Control Algae Growth In Lawns: Tips For Controlling Algae In Grass

Control Algae Growth In Lawns: Tips For Controlling Algae In Grass

By: Susan Patterson, Master Gardener

Learning how to get rid of lawn algae in lawns may seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be. Once you know more about what is lawn algae, this unsightly green to black growth in your lawn can be easily taken care of. Keep reading for tips on controlling algae in grass.

What is Lawn Algae?

Various types of algae and moss are often found in areas of turf that is not healthy enough to support good turf growth. Algae are small, filamentous plants that create a scum over a moist soil surface.

Algae thrive in areas where there is wet soil and full sunlight. Algae may also be present if the soil is densely compacted, when there are open spots in the turf or very high fertility present.

Algae forms a black crust when dry, which can often smother turf. Algae can also clog turf pores and cuts the water supply off to the areas of lawn where it is growing. While controlling algae in the grass is not difficult, diagnosis is the first step.

How to Get Rid of Algae in Lawns

Chemicals are often not necessary to control algae growth. The first step to lawn algae control is to identify the problem areas. Often poor drainage, improperly positioned downspouts on the home, or low areas in the lawn create a favorable environment for algae growth.

Redirect downspouts and address other problems with drainage so that water does not sit in certain areas of your lawn. It is also necessary to break apart the algae mat so that the grass can benefit from water.

Take a soil test from healthy areas in the lawn and those that are affected with algae. The soil sample will reveal if you need to apply fertilizer or lime to your lawn. It may also be necessary to loosen up compacted areas in the lawn.

For serious cases of algae, make a mixture of 5 ounces (148 mL.) of copper sulfate and 3 gallons (11.5 L.) of water per 1000 square feet (93 sq. m.) of turf.

This article was last updated on

Read more about General Lawn Care


Why Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicides in the Spring

Why Use Fall Pre-Emergents

The Post Emergent Herbicide Buyer's Guide


Chemical

Algae may be controlled with copper sulfate at the rate of 2 to 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet or one teaspoon in 8 gallons of water. An application of 5 to 10 pounds of ground limestone per 1,000 square feet prior to reseeding will help to inactivate the copper sulfate that may be toxic to grass seedlings. Punch holes in the alga crust or remove the crust entirely to allow turf recovery in these areas. Prepare a new seedbed and replant if large bare areas exist.

Moss may be controlled with copper or ferrous sulfate sprayed at 5 ounces per 1,000 square feet in 4 gallons of water. Applying concentrated amounts (10 ounces per 1,000 square feet) of ferrous ammonium sulfate to the moss spots when the moss is damp offers another means of control. Ferrous ammonium sulfate should not be watered in. An application of 5 to 10 pounds of ground limestone per 1,000 square feet prior to reseeding will help to inactivate the copper sulfate that may be toxic to grass seedlings. Physical removal of the moss by raking may be needed to allow for recovery in these areas. Prepare a new seedbed and replant if large bare areas exist. Follow good establishment practices as discussed in Carolina Lawns, AG-69.


Conclusion

This nostoc algae is blue-green because they are photosynthetic cyanobacteria. When you see this kind of a jelly-like structure, you should never assume it since it indicates different things.

Thus, whenever there is too much infestation, ensure you consult a professional who will help you know the right strategies to take.

However, the strategies above are helpful and will help reduce the prevalence of nostoc algae in your compound. The adverse effects of nostoc algae are not worth it and can easily destroy your yard. Also, if you have young kids, they may want to play around with the poisonous substance.

Thus, make it a priority to monitor your compound at all times to prevent even your pets from getting sick.


Making Peace With Moss

If all this moss control seems like a little too much trouble, there is an alternative: embrace the moss. Growing grass where it doesn't want to grow isn't easy or even recommended. Moss is one of several plants that make an excellent groundcover for shady areas. Its look and feel are intriguing and pleasing to the eye, and it's a nice alternative to grass in places where grass doesn't want to grow.

Instead of fighting moss, you might consider giving in and turning a portion of your lawn into a pleasant shade garden carpeted with moss and planted with other shade-loving plants, such as astilbe and impatiens.


Watch the video: How to Control Algae Growth in Ponds