Peter from Touchstone Garden centre in Gisborne has reported a major problem with an algae type plant coming into the garden centre presumably on a plant and although it was problematic last year, it is now out of control.
Land Care Research has identified it as a species of cyanobacterium Nostoc, possibly N Commune. It is a rubbery gelatinous colony; a nitrogen fixer and retains water. It can survive for great periods of time in a desiccated state, up to 100 years and will spring back into life with the addition of water. Killing by drying is unlikely to work therefore and it seems to be a problem at nurseries.
In some areas of Peter’s store it now completely covers the ground, looks terrible from a retail point of view and is slippery to walk on. It’s on the stone paths, bark in the playground area, plant beds that have pumice on and also in some of the plant pots. Peter has sprayed with Surrender Moss Killer, Wet & Forget, chlorine, salt and Geocil but nothing seems to knock it.
“Wet & Forget temporarily seemed to clear it. It is worst in the mornings as the sprinklers have been on, but once we get to about 3pm on a hot day, most of it, except for the real thick patches, have dried up. In the winter you wouldn’t know that it was there, as it obviously needs the heat to really get going” says Peter.
He continues – “If anyone has problems with this, either in a nursery or garden centre, your feedback would be appreciated. How do we get rid of it, mindful that whatever we use, we have public in this area, kids in the playground, and our stock (plants)?”.
Please post any solutions or call Peter at Touchstone Garden Centre in Gisborne.