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Moss Lawns: How Can I Get One?

February 25th, 2016

I’ve always thought of moss lawns and nooks as magic, a place where fairies live, because those places seem to appear magically in early spring and disappear in summer. Perhaps it is more like a Houdini trick.

Moss is technically a Bryophyte or non-vascular plant that lacks true branches, leaves and roots. It absorbs water in other ways and when there is no water there appears to be no moss. Voila!
Unlike other plants, moss has no seeds, but has spores that are released when the plant dries. Moss grows in colonies that will knit together to create the nice smooth carpet upon which the fairies dance.

I find the best way to encourage moss is to keep clean the area where moss has chosen to grow. Regular use of a blower to remove weeds, duff, and leaves seems to prevent plant competition and create a seedbed for the moss spores. Leaf build up at any time of the year smothers those plants. Moss can take periods of direct sunlight, but not for long because it absorbs water above ground, not below. Early spring, when there is not much competition for water and light is when moss appears to come to life. And that is when the fairies come out.
Marcia Weber
Gardens to Love