Grass out, Moss in

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

I've just about talked DH out of trying to grow grass on our shady back yard paths, which he's been trying to do for 4 years without success. We would propagate moss on the paths instead. Problem is, I don't really know how to do that. I think buying sheet moss would be prohibitively expensive. We have a few mossy areas now. Would we have to get rid of the patchy grass areas beforehand? Can I use the same methods used to grow moss on statuary? That is, mixing up some ground up moss with buttermilk, clay, etc. Advice welcome. Sheila

Warner Robins, GA(Zone 8a)

I saw on a show that if you mix 50:50 of moss and milk in a blender and spread it evenly across an area it is much easier and faster than doing it outside. It looked pretty healthy too.

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Yup!! and you might want to get a cheap yard sale blender for future use doing this.. it just needs shade and some moisture.. I have a lovely moss lined path in the shade.. Grew there naturally. I have wanted to grow moss on terra cotta for the aged look. It's on my long list of things to do!!

Susan

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

Gonna do it. Question remaining is, should we try to kill the grass and weeds first? We tried to grow moss on our bird bath, back when we lived in Norcross, but afternoon sun made it impossible. I did have a "recipe" and an old blender, which we pitched. Not sure where the recipe is, but I remember it had more to it than 50:50 milk and moss. It used buttermilk, clay, moss and maybe water? This time, because we have so much area to cover, we'll use a 5 gal bucket and our bulb auger to mix. Hoping that will work. How about watering? Any clues? Don't want to wash the stuff away. More ideas?

Warner Robins, GA(Zone 8a)

Hey soupcon, I would try to turn up any remaining grass and try to keep the soil moist after you spread the mix.

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

You are working is shade right? having grass makes me wonder :) I personally would make sure you had no grass or seeds in the area where you want to grow moss. It will compete and I've never seen an area of moss/grass where both grew well together... it's either one or the other. Also, beware that once you get it established, moss can be slick when wet! Especially on rock!! Is it going to be on any inclines where you would need to make sure you had a good footing? Or a flat surace with drainage?

Susan

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

Ooooh, Susan, thanks. Good input. Oh, yeah, got shade. That's why hubby's grass-growing has failed. He plants rye in the fall, and it is pretty in winter, but dead about now. He also has tried fescue, but it's pretty sad looking, too. I agree that moss and grass look sloppy trying to grow in the same places. We do have some inclines, and we're working with clay here, so your input on the slick when wet angle is appreciated, too. I'm having second thoughts about this project. There are probably millions of seeds out there on the paths right now, too. Think I'll put it on the garden "wish" list of projects for the future. Okay, I'm wishy-washy, y'all. Sheila

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Okay... if your wishy washy about it, heres an idea.. Cover the entire area with clear plastic and you will kill off everything there. It's known as solarization. You can get the rolls at HDepot. You will kill weeds seeds and everything that doesn't get water...the edges still may grow some, but not much. Weigh it down (pots, rocks) and when your wishy washy phase is over and you know what you want to do with it, you will have a clean slate to do with whatever you wish. :) Good luck!

Susan

Bluffton, SC(Zone 9a)

What's fuuny here is moss is my enemy. If I stand still for a couple of days, moss will grow on me.

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

HA! Gee, you must be shaded and moist!!

Susan

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

Core -- Can I come by your house and scoop some up? No, really, they sell sheet moss for a hefty price per sq.ft. You could go into business! Since we are considering the moss route, we've noticed that in some older parts of Jonesboro, near Lake Jodeco, there are some houses where the grass has been eliminated and there is only moss -- in their front yards. I don't think it's a bad look, and much better than scraggly, weedy grass trying to grow in the shade.

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Soupcon, don't let anyone tell you that a sea of moss isn't beautiful. it is!! I once saw a garden pictured in a magazine where the 'lawn" was moss. They fought it for years and then finally said the heck with it and is was beautiful. And how low maintenance can you get??

Susan

Lilburn, GA

In england they "paint" terracota pots, garden statues, anything with plain yoghurt for getting mossy.

Stamford, CT

Here is a photo of the moss-lawn we installed last week, a present from my husband who finally sees things my way and has stopped spreading grass seed. I have created a monster, this stuff from Moss Acres is amazing but costs as much as berber carpet! I keep praying for rain.
Can't wait to roll around on this when it establishes. Any pointers? We sprinkles skim milk on the scraped soil before we laid it down, hope that was cool.

Thumbnail by abbyday
Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Where did you get it!?? How cool :)

Susan

Stamford, CT

Hi Susan, He got it from Moss Acres, you can find them online. Wish we would get some rain! Watering this is a part-time job. Will keep you updated with pictures as we progress. Cheers! Abby

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