Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Moss  (Read 5951 times)

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Moss
« on: March 13, 2017, 01:41:38 pm »
I seem to have a lot of moss mixed in with my grass in the fields. Is this a problem? I think it might be as more moss = less grass but I'm aware my land management skills are at 0 so I may be wrong about that!

If it is a problem then what do I need to do to fix it?

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Moss
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 02:53:04 pm »
It means the ground is wet / not draining well :).  Yes it is a problem because the moss will crowd out the grass.


You need to rake or harrow it out when it's dry - spring is a good time for this before the grass starts growing in earnest.  Liming could help too, as moss prefers acid soil.  Aerating would also help.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Moss
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 03:13:53 pm »
Yes not ideal at all. I'm on clay soil so harrowing is pretty pointless, when the soil is hard enough to get a tractor into the fields its rock hard and the harrow just bounces along the surface and doesn't really affect the moss. I rotate my fields between horses and sheep and find that its only the sheep fields that get it. I roll the field the horses were in during the spring to get rid of the ruts they leave.

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: Moss
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 04:57:26 pm »
Previous posters are right. Moss will tend to become really established when the conditions are not conducive to grass doing well.
So poorly drained compacted, acidic soil, low in nutrients and with bare patches from poaching is heaven for moss and hell for grass. Tackling it, as Foobar has said, is likely to need a multi-facetted approach.
Any one of liming, spreading muck or fertiliser, aerating, harrowing and reseeding grass in bare patches is likely to help a bit, but if its widespread you might need to do all of these.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Moss
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 06:49:44 pm »
We have same issue .... we are on clay .... harrowing will reduce moss but needs to be done when ground drying out not dry.
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Moss
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 04:41:14 pm »
I have moss, and clay, and barely any top soil, and high PH, and low nutrients, with compaction and bare patches, so don't feel like it's only you :).  I have one field so bad the frogs lay their frogspawn on it.  Lol.   I should stop growing sheep and start selling moss....

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Moss
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 08:20:28 pm »
Well I've been browsing the net and I think I'll get a lawn scarifier and aerator and have a go at clearing it and getting some more air into the ground to start with. We are on clay (barely any top soil here too). We do have drainage under our field. The previous owner marked the outlets and said to check them after the digger has been to clear the big drains (they come a couple of times a year) but we didn't manage to check last year. Had a walk past today and can't see the drains so they are probably blocked. Won't be able to get into the drain to clear them until it dries up a bit but that should stop us having as much of a problem next year. Now just to get the exisiting moss up before the ground dries up so much that we can't get the aerator in!

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Moss
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 07:50:19 pm »
Can I join the club of really crap clay underneath and only about 2cm of soil :) lots of moss on the top :)

Been trying to rotate - but ther problem seems to be getting worse.  I califerted it last year, some of it. but only had a quad and it took some time doing it at a speed that didnt wreck the quad as i own it.

I am going to def keep on with a chain harro on th back pf the landrover thisd year to scarifi the land - chuck some tires on the top make it bruttal.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Moss
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 12:25:15 am »
I'm not sure how useful it is to mention that on lawns, the single biggest factor, IME, in managing moss is the height of the cut.  Lawns which are scalped are considerably more mossy than lawns which are never cut shorter than about 1".  So hard grazing, especially with sheep or ponies, both of which crop closely, may be a factor. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Moss
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 10:24:04 am »
Yes I read that too, the closer the graze the more moss.


The plan I have for mine, once I get some fencing up, is to get pigs in to double plough small sections at a time and then reseed with a deep rooted herbal ley.  What I mean by double plough is, get them to plough it up once, then leave the weed seeds to germinate, then put them in again to plough those in. Might also put a sprinkling of kale or something in too just to bind the soil to stop it washing away and give the pigs something to nosh the second time around.  My focus is on building up the soil layer, so lots of topping and lots of manuring (if I can get some extra from somewhere).  I'm on a steep hillside so gets lots of run off which will be washing away the nutrients, so need to combat that to get the soil to absorb more of it or at least slow it down.  I'll report back on progress in 10 years ... hahaha....

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Moss
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2017, 02:24:14 pm »
Looks like our current grazing practice may not be helping matters then. Although the last smallholder who came said there was plenty of grass just when I was worrying that the sheep needed moving.

If I pull up the moss and aerate do I also need to reseed? Read a bit about overseeding. Is there any particular seed I need for overseeding a grazing area for sheep. The horsey ones seem to be mostly ryegrass blends, but do sheep benefit from other bits?

I've found this page and I'm a bit tempted by the ryegrass and clover mix but don't want to spend money on the wrong thing.

https://www.cotswoldseeds.com/seedmix/over-seeding

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Moss
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 02:47:20 pm »
if it were me it would be their "Herbal Overseeding Mixture" :).
you dont need to overseed, unless your current grass is poor or patchy.  harrow it and just see what grows back first.

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Moss
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 02:11:33 pm »
Ok so we are aerating which seems to be working (well there are hopes in the soil).

We bought a scarifier but it seems to do nothing (great at gathering up dropped hay though).

We have no real machinery and the 1acre field is split into three so not sure if a contractor would manage?

If I apply lime is there a time limit before I can let the sheep back in?

I think we will overseed as I can see soil in places. And once it is dry enough we will get into the ditch and check the drainage pipes that run under the field.

Thanks again

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

Alex_

  • Joined Jul 2016
Re: Moss
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 10:55:38 am »
I used to fix our large lawns when I was a child.
First you have to rake hard to pull up the moss.
 Then aerate the soil with a garden fork or those shoes that have spikes on the bottom.
Then a light sprinkle of  a mixture of compost and sand
 and then add any grass seed to fill in gaps.

Does the lawn wonders but on a field you would have to scale up with machines 

Blackbird

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Moss
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 01:13:31 pm »
We have moss and clay, sheep and horses. We bought a chain harrow and roller which we can tow behind the Subaru (no tractor). We feed with calcified seaweed - the animals can go straight onto it. At this time of year, I look at the fields and despair - then look again in May and wonder what I was worried about!
Where are we going - and why am I in this handcart?

 

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2024. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS