The moss is growing really fast on my driveway with the recent winter weather. I need a method to remove the moss that can be used in the wet season and is pet safe.
Thank you for your question! Moss is a common annoyance amongst homeowners in the Pacific Northwest, especially during periods of higher precipitation.
Here are some strategies for killing the moss and removing it from your property.
Please note that if you choose to use bleach, you should never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing them will produce poisonous gas. It is also recommended to wear protective equipment such as rubber gloves and goggles when using bleach.
- Preparation: Sweep dirt and debris from the blacktop with a stiff broom. Cover nearby plants with plastic garbage bags to protect them from damage.
- Bleach treatment: Combine 1 cup of household bleach with 1 gallon of water in a large bucket, and stir in 1 cup of liquid dish or laundry detergent. Douse small patches of moss with the solution, or apply it liberally to larger areas with a sprayer. Allow the bleach mixture to set for at least 5 minutes to kill the moss. Rinse the pavement thoroughly with the garden hose and flood the area generously. Bleach treatment may remain effective against recurring moss for up to a year.
- Vinegar treatment: Alternatively, you can spray vinegar over the moss and algae deposits. Leave it for 15-20 minutes, and repeat the process for a week. Wash your driveway afterward to remove the excess vinegar.
- Moss Removal: Spray the moss off the blacktop with the garden hose. Scrub stubborn patches with a stiff-bristle brush or lift them off with a wide, flat scraper, if necessary. These plants have no roots so the green carpets will lift easily.
Here are some tips for discouraging the moss from growing on your driveway.
- Sun exposure: Moss is a shade-loving plant that does not thrive in sunny conditions. Prune trees, shrubs and ornamentals back to allow as much sunlight as possible to shine on the pavement. Keep grass and plants bordering the area trimmed short to reduce shading along the edges. The short walls near your driveway may be blocking sunlight and creating an ideal environment for moss growth.
- Water restriction: Moss grows best with plenty of moisture. Adjust lawn sprinklers to keep them from watering the pavement, and try to avoid splashing the pavement when you hand water nearby planting areas.
For more information, check out the following resources:
- How to Get Rid of Moss on Roofs & Walkways, Solve Pest Problems
- Maintaining a moss-free roof takes some effort, OSU Extension
- If you mind moss, get on board with preventative measures, OSU Extension