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 troubles just don’t seem so important. And if it’s a really bad day, you get to toss several 100 Hickory nuts.
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 rule #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.Water and Walk…that’s what Annie says. It’s very zen….that’s what I say!