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Growers - how do you prevent moss in containers?

Posted by sweetpea_path Z8 WA maritime (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 28, 05 at 14:44

Sure could use some tips for preventing moss from growing on the top of the soil inside containers. I've got a huge crop of 4" lavenders to grow on/overwinter and since I'm in the Pacific northwest now, seems I've got this challenge to meet. Do any of you have a solution for moss prevention? I've heard of using sand or "chicken grit" (like aquarium sand) as a top dressing, but this would add a tremendous amount of weight to each flat, plus, it is prone to washing out easily when using a watering wand.

Anybody heard of doing a copper drench?

My preference would be for an *organic* solution....

Thanks much for any tips.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Growers - how do you prevent moss in containers?

  • Posted by Hap_E z9 Berkeley CA (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 28, 05 at 23:10

top dress with thin layer of 5/16 inch lava scoria. The red gravel will pop the lavender's foilage colar and it will not add that much weight, besides it will give off iron every time you water.


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RE: Growers - how do you prevent moss in containers?

  • Posted by weebus Z8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 28, 05 at 23:45

Just about anything you add to the top of the soil is going to result in a pain in the behind down the road. Is the moss a problem because of the difficulty in watering through the mat? Besides a thin layer of perlite, which is what I do, the only other thing I can recomend is not letting the top layer of soil stay moist. Growing lavender helps since it is pretty drought tolerant. I also just no worry about it and every once in a while I dig it out and replace the top of the soil in the container. I realize it is time consuming (not bad tho') I also force to look at each, and every plant, and evaluate how it is faring.


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RE: Growers - how do you prevent moss in containers?

A number of commercial growers in this area topdress their containers with agricultural charcoal. It tends to be pretty lightweight, is a natural anti-pathogen and does a great job of retarding weed development as well.


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RE: Growers - how do you prevent moss in containers?

I've killed liverwort(related to moss), cress, and other germinating weeds in winter coldframes by spraying undiluted food grade white vinegar on container surfaces. I try to avoid spraying foliage, but have not noticed damage where contact has occurred. These have been dormant cold-tolerant palms and other sturdy types. Every species is different and some would probably be burned by contact with the vinegar.


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