Maintenance of Mosses in Gardens

A moss lawn or garden does require some care.  Until established, the area must be kept moist and free of all other plants.  Weeding by hand is the only recommended method. If you feel the need to fertilize your moss garden, the following methods can be used, but are typically not required:

Dried skim milk or buttermilk:
§ 1 part milk to 7 parts water
§ Apply 2 times a day for 2 weeks in the spring to
      re-acidify the soil.

Manure tea:
§ Steep a burlap /cheesecloth bag of fresh or dried cow manure in a bucket of water for 3 weeks.
§ This mixture may be added when needed.

It is important to note that mosses need so little fertilizer that it may be quite unnecessary.  As well overfertilizing may have an inhibitory effect on the mosses you are trying to encourage. For more on moss fertilizing see Cox (1989).

Once established mosses only need to be watered when continued hot and dry weather persists. Most of the mosses native to the Pacific Northwest are tolerant to summer drought so they require very little attention. Although fairly resilient, moss can not survive constant foot travel.

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