How to Plant a Moss Lawn

Written by catherine mezensky
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How to Plant a Moss Lawn
Moss lawns are much less work than grass. (Leaf and Moss image by RainbowMom from

A moss lawns is an environmentally friendly lawn replacement option that needs little care and is less work than a grass lawn. In Japan moss lawns are very common and have been grown for hundreds of years. This grass alternative is good for rainy climates or for areas with little sun. Moss lawns do not need the frequent watering that grass does because moss is able to get tiny amounts of moisture from the atmosphere. Unlike grass, moss does not produce pollen or require mowing. There are fewer weeds with a moss lawn because moss will spread and overtake the area.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shovel or knife
  • Moss
  • Plastic bags
  • Rake

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  1. 1

    Choose the area where the moss lawn will grow. Moss grows best in poor soil. It is a good choice for areas with lots of clay or compacted soil.

  2. 2

    Find the moss. You can get moss from online retailers but it is often hard to find for sale. It is best harvested from areas where people don't want it. Always ask before removing moss from someone's property. Look in the cracks of sidewalks or in wooded areas.

  3. 3

    Cut pieces of moss. Use a shovel or a knife to cut or dig up patches. Put it in a plastic bag and keep it moist until you are ready to plant it.

  4. 4

    Prepare the area where the moss will be laid. Remove any plants or old grass and rake the area smooth.

  5. 5

    Water the soil in the selected area so it is damp.

  6. 6

    Plant the moss on the newly prepared lawn area. Place it on the ground and make sure it is even with the soil around it. It should not sit higher or lower. Firmly pat the soil in around the moss chunk. You can leave about a foot in between large chunks of moss because it will eventually grow together. In many cases this happens in about a year.

  7. 7

    Water the moss when the soil is dry, but only do this until the moss lawn is established. Moss is drought tolerant and does not need regular watering or fertilising.

Tips and warnings

  • If you can't find enough moss put a chunk of it in a blender with one cup each of buttermilk and water. Blend it and pour it where you want the moss to grow. The spores will spread and germinate.
  • Raking can damage moss. Wait until after the ground is frozen to rake fall leaves from moss.

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