A moss garden is not only easy to maintain but if the Japanese are to be believed, growing moss led to a calm and peaceful state of mind. There are yellow, green, brown and even white varieties of mosses. While cushion mosses provide a cushioning effect to moss lawns, rock cap plant mosses covering the rock surface give it a rich green hue. There are even some plants that behave like mosses even though they are liverworts or hornworts.
What Are Plant Mosses?
Plant mosses, thought to have evolved from primitive vascular plants are very simple plants that lack conventional roots, stems and leaves. Usually hardy plants, mosses grow vertically, not just in moss gardens but almost everywhere except under the sea. These plant mosses are generally of little use to humans or animals but this type of moss gardening is undertaken because of the serenity and meditative calm they spread.
Growing Mosses: Preparing The Soil
Before growing a moss garden, it is important to prepare the soil for your moss lawns. Though mosses kill grass, remove grass beforehand and weed the soil before growing moss. This will ensure easy moss gardening without any competition.
How To Grow Moss
If you are interested in growing a moss garden, it is important you learn how to grow moss. One can either buy mosses at garden stores or transplant them by cutting out a moss mat from a neighboring field or moss garden. Mosses like a pH between 5 to 6 and aluminum sulphate or ferrous sulphate may be added to the soil to lower its pH. Both the soil and moss mat should be moistened before it is placed on the moss garden. Thereafter pack the soil tightly around and beneath it. Moss gardening transplants occur well when temperatures are cool and there is high moisture. Even if one picks up some moss and churns it in the blender with some diluted buttermilk or beer and then transplants it, moss lawns will soon grow.
Water & Shade For The Plant Mosses
While most mosses require some moisture and low sunlight, some of them can survive lengthy dry periods. Growing moss lawns is easier in the shade with moderate amounts of sunlight occasionally. Again, if one stretch of the garden yields lush moss lawns, one can easily cultivate them there without much difficulty.
Why Grow Plant Mosses & Moss On Lawns
There are a number of reasons to take up moss gardening and cultivate a moss garden if you are a gardener.
- A moss garden requires very little care and watering as revealed in the article in the New York Times (1) about moss gardening. This also makes a moss garden very drought tolerant.
- Unlike many plants that contribute to pollen allergies, a moss garden does not, making them hearty and healthy plants in that respect for a moss lawns.
- Moss on lawns takes longer to grow than grass but once they have provided a vivid color to the landscape they are there to stay. Moss gardening does not require fertilizers, mowing and good soil like grass and can survive on less water making it much more tempting to start a moss garden or moss lawns.
- Most disease and insects don’t affect a moss garden although rodents, weeds, excessive sun or shade leads to damping off.
- A moss garden provide aesthetic beauty.
While there are many who regard moss lawns as a sign of a poor garden, other nature lovers believe a moss garden is much more environment friendly as moss lawns do not require chemical fertilizers that contain many harmful ingredients. Moreover, the noisy sound of lawn mowers is never heard on moss lawns! One should therefore consider the choice of moss gardening and if you really want to get creative, try this method of a moss garden in a kitchen sink recommended by the Australian National Botanic Gardens (2).