Landscaper Jennifer Miree Cope Explains How to Create a Moss Garden


Jennifer Miree Cope and her husband

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A moss garden is an easy and sustainable way to add versatility to your landscape. In this article, Jennifer Miree Cope explains how to create and care for a moss garden. 

Types of Moss 

There are dozens of different types of moss, but they can all be categorized into one of two groups: prostrate and upright. Each has its own unique characteristics, but the main difference is that prostrate moss grows outward like carpet, and upright grows vertically. 

Prostrate moss grows faster and can tolerate more moisture. The upright variety will also tolerate moisture but needs to dry out every now and then to avoid rot. This upright variety is also slower growing and more difficult to transplant.  

How to Plant Moss 

For both types of moss, the first step is to prepare the area. Moss will not attach or grow if it does not have good contact with soil. When you are replacing your lawn with moss, you should remove the existing lawn in its entirety. If you are planning on integrating plants into your moss garden, plant them first, then prepare the surrounding area.  

Planting Prostrate Moss 

To plant prostrate moss, start with a large gathering of moss and divide it into fragments. Then, spread the fragments evenly among the desired area. The shredding signals the moss to begin new growth, and it will begin growing outward until it meets the next gathering.  

Planting Upright Moss 

Upright moss relies on a structure to grow on. To begin growing upright moss, place several moss gatherings next to each other at the base of the structure. This structure can be a light pole, a building, or another vertical surface.  

The moss grows vertically, leveraging the structure as well as nearby moss, so it is important to use more than one moss gathering to begin. 

With either type of moss, after planting, ensure that you water the moss thoroughly with a light spray or mist. You may have to make small adjustments along the way once you start to see the growth pattern. 

How to Care for Moss 

Moss gardens are gaining popularity not just for their sustainability but also for their relatively minimal maintenance. In general, moss is much easier to care for than other plants that require constant trimming and watering. 

Caring for Prostrate Moss 

Like many plants, moss relies on a healthy supply of water and may start to die if you only rely on rainfall. In addition, ensure that you remove any debris from your moss garden, like trash or fallen branches. Even weeds can impact the long-term health of the moss. 

Caring for Upright Moss 

In addition to water supply, the most important aspect of upright moss maintenance is ensuring it has a healthy growth pattern. If your moss has run into an obstacle as it is growing, it can grow in unpredictable ways and can eventually fall off of its structure.  

Details About Jennifer Miree Cope 

Jennifer Miree Cope has years of experience in the landscape design industry. She is known for her passion and thorough organization and holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. In addition to landscape design, she also spends time volunteering with several charitable locations, hiking, and walking her dog.  

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