At first glance this might sound highly counter-intuitive in that many keen gardeners spend much time and effort in eradicating every last scrap of moss from their perfect sward. However it appears that there is a growing trend for moss to be appreciated for its many useful qualities. As well as its lush green look, moss requires little water and is low maintenance. This article by Kathy Woodard which I found on The Gardening Glove website extols the virtues of marvelous moss gardens.
If you think succulents are the only hot plant right now, think again. There’s a growing trend in the “growing” world, and that’s moss. Once regarded as a nuisance to kill in the garden, the beauty of moss is now being celebrated. Moss gardens have been used in the stunning traditional Japanese gardens for centuries, but are just now gaining popularity as a water saving plant that offers sustainability, erosion control and low maintenance. Ok, so read that part about it being a water saving plant, and you are calling my bluff, right? Yes, moss requires water to spread and flourish. However, the amount of water that moss requires is a fraction of the nearly 10,000 gallons of water a season (outside rainwater) an average suburban lawn requires. According to Christine Cook, who lectures at the New York Botanical Garden, less than one percent. A tiny fraction. So if you have shade and an interest in never having to mow a lawn or replace dead annuals or ground cover again, than consider growing a moss garden! Photo by ‘HGTV‘.
When doing our research on how to grow moss, it became immediately apparent that the leading expert is David Spain, owner of ‘Moss and Stone Gardens‘. While his site is full of amazing information, photos and inspiration, we’re going to try to break it down here for you in a simple to follow primer. Whether you want to grow a moss lawn, add moss between pavers, or use it as a ground cover/ accent plant in the garden, here are some basics on how to grow moss!
Types of Moss
There are two basic types of moss, prostrate and upright. The prostrate version is faster growing, tolerates more moisture and is better at erosion control. It is also more tolerant to foot traffic. The upright variety will also tolerate lots of moisture, but prefer to dry out occasionally or they will rot. They are slower growing and slightly harder to transplant than prostrate varieties as well. All mosses are evergreen and can be grown in most zones. Most thrive in partial to deep shade.
See more at The Garden Glove
Feature Photo by ‘Kristen Rudger Landscape’ via ‘Houzz‘.