I mosses and about 40% of our yard has been transformed into moss yards. My main reason, beside always loving moss, was to attract lightning bugs as I heard that the “babies ” thrive in the cool, moist darkness. Two nymphs were found when I was removing weeds from the moss!
Besides moss never needs to be cut or watered on a regular basis (a light misting during periods of drought). Growing a moss lawn doesn’t contribute any air pollution, water waste or the need for herbicides, pesticides or insecticides used! Occasional weeding until the moss is thicker.
I was asked by Cornell University to write articles on moss lawns, yet I’m not sure if they can be posted here, so I’ll hold off.
The way I got started was looking under the grass in a sunny section of our yard and I saw moss! So I started removing the grass, plant by plant. There was a bit of clean dirt exposed with the grass gone and when misted, eventually the moss filled in. Since I used the moss that was already there, I didn’t need to know the species in order to buy more. I’d rather harvest my own because it’s growing successfully there anyway. And those “moss milkshakes” do not work!
The cool thing is that in the following years, after the moss and several fern species started growing in the shade of a large dogwood tree, more different species of mosses blew in and grew there also. They reproduce under the snow also!
The best things that you can do for the moss are:
- Walk on it - this helps it adhere to the soil
- Weed it - herbicides and the others will kill it!
- Water - by misting it, not soaking it!
It’s nice driving home in the summer when many yards are dry and brown, and when rounding the curve, seeing our front yard in the sun, shining a bright golden-green! Think of the amount of time that mowing the lawn uses and how you can use that time relaxing instead! The other ecological addition we did was plant ECO-LAWN on a hillside. It’s a slow growing, deep rooted blend of fescues that needs a bit more water to be established, yet after the first yr, only water during extreme drought! We buy ours from Wildflower Farm, and we let our grass grow as tall as it wants, then falls over and our lawn is a nice “ocean of green waves””.” If you want a traditional cut lawn, you only need to cut it 3 times a year!
I’m not affiliated with anything mentioned, just know what worked for us. Lots of information on the Wildflowers Farm website about ECO-LAWN. There are other grass seed that appear similar, yet I don’t know how they perform. Once we saw a whole yard of only Ecolawn, we were sold!