Moss growing in raised garden beds

Asked January 29, 2020, 7:15 AM EST

Hi, I didn't get the chance to add compost and turn over the soil in my raised garden beds in the fall. I seem to have an unusual amount of moss growing on them now. Last spring I did a soil test and gave it the fertilizer called for in the results; I confess I might have had a slightly heavy hand on the fertilizer. Would that be causing all the moss? Before planting, should I strip off the moss and move it elsewhere or should I turn it over into the soil? I am thinking the former, but I wanted to be sure.

Baltimore County Maryland

2 Responses

It would be okay to turn the moss and work into the existing soil.
Reasons for moss includes acidic soil, shade, poor fertility, and poor drainage. You need to determine which of these conditions are contributing to making the environment suitable for moss, so you can correct them.
Do not over fertilize. . Your need for fertilizers will decrease in time if you add some organic matter each year. Fertilizers, whether organic or synthetic, will supply nutrients to plants when they need them. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/caring-your-garden

Check your soil test from last year for pH. Vegetables grow best in a pH of 6.2-6.8.
If poor drainage is the issue, you will need to correct it.
If excess shade is an issue, you can do some selective pruning to allow for more light, but that is a temporary fix, as trees and shrubs grow back. Not much you can do if the shade is created by buildings or fences. You can also try growing shade tolerant vegetables.

Marian

Thanks Marian! This is all very helpful.