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PAL Questions: 1 - Garden Tools:
I have a small rooftop plant bed that's full of moss. Is that an indication of sour soil, and if so, can it be sweetened with Dolomite lime?
Moss is often simply an indication of a shady site or compacted soil, but can also be an indicator of low soil pH (i.e., acid soil). I wouldn't recommend adding lime without doing a soil test for pH (you can buy an inexpensive kit at most garden centers), and without considering the pH needs of the plants you have in the bed. You would not want to increase the alkalinity of the soil if your plants are acid-loving.
You may find this link about moss growing in garden beds (from Oregon State University) of interest. Here is an excerpt:
"Mosses grow in garden areas for the same reasons they grow in lawns: for example, deep shade, high acidity, poor drainage, and soil compaction. As in the lawn, mosses do not compete with other plants. Rather, they establish in bare areas where conditions are favorable (Cook and Whisler, 1994).
Mosses have not been shown to hinder the growth of garden plants or trees. Reasons for removal are generally aesthetic. But aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder, and mosses are commonly viewed as positive features in landscaping. For example, traditional oriental gardening holds distinctive roles for mosses (Japanese Garden Society of Oregon 1996; see also Encouraging Mosses). Furthermore, in some situations mosses may help reduce moisture loss and crusting on soil surfaces."
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January 13 2017 10:35:53