How to Kill Moss in the Garden

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Moss is present in many gardens, often in areas that are moist and heavily shaded. It can become a problem when it begins taking over garden beds, blocking out plant seedlings and competing for soil nutrients. It can also pose a slippery safety hazard when present on garden walkways and furniture. Backyard gardeners can apply various removal techniques to get rid of moss and prevent it from growing back.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork
  • Sulphate of iron-based moss killer
  • Bleach
  • Plastic bucket
  • Hose
  • Moss killer spray
  • Pruning equipment
  • Manually remove moss growing among your plants in your garden bed. Mosses are surface plants and can be easily peeled away from the soil. Place the moss in the sun to kill and dry it, then discard the moss or throw it into your compost pile. Use a garden rake to break up and aerate your garden soil to discourage future moss growth, as moss enjoys moist and compact dirt.

  • Eradicate moss in your lawn. Spread a moss-killer granule product made with sulphate of iron, available at most nurseries and garden supply retailers. The iron will kill the moss without harming your garden's grass. Avoid getting the sulphate on hard surfaces such as concrete or brick, as it may stain the surface.

  • Kill moss on concrete pavers, bricks and garden furniture. Mix a solution of one cup of bleach and nine cups of water in a plastic bucket. Pour onto moss growth. The moss will die within six hours. Hose down the concrete, bricks or furniture with fresh water to rinse away the bleach and pieces of moss.

  • Spray the moss with a commercial moss killer formulated with potassium soap of fatty acids. This option is best when dealing with a heavy moss infestation near garden plants. The potassium salts will kill all moss, algae and lichen among your plants without harming other vegetation.

  • Increase the amount of sunlight in your garden by trimming back plants and pruning overhanging trees. Moss dislikes sunlight. Limit the moisture in your garden by reducing watering, as moss needs an excessively moist environment to grow. The combination of dryness and sunlight will dehydrate and kill most moss growth and prevent it from growing back.

References

  • "The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers"; Christopher Brickell, et al.; 2002
  • "The Complete Garden Guide: A Comprehensive Reference for All Your Garden Needs;" Time-Life Books Editors; 1999
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