Moss in lawn

greenlydiaJuly 10, 2006

Hello. I have a great deal of moss in my "lawn" which is really weeds and moss. A neighbor once told me I should use a good moss and weed killer. If I did that I wouldn't have a lawn, I'd have DIRT! I happen to like my mossy yard and the weeds or weedy type "grass" that is growing there is fine with me. I live in the woods in deep shade and my yard stays green year round and is very soft and nice to lay on. I am not picky about having a yard that looks like a golf course and I refuse, totally, to use any chemicals as I have many animals including free ranging chickens. My question (finally) is........what can I do to INCREASE my moss and make it healthier? Is there some non-lethal mineral or suppliment I can add that will spruce it up and not hurt anything else, like the well water we drink. Thanks for any and all advice! I know I'm odd, but you won't be the first to tell me that! :)


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Greenlydia, you're not odd! At least, if you are then so am I. My backyard is almost all moss and it's my favorite place. I do very little to it except try to keep the biggest of the weeds out of it and give the rest a close cut every few weeks. I've heard that a buttermilk drench is good for it but my soil is acidic enough that I fear it might lower the pH too much. Moss likes moisture, poor compacted soil that is acidic, and shade, so if you're giving it those things already you are treating it well and it should increase on it's own into the areas it likes. I'm sure others will have more ideas as to how you can "baby" it but I'm a very low maintenance gardener so I don't do much to it.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 5:05PM
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Thanks Sandy! I'm glad I'm not alone out here. I live in Washington state, so moisture is NOT a problem and with all the evergreen trees and rhodies around, I'm just going to assume the soil is acidic. I have very few actual "weeds" like dandylions as they don't seem to do well in the moss, but then, I'm weird here as well because I think dandylions are way cool and besides, weeds are just flowers growing in the wrong place, right? I'm sure there are folks on this site that think I need to check into the "Rubber Ramada" but as long as there is at least one other person who knows I'm not loony is enough for me! If you want to stop being my friend now Sandy, I'll understand! :) MOSS RULES!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 8:37PM
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I don't think you fertilize moss. Some types of moss can be blended and dispersed though.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:11PM
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deep_woods(z5 central IL)


Use an acid fertilizer, the kind used for azaleas etc. Use it 1/4 strength. Fertilize every two weeks. Apply with hand sprayer. Water use with fert should be distilled or rainwater.

To reduce grass and weeds: next year use an organic pre- emergent herbicide from Preen. Yea, sounds like an oxymoron: herbicide and the term organic used together. The pre-emergents prevent the weed seeds from sprouting. You can also try using Round-up to kill non moss vegetation. Try this on a patch of your lawn. Most moss is not affected by Round-up or other glysophates because glysophates affect some enzyme that is critical in plant roots and moss has no plant roots.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:34PM
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Or you could use corn gluten meal, available from feed stores in 50lb bags, as a pre-emergent to stop weeds and grass that sprouts from seeds. Cheryl

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:33PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I agree with Deep Woods Rick. Use Roundup. It will kill grass and weeds and the only thing left will be moss. You will be surprised at the results. Roundup does not poison the ground. I have used it for years. Crossbow and other broadleaf weed killers are a whole different matter.

Here is a link that might be useful: My garden

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 7:51AM
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deep_woods(z5 central IL)


Your garden takes my breath away.

What people don't realize because it is hard to see is that moss is the patina in the garden. It complements and does not compete.

I have hunted moss in the Seattle area and always look forward to going there.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:08PM
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