How to Kill Moss in the Garden


Moss is a simple plant that grows in a dense mat. It has no root system and does not grow very tall. Moss is usually observed growing in the woodlands on the side of rocks. But in your home landscape, moss can be a problem in any soil where there is little sunlight, poor drainage, compacted soil or highly alkaline soil. Most of these conditions are not favorable for growing fruits and vegetables. To kill moss in the garden, you must improve soil conditions. Doing so can be difficult without damaging your plants. However, with care, it can be done.

Step 1

Remove moss from the surface of soil by gently scraping with a garden hoe. Do not disturb more than the topmost 2 inches of soil to prevent damaging the roots of plants.

Step 2

Take a soil sample by removing a teaspoon full of soil from the top of your garden. Then dig down 3 inches and remove another teaspoon full of soil. Place these soil samples into a clean food storage container.

Step 3

Take your food storage container with soil in it to a laboratory that specializes in soil analysis and have it analyzed to discover the pH of your soil. Mossy soil is typically alkaline in pH.

Step 4

Loosen soil in the garden by inserting a garden fork into soil and working it back and forth. This should loosen soil without disturbing the root structure of plants.

Step 5

Sprinkle powdered sulfur and gypsum onto the surface of soil to a depth of 2 inches. Work these amendments into the soil. Powdered sulfur will kill moss, as well as lowering the pH of soil to cause a more hostile environment for moss. Gypsum will help to loosen up compacted soil, which also will not support moss.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hoe
  • Trowel
  • Food storage container
  • Garden fork
  • Powdered sulfur
  • Gypsum


  • Ed Hume Seeds:Gypsum Helps Recondition Clay And Hardpan Type Soils
  • Clever Magazine:The Last word on Moss Removal
  • Gardener's Network:Lawn Care - Moss in Lawns

Who Can Help

  • UBC Botanical Garden:Garden Pest Management and Identification
Keywords: garden moss, weed removal, problem soil

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.