How Can Moss Be Controlled Or Killed In A Lawn Under Trees?

Filed Under: Lawn Grasses, Techniques & Methods, Lawn Care, Weeds and Invasive Plants · Keywords: How To, Control, Kill, Eliminate, Stop, Moss, Growing, Lawn, Under Trees · 1450 Views
How can you get rid of a moss problem in your yard. Moss is mainly concentrated around some old exposed tree roots in the middle of my yard.

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Answer #2 ·'s Answer · Usually adjusting the pH of the soil does the trick to control the moss. It thrives in acidic soil and all the other conditions John pointed out. One way to make soil more alkaline is to apply lime. Fast acting pelletized lime, such as Green N Grow, is best however any pelletized lime will do.

After killing the moss you can try to establish lawn grass in the area but many types of lawn grasses just don't grow we'll under trees. There are groundcover plants that do much better. The groundcover plant one chooses to plant under a tree will depend on how much sunlight the area gets, the soil moisture, and the USDA Zone. Vinca minor, Asian jasmine, Euonymus 'Coloratus' (Purple Winter Creeper), Liriope, Mondo grass, and Pachysandra are a few that thrive in shade and somewhat dry to somewhat moist soils. If its shady and the soil stays consistently moist you might try Creeping Jenny or Blue Star Creeper. The Asian jasmine, Variegated Liriope and Purple Winter Creeper will also do well in full or mostly sun. You would need to know the USDA Zone your in to then check to see if these plants will tolerate the average low temperatures in your area. You can find your Zone by clicking on the Hardiness Zones link in the far right top corner of any page in Gardenality. Then you can find the Zones a specific plant will grow in in the plants Plant File in Gardenality.

Let us know if you need more details or have any other questions.


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Tim-Moss in many cases, especially in areas of my gardens, are not a problem. This is because moss will normally grow where other plants, lawns, and ground cover will not. Mosses prefer locations that are cool, shady, moist, and have an acidic soil. These areas usually have compacted soils that are not well draining. The area around your trees roots most likely provide these perfect conditions for growing moss. Normally these areas are nutritionally poor therefore the moss doesn't have to compete with plants or grasses that require these well drained nutritionally rich conditions.

There are moss killing products that you can usually find in most good nurseries and garden centers. I have never used these products myself, but any of your quality nurseries should be able to help you with a good product they most likely carry. Potassium salt is a natural, water-based, biodegradable that is effective for killing unwanted mosses. It is available in liquid form for moss control at most of your local gardening centers also. This natural substance is organic and environmentally friendly, and it won't harm other plants or trees in the area. There are moss killing soaps available also, but you can mix your own if desired. You can mix 2 to 4 ounces of dish soap into 1 gallon of water. Spray the mixture on the patches of moss with a squirt bottle. Once the moss has been killed and turned brown it can be easily raked out.

The killing of your moss may be an ongoing task unless conditions favorable to the moss are changed. You can have a soil test done to check the soils pH factor. If the soil is found to be on the acidic side it can be adjusted to a more alkaline condition discouraging the growth of moss. Pruning your trees to increase airflow and sunlight along with correcting any conditions that are keeping this area consistantly moist will help in slowing the growth of your moss. Airating the soil around the tree and covering the expossed roots with a well draining soil may also help. Be careful not to add to much soil over the roots. Just enough to cover them so the moss no longer has the compacted, too moist a condition to grow in.

Keeping lawns and plants growing well under mature trees with large root systems can be trying as the conditions are not favorable for most. For me the moss is an excelent ground cover, most of the time with a nice green coloring unlike bare soil around my garden. Moss is not a parasite and will not harm trees, shrubs, and lawns if by chance you felt it may do harm to the trees.

Hopefully this has helped.


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