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How to Grow Moss Between a Flagstone

Kopfsteinpflaster bei Regen image by Marem from Fotolia.com

A lush, green carpet of moss is the best way to soften the hard edges of a flagstone walkway, and will give your landscape a rich and welcoming, naturally woodsy appearance. Once the moss is planted, the plants will thrive with virtually no care; as it spreads, it will help to deter weeds and grass from sprouting between your flagstones. Moss is an evergreen plant and will stay green all year.

Purchase moss at a garden store or nursery, or harvest existing moss growing on your property. Moss can often be found in damp places near a faucet or along a building foundation. If you don't have moss, ask a neighbor if they are willing to share. Peel up pieces of moss with a trowel, putty knife or table knife.

Pull any weeds or grass that has grown up between your flagstones. Moisten the soil around the flagstones and the bottoms of the moss. Lay the moss on the soil between the flagstones so the roots make contact with the soil. Alternately, place a piece of cardboard over the moss and step firmly on the cardboard.

Water the moss immediately after planting, and water it every day for three weeks. After that time, the moss won't need water unless it begins to look dry or lighter in color.

Grow Moss

When many people think of moss, they visualize a dense, green, carpet-like ground cover, and while that's a good description of one type of moss, there are many others, and some may surprise you. Mosses are plants, even though they don't have many of the features associated with plants, including roots, fruit and flowers. They can also reproduce asexually by simply breaking apart into pieces that can grow independently. Moss can grow on rocks, logs and even roof shingles. Shifting sand or gravel is not a good substrate, because it can shift and disrupt the rhizoids. Generally, moss prefers a smooth substrate, so if you're planting it on the ground, you'll want to fill deep depressions to create a continuous surface to which the rhizoids can cling. Common haircap is an example. Pleurocarps, such as common fern moss (Thuidium delicatulum), send out horizontal shoots, and the archegonia are on the tips of those shoots. Acrocarps and pleurocarps grow at different rates and have different moisture requirements. They can also tolerate constant moisture, whereas acrocarps must dry out periodically to prevent rotting. Planting" moss usually doesn't involve any digging or soil preparation. Press it down firmly and spray it with water. Remember that acrocarps must dry out between waterings to prevent rot. You can plant moss on vertical surfaces, such as a wall, or on statues or other garden features by making a moss solution in a bucket or in your blender. Keep the moss moist by spraying it every day until it gets established and starts to grow vigorously.

Tip

Moss can wait for a few days if you aren't ready to plant it. Just put it in a damp, shady area and keep it damp.

Warning

Never harvest moss from public property without permission.

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