In honor of St Patrick’s Day and the color green, I wanted to introduce you all to one of my favorite ground covers, moss! Perhaps unexpected, this plant is one to embrace, especially if you are working with shade in your landscape.
In my home landscape we have a number of mature trees, both evergreen and deciduous, that provide deep shade and acidic soil, both great conditions for growing moss. Instead of struggling to grow lawn, I’ve worked to replace areas that were lawn with either gravel, plant beds, or huge swaths of moss.
I transplanted patches of this moss by carefully digging up sheets from existing areas on our property. I then moved those sheets to areas of bare soil in deeply shaded corners. In just a few years the moss has spread to create an evergreen blanket that weaves underneath the mature trees and shrubs. In the spring the moss brightens up long before the lawn does and it is virtually no maintenance (I admit a few times a summer I will pull out weeds and any clumps of grass). Moss is more sustainable than lawn, it does not require fertilizer or mowing, and our natural rainfall is enough to keep it bright and lush year round.
If you have similar conditions in your yard and struggle to grow grass, I’d encourage you to give up the struggle and plant moss. You’ll love the look and the low maintenance of this beautiful ground cover.