• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

How to stop moss dominating grass?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 72
Location: Leicester, UK 8b,
2
bee forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, my dad has pasture on sw Scotland. Prob zone 7. He is finding that with the high rainfall and low light levels mosses are beginning to dominate over the grasses and the pasture quality is deteriorating rapidly. Please can anyone suggest any remedies? His soil is  pH 5.3 so we have been wondering how to raise this without the cost of liming. Also very wet - rushes grow on the top of the hill.
ideas been put forward ;
Grow lotus uloginosis (greater birds foot trefoil) to help the nutrient levels.
chain Harrow the field to reduce the moss, sow fescue and bent~acid tolerant, strong growing grasses?
Show chicory to open up the soil?

Has anyone any ideas please?
 
Posts: 944
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you can get some kind of palatable forage to grow, high frequency mob rotational grazing with plenty of litter trample should help smooth out that PH to some extent over time.

If the moss is really bad it might be wise to have pigs tear it up then lay down fast growing annual summer forage/cover crop to plant into around August/maybe September
 
Posts: 30
Location: Alberta, Great White North zone 4
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recomend the book fertility pastures by newman turner. Its a good book about pastures and its written by a guy with a jersey heard in your part of the world.
 
pollinator
Posts: 571
Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
74
bee bike fish greening the desert solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Grow blueberries?  

Might be more profitable than pasture, and the soil pH and moisture sound like just the ticket for blueberries or cranberries.
 
cesca beamish
Posts: 72
Location: Leicester, UK 8b,
2
bee forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for all the ideas. Pigs is a possibility. I don't think he'd want to start a new project of acres of fruit but I do prefer the method of going with it rather than fighting it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 909
Location: Longbranch, WA
61
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Chicken tractors or rotational chicken free ranging is a good option. You can find segments on how that worked on the You tube channel Swedish Homestead has success with it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 965
Location: Los Angeles, CA
146
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Simply spraying a diluted mixture of dish soap and water onto the moss will kill it.  But for a pasture, that would be a lot of dish soap.

Iron metal shavings will also kill moss.  If you know someone who turns brake rotors, get a big bunch of metal shavings from them and then scatter them around on the moss.  You could approach anyone who machines metal parts --- but it needs to be shavings from steel or iron -- basically, anything that rusts.  You don't want any shavings from stainless steel or aluminum or any non ferrous metal, or you'll have sparkly silver glitter out there for the rest of your days. 

Fundamentally, anything you do to rid the land of moss will only be temporary unless you change the underlying conditions that are causing the moss to thrive.  More sunlight, better drainage . . . that sort of thing.
 
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds like your pasture is too acidic. I would do a soil test, but you prob need to lime. Then start frost seeding clovers.
 
Posts: 567
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any chance you've got really shallow ground water there?  If you dug down 2-3 feet (a meter) with a posthole digger would it fill in with water?  It might be a good spot for a pond.  Some friends of ours couldn't get anything to grow under similar conditions, turned out there was a ton of water underneath and now they can float on boats there's so much.  The levels go up and down, but it never dries out.

Or try a dowser, see what they get.
 
Posts: 78
Location: cornwall, england
7
books tiny house urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It the wet acidic and boggy west of Ireland I've been told that very fast growing poplar trees shot up out of the ground once planted from cuttings (see the way out west blow in blog on YouTube) trees are massive pumps that will help to aerate your soil and pump water out by evapotranspiration. I tried this on a very small scale in a boggy corner of the garden and it worked. Would be free to try and the trees can grow over to be proper tree sized in a couple of years. This would also add shelter for grazing animals and improve soil retention. Bonus of free kindling, bonfires, wood chips and leaf mulch if you want it. You could chip it fine and use or sell it as bedding for winter barns.
I'm imagining as many cuttings round the edge of fields and in the very worst places fence off some small areas and grow blueberries and ligion berries (they are fashionable and sacandavian now but are native to the UK under the name cow Berry)

If mob grazing and use of iron filings is out of the question you can use commercially produced copper sulphate dilution then rake the moss out but as you're on pasture scale I'd say Harrow it out? No idea is copper sulphate is dodgy though. Then reseed with good fast growing pasture.

Moss thrives on anaerobic conditions so on a lawn you can braid fork the surface to aerate, again on your scale I'm sure there's a tool for that... Is that what a key line plough is or am I remembering wrong?

I'd say anything you can do to increase biodiversity will help
 
cesca beamish
Posts: 72
Location: Leicester, UK 8b,
2
bee forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
love the idea of planting a few poplars - reducing the moisture of the soil as well as adding a bit of diversity. Think it might help against the rushes too.
thanks
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 909
Location: Longbranch, WA
61
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The problem with popular is they send up new trees from the roots and eventually take up the whole area.  Though livestock tend to keep them in check by eating new shoots. I don't have grazing animals on my field now so it is a constant battle to keep them cut down.
 
Posts: 134
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It won't be a few poplars.  It will be about 200 - 1000 per acre.  If you have rushes to the hilltops, you have a serious water holding soil.

Bite the bullet and lime the soil if you want grass. Typical doses are a metric tonne per hectare per pH unit, but some of that depends on what is buffering the pH.  Take a soil sample to your local ag chem shop.

Or grow a crop of blueberries.

 
What's brown and sticky? ... a stick. Or a tiny ad.
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!