Moss gardens are a lovely landscaping option that may be used throughout the year. Moss grows in environments that aren’t favorable for conventional grass growth, making it an ideal lawn option. Moss gardens are also low-maintenance since they don’t need to be mowed or reseeded to look good. So, if you’re tired of cutting and maintaining your lawn, a moss garden is the answer.
To grow your moss garden, you should carefully follow the basic steps. Choose the location for it, clean the area, and moisten it as preparation. Then, choose the type of moss suitable in your area and plant it in your garden. Water it every day until the moss establishes its roots.
In this article, we will tackle the topic of enchanting moss gardens. We will provide you with a clear description of what it is and what makes it better than grass. Also, we will help you start your garden moss by laying out the steps that you should follow.
What Is a Moss Garden?
A moss garden is a simple, environmentally friendly substitute to grass, and it is almost maintenance-free. Inspired by Japan’s tranquil botanical gardens, a moss garden is expected to become the newest fad for dealing with uneven, yellow grass and overgrown lawns.
Garden moss is a group of relatively basic plants that may grow practically anywhere, especially in wet and shaded areas. You may not only observe it in the rear yard but also on the shaded area of your home’s roof, windowsills, and shaded walks. However, you should discourage moss growth in these areas, although moss gardens offer substantial benefits when used in place of grass.
What is moss?
Mosses are non-flowering, tiny plants that belong to the Bryophytes family, a varied group of organisms. Bryophyte is derived from the Greek words byron, which means “tree-moss,” and the Greek word python, which means “plant.”
Mosses are some of the biggest groupings of land plants despite their modest size. They can be found in various environments all around the world. They developed from algae and were among the first plants to adapt to dry ground. They are now the ideal complement to any garden.
Moss is a naturally occurring plant. It grows on its own on low-traffic surfaces and may even be found on lawns. This variety of plants may be found in temperate climates all around the world. It also prefers heavy shade, wet soil, and an acidic pH. Mosses come in various green hues and are frequently soft and bouncy to the touch.
Where can you find moss?
Mosses may be found in practically every damp environment, including rain forests, marshes, and alpine environments. They’ve also become more common in rural areas due to the humid environment.
As a result, mosses grow on roads, sidewalks, brick walls, and other surfaces. They need water to reproduce since they thrive in moist environments.
Types of moss
Now that you understand what moss is, the following step consists of choosing which kind of moss will perform best in your landscape. Moss grows in two primary ways in nature.
Upright mosses, also known as acrocarpous mosses
Acrocarpus moss grows flat and quickly on various surfaces. It also works wonders for erosion control. Furthermore, thanks to its moss structure, you may walk on it without damaging the plant.
Acrocarps thrive in drier conditions and are more drought-tolerant. Broom moss and heath moss are excellent alternatives for your lawn if you live in a dry area.
Prostrate or Pleurocarpous moss
The prostrate moss variant, on the other hand, is a drier type of moss. This implies that if disturbed or trodden on, it may quickly be ruined. So, keep scrolling to learn how to make a beautiful moss garden.
Pleurocarps are a better choice if you live in a wet, cooler climate since they do not break down when exposed to excessive moisture. They like to be in the shade, although they can tolerate mild sunlight. For example, fern moss and hypnum moss provide great protection and can survive cooler, wetter climates.
Some people look for ways to get rid of and eliminate moss – the never-ending fight that demonstrates moss’s toughness and tolerance for a wide range of situations. If that is your case, instead of killing it, you might wish to cultivate it. Compared to grass, a moss garden is crucially healthier for the environment and keeps your lawn green throughout the year.
Buying a moss lawn is more expensive than spreading grass seeds. Moss lawn’s price ranges from $4 to $10 per square foot, but the care is minimal, so you’ll save money on lawn feed and time watering the grass.
Is Moss Better than Grass?
Moss is overall better than grass. Moss gardens are more environmentally friendly, low-maintenance, and long-lasting, and while they aren’t the typical Western manner of gardening, they are gaining popularity.
The biggest criticism of a grass lawn is the amount of upkeep it necessitates. But in moss gardens, it does not require such rigorous attention. A moss lawn takes care of all three issues at once. Mosses don’t grow much taller than 4 inches, so unlike grass, you don’t have to mow it regularly, and it also serves as an excellent home for various species.
You also won’t need to use fertilizers, pesticides, or feed to keep your moss garden looking healthy. Moss is a hardy plant that thrives in both the sun and shade and doesn’t require the same level of maintenance as grass. As a result, it is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Besides, moss grows considerably better than grass as it has evolved to live in poor soil and shaded sections of the garden, whereas grass needs water, sunlight, and high-quality soil to thrive. Moss also has shallow roots, so it doesn’t require deep planting. It grows well in poor, compacted, or rocky soil.
The primary difference between grass and moss is that moss does not need to be mowed, contrary to grass. The second difference is that moss prefers shadow or partial shade, whereas grass prefers full sun.
Furthermore, moss demands a high level of humidity, while grass may survive in a low-humidity environment. Moss does not appreciate being trampled on. Humans can easily walk over it without any evidence of their existence being left behind. Finally, moss does not require fertilizer, while grass requires regular feeding.
