I've seen it before on the Web and this news group and am hoping for
I have a yard that is heavy shade and therefore all moss. Well, that
is when we moved in. I think the housewife living here before us had
the time to go out every day and pull weeds. Now weeds are growing in
the moss. It's all kinds of weeds, not just broadleaf.
How do I get rid of the weeds but keep the moss?
Roundup kills the moss. Pulling the weeds by hand is out of the
question. Maybe a pre-emergent next Fall (although since I live in the
South, I expect the weeds to live all year)?
If pulling the weeds by hand is out of the question, then likely so is
keeping the moss. Mosses are easily harmed by toxins, & there is no magic
poison to kill everything but the moss & you. You could strip areas the
weeds had taken over then re-moss the area by whizzing up bits of moss in
a mixture of water & buttermilk, & spray that mossy soup on the cleared
area to get the moss to regrow. Where the weeds aren't so aggressive so
you wouldn't need to start over for the moss, just buckle down & pull the
Moss is a great matting shade-groundcover that should be more often &
intentionally utilized. But a weed suppressant it is not.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Mosses are easily harmed by toxins, & there is no magic
Actually there is; it's a weedkiller called paraquat in the UK. I'm
not sure if it's available over there or under what label.Years ago I
read that tip in a gardening mag and tried it out to make moss paths in
the wood,,works fine. Take care though, its nasty stuff..wear gloves,
and use a watering can rather than a spray to avoid inhaling.
Since I don't use chemicals I have no personal experience, but paraquat
was supposed to be highly non-selective & could be used to kill ALL
plantlife in a given area, though not at the formerly recommended
concentrations. It best killed weedy winter annuals, followed by broadleaf
weeds lacking taproots (taprooted weeds like dandylions survived it at the
concentrations that were formerly legal), followed by grasses, but only
retarded moss growth so virtually all of the old paraquat products added
diquat for full eradication of moss too. These products are generally no
longer available because of extreme hazard.
It claimed to be mostly harmless to large woody shrubs & trees so was very
commonly used on tree farms. It harmed beneficial insects, washed into
watersheds killing & deforming frogs & into streams & lakes killing fish,
& is a possible human carcinogen. It is banned in many countries since a
single teaspoon would kill a human (there is no known antidote), or cause
fibrosis of the lungs for whoever unfortunately survives, & accidental
exposures causing death or permanent injury had become so commonplace that
country after country began banning it despite the manufacturers PR
blitzes insisting on its safety, & the easily lobbied EPA's slowness to
admit how dangerous it is.
In the United States it is classified a "restricted use pesticide"
(herbicides are categorized as pesticides) & is no longer available for
general use in gardens, though it was not very long ago paraquat was as
common & overused as RoundUp is now. It is illegal to obtain without a
special handling permit for certified applicators, who are banned from
using it around homes, schools, golf courses, playgrounds, or recreational
areas -- it still gets used on crops & near watersheds unfortunately. I
thought it was banned last year in the UK too but if you can still buy it
I guess not.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Some sicko in the Portland area got a hold of some, and used it to poison
meat he (or maybe she) would leave around public parks. Dogs would find it,
and before anyone could stop them, they'd start eating it. They died painful
Given it's relative availability compared to other agents as lethal, my bet
is that if there is a significant terrorist chemical attack, parquet will be
what they'll use. This is not something that typical home owners who barely
glance at labels should even have available to them. There are few
situations that cannot be handled less lethally, and more effectively in
some other manner.
The easiest way I've found is this: I mix up a bucket of roundup to
strength, and then, using black rubber waterproof gloves, I dip my hand in
the roundup and then draw the weed through my fingers, coating the weed
with roundup but not drenching the moss. For stubborn weeds like onion, you
can add a surfectant like simple dish soap or horticultural oil. Once you
get the hang of it you can go very quickly.
David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
Thanks for the ideas.
I'm afraid there is too much for transplanting.
The rubber gloves in the Roundup is a great idea. I had heard of a
paint brush in Roundup, but this sounds much easier.
Some herbicides generally don't work on moss sort of, as they are
designed for plants with roots that grow differently than moss (which
has rhizoids instead of roots). However, all herbicides will damage
the moss if not kill it. And for my particular moss, I sprayed a
non-essential area with Roundup and it died.
Paraquat was used by Mexico to eradicate marijuana fields a number of
years ago. I recall the U.S. helped fund the effort, which caused
controversy due to the harmful effects of paraquat. Of course, we can
never win the so-called "War on Drugs" and should stop wasting
taxpayers' money and open real drug stores with federal taxes to earn
the government money, accompanied by strict laws similar to DUI laws,
only harsher (like DUI laws should be). But that's a discussion for
another news group.
Have you tried any long-handled weed removal tools? There are around a
dozen different types of very precise weeds that can dig out the roots
without harming adjacent plants. You can see a good variety of these
weeders on the Ergonica World of Weeds: www.ergonica.com. Save your
back and eliminate the risk of toxic chemicals by using mechanical
solutions designed for the job.
Talk about weeds: World of Weeds www.ergonica.com
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