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Wally Richards
Wally Richardshttp://www.gardenews.co.nz
Wally Richards has been a gardening columnist for over 30 years. Check his websites - for gardening news and tips visit www.gardenews.co.nz. For mail order products visit www.0800466464.co.nz. Wally also has a gardening problem help line on 0800 466 464.

Gardening with Wally Richards: Bryophytes


Bryophytes is a name that you are not likely familiar with but if I was to say moss or liverwort you would know about them.

Bryophytes is the informal group name for mosses, liverworts and hornworts.

They are non-vascular plants, which means they have no roots or vascular tissue, but instead absorb water and nutrients from the air through their surface (e.g., their leaves).

Mosses can be dangerous on walkways and paths making surface slippery and not nice to have a fall.

Moss in lawns is not good for appearance and healthy grasses.

Liverwort in gardens, on soil, on fences, on roofs all unsightly and they spread rapidly given moist conditions.

A curse on glasshouses reducing the light from the sun.

Lichens are a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms, a fungus and an alga. The dominant partner is the fungus, which gives the lichen the majority of its characteristics, from its thallus shape to its fruiting bodies.

You see them on trunks of trees and other places which on trees can cause ring barking if left without taking care of it.

Then there are moulds which can form on outdoor furniture and in your shower in the bathroom.

In damp homes moulds become a health risk and are not good if anyone has breathing problems.

Many years ago when I owned Nature Spirits Garden centre a friend in the horticulture business had secured a chemical that had been used in the medical industry for sterilising medical instruments.

The chemical is Gardiquat 1450 and it was found that it is very good at cleaning up Bryophytes by just spraying them and the added advantage is it does not affect plants if they are hit with it

(It is recommended that about 30 mins after spray moss etc that you lightly water any plants that got sprayed as a precaution, though I have yet to see any actual damage to plants without the rinsing off).

Anyway my friend suggested that I sell the product which he called ‘Surrender’

The smallest size he had available was in 1 litre Jerry Cans so that is what I promoted and sold. It soon became very popular and was well sort-after to clean up those Bryophytes around the house.

For Moss & Liverwort use at the rate of 25 to 50 mls per litre of water.

For Lichen & Algae use at 10 to 20 mls per litre of water.

If spraying over plants rinse off with a hose 30 minutes after application.

Some mosses etc may need further treatments.

On sphagnum type moss and liver wort to get the best results adjust your sprayer’s nozzle to a bit of a jet rather than a mist.

A jet forces the product into the target bryophyte where it is absorbed and kills the whole bryophyte.

Unlike Sulphate of Iron used for moss control which only burns off the top of the moss and it returns fairly quickly and requires often several treatments.

From my own experience with the chemical, when used correctly on moss etc more often than not there is no further problems in the treated area for some months and sometimes a year or more.

It depends on how long it takes for fresh spores to colonise the area.

The product can be used to clean up fish ponds as long as fish removed before treating and pond aerated after treatment before returning a test fish.

(You must be very careful as the product uses up the oxygen in the water and the fish could die).

In bird baths or in chickens water bowls a couple of drops then agitate the water it will remove any algae.

Years ago I suggested to Yates that they should market Surrender in smaller containers such as 200ml to make it more readily available to gardeners that did not want 1 litre of product.

Of course Yates took up my suggestion and they have it available in garden shops.

Some years later I saw that the price of 200ml had got much dearer selling now days from $22.00 to $28.00 for 200ml.

So with that in mind I started marketing Wallys Moss & Liverwort Control in 500ml and 1 litre containers to retail at $30.00 for 500ml and $48.00 for one litre.

A litre of Moss & Liverwort can go along way at the top rate of 50ml per litre it makes 20 litres of spray.

At the lessor rate of 20ml it will give you 50 litres of spray for $48.00

Some other products sold in 5 litre containers making 30 litres of spray costing $99.00.

Makes Wallys Moss & Liverwort Control excellent value.

With winter chills and frosts starting to happen dont forget to spray your sensitive plants with Vaporgard, spray on frost protection.

Place bottle into jug of hot water so it pours better when warm and mix with warm to hot water at 15ml per litre of water.

Spray over the foliage of plants on a sunny day in full sunlight so the film dries quicker.

It gives within 3 days frost protection down to 3 degrees for 3 months.

Works a charm for the occasional frost but if two or more frosts occur night after night then you need some frost cloth extra protection as the plant has not fully recovered from the first frost.

Image credit: Unsplash+

Products mentioned are from Wallys Range of products and can be found in some garden shops or by Mail Order on www.0800466464.co.nz

Problems ring me at: Phone 0800 466464
Garden Pages and News at www.gardenews.co.nz
Shar Pei pages at www.sharpei.co.nz
Mail Order products at www.0800466464.co.nz

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