Keeping your yard clean and immaculate is not an easy job to do which is why it is so heartbreaking to see it ruined by pests. One of the most common creatures that ruin yards are grubs, pests that live underneath the soil and eat grass roots, leaving your yard unattractive and brown. If you want to protect your yard from these insects, follow our guide to getting rid of grubs in your yard.
Steps to Start a Garden Moss
A moss garden is ideal to create a stunning outdoor environment if you want to give your property a distinctive appeal. Planting moss may appear difficult, but we’ve done the research to show you how to quickly produce a thriving moss lawn.
Before starting to grow your moss garden, there are a few things you have to know. In growing a moss garden, knowing what causes moss to grow is important to make the process and growing right. Here are the things to keep in mind:
- Moss requires a moist environment to thrive. So, look for a damp spot in your garden that isn’t too marshy.
- Garden moss thrives in (moderate or deep) shade.
- Moses prefers more acidic soil. For example, soil with a pH of 5.5.
- Although mosses may grow in various types of soil, most prefer compacted soil, particularly compacted clay soil.
Carefully follow the following steps to successfully create your moss garden.
Step 1: Choose an ideal location for your moss garden
The success of your moss lawn relies on the area you choose. The majority of moss species prefer areas with low to moderate quantities of sunshine. This permits them to keep the moisture they need to survive while still getting the sunshine they require for photosynthesis.
While certain moss species may thrive in direct sunlight, most mosses will benefit from partial shade during the day. If your grass lacks shade, consider growing trees or shrubs in the area to provide the mosses with the necessary shade.
Step 2: Clear the area
As part of the preparation, you have to clear the location where you will establish your moss garden. Make sure the area is free from any accidental and hazardous debris and other items that could hinder the growth of the moss.
Upturn and weed the area where you wish to grow your moss with a pitchfork. After that, scrape the soil’s surface to allow the filaments to establish excellent touch with the earth. Moss requires open ground free of plants and debris to grow. Thus, grass, weeds, leaves, sticks, and other plants should be removed from the area.
Step 3: Prepare the soil and wet the area
Once you’ve decided where your moss garden will be located and have cleaned it, the next step consists of preparing the soil.
When elements are replaced by hydrogen ions, soils become acidic. Calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium are among such minerals. Most lawns require a soil pH of 6.5 to 7, which is neutral but alkaline. However, for moss, it should be below 6.
Use your pH strips to test your soil. If the result is more than 5.5, make sure to amend the soil with compost, manure, and other organic matter. Also, before you plant, ensure that any depressions in the soil have been taken care of. Water and debris build in depressions in the soil, drowning and asphyxiating your moss.
Afterward, wet the moss garden area using a hose or sprinkler. When the ground is moistened, allow the water to seep through for 15 to 30 minutes. Soaking your area for less or more could either result in planting in dirty water or mud.
Step 4: Choose the type of moss that best suits your area
The good news is that moss gardens can nearly be cultivated anywhere. Moss may be found on all seven continents and can grow all year. While certain species flourish in specific environments, the majority of moss species may be found throughout hardiness zones 3 to 9.
There are many different moss species to choose from, but those that are native to the area will adapt to the local rainfall and temperatures and thrive on your lawns.
Visiting nearby nature areas and collecting moss species is a great way to ensure your moss lawn thrives and looks natural. You may also buy moss species from suppliers; just make sure the moss you pick will grow in your setting.
Step 5: Plant your moss garden
Planting moss is best done in the spring or fall, when the weather is usually cooler. This will prevent your new moss plants from drying out in the heat of summer.
Before you start planting your moss lawn, compress the soil. You may achieve this by spraying water on the soil’s surface and compacting it with a shovel or your feet. Scrape the area with a rake after the earth has been compacted to help the moss stay in place once it has been planted.
Using your hands, tear the moss into quarter-inch pieces. Place the moss pieces one to two inches apart on the soil in equal intervals. Once each piece of moss has been placed, gently push it into the earth to encourage the moss to join.
You may also use sticks or netting to secure the moss to the ground. This prevents the wind or rain from blowing it away.
Step 6: Water your moss garden
You should irrigate your moss lawn every day for the first two months if you planted an acrocarp. If it’s raining severely, don’t water your acrocarp as too much water in the early stages might drown it. If you’ve planted a pleurocarp, make sure to water it every day. Pleurocarps can handle more water than acrocarpous, thus keeping it from drying out should be the main priority.
You may notice weeds growing on your moss lawn as it matures. You can get rid of these weeds by going out on your moss lawn as moss can handle little foot traffic. The stress of leaping, running, or sliding, on the other hand, is too much for it to handle, so stay away from it if you are doing anything that requires these movements.
You can confidently and attractively construct your moss garden now that you know how to do so. You may have a year-round moss lawn with the right mix of a suitable location, adequate preparation, right moss, proper planting, and diligent upkeep.
Moss gardens require specific care to grow. They can’t tolerate a lot of foot traffic, making it difficult to maintain if you have dogs or children. If you reside in a drier area or if drought conditions develop, you may need to water your moss regularly, depending on the type of moss you plant.