Gardening tips: How to remove moss on drives and patios
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Removing moss from paving can seem like a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. There are a few different methods you can try, depending on the severity of the moss problem. While many opt to use chemical treatments, Angela Slater, gardening expert at Hayes Garden World, said that this should be avoided and has suggested natural methods to use instead.
She said: “Moss on paving must be removed as it can become slippery and dangerous and using chemicals can runoff and damage plants, so an environmental solution would be preferable.
“Moss grows where no sunlight reaches the surface so if possible, either re-site the patio into a sunny spot or remove any overhanging branches which are causing the moss growth.
“If you have a gazebo or garden parasol permanently erected, remember to take it down occasionally on a sunny day to allow some sunlight to reach the patio surface.”
The expert noted the “most environmentally friendly way” to remove moss is sheer elbow grease.
She said: “Just scrub it off with a really stiff brush or a dedicated moss remover available from most garden centres.
“The moss remover usually comprises of a wire bush to remove the moss from the paving and a steel point on one end to remove it from between the setts.”
For those looking for an easier option to remove the moss, Angela suggested using white vinegar.
She said: “Mix equal parts water and white vinegar then spray onto the stubborn moss to effectively remove it. Leave for 15 minutes, then sweep off.”
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If the moss is more severe, she advised that households leave the vinegar solution to sit on the paving for longer before sweeping it away.
White vinegar is effective as the five percent of acetic acid in it is enough to kill the plant. If the moss coverage is only light, Angela suggested using baking soda or boiling water.
She said: “If the moss coverage is only light, sprinkle with baking soda, leave for 24 hours, then brush off.
“Pouring boiling water onto the moss and then giving it a good scrub with a yard brush is another free moss removal solution.”
Once the moss is removed from the paving, the gardening pro said that it’s important to prevent the moss from coming back. To do this she suggested keeping the area clean.
Angela said: “Moss grows more easily if the surface is dirty so make sure you keep the area clean by brushing regularly with a stiff yard brush.
“When watering your plants try and keep the water off the patio as the combination of shade and water will certainly lead to moss growth.
“If you have planters on the patio, you will find that moss and algae grows on the shady side where the water runs out of the bottom of the pot, so make sure you brush off the water about half an hour after watering the pot.”
As the weather is beginning to warm up, the expert noted that gardeners can use the sunlight to their advantage to remove moss from paving.
This is the easiest, least expensive and most natural moss removal method as moss does not grow in sun-soaked, dry areas.
Angela said: “Let the sun dry up the moss then just brush off and add to the compost heap.
“If a prolonged period of sunny days are forecast, remove any garden furniture and parasols, planters and children’s toys then leave for a few days for the sunshine to desiccate the moss.”
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