Daily Mail

Gardeners set to get cross over moss after deluge of rain

- By Sophie Freeman

IT may not feel like it, but spring is just around the corner.

And if you’re intending on doing some gardening once the rain, sleet and snow clears, you may be in for a shock at how much moss has taken up residence in your lawn.

Heavy rainfall last autumn led to the moss boom. Guy Barter, chief horticultu­rist at the Royal Horticultu­ral Society, said: ‘Moss likes wet soil and last autumn was wetter than usual.’

The Met Office said the UK had 402.5mm (15.8ins) of rain in the autumn – 19 per cent more than average, and 28 per cent more than usual in the south of England. What’s more,

‘Keep your grass a little longer’

summer droughts caused soil shrinkage, explained David Hedges-Gower, chairman of The Lawn Associatio­n.

‘When wet periods come, water cannot percolate through as well so soil remains wetter for longer,’ he said. ‘This provides perfect breeding conditions for moss spores.’

For those desperate to get rid of the moss, the RHS advises keeping grass a little longer instead.

Mr Barter said: ‘Rather than applying expensive moss-control materials and potentiall­y harmful fertiliser­s, the RHS suggests gardeners consider if they really want or need tightly mown lawns. Letting grass grow taller helps the environmen­t and keeps the moss in check by natural processes which maintain the two in balance.’

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