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How to grow moss in your yard

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Want to grow moss in your yard? Here’s how my dad grew a full moss lawn & path!

I was recently in North Carolina visiting my parents and I was reminded that they have a full moss lawn.

It actually used to be grass, but over a decade ago my dad gave up trying to grow grass where it doesn’t want to be and instead decided to focus on growing a mossy lawn.

I thought that this was a really unique solution for a common problem (I know that a lot of y’all have trouble growing grass!) and thought that it would be fun to share some details.

how to grow a moss lawn

How to grow moss in your yard

benefits of a moss lawn

Moss lawn pros and cons

Moss lawn pros

There are a lot of benefits to a green mossy yard! Here are some of my favorites:

  • If moss naturally wants to grow in your area, it can be a maintenance-free lawn covering
  • If grass won’t grow in your yard because it is too wet or shady, moss might be a solution
  • Lush green color looks like short grass (from afar) year round
  • No mowing
  • Feels like walking on a velvet carpet
moss lawn

Moss lawn cons

There are some aspects of a moss lawn that might be a problem for you. They include:

  • It’s not grass
  • It can get kind of muddy, especially during rainy times
  • Your HOA may not allow it
  • Moss is not the “normal” lawn covering and therefore might be seen as weird or strange by some people
how to grow a moss lawn

How to grow a moss lawn

The most important thing for growing moss in your yard is having the right conditions.

Moss likes:

  • Shade
  • Moisture
  • Acidic soil

These are the ideal conditions for a moss lawn to grow in.

tips for growing a moss path

If you don’t have all of these conditions, you can still grow moss, but you are going to have to work harder at it.

The reason that my dad went for a moss lawn is because it is what naturally wanted to grow in his yard. Grass just wasn’t working!

how to grow moss in your yard
Yield: 1 yard

How to grow moss in your yard

Active Time: 6 months
Total Time: 6 months
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: $0-10

Love the look of a moss lawn? Here's what you need to do to grow moss in your yard.

Materials

  • Moss starter

Tools

  • Rake or blower
  • Shovel

Instructions

  1. Pick an area with the right conditions. It needs to be humid or moist and also shaded.
  2. Clear the ground surface of all leaves, plants, and debris.
  3. If moss naturally grows in this spot - keep the area clear and moss should begin to spread in 6 weeks.
  4. If moss does not naturally grow in this spot - transplant moss. You can either dig up moss from another location or mix moss in a blender and spread across the area.
  5. As the moss grows, you will need to continue blowing off the leaves and pulling any weeds that grow where you want the moss to grow.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

How do you transplant moss?

Transplanting moss is very easy and actually very similar to transplanting grass.

  1. Find moss that you want to relocate.
  2. Gently pick the moss off the surface it is attached to. You might want to use a shovel.
  3. Prepare the surface where you want the moss to go. It should be moist and clear of debris.
  4. Place the moss on the new surface. Gently press it into the surface.
  5. Keep moist and clear of debris.
moss lawn

What is a “moss milkshake”?

If you can’t get transplanted moss to take, you can try making a moss milkshake or a moss slurry.

To make a moss milkshake, simply blend in a blender:

  • a handful of moss
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup buttermilk

You can spread this mixture on a tree, rock, statue, pot, path, any surface, really. Keep moist to promote growth.

how to grow a moss path

How to grow a moss path

My dad has grown an epic moss path throughout their backyard.

To grow the moss path, he started by creating a stone border outlining the path shape.

how to grow a moss path

Then, he cleared inside the boarder so the whole path was free of debris. Piling leaves or debris on either side of the path keeps moss from growing there.

Then, he just followed the above steps of keeping the path moist and clear of debris to encourage moss growth.

You have to be consistent in clearing off any leaves, especially in a wooded area like his yard.

how to grow a moss path

Can you walk on a moss lawn?

The moss is actually very soft and comfortable to walk on. It feels velvety. It can get a bit soggy after rain, but so can any ground covering.

how to grow a moss path

How fast does moss grow?

Moss should start growing about 6 weeks after transplant.

I would allow several months to get good coverage.

Is moss better than grass?

If your conditions are suited to moss, meaning that you have the right light, moisture, and soil, having a moss lawn will save you lots of time.

Moss does not require maintenance like grass does!

It also does not needed to be mowed, seeded, or aerated each year.

Once you have your moss lawn going, it is virtually maintenance free!

Is moss slippery?

No, moss itself is not slippery.

However, moss often grows in damp environments. These areas might also have algae or mud that is slippery.

So while moss is not slippery, it might be indicative that the area around it IS slippery!

How do I kill moss?

Decide that you no longer want a moss lawn?

Mix 4 cups of vinegar, a 1/4 cup of salt and 2 tsp. dish soap in a spray bottle. Apply to the moss. It should die!

Do you have any questions for my dad about his moss lawn?

 
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Dan McCartney

Friday 16th of October 2020

Dear Dad, I already have a nice crop of moss growing in the shady area of my lawn. I have painstakingly weeded out the grasses, creeping charlie, and dandelions. Here are my three dilemmas: My moss is a very short, dense moss that always looked trampled and unhealthy; do I have the wrong kind? Second, no matter how much I take care of it, the bare patches have never filled in. And third, the squirrels are ruthless in their digging! Can you help me?

Emily

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Hi there, Thank you so much for this! I I'm so excited to try this out. For the moss milk shake how much moss do you need to blend with the water and buttermilk? Do you recommend any store bought acidic soils or plant food? Have you ever worked with Irish moss seeds? And again thank you this is just what I needed!!

Moss Milkshake – House Design

Thursday 21st of May 2020

[…] Download Image More @ www.charlestoncrafted.com […]

rhonda stahmer

Monday 6th of April 2020

I can't thank you enough! I live, literally in a forest in the mountains. I have a great deal of moss but mostly bare damp ground. I haven't been keeping the leaves off. THAT did not occur to me. I have a large area so the moss milkshake sounds like a less labor intensive way to spread the stuff that I literally adore. So much more magical than grass!

Sean

Monday 6th of April 2020

Hope it works out well for you!

Courtney

Wednesday 1st of April 2020

The majority of our yard is shaded, so that's why I figured a moss lawn would work really well and there are patches of moss I would like to encourage to grow more. If I can water what is there to help it grow some, that would be awesome!