Why is moss invading our vegetable garden after 42 years?

Asked June 18, 2014, 8:17 PM EDT

Why is moss invading our vegetable garden after 42 years? What causes such appearance, and how do I make it go away?

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

Moss grows for a number of reasons. But acidic soil or alkaline soil are probably the last things to look at.
Reasons for moss growth:
compacted soil
wet soil
heavy soil
shade
If I was going to guess without any information, I would go with compacted soil. Tilling lightly and mulching with an organic mulch like straw would help prevent this. In the fall when the garden is done, consider mixing in compost or composted manure to a depth of 8-12 inches. This will loosen compaction to a depth that will help roots to grow more successfully.

If you have not had a soil test for nutrients, consider getting one. You will find out about soil type, percentage of organic matter and nutrients. You will get a recommendation. You can buy a soil test self-mailer at www.msusoiltest.com and follow the link to the MSU Bookstore. The test costs $25. If you get a test and need help with understanding the recommendation, please contact me. I can use your test code to open your test. Please contact me if I can be of help. Gretchen voyle@msu.edu