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Moss on my soil? Help please :)

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Moss on my soil? Help please :)

Post  Jsvoice on 3/7/2010, 12:01 pm

I'm a gardening newbie about to start my second year garden. I went out to start work on my garden for the first time this year and noticed a covering of moss on my soil! I live in Missouri where it does get humid, but not necessarily through the winter! My garden gets adequate sunlight, at least 4-6 hours of full sunlight a day, when the sun is out. It is often cloudy this time of year, but enough for moss? I'm using Mel's Mix. So, why the moss? How do I get rid of it? And, will it harm anything I'd like to start planting?

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Re: Moss on my soil? Help please :)

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/7/2010, 1:11 pm

Hi voice, I'm from western Washington where NOTHING would grow if it could not survive moss. I think of moss as a symptom rather then a problem. Generally it indicates that your medium (soil) has become a bit acidic. In the PNW we routinely add Dolomite lime to our favorite soil enhancement to "sweeten" (move the Ph closer to neutral) the soil. We like a slightly acid soil for our Rhododendrons and blueberries.

If you have a neighbor or relative who practices organic gardening, ask them to have a look and give a recommendation. Sometimes you just need to work in a VERY light dusting of Dolomite Lime (use ONLY garden grade lime NEVER use outhouse lime) to solve the problem. Other times you just need to turn the soil.

I never think of soil as dirt. To me it is a living element. Often there is no life in bagged soil. As bagged soil comes in contact with living elements in the atmosphere and environment it struggles to come back alive and do what Elohim created it to do, support life. Moss is a very simple life form that can survive where other things cannot. It may not be you or your soil that provided the right conditions for moss. Many moss spores come in the soil of transplants you might put into your garden. When conditions are right it springs to life. I like to put some green mulch right in my containers and gardens (an inch or so of fresh grass clippings, a sprinkle of cornmeal) and drop angle worms in when I come across them. They will keep your garden aerated, fertile and healthy. But you have to remember that to keep a garden healthy you will have to keep the worms healthy. If it is bad for the worms then it will be bad for your organic garden.

Deborah .....who talks WAY too much about the environment and habitat when all anyone wants are a few tomatoes.
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Re: Moss on my soil? Help please :)

Post  boffer on 3/7/2010, 2:05 pm

Great advice, Deb. Nobody knows more about that type of moss than people living in the wet side of the PNW. I grew up in Ohio. In Boy Scouts, they taught us we could always find north by looking where moss grew on the trees-nearly always on the north side. When I moved to western Washington, I did a lot of hiking around in circles because the moss grew EVERYWHERE!

You can mix your moss in, or pull it out, it won't hurt anything, start planting.
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Re: Moss on my soil? Help please :)

Post  martha on 3/7/2010, 3:00 pm

Deb, I think that should be your permanent signature (I talk way too much...) I LOVE IT!!
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Re: Moss on my soil? Help please :)

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/7/2010, 7:33 pm

@boffer wrote:... In Boy Scouts, they taught us we could always find north by looking where moss grew on the trees-nearly always on the north side. When I moved to western Washington, I did a lot of hiking around in circles because the moss grew EVERYWHERE!

Thank you Boffer, I'll have to remember that if I ever try hiking in a wetter climate. In boy scouts they also taught me to look for the moss on the north side of trees because here in Utah the north side of trees is the only place moss stands a chance of being able to grow.
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