Moss Lawns And Other Alternative Lawns.
Moss lawns are an alternative to traditional grass lawns that are made up of various types of mosses instead of grass. Moss lawns have become increasingly popular due to their low-maintenance requirements, unique aesthetic appeal, and ability to thrive in shady or moist areas where traditional grass lawns often struggle.
To create a moss lawn, follow these general steps:
- Choose the right location: Moss lawns typically prefer shady, damp areas with good drainage, such as the north-facing side of a house, under a tree canopy, or in a spot that receives regular rainfall or irrigation.
- Prepare the soil: Moss prefers acidic soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.5. If the soil is not already acidic, you can lower the pH by adding sulfur or using an acidifying fertilizer. Remove any existing grass or weeds, loosen the soil with a rake or tiller, and add a layer of organic matter like compost or peat moss.
- Choose your moss: There are many types of moss that can be used for a moss lawn, including sheet moss, cushion moss, rock moss, and haircap moss. Choose a variety that is native to your area and can tolerate the amount of sunlight and moisture in your chosen location.
- Plant the moss: Break the moss into small pieces and place them on the prepared soil, pressing them firmly into place to ensure good contact with the soil. If desired, you can mix the moss with buttermilk or a moss-growing solution to help it establish more quickly.
- Water regularly: Moss lawns need to be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water them daily for the first few weeks until the moss has established itself, then reduce watering to once or twice a week, depending on your climate and soil conditions.
- Maintain the moss lawn: Moss lawns require very little maintenance once established. You may need to remove leaves or debris that accumulate on the surface of the moss, and you can use a rake or broom to gently fluff up the moss and keep it looking healthy. Avoid walking on the moss lawn as much as possible, as this can damage the delicate moss plants.
By following these steps, you can create a beautiful and unique moss lawn that will be a low-maintenance and eco-friendly alternative to a traditional grass lawn.
The largest job is weeding, in Japanese style gardens with moss lawns the weeding was always carried out with paraquat-based weedkiller which is a contact based weed killer killing most weeds and grasses but not the moss.However this chemical has now been banned but some experimentation with other contact weed killers you should find one that has a similar effect or you could spot treat or hand weed.
There are various types of moss that can be used to create a moss lawn. Here are some of the most common types of moss lawns:
- Sheet Moss Lawn: This is a low-growing moss that is easy to establish and spreads quickly. It is often used as a ground cover in shady areas and can grow up to one inch tall.
- Cushion Moss Lawn: This type of moss forms a dense, velvety mat and grows up to three inches tall. It is often used in rock gardens or as a ground cover in moist areas.
- Rock Moss Lawn: This is a hardy moss that can tolerate full sun and dry conditions. It grows up to one inch tall and is often used in rock gardens or on dry slopes.
- Haircap Moss Lawn: This is a taller moss that can grow up to six inches tall. It is often used in damp, shady areas and can create a lush, carpet-like effect.
- Peat Moss Lawn: This is a type of sphagnum moss that is often used in bog gardens or wetland areas. It can grow up to three inches tall and has a distinctive bright green color.
Each type of moss has its own unique characteristics and requirements, and the choice of which type to use depends on factors such as climate, soil type, and desired level of maintenance. Moss lawns can be a low-maintenance and eco-friendly alternative to traditional grass lawns, and they can create a unique and natural-looking landscape.
Calamine Lawns – Calamine lawns have traditionally been the alternative to grass lawns and are best grown from plugs or small pot plants 6 to 10 to the square metre the biggest problem being the establishment which requires a lot of weeding.
Sedum Lawns – Sedum more commonly used on the roofs of building to produce a green roof is another alternative to grass and again the key in the early stages is weeding to allow the plants to establish to create a sward.Sedums are available as pot plants plugs and mats similar to turf.