Moss On Garden Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Garden Friend
Peabody, MA
Avatar for carlaeng
Question by carlaeng
February 21, 1998
I have a garden consisting of perennials and shrubs. I've noticed a green moss of some sort growing in mass areas on the soil. Is this something that is easy to get rid of come Spring? Is it just a case of turning the soil over?

Answer from NGA
February 21, 1998
Moss growing on the soil indicates several things - there's too much shade, the soil is compacted, the drainage is poor and the pH is a little too acid. You should be able to just rake the moss off the surface of the soil, but for the health of your plants, you might want to address the underlying causes of moss. Why not take some time this spring to work some organic matter into the garden bed to help loosen up the soil? You can use compost, leaf mold or aged manure. Then try not to walk on the soilso you don't compact it. You can avoid having moss grow on the surface of the soil by spreading an organic mulch over the area. Mulching serves two purposes - it keeps weed seeds from germinating, and it returns some nutrients back into the soil as it decomposes.

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