Best moss as a lawn Care – Growing Moss Instead Of Grass 2023

Best moss as a lawn Care – Growing Moss Instead Of Grass 2023

The laziest way to install a moss lawn is to purchase live moss mats. Yes, like grass lawn turf rolls, but lighter. Bryophyta Technologies, for example, offers cultured moss mats on a thin textile backing that you can cut into the desired shape.

 Other companies, such as Moss Acres and Mountain Moss, offer irregular plates you must assemble yourself. In addition, foam suppliers provide different varieties suitable for all conditions. It is a question of fixing the leaves on a prepared and weeded surface using stakes or pins, of topdressing the crevices, and here is your installed lawn. 

Contact these companies for more details.

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A lawn of wild moss

If you don’t have the budget to buy slabs, you can still install a moss lawn using wild moss from the area. Here’s how.

Although theoretically, a moss lawn can be installed in any season, it is often more practical to start in the spring when the ground is moist, and the rain is abundant.

Remove other vegetation first (if the location is suitable for mosses, there won’t be many!). If a soil test indicates that it is not acidic (a pH of 5.0 to 5.5 would be ideal), add sulfur to acidify it. It’s not that mosses need acidic soil (they can grow in any soil), but it will make it less palatable to invasive plants, otherwise difficult to control in a moss lawn.

First, compact the soil.

Roll the surface with a roller filled with water (you can rent it from a tool rental company) to compact the soil (again, to prevent other plants from establishing there). Having no roots, moss does not need deep or loose soil.

Shred the foam.

Please pick up the moss from elsewhere in the field (don’t strip forests or public land!) and run it through a food processor with water. (Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to add yogurt, buttermilk, or clay to the mix.)

Rake to even out.

For this mixture here and there and also spread it with a rake. Roll again to set the mousses.

Keep the foam moist.

Best moss as a lawn Care – Growing Moss Instead Of Grass 2023

Now, temporarily install a mister or a fine jet sprinkler on the site. The idea is to create a fog, not heavy rain. Twice a day, water for 15 minutes. (Some timers will make this task easy.) It will keep the plants slightly moist and encourage regrowth.

After five weeks, the foam should develop well, and you can start weaning it off the mist system (over about three weeks), reducing it to once a day, then every two days, then nothing. Creating a thin but “presentable” moss lawn takes a whole summer.

Best moss as a lawn Care – Growing Moss Instead Of Grass 2023

Having a beautiful lawn takes a lot of work. Preparation of the soil, sowing of the property, watering, mowing And now, after a short time, the moss invades the lawn! What to do ?

Why does moss appear in the lawn?

The factors that favor the appearance of moss in the lawn are:

  • Shade and lack of sunshine;
  • Clippings too short;
  • Poorly ventilated floor;
  • Soil low in potash, magnesium or calcium;
  • Excessive acidity

The problem is not simple: it is necessary to act on one or more of these factors to limit the development of moss in the lawn .

Moss in the lawn 

My lawn in the shade is full of moss!

In the shade , the grass does not grow well; there is not much to do there … As much as possible, do not install lawns under the trees. Many ground covers can provide a more satisfactory decor than a stunted lawn full of mosses: periwinkle (vinca) , hostas , lily of the valley , lamium , ferns .

You can also play on a mulch cover (bark, etc.) or even embark on a mineral garden (a cover made of white pebbles, crushed slate , is also very aesthetic). If you want to persist, at the very least choose a “shade-tolerant” grass variety.

Mowing too short promotes moss

Mowing too short prevents the lawn from developing well , and promotes naturally low mosses. Raise the cutting height of your mower . By exposing more surface area to sunlight, your lawn will be able to develop better.

Moss and compact or moist soil

The trampling of the soil (which induces compaction), as well as humidity , greatly favor the appearance of moss in the lawn.

If your soil is “heavy” ( clayey , in particular), good drainage (supply of sand and scratching on the surface) can improve the situation. Use a scarifier or a moss remover regularly .

In soil that is too poor, the moss outweighs the grass

Like other plants, grass needs food; different elements are necessary for its growth and development. 

These elements are provided by decomposing organic matter in the soil ( humus ) or, failing that, by fertilizers . Among these elements there are those that are called major which include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Then the so-called secondary elements (eg: calcium) and minor elements (or trace elements: eg: iron).

Your soil may be missing certain elements. A balanced fertilization would allow to obtain a dense and vigorous lawn . But are you sure that the game is worth the candle? (work, cost, environmental impact.

Moss also proliferates in acidic soil

Moss proliferates if the soil is acidic . Have your soil

analyzed or analyzed with a commercially available kit. If it is acidic (pH<7), you can consider a treatment that will lower the acidity level. To do this , add lime (on sale in garden centers and large DIY stores), which will rebalance the pH.

NO iron sulphate defoamer!

We still see recommended this product right to left. If its effect is drastic, the cure turns out to be worse than the disease. Admittedly, iron sulphate destroys moss very quickly, but it also reinforces the acidity of the soil and therefore makes the ground even more conducive to the appearance of moss!

