Planning to install a beautiful paved area in your back garden? Here are some tips to keep it algae and lichen-free.
Algae, moss and lichen can result in slippery paths, which can be hazardous. While this build-up can occur year-round, it is more common in the cooler winter months, or when it rains more.
What can you do when you put in DIY pavers?
In order for moss and lichen to grow, they require moisture, a stable environment and poor drainage.
When you install your pavers, make sure you plan for adequate drainage, so that when it rains the water can be channelled away or allowed to evaporate.
You could dig out shallow drainage channels along the edges and fill with gravel to absorb the run-off and prevent water from pooling around the stones.
If you are planning to put in a paved patio or garden path, you may want to consider placing it in an area where it won't be in the shade, as this can contribute to the growth of algae and moss.
How can you control algae and lichen?
Once you have added your pavers to your garden landscaping, it is important to maintain them so that you remove any slip hazards and keep them looking good.
Here are a few tips to help you out.
How can I prevent fungus and algae from growing?
Make sure that your pavers are kept clean and dry where possible. You may need to think about pruning any plants that overhang your pavers to allow more sunlight to reach them.
This will mean they can dry out more quickly after a storm.
How can I clean my garden paths without chemicals?
If you would rather shy away from chemicals in your garden, there are a few natural ways to clean your garden pavers.
Often, moss can be dislodged by using a sharp knife. Simply run this between the cracks of your path.
Alternatively, you could use a brush with a long handle and wire bristles to help you remove dry material. Stubborn spots may require you to use a plastic scraper.
What chemicals can be used to clean my pavers?
If you are prepared to use chemicals to remove algae, lichen and moss from your pavers, it is important that you use plastic sheeting to protect other plants in the vicinity.
A solution of one cup bleach to four litres of water should do the trick. However,some stones may be discoloured by this so it is best to do a test run first.
Another option is to use an undiluted five per cent white vinegar solution. Simply apply to the pavers and scrub with a soft-bristled brush.
Rinse the pavers thoroughly with clean water and repeat if necessary.