Growing Irish Moss and Weed Problems

by Ellen

Thank you so much for your newsletter...it is very informative.


I have a problem with landscaping that I have done on my yard. I planted Irish Moss on a slope because it would have been too hard to mow if I had planted grass in this particular area. Just below the slope is a stone
pathway, so I need to do something that would keep the dirt from flowing down onto the pathway whenever it rained.

The problem I am having with the Irish Moss is that weeds and grass have been growing up through the Moss. Any suggestions as to how I can prevent this from happening? I
have been pulling up the weeds and grass, but this is a never ending job.

I can't use anything to kill the weeds because it would also kill the Irish Moss. I am thinking of just removing all the Moss and starting over with something else.....any suggestions as to what I could use?
Thank you so much.

ANSWER
First, thanks for subscribing to my newsletter and I'm glad you found it helpful.

Moss tends to grow in extremely damp and shady conditions. So your slope should be very shady to begin with. A slope has to be particularly shady
for Moss due to water not usually collecting there but running down the slope, which often leads to dry conditions.

If you could let me know your conditions (sunny, shady or anything else you could provide), I'd be happy to make some suggestions.

Susan

Comments for Growing Irish Moss and Weed Problems

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she's asking about Irish Moss, not moss
by: Blair

Uh, she was asking about Irish Moss (Sagina subulata) which is not a true moss, and doesn't want extremely wet and shady conditions, it wants part to full sun and average water, also likes some fertilizing.

As for the weeds, she might be better off with a taller groundcover, like vinca or something. One inch high groundcovers are great for small areas but are hard to keep weed free and thus not so good for larger areas, or areas such as banks that are difficult to weed.

Weed Preventers
by: Susan

There is a pre-emergent weed-preventing product called Preen. However, it is typically put down around the plants and if your Moss is dense, it might kill it. If your moss is not dense, you could probably use it. Apply it in the early spring and then a couple of times throughout the season. It works very well to prevent weeds from coming up.

I am not sure how steep your slope is. Using different plants would work along with the Preen. You would mulch the area after planting and the Preen would go in the mulched, open areas. If it's a steep slope, this is not ideal because dense plantings work better to control erosion.

Also a thick layer of mulch is helpful. I use mulch and create a three inches thick layer.

Depending on where you live and if you wanted to remove the Moss and plant with different plant material, various plants could be suggested. The types of plants for hillside plantings depends on the steepness of the slope.

Moss On The Slope With Weeds
by: Ellen

Hi Susan...Thanks for your response. To answer your question, this area with the Irish Moss is a partly sunny location. The moss has grown very well....but, my main problem is how to keep the weeds and grass from growing up through the moss. I am seriously thinking of removing the moss and starting over again with something new.
Thank you again.

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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