common applications is in the construction of perimeter wall both at home and industries.

It’s also used in highway and railway fencing where it’s used in preventing animals and people from trying to cross highway roads and rail tracks. This prevents damage on the tracks.

If you want to protect your garden, you can use the mesh to provide additional security. You can also use it as an alternative wire for climbing plants.

  • Knit wire: popularly known as chicken wire. It serves as an inexpensive barrier for livestock. When used in livestock fencing, the wire comes in different gauges and hole sizes. All you need to do is to choose the wire that is ideal for your application. Some of the animals that you can secure with it include: chicken, horses, cows and rabbits.

Simple Residential Landscaping Maintenance

  • Before planting anything, talk to some of the local nurseries or those in your area with particularly beautiful landscapes and learn as much as you can about the soil conditions and what type of plants and grass do best. If you are new to the area, be sure to also ask about the weather and light throughout the year. Knowing this will help you choose plants that will be successful.
  • Take some time to sketch out any ideas you may have your yard. Be sure to indicate areas for trees, hedges, flower gardens and edges. Often, local nurseries have people who can come to your residence and help you plan this out.
  • Plan on planting trees and shrubs that require minimal maintenance, but will grow and flourish for years. Be sure there are some shade trees included in your selection! After all, no residential landscape should be without shaded areas where one can sit outside and just relax.
  • Select flowers and trees that are native to your area. Plant these items in their sun preferred area and you will find that little to no work will be required for them to look fabulous.
  • Rather than trying to maintain numerous gardens and landscaped areas at once, start small. Choose 1 or 2 key areas to focus on. In subsequent years you can add more areas, just be sure to know your time limits, and plant accordingly.
  • Plant similar types of plants together. Not will this look great, but it will be easier to maintain.
  • Use borders and walkways to add interest as well as keep grass from creeping into the garden areas.

Decorating the Pathway to Front Door

Pathways are extremely important when it comes to homes. People don’t want to step on the grass in order to get to the door in case there is damp sand that gets stuck to their shoe. It does not need to be anything special but there has to be some kind of guideline.

People love the idea of walking between rose bushes or trees to get to their final destination. To the guest or the homeowner, that greenery can seem like a path to a sanctuary. In many fairy tales, a hidden cottage is found in the middle of a beautiful forest that can only be seen by a special person.

Be careful of creating paths or patterns in perfect geometric shapes. It may seem pleasing to the perfectionist but a person who has to take a turn at a sharp corner may simply cut across the grass because it would be easier that way. If you really want to keep people on the pathway, you can add a few leafy plants along the side of the walkway which will encourage people to remain on it and not cut across the grass.

You need this kind of pleasant atmosphere to lead the person to the front door. A door is a threshold that shows a person where the property of another person starts. An outsider who opens it with permission understands that they are welcome and it is important to make that person feel welcome. To achieve this, a door with sidelights or glass panels works perfectly. This is where you can experiment with perfect geometric shapes. Just like many houses have these same kinds of shapes so should your door.

A good way to work with contrasting coloured doors is by making the frame white which will oppose the colour of the door which is mahogany or chestnut. This will add lovely character to your home and will not make the dark of the wood seem so intimidating.

Planting Summer Bulbs

Make sure you will plant the bulbs in the best area in your garden. Make sure you will be planting the bulbs in areas that have the ideal conditions. This is especially true for perennial bulbs or the ones that hardy in your zone. For instance, many of the tropical summer bulbs thrive only in really warm, sun-bathed sites. Other species, such as canna or elephant ear, flourish better in moist areas and will even grow in shallow standing water. There are also some summer bulbs that won’t grow when planted in clay soil.

Never plant summer bulbs into the garden soil until it has warmed adequately. If you live in a cold area, start planting only when the spring air temperature is warm enough since summer bulbs planted in cold soil tends to rot easily. You can consider using black nursery pots to absorb the sun’s heat and warm soil if you can’t wait to start planting. However, don’t transplant the bulbs into the garden beds until you’re sure the soil is warm enough.

Always plant bulbs right side up. The roots should always be on the bottom of the planting hole. Although it can be tricky to tell which end is up for some bulbs, it is important to do this. One tip you can follow to determine which part is the bottom is to look for the part where there are roots attach to the bulb – this is the bottom part. Although plants can recover if you tuck bulbs into the soil upside down, you’ll still have better results if you get things right at the start.

If the plants need staking, insert stakes at planting time. Lastly, it is important to insert the stakes during planting time so that you can avoid accidentally spearing the bulb later in the growing season.

Use Pavers to Create A Stunning Patio

Don’t Be Afraid to Dig Deep

In order to set the patio pavers, you have to dig out some of the existing dirt or grass. Before getting started, contact your local utility companies and have the lines marked. Most services will do this free of charge. Once the lines are marked, you can safely dig. Be sure to dig about six inches deep to get below the root level of current vegetation. If your soil is dry, water it the evening before you start work. This will soften the dirt, making it easier to dig.

Create a Weed Barrier

Nothing is more frustrating than to have your beautiful area marred by weeds. To prevent weeds from coming up through the cracks, lay down some landscaping cloth before placing the sand base. The cloth forms a barrier between the soil and the new sand, helping to keep out unwanted weeds. In order to know how much landscaping cloth you need, calculate the square footage and add ten percent.

Pack in the Sand

Once you have laid your cloth, it is time to add the sand base. Before you add the pavers, you should use a tamper or plate compactor in order to pack in the sand. You want it smooth, solid, and level. Run the packer over the surface in between each layer of sand before you start.

Do Not Forget the Drainage

While you want a level area, you need to make sure that you have a slight slope to drain rainwater away from your home’s foundation. You should angle it so that the water flows to an area that can absorb additional water or to a drainage area you have already established. The drop does not have to be significant, only about a quarter inch for each two feet.

Address Movement

Settling and weather can cause your pavers to move slightly. In order to keep this from happening, you should have a solid edge to help keep them in place. Some use additional pavers while others go for a solid cement edge. You can also put up vinyl or metal edging to add stability.