How to Make Lawn Moss


Growing a moss lawn is ideal for yards that are mostly shaded and wooded. Moss is not only attractive, but it is also a low-maintenance ground cover that doesn't require mowing or fertilizing like traditional grass lawns. If you already have moss growing in your lawn, your job will be easy. If you don't have any moss growing, you'll need to perform a few more steps to get your lawn moss going. Although the initial process of making a lawn moss can be time-consuming, the moss will pretty much take care of itself once it's established.

When Moss is Already Present

Step 1

Apply a non-selective herbicide to the grass surrounding the moss. The herbicide, preferably one containing glyphosate, will kill the grass but not the moss.

Step 2

Repeat the herbicide application until all the grass is dead. Follow the directions on the label exactly.

Step 3

Rake away leaves and twigs to keep the area clear of debris. The moss will spread and grow in on its own.

Starting a Moss Lawn from Scratch

Step 1

Remove all grass, plants and debris from the area where you want to grow moss. Smooth the soil using a rake and water it if it's dry. Tamp the soil to pack it down.

Step 2

Take a soil sample and test the soil pH using a test kit. Moss grows best on moderately acidic soils with a pH between 5.0 and 5.5. If your soil is less acidic, with a higher pH, apply powdered sulfur to the soil at a dosage that's based on the test results.

Step 3

Scrape up moss growing near your lawn using a spade or long knife. Set the moss on the prepared soil and press it down. The moss sod pieces should be at least as big as your hand so they don't dry out easily. You can also purchase moss at some garden stores or from online growers.

Step 4

Spray the moss every day to keep it thoroughly moistened for at least the first three weeks. The transplanted moss cannot dry out at all before it's established. Continue to water the moss anytime when the ground surface dries during the first year, including in winter.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't attempt to grow a moss lawn if your yard is mostly in direct or afternoon sunlight. Moss requires deep shade and humidity.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-selective herbicide
  • Garden rake
  • Garden hose
  • Soil pH test kit
  • Powdered sulfur (optional)
  • Moss sod pieces
  • Blender (optional)
  • Beer (optional)
  • Buttermilk (optional)


  • Go Green with a Moss Lawn
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Lawn Moss: Friend or Foe?

Who Can Help

  • Moss Acres: Growing Moss
Keywords: grow moss lawn, make moss lawn, plant moss yard

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.