Moss Therapy

When I’m having a bad day, one of the ways that I’ve found to take my mind off of my troubles is my moss garden. It’s nothing special, just a shady low area near the creek that could never grow grass due to lack of sun. But all I have to do is spend 30 minutes to an hour pulling tiny weed seedlings out of the moss and my troublesĀ just don’t seem so important. And if it’s a really bad day, you get to toss several 100 Hickory nuts.

Note the log barrier, which doesn’t seem to keep the deer out, as you can see by their tracks in the soft soil. But it does seem to keep most of the leaves behind a log wall.

After hearing Mossin’ Annie speak at the UNCC Native Plant Certificate joint program with NCNPS-SP Chapter last March, I realized this was a perfect area to start a moss garden. Her formula is simple:

  • Mark off an area to designate as the moss garden. A place where moss is already growing is a good place to start.
  • Keep leaves, sticks and trash off by sweeping or blowing
  • Water daily to get the naturally occurring moss to spread (if you want super fast results Annie says water 3x/day, but I say start your project in January or February and hope for a normal NC wet spring. (Lazy garden ruleĀ #1…hope it rains tomorrow)
  • Pull out competing weeds…the thicker the moss spreads, the less you have to do this, but it’s an ongoing chore…and good therapy
  • It doesn’t hurt to walk on your moss, and I think it really helps it adhere to the soil layer underneath. As I learned from Annie, moss does not grow with roots.
  • Repair animal damage by just replacing torn patches and walking on them…easy! And I find this is the one area in my garden that I don’t mind animal visitors since the squirrel holes and dear tracks are pretty easy to stomp back into place.img_4722Water and Walk…that’s what Annie says. It’s very zen….that’s what I say!