Moss in the garden can be both a blessing and a curse. While it adds a touch of whimsy and greenery to your garden, making it look like a scene from a fairy tale, it can also be an unwelcome guest. Moss tends to grow in areas where the grass is weak, indicating poor growing conditions for other plants. If you're struggling with moss taking over your garden and are looking for effective ways to eliminate it, you've come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will walk you through understanding why moss grows in your garden and how to get rid of it, ensuring your garden thrives.

Understanding Moss

Before we dive into getting rid of moss, it's essential to understand what moss is and why it grows in certain conditions. Mosses are non-vascular plants that thrive in moist, shady areas. They don't have roots like other plants; instead, they have rhizoids that help them attach to surfaces and absorb water. Moss thrives in conditions where other plants struggle, such as compacted, acidic soil, and areas with poor drainage, low fertility, or too much shade.

Identifying the Cause

The first step in getting rid of moss is to identify why it's growing in your garden in the first place. Some common reasons include:

  • Poor Drainage: Moss loves wet conditions. If your garden doesn't drain well, it creates an ideal environment for moss to grow.
  • Compacted Soil: Compacted soil can prevent water from draining properly, creating moist conditions favourable to moss.
  • Low Soil Fertility: If your soil lacks nutrients, grass and other plants may struggle to grow, giving moss an opportunity to take over.
  • Acidic Soil: Moss prefers acidic soil conditions. If your soil's pH is too low, moss may become a problem.
  • Shade: Moss thrives in shady areas where grass and other plants can't grow as well.

Solutions to Get Rid of Moss

Improve Drainage

Improving your garden's drainage can help discourage moss growth. Aerating your soil to break up compaction and adding organic matter can improve soil structure and drainage.

Correct Soil pH

Testing your soil's pH and adjusting it can make your garden less hospitable to moss. If your soil is too acidic, applying garden lime can help neutralise the acidity.

Increase Sunlight

Trimming overhanging branches and thinning out dense foliage can increase sunlight in your garden, making it less inviting for moss.

Feed Your Lawn

Applying a balanced fertiliser can boost your lawn's health, making it more competitive against moss. Choose a fertiliser that's appropriate for your soil type and the plants you're growing.

Moss Killing Solutions

There are several ways to kill moss directly:

  • Iron Sulphate: Also known as ferrous sulphate, this chemical can be applied to mossy areas to kill moss. However, it can stain concrete, so use it carefully.
  • Baking Soda: For a more natural solution, sprinkle baking soda over the moss. The baking soda raises the pH level, creating an unfavourable environment for moss.
  • Commercial Moss Killers: There are many products available specifically designed to kill moss. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and consider the environmental impact.

Regular Maintenance

Regularly aerating your soil, dethatching your lawn, and ensuring it's well-fed and watered can help prevent moss from returning.


Moss in the garden can be a sign of underlying problems with your soil or growing conditions. By addressing these issues, you can get rid of moss and create a healthier, more vibrant garden. Remember, the key to controlling moss is to make your garden less inviting to it by improving drainage, adjusting soil pH, increasing sunlight, and ensuring your plants are well-nourished. With patience and the right approach, you can reclaim your garden from moss and enjoy a lush, green outdoor space.