Problem Moss - Knowledgebase Question

Metamora, MI (Zone 5B)
Avatar for pkasprus
Question by pkasprus
July 9, 2005
I am cleaning up a long neglected lawn. My problem is the north side of the house which gets little sunlight. Once I killed the weeds, the moss took over. I have planted ferns and hostas along the house and they are doing well. Will mulch in these plants help/hurt? I have read your questions and answers about moss but fertilized when I planted and don't want to over fertilize. I can peel the moss off the ground with little trouble. Will it come back? This is only a strip approx 3 ft wide and 8 ft long.

Answer from NGA
July 9, 2005
Moss is usually a symptom of several problems, including poor drainage, too much shade, low fertility, compacted soil, and soil that's too acidic. If you can correct these problems, you'll have fewer moss problems. Failing that, you can scruff the soil up every few weeks to aerate and discourage moss growth, or you can put a layer of bark chips over the bare soil. Since you can peel it up, go ahead and remove the moss, then either cultivate the soil regularly, or spread a 2" layer of mulch over the bare soil. Best wishes with your garden!

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