Wednesday, May 6th, 2009...7:51 am

Is There A Weed Killer That Does Not Kill Moss?

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 moss garden by akaitori (on flickr)

moss garden by akaitori (on flickr)

TheGardenLady received this question from Claudia:

Every weed killer that I have located includes moss as a weed so it kills the moss too. Is there a weed killer that does not kill moss?

In one public garden with moss that I visited, I asked this very question. They said they got down in the moss and carefully plucked out all the weeds by hand using some type of tweezers. Moss has no roots. So if you pull some up just push it back in the spot it came from.

Moss loves acid soil- a ph of 5 to 6 is what mosses prefer. Weeds tend not to like soil with such a high acid content. So when the moss is in its preferred environment then it grows vigorously enough that weeds won’t be a problem. In fact you might be surprised that acid loving native plants take root in the soil even if you hadn’t planted them. They come into the moss environment like weeds. You can try adding wettable sulphur to the areas where the moss is weedy – add 1/2 the amount that is on the bag directions and put it in a small, test area to test if it works.

If you have weeds that you can’t hand pull try spotting the weeds with ” Weed Be Gone” or ” Round up”. Use these products in a small test area first to see if it doesn’t burn the moss. Then if it doesn’t burn the moss, you can use these products in other areas.

One of the best places to buy moss and moss products like the wettable sulphur is from Moss Acres. Moss Acres offers a wide range of soil amendment products to lower pH. They also will answer moss questions.

The owner of this company, David Benner, has the loveliest moss garden that is open to the public for a few days every May. Try to visit this garden and ask the tour guide, either David or his son, moss questions.

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