What to use to kill 2 kinds of moss around azaleas and peren - Knowledgebase Question

tacoma, Wa
Avatar for schmezles
Question by schmezles
October 11, 2010
My front lawn is bordered by small hosta and behind those are heuchera and behind those are 30 yr old azaleas. My problem is there's moss growing from the grass back to the azaleas. Most of it is the moss that grows in this area that we find in lawns as well. But, interspersed throughout is what I think is scottish/irish moss.Once I remove it what can i do for prevention? thankyou

Answer from NGA
October 11, 2010
Moss is a symptom of several things: too much shade, poor drainage, compacted soil, acidic soil. If you can address each of these causes, you can eliminate moss and keep it from returning. Obviously, your azaleas and hostas like shade so you won't want to change those conditions, but the soil is probably compacted, poorly draining, and a tad too acidic. I'd rake out the moss, roots and all or use a long-handled cultivator to scrape it from the soil. As long as you don't cultivate the soil too deeply the roots of your plants won't be disturbed. Once you've raked out the moss, spread 2-3 inches of compost over the soil and sprinkle some lime over the top of the organic matter. Work this into the soil. You'll be loosening the soil which will help it drain faster and you'll be slightly changing the pH so the soil isn't quite so acidic. This should deter future moss development - at least for a few years.

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