Moss is one of the most common garden infestations and, if let to its own devices to grow, it can become unsightly to look at. What’s more, overgrown moss infestations can create dangerous and slippery walking conditions on paths and walkways. Here we share why moss grows on paths in the first place as well as what you can do to remove moss from paths.
What does a moss infestation look like?
Mosses evolved from algae and were the first ever plants able to survive on solid ground. It can usually be identified by its characteristic bright green colour, however, some species can show a pale green, blue-green, black or yellowish appearance. They are extremely small plants with most only reaching a height of up to 4 inches.
Why does moss grow on paths?
Mosses are harmless plants and, for some gardeners, a mossy path is desirable as the striking green can create a beautiful aesthetic. However, if left unmanaged mossy paths can become unsightly and problematic if not carefully monitored. They can create dangerously slippy walking conditions and can even damage, lift or crack paving stones if the infestation is left unchecked.
Mosses use structures called rhizoids which serve as miniature roots to provide water and nutrients to the plant. These tiny rhizoid structures also help attach them to the ground, rocks and anywhere else they may grow.
Mosses prefer to live in places where there is access to clean air. You are therefore more likely to come across moss growth in unpolluted areas such as rural countryside than in a busy city where there is more air pollution. Their ideal growing location is to be nestled within the confines of woodland areas and forests where they can grow on the bark of trees, rocks and on the surface of the forest floor.
This may lead you to wonder why moss is currently growing on your front garden path or tarmac driveway when it prefers the seclusion of rural areas surrounded by the shade of trees. The answer is often moisture - mosses like to grow in damp places where there is plenty of moisture to help them reproduce and thrive.
Mosses can grow on paths if:
- The pathway has poor drainage
- The path is located in a shaded area
- Trees, plants and other vegetation surround the path
Mosses aren’t just limited to growing on paths and driveways, they can take root on a number of areas such as walls, garden grass, gutters, roofs, and garden furniture. Discover our tips for removing moss from garden furniture here.
How to remove moss from paths
When it comes to removing moss from paths many opt for the most toxic, chemically pumped product available but, often, this isn’t the best way to tackle the problem. Using aggressive chemicals can damage and discolour surfaces not to mention it can create unappealing fumes.
Instead, use a product that effectively targets and removes moss from paths and does not contain harmful chemicals. Paths and paving can present problem hiding spots for moss, the most common of which being between paving slabs.
While there are many home remedies to target moss - most of which involve using vinegar - often this doesn’t prevent the problem from coming back. The best way to achieve results is to use a specialist cleaning solution to kill off the moss.
Wet & Forget Rapid can effectively target large areas in a matter of minutes and can prevent the contamination from returning up to a year after initial application. Rapid’s specially designed Sniper Nozzle will help you to target difficult areas such as roofs and gutters. What’s more all our products don’t contain aggressive chemicals such as bleach or ammonia so you can clean knowing your paths will be safe from damage.
Wet & Forget Rapid is fast and convenient to use, just attach onto your hosepipe and the product will automatically mix to give you best results. If the moss infestation is severe you may need to use a small wire brush to help dislodge any moss that has grown between paving slabs.