It is every gardener and homeowner’s dream to have a ground cover for their garden that stays green and beautiful year-round, grows even on bad soil, and does not demand regular mowing, watering, fertilizing and weeding. However, regular grass just won’t make the cut as it easily wilts, difficult to tend to and requires a good soil to grow.
On the surface, you may think that there is no such thing as a hardy, green ground cover that thrives well on almost any type of soil without too much maintenance. But, moss proves otherwise. This special type of plant has been around for more than 450 million years grows and covers the ground quickly, prevents soil erosion, repels weeds, and it doesn’t require fertilizer and a lot of water. All it needs is a shade and good amount of moisture to grow. With all these good attributes, it’s not surprising to know that more and more gardeners and homeowners are encouraged to replace their grass with moss. In fact, it is now viewed as a viable alternative to traditional grass lawn.
What’s so cool about moss, aside from the ones mentioned above, is that it is easy to plant and grow. And when it looks as though it has already dried out, a little splash of water can restore its lush green color in a matter of minutes. So if you would like to enjoy this special ground cover on your own garden, below is a simple guide how you can do so.
Find a site and clear it out
As mentioned earlier, moss loves shady and cool places, though there are some varieties that can grown in the sun. So, find a good site on your garden with such condition and clear the area of clutter and vegetation that might compete with the food source of the moss. You can also grow moss on outcroppings of porous rocks that absorbs moisture. Hence, if you want to add a touch of timeless beauty to your garden, consider choosing a site where there are porous rocks and grow the moss there.
Test the soil and get the moss
Once the area is clean, dig an inch below the soil where you intend to grow the ground cover and collect a sample of the soil in a container. Then, bring it over to your local nursery to find out its pH level. Usually, the most suitable soil condition for moss is slightly acidic (with a pH level between 5 and 6). However, if your soil does not complement such requirement because its pH level is too high, you can lower it by spreading aluminum sulfate or sulfur. If it’s too low, you can raise it by spreading lime.
Identifying the pH level of your garden’s soil will also let you determine the type of moss that you should grow. There are numerous moss varieties available and they come in different colors–green, white, yellow and brown. You can plant several kinds on your garden if you like. But, if you are not sure which one to pick, ask assistance from a seasoned gardener in your local nursery.
Wet the soil and start planting
When you have collected the variety that you will grow, water the area just enough to keep it moist. After which, lay the plant on the prepared lot and gently pat or tamp it down on the expanse of the surface until it is level. Then carefully water the area throughout the day to keep it moist but not too wet.
Water lightly and regularly
For faster growth, lightly water the entire area as often as possible. You can give at least two minutes of water each day in the early morning to allow the moss to constantly spread and grow. If you can’t manually water the area, consider setting low-flow sprinklers on your garden to get the job done.
This gardening advice was penned by Ericka, who is passionate about writing gardening and home improvement articles. She also regularly writes content for UK-based company, www.steelbuildingsdesign.co.uk