Garden Moss

Asked March 2, 2013, 4:41 PM EST

My annual/perennial gardens are covered in moss. they are sunny to partially shading with deep shade in the back. How can I get rid of the moss? Iron? Other products? I am getting to old to weed them and do not like the appearance. thanks.

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to eliminate the moss from your perennial garden. The best way to control moss growing anywhere you do not want it is to change the conditions that are encouraging moss to grow. Since moss thrives in wet, damp surroundings, there are things you can do to discourage the moss from returning: 1. Remove the moss from the affected area being careful not to damage the bedding plant roots. Fortunately, most garden moss can be easily pulled off and discarded. 2. Increase the amount of sunlight in your garden by trimming back plants and pruning overhanging trees. 3. Improve drainage by changing grading or dressing the area with compost or mulch. 4. Avoid overwatering, and watering at night, when the moss growth is most vigorous. If the plants in the bed can tolerate it, allow the beds to dry out before water them. 5. Consider planting a ground cover to help ‘crowd out’ the moss. There are chemical controls for moss in lawns, however, moss removers containing zinc or iron sulfate can be toxic to plants. Please read the cautions and follow the label directions when using these. Be advised that the mosses will grow back if conditions it likes are still present, so improving the overall environment to discourage moss is important to address the situation. The combination of removing the moss, increasing sunlight, improving drainage and dryness will kill most moss growth and discourage it from growing back. Helpful resources about moss: Got moss in your lawn? Try these tips: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/got-moss-your-lawn-try-these-tips A more tolerant approach to moss, lichen and algae: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/node/1031