Archive for February 7th, 2011


For the Love of Moss

February 7, 2011


I love the age-old charm of moss. This winter there is plenty growing in and around my garden. While other vegetation remains dormant, moss has brought life and balance to the beds. The lush green hue has added color on rocks and logs, in crevices and corners, and as groundcover where shadows are heavy and the soil moist.

Valued for its tranquil mood, the Japanese have integrated moss into gardens for centuries. I can certainly see why. Not only do the clumpy mounds evoke a sense of history and peace, it draws one’s eyes down to observe the many subtle changes of nature.

Moss derives nutrients from the air, making it a good alternative for rock gardens, woodlands, shady to half sun areas. Additionally, moss is different from other plants in that it does not have leaves, stems, flowers, or roots. Without these functions, moss cannot move water within its structure. This is why moss grows mostly in moist conditions. Other contributing factors include:

  • Poor drainage
  • Compacted soil
  • Low soil fertility
  • Low pH, slightly acidic soil
  • Excessive shade to part sun

Although moss gardens need some care, it’s less upkeep than traditional plants. Moss Acres offers photo ideas, growing tips, and “Five reasons to keep moss in your yard.

Note:  On walkways, moss can be slippery. To avoid possible injury, use a power washer or follow Kitty Cruiser’s “Moss Removal from Sidewalk” instructions at 


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