In addition :

  • It is a synthetic (“chemical”) product that we can do without: it is not very good for animals;
  • The dry and blackened moss that you remove by scarification cannot be composted;
  • It leaves unsightly stains on slabs, walls, stone terraces

>> Moss can also be decorative! See our slideshow 

>> Read also:

  • A beautiful lawn for spring
  • Mow and maintain your lawn
  • Ecological lawn

The presence of moss in the lawn is generally not viewed favorably by gardeners, who are eager to eradicate it. But the most important thing is, above all, to prevent the factors that favor its appearance.

She clings affectionately to the whiskers of the beer drinker; it unctuously emulsifies its chocolate dress under the whipping of the cook; she caresses, languid and padded, the skin of the dozing bather in her bath. At first sight, it would seem that the moss is a delightful company to the human race.

 Except perhaps for the gardener whose grass, green, dense and thick, is often the pride. For him, the slightest patch of moss in his lawn is like a pimple on his nose:

 He only sees that anymore! Before eliminating this eleventh plague of Egypt and finally regaining his calm, he will first have to understand how his lawn was able to gather moss in this way so that the incident does not happen again.

Five serious leads

The presence of moss in the lawn is generally the result of one or more favorable factors which can add up and create a “cocktail effect.

  • Soil Compacted and poorly aerated soils prevent the development of grass, while on the contrary, moss thrives on hard surfaces. The phenomenon is accentuated in the event of persistent humidity, so clayey, heavy, and poorly draining soils often witness this type of incident. To remedy this, using a pitchfork, it is necessary to regularly make air wells in the areas concerned and add sieved compost, fine compost, and sand, which will interfere with the holes and improve the soil structure.
  • Soil that is too acid
  • Acidic soils are not very popular with lawns but very much with moss. If in doubt, have your soil analyzed and if necessary, spread lime or dolomite to raise the pH. On the other hand, avoid using lithotomy, a natural resource to be preserved.

Best moss as a lawn Care – Growing Moss Instead Of Grass 2023

  • A lack of fertilizer
  • A lack of potash or magnesium often leads to the lawn’s shrinkage and the arrival of moss. Adding a balanced fertilizer (not just nitrogen) or the sparing spreading of a few handfuls of ash (rich in potassium) may suffice.
  • Lack of sunshine
  • Lawns do not grow well in shaded places, under trees, or at the foot of north-facing walls. At first, you can always try to resow a particular “shade” lawn, but in case of failure, it is better to move on by installing a mineral bed (slate, gravel, pebbles, etc.), suitable ground cover plants, or a bed of shade plants.
  • Mows that are too short
  • A lawn that is too short is a lawn that grows poorly, suffers a lot, and leaves space for potential competitors. Mowing at 5-6 cm in height is a necessary minimum for the lawn, the best being to go up to 7 or 8 cm.

Eradicate the moss

  • Whatever the diagnosis, the moss should be scratched as much as possible with a rake or scarifier to expose the soil. Then make the necessary contribution according to the situation (compost, sand, lime, fertilize hoe lightly, then sow directly on the ground.

 Cover the seeds with crumbling potting soil to a maximum thickness of 1 cm. Tamp with a roller, foot, or the rake’s back, then water. Keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout, then water regularly until the grass is established.

Anti-foam product, courage, let’s flee!

  • The use of commercial anti-foaming products based on iron sulfate should be expressly prohibited. While their action is effective and immediate, it also tends to acidify the soil, which ultimately favors the appearance of moss.

Moss, the Provençal point of view

  • It must be admitted the lawn is not the specialty of the Provençal gardener because its management requires so much water under the blazing sun of our torrid summers that its presence, beyond an area of ​​​​a few hundred m2, could seem not only ambitious and courageous but perhaps and above all, inconsiderate.

Even totally out of place. Still, moss is sometimes present among our grasses because of this beautiful clayey and, therefore, compact soil that is ours. Moss most often appears north of buildings on generously watered lawns. 

To solve the problem, it is necessary to try to decompact the soil in the area concerned (aeration with the fork, contribution of amendment for the reduction) or squarely, if the problem is recurrent, to replace the lawn with another installation.


The moss on the lawn is a sure sign that something is wrong with your property. This article explains why moss grows on your lawn and the other solutions you can implement to control it. At the end of this article, you will have an overview of the different causes and several solutions to have a green and healthy lawn.


Mosses are plants called bryophytes which have the particularity of having neither conductive vessels, flowers, fruits, or even real roots. They are one of the first plants to have colonized the humid regions of the Earth about 350 million years ago.

Its height does not exceed 10 cm. However, it can cover a large area, such as a rock or a wall (after a while). It grows in any moist place protected from direct sunlight. During the dry season, the moss wilts almost completely, but as soon as the rains return, it turns green again.

Although mosses may seem delicate and fragile, the truth is that they are pretty solid and resilient. Various species can be found from the shores of the Arctic Ocean to parts of Antarctica through the tropics.

 Some manage to survive in deserts, while others live submerged in swamps and streams. In general, most mosses prefer moist, shady sites. They usually form thick blankets covering rotten trunks and the ground in forests.

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Best moss as a lawn Care – Growing Moss Instead Of Grass 2023