Moss and Mould

One of the most famous gardens in the world – The grounds of the Silver Pavilion in Kyoto known as Ginkakuji, is prized for its AMAZING moss gardens.  They are breathtakingly beautiful in their simplicity and visited by pilgrims of people from around the world.  Not everyone has the same dedication and passion for moss, and in fact, some people want it gone!

Whichever camp you belong in, we have the answer! 

  1. If you want to get rid of moss, you’ll first need to remove it manually either with a rake or water blaster, depending on the situation and size of your ‘problem’.
  2. Then you’ll need to deal with the ‘root cause’, which is likely over shading or poor drainage.
  3. Consider crown lifting some of your trees to let the light in underneath them, or even thinning the canopy of particularly dense growth. You’ll need to get approval from council and an arborist to do the work, but it could be a great way of drying out your soil and getting rid of the moss.
  4. If the moss is growing in your lawn, check the pH. Acidic soils are more likely to be growing a crop of moss, so you might need to apply some lime to your lawn to restore it to are healthy pH.Moss also grows in lawns with low iron, so sometimes adding sulphate of iron can rectify the situation.  It also loves moisture, so dethatching in spring can also be a helpful antidote.
  5. Finally, if you need to kill off the moss, make up a soap spray with dish washing liquid and water and treat small patches. This will normally kill off your moss.  If you have paths you want to clean and can’t access a water blaster, consider Napisan and a stiff brush – just make sure its thorough swept up afterwards and then washed down so that your paths don’t become slippery after rain.

Like the look of moss?  Consider substitutes like Pratia, Isotoma, Scleranthus, Corsican Mint, Babies Tears and Native Violets.  Put some stepping-stones down so you have a firm place to stand, and plant out the weed free planting area in spring, with one plant per 50cm to get a quick cover and create your own ‘Silver Pavilion’.


By: Meredith Kirton (Article and Picture)