Moss is a small, non-vascular plant that thrives in shady, moist environments.
It is often used in landscaping to provide color and texture, and can be an attractive addition to a garden when used properly.
But it can also be a problem in lawns and other shaded areas and many gardeners strip it out and dispose of it.
But can moss be composted? And if so, how?
Composting is a great way to get rid of organic matter, and adding moss to your compost pile can actually help improve its function. Moss can add nitrogen and other nutrients to the compost pile, which helps break down materials more quickly. Additionally, incorporating moss into your compost pile will help keep it damp, which is important for the decomposition process.
How to compost moss
The moss that you remove from your garden can be composted but moss generally takes a long time to breakdown, and the timeframe could be several years.
For this reason many gardeners use a separate composting bin for moss.
If you want to reduce the time, or only have a single compost bin or pile, then it’s best to chop or shred the moss before adding it to the compost pile.
By breaking it into smaller pieces you increase the surface area of the moss which will encourage a speeding up of the composting process.
When to add moss to the compost pile
Moss can be added to the compost pile at any time but as it takes a long time to break down, it’s best to add it in small quantities.
It’s also worth noting that adding moss to a compost pile that is already too dry will slow down the decomposition process as the moss will soak up moisture from the compost, making it more difficult for other materials to break down.
What type of moss can be added to the compost pile?
Any type of moss can be added to the compost pile but live moss is best as it will add nitrogen and other nutrients which will help with the decomposition process.
If you have moss that is already dead or dying, it can still be added to the compost pile but it’s best to chop or shred it first to help speed up the process.
- Scotts MossEx kills moss, not lawns and helps develop thick grass
- Best applied during winter or spring when the lawn is moist and tall grass has been mowed to expose low-growing moss
- This moss control product also contains nutrients to green your lawn
- Apply using a Scotts broadcast, rotary, drop, or Wizz spreader
- Treats up to 5,000 sq. ft.
Benefits of adding moss to the compost pile
Adding moss to the compost pile has a number of benefits:
– Moss can add nitrogen and other nutrients which can help speed up the decomposition process.
– Moss helps keep the compost pile damp, which is important for the decomposition process.
– Adding moss to the compost pile can actually help improve its function.
Can you compost dead moss?
Moss that has been treated and died as a result can be composted.
You need to add dead moss to other organic matter, generally 4 to 5 times organic matter to moss, to encourage the moss to breakdown into compost.
If you have lots of moss and not enough other organic material then the moss can be piled up and added to the compost bin as other materials become available.
Can moss be used as a mulch?
Moss can be used as a mulch but it’s important to remember that moss does not break down quickly so it’s best to use it in small quantities.
It’s also worth noting that moss will absorb water so if you are using it as a mulch, make sure to water regularly.
Can moss be dug into soil?
Moss can be dug into soil but if the moss is growing on the surface of the soil then this indicates soil problems that will need to be dealt with.
Soil that has moss growing on it is compacted, cold and wet and you will need to aerate the soil by adding lots of organic matter to improve it’s structure.
If you dig the moss in and don’t improve the soil then the moss will return.
Should moss be composted?
Moss is an organic material and it should be composted so that it can be reused in the garden.
There is no reason why you should not compost your garden moss.
Moss is a great addition to the compost pile as it can help speed up the decomposition process and add nutrients.
However, it’s important to remember that moss takes a long time to break down so it’s best to add it in small quantities and to ensure that you have lots of other organic material mixed with the moss.
Moss can also be used as a mulch in garden beds to help keep weeds at bay, but make sure to water regularly as it will absorb water.