I have a lot of moss on the lawn and beds on the north side of my house. What is the best way to get rid of it?

Moss buildup has been extensive in many wet, shady areas in spite of the lower than normal rainfall. Iron sulfate (ferrous sulfate) is the natural ingredient in most moss control products for plants. This granular salt is very effective in killing moss. It can be purchased straight from landscape and farm supply companies. It contains about twice as much iron as other moss out products and is therefore more effective.

It is also desirable to apply lime at the same time as the iron, especially on lawns. Lime reduces the acidity of the soil, which is also a contributor to moss growth. Both iron and lime will also cause darker green turf. Avoid applying lime to rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, pieris, blueberries, and similar acid loving plants

Plant moss out products should be brushed off concrete immediately to avoid causing small rust colored stains. Moss Out for Roofs and Structures contains a natural zinc compound which is non-staining and non-corrosive to wood, concrete, asphalt, and metal, but should not be applied to plants.

An application of Dormant Oil (Horticultural Oil) while woody plants are still dormant can prevent or greatly reduce later pest problems. If you have had problems with mites, aphids, scale, or other insects on some of your trees and shrubs, dormant oil will smother over-wintering insects and their eggs. Most other pesticides are not effective on insect eggs, but dormant oil is a safe, natural, non-toxic way to eliminate pests before they become active


Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.

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