You might be in a middle of annual deep cleaning of a greenhouse and you stumbled upon green carpet like plant. That is a true moss. It is the most common type of moss that includes at least 12,000 species. Moss is a plant with thin cell walls that only need moist conditions to survive and reproduce.
Moss is not going to harm your greenhouse plants. Nevertheless, moss can look unsightly and sometimes can slow down the growth of small plants or seedlings. That is why to prepare a greenhouse for planting you need to get rid of moss inside the structure.
So, is there a quick and easy way to get rid of moss in a greenhouse? Here is a 7 step guide how to remove moss without harsh chemicals:
- Sprinkle the affected area with baking soda
- Spread it equally on the surface with a broom or brush
- Let it sit for a couple of days
- Wait until moss becomes golden and starts to flake
- Dip a sponge in a solution of warm soapy water
- Scrub or scrape off moss
- Rinse with the garden hose
There are some alterations if you need to remove moss from greenhouse roof or in the space between panels and frame. We are going to talk about it in more details, so stay tuned. You can use the cleaning steps above if moss is growing on greenhouse floor and staging.
What is the difference between moss and algae?
Although moss and algae can look similar, they are two completely distinct species. Moss is a terrestrial plant and algae is a relatively simple type of eukaryotic plant. Also, algae is a scientific classification on its own. However, scientist believe that moss evolved from green algae around 350 million years ago.
Moss is a member of the phylum Bryophyta. There are three groups of mosses: granite mosses, peat mosses and true mosses. Granite mosses are blackish in color and grow in mountains and arctic regions. Peat mosses and bright green or reddish in color and grow in soft, muddy bogs.
When mosses and other living material decompose in peat bogs, they form dead fibrous material. This material is called ‘peat moss’ and is widely used in potting soil. It does a great job in amending soil due to its superb ability to retain moisture and hold on to nutrients.
Mosses don’t have roots and attach themselves with small tufts of rootlike structures called rhizoids. Instead of seeds mosses produce spores. They also have simple stems that support leaves. Most of the time moss grows in wet and shady places.
How do you remove moss from greenhouse glass?
Moss can start growing on greenhouse glass and decrease light transmission. To control moss growth you need to improve hygiene and greenhouse ventilation. Moss growing inside the greenhouse can indicate on problems with overwatering as well.
Here is how to remove moss from greenhouse glass:
- Make a solution of warm soapy water
- Take a scraper and scrape off moss from the glass
- Rinse it with water
- Apply weedkiller to inhibit growth of moss for the next 3 to 4 weeks
If you don’t want to deal with chemicals and are looking for environmentally friendly option, you can make a baking soda solution. Just mix a tablespoon of baking soda in 1 gallon of water. Pour the mix into the spray bottle.
Spray the mix onto the glass surface and let it dry. It will inhibit moss growth until next year. In summer when weather becomes hot and dry, mosses will die out. However, their spores will survive and will start growing in fall.
How do you remove moss from polycarbonate?
Polycarbonate is easy to scratch, so you need to keep it in mind when cleaning the panels. Being prone to scratching is one of the drawbacks of polycarbonate greenhouse. That is why you need to stay away from using abrasive metals and harsh chemicals.
To remove moss from polycarbonate greenhouse panels use sponge and warm soapy water. Carefully scrub off moss. Rinse it well with a hose pipe. You can put jet wash attachment to the end of a garden hose and rinse. If you want to remove moss from greenhouse roof, use a stable step ladder.
On the other hand, you can attach a sponge to the end of a broom handle. Make sure to place ladder on a steady ground and be very careful not to press too hard on the polycarbonate. You can use a car wash mitt as it is scratch free.
How to remove moss between the cover and greenhouse frame?
It can be tricky to remove moss between the glass or polycarbonate panels and the frame. Take a hose pipe and attach jet wash head to the end. Use it on a strong jet which should remove moss between the panels. You might need to scrub off the moss that hasn’t been dislodged. Then, give it a second rinse of jet wash.
To prevent panels from clogging with moss or algae, you need to clean your greenhouse every week. Also, you need to cap off polycarbonate panels after you installed the greenhouse. Put the foil tape on the top of the sheets and then cover with the U channel.
Cover the bottom of the sheets with a vent tape and cover it with the U channel. The holes of the U channel will allow excess moisture build up to drain. That way it doesn’t get trapped which provokes mold, moss and algae development.
In summary, to get rid of moss in a greenhouse you can use baking soda on affected areas. It will naturally kill moss without use of hash chemicals. Leave it on for a few days and it will do the trick. Don’t forget to rinse it off with water.
You need to take care when washing glass or polycarbonate covers. Both are prone to scratch. So, use a solution of warm soapy water and scrub the surface with microfiber cloth. Prevention is the best solution, so keep up with the weekly cleaning routine and you shouldn’t have problems!
How do you get rid of moss in a greenhouse? Share you tips and tricks in a comments section below!
Happy Growing 🙂