Moss and Liverwort killer

Jim McKenney
Sat, 31 Jan 2004 10:55:59 PST
It seems to me that I saw a USDA publication recently where vinegar was
recommended as a good, all-purpose herbicide!

Jim McKenney
who is wondering if sour grapes are better than dead seedlings

At 10:02 AM 1/31/2004 -0800, you wrote:
>Dear Diana,
>I remembered that Will Ashburner had a system for killing these he posted a 
>number of years ago so I looked for it in my archives and found it. (from 
>October 1997). I haven't heard from Will in awhile, but I am sure he'd be 
>be willing to let me share what he wrote in two messages about what to do. 
>I have also seen listed in various catalogs of companies that sell products 
>that are supposedly more environmental friendly sprays. So if you are 
>interested in those resources too let me know. I don't think Will ever 
>wrote a follow-up, year down the road post on this. Let us know if it works 
>for you.
>Mary Sue
>"Dear all,
>Last year Fausto asked if the Robin had any ideas how to control Moss and
>Liverwort on the tops of Pots.
>I made a few suggestions one of which was Vinegar which I hadn't tried on
>bulbs.  Well I have now.  Vinegar works I think because it lowers the ph of
>the media which mosses and liverworts don't like.  The dilution is 1 to 4
>of the cheapest vinegar you can find.
>Well the results.  I had a little problem with mainly mosses growing on the
>punnets of first year seedlings.  It happened because I decided to change
>my technique, normally I would cover the seedlings with coarse sand (grit)
>which inhibits the growth.  This year at sowing time I didn't have any
>available till later and have since found how useful the sand is as an
>inhibitor.  I decided to do a test with the vinegar and found it did a
>marvellous job of killing the moss.  It should be applied on a sunny day,
>for some reason it is not as affective in shady spots.
>I didn't do all my seedlings but have found that some weren't too happy.
>  The Alstroemeria were burnt off, they have since recovered and some
>others seem to have gone into dormancy prematurely.  It is hard to know if
>they were going dormant any way.  The only link with the others that seemed
>to be adversely affected was that they were hairy leaved South Africans.
>If the group would like more information I could check the labels and list
>them in another posting.
>Dear Joyce and all,
>During my couple of days of last week I spent a bit of time with my bulbs
>and assessed the effects of the Vinegar drench I imposed on the 1 year old
>I mentioned that I thought it had caused some hairy South Africans to go
>into early dormancy,  I am not so sure now and think it was natural.
>The rest of the pots were also treated with vinegar, this time I filled up
>a small 1/2 litre hand sprayer and just sprayed the tops of the pots on the
>morning of a sunny day.  By the next day the mosses and liverworts were
>going brown.  This technique means that you can miss a few patches but
>unlike drenching you only need a small amount of the 25% vinegar mix.
>The only genera that has adversely effected has been Alstroemeria.  This
>year I have an extraordinary wide range of bulbous species from Albuca to
>Xerophyta and all in between, I haven't treated any South African
>amaryllids in this way.
>I have done some treatments to pots in the shade but haven't assessed them
>All the best
>Will Ashburner"
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