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Home >> Grow Smart, Grow Safe >> Moss

   Moss >> Prevent problems before they appear

MossRainy Northwest winters are ideal for growing moss. Visit a shady stream or Japanese garden to see moss in action as a beautiful groundcover. Some people consider moss a weed and want to remove it. It can make paths slippery and unsafe and damage roofs and other structures.

There are options for safely preventing and managing moss. The best way to prevent moss is to provide more sunlight.

You can prevent moss without toxic chemicals using the research-based strategies described here. You can also find least-toxic pesticides and learn about the hazards of particular products using the Grow Smart, Grow Safe search tool.

Prevent problems before they appear

Give your lawn more sun and less water. Moss grows where it is damp and shady.

  • Grass grows best in sunny, drier conditions and more alkaline soil.
  • Add lime to make the soil less acidic and better for grass.
  • For healthier grass and less moss, prune tree branches to let in more sunlight.
  • Correct drainage problems, but be sure not to interfere with your septic drain field.

Replace a shaded lawn with a shade garden. The north side of a house isn’t a great place for lawn.

  • A garden bed of shade-loving native plants can be a beautiful easy-care substitute.

Prune back branches to reduce moss on roofs. Pruning will let in more light and slow the buildup.

  • Moss will grow more heavily on shaded areas of the roof.
  • Be careful not to damage the roof when trying to remove built up moss.

Clean paths and structures regularly. Sweep and wash roofs, paths and fences before moss appears.

  • Dirt and leaves on these surfaces provide a perfect environment for growing moss.



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