How to Grow a Moss Lawn

Overview

Many homeowners grow moss in cool, shady and moist areas of their lawns that otherwise do not facilitate the growth of standard grass. Moss gardens form an integral part of Japanese culture dating back centuries ago to elicit a contemplative, serene and calm state of mind. Although it takes about two years for a moss lawn to get established, once nestled it grows and spreads to form a thick cover over any cool shaded area. Mosses lack roots but continue to cover a particular area year after year by their vegetative parts and spores.

How to Grow a Moss Lawn

Step 1

Select a suitable site for the moss. Although all mosses thrive in cool and shady areas, there are some types that grow in the sun. You can grow your mosses under trees or benches, bare spots in your lawn that lack grass, or on top of large rocks.

Step 2

Wear your gloves and remove any weeds, rocks, debris or competing vegetation from a particular site.

Step 3

Dig an inch below the soil and collect some in a container to send to your local garden center for a pH test. You can even conduct the test yourself if you have a pH test kit. Moss thrives in slightly acidic soil with a pH level that is between 5 and 6. Add aluminum sulfate or sulfur to lower pH level, or raise it by adding lime.

Step 4

Water the area just enough to make the soil evenly moist with a garden use.

Step 5

Purchase the type of moss you want to grow in your lawn from your local nursery. There are available in green, yellow, white and brown varieties, and some especially to cover large rocks. You can also transplant moss from the wild, or from another part of your yard if it is growing there. Do this by placing the pointed end of a shovel under a clump of moss and pressing it with your foot to scoop it off. Collect the amount you want in a wheelbarrow and take it to the planting site.

Step 6

Place the moss over the site and tamp it down so it sets in place and is even.

Step 7

Water the moss after transplanting to ensure it is moist, and keep watering it throughout the day.

Step 8

Continue watering the moss for three weeks to help it get established. There is no need to fertilize or mow the moss as it grows.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not rake or allow fallen leaves to cover the moss for long periods. Raking could pull the moss, while covering it with leaves will cause it to die. Divert foot traffic from your moss lawn. It cannot tolerate too much pressure and paths through it must be evened out or they will lead to muddy trails.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Container
  • Sulfur or lime
  • Garden hose
  • Moss
  • Wheelbarrow

References

  • Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension: Moss in Lawns
Keywords: grow a moss lawn, moss lawn, grow moss

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.