Fairy Moss

Asked February 10, 2017, 7:58 PM EST

How can I get rid of fairy moss in my flower beds?

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question. You are not alone. Moss seems to be everywhere this time of year in the Pacific Northwest.

Moss grows where the conditions are right for it. To get rid of it, you will need to change the conditions.

Moss likes moist, shady, compacted acidic soils. Our heavy rains have compacted the soil and will likely continue to compact the soil for the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can change the other conditions that encourage moss growth.

First, rake out the moss where you don't want it. Dispose of the moss; don't add it to your compost pile. Then, using a garden fork, pierce the soil every few inches to loosen the soil and improve drainage. Use a garden rake or hoe to loosen the top couple of inches of the soil. Trim or prune plants to enhance sunlight reaching the soil. And, add organic matter to improve your soil.

For more information, check out these two links to Oregon State University Extension. The first describes moss control.

http://bryophytes.science.oregonstate.edu/page18.htm

The second describes improving garden soil.

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/polk/sites/default/files/MG_Handouts/ec_1561_improving_garden_soil_...

Good luck.