How to make a moss garden

When a friend told me his disused moss-covered tennis court was about to be demolished I jumped at the chance to create a beautiful moss garden!

Collecting moss can be frowned upon in the UK, but if you get the chance to save some then why not make your own moss garden? If you have to collect from the wild then choose a conifer plantation and leave it in such a way that it will grow back to fill in the holes you make. Here’s some good advice.

Choose a place in your garden that moss likes to grow in, it’ll be a wetter area or you’ll get slower growth – moss only grows when it has light, water and nutrients, if one of these is missing it will go dormant and be in stasis.

It can take six months for moss to get going once it’s been moved so you may as well give it the best shot at success!

How to lay a moss lawn:

Choose the dampest location in full sun or semi shade

Flatten the ground – moss doesn’t like bumps (it will in fact grow on glass)

Cut the moss to shape and press down firmly, in a windy location use cocktail sticks to fix it in place. If your moss is dry and you want to get it growing on a rock, or wood, then use spots of super glue.

Use scissors to cut the moss into the fine detail

Walking on moss will actually help it by again firming it down and by breaking the cells to make more moss.

Moss doesn’t like competition from weeds, like grass, neither does it like leaf litter. Show it a bit of love in this direction and it’ll repay you handsomely!

Some folks use weed killer to get moss off the lawn, if you have this problem do consider switching to a moss lawn, they are hard wearing and very attractive. For larger areas, like a lawn, lay it like polka dots and eventually it’ll grow over the gaps. But be warned, it is slow growing.




4 thoughts on “How to make a moss garden”

    • It would, but it may take an absolute age to become beautiful. Moss spreads best on flat smooth surfaces, kinda the oposite of the blades of artificial turf. Having said this, I recon once it is fully spread over the artificial lawn it will look fantastic. Perhaps even look like the very mature deep moss found in temperate rainforests?

      It just might take a while to get there though. I’d love to see it in a couple of years!

  1. I had patches of moss in the garden that was not planted, it just arrived. I believe it’s common striated feather moss, but I could be wrong.

    I decided not to rake it out for a few months over the winter of 2021/22 and was then intrigued to see that the grass suffered in 2022’s drought, but the moss stayed green. It’s now (March 2023) covering a good 50% of the garden and I’m just going to let it take over and only remove it from the flower beds. Less mowing, it seems to stay green, bulbs grow through it and I find it pleasantly spongey to walk on.

    Just hope I don’t live to regret this…

    • I don’t think you’ll regret it!

      For one thing if you try and grow moss where it isn’t suited, it will fail (and so it won’t take over). and for another thing, it tends to grow where it wants, even if you try your hardest to stop it!

      It sounds gorgeous to me, hope it brings you years of enjoyment.


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