How to holiday let
Dealing with moss and algae in an eco-friendly way
While moss and algae grow all year, winter is typically the time when algae, moss and liverwort tend to grow the most, thriving in damp, shady conditions. From paths to driveways to garden furniture, moss and algae can appear anywhere at any time.
Despite the common belief that algae and moss cause damage to properties, they are actually harmless and in fact can look quite pretty, adding a certain rustic appeal to some of your holiday cottage’s features, like garden ornaments and walls.
That said, too much growth can become unsightly and more importantly, can also become very slippery posing a hazard to you and your guests. Here are our top tips and handy hints about how to deal with algae and moss in an eco-friendly way, without damaging your garden and harming other wildlife.
More noticeable in winter, algae are fairly indiscriminate about where they’ll show up, although preferring shady, damp and humid conditions, and are fast to grow and spread. Needing moisture for reproduction and sustenance, they also flourish in clean air.
Often growing in poorly drained and shady surroundings as well as spots that are overhung by other plants, algae do play an important role in the ecosystem and biodiversity. However, to improve the safety of your holiday cottage and remove unsightly excess, you should regularly treat your property and grounds.
Top tips to alleviate algae:
- Regularly sweep paving and pathways with a broom to prevent algae growth.
- As long as you are careful to sweep away excess water, using a pressure washer is a really effective way to get rid of algae.
- Carefully cut back overhanging plants to increase airflow and allow more sunlight.
- Regularly sweep away water on paving and pathways, and consider introducing a drainage system to reduce areas of dampness, a firm favourite amongst algae.
- Use an eco-friendly algae remover, like EcoChem, which quickly kill algae and contain no hydrochloric acid or other harmful solvents.
Like algae, moss prefers wet, shaded areas. Whether it be a grassy lawn or an artificial turf, pathways or the walls of the garden shed, moss will happily envelop most things in its green embrace.
Composed of several varieties, moss is often caused as a result of drought or waterlogging as well as sparse and malnourished grass. Make sure your lawn and pathways have ample drainage, and that shady areas are opened up to allow for more sunlight.
Whereas temporarily getting rid of moss is just the start, there are plenty of non-chemical methods you can try to make sure you remain moss-free. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends spring and autumn as the best times to combat moss, so make sure the dates are in the diary.
Handy hints to manage moss:
- Dislodge and remove loose moss by scarification. If you’ve got a smaller lawn you can do this by hand using a wire brush or spring-tine rake.
- Uproot moss from between paving slabs and cobbles by using a knife or a wire-headed brush to scour between the edges.
- Like with algae, pressure washing is an effective method used to dislodge moss from walls, paving and wooden furniture.
- Use non-chemical products like MO Bacter Organic Lawn Fertiliser, which helps to control moss by breaking it down and also works to feed your lawn, encouraging grass growth.
- Try and open spaces up to reduce the amount of shade and let in plenty of sunlight. If you want to reseed or relay your lawn in a shaded spot though, use a grass seed mix or turf specifically for shady areas.
- Use a garden fork to make little holes in your lawn, allowing your turf to breath.
- Don’t mow grass too short, as this encourages moss to grow.
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