Moss will grow in your yard in the Northwest without doing anything to make it happen. Its requirements are the very things that many of us have in abundance — shade, acidic soil and adequate moisture. Yet, many people think of it as invasive and put great effort into keeping it under control. Fortunately, more and more of us are realizing the benefits of letting nature take its course and are peacefully coexisting with moss.
Little by little, areas that were once designated lawn are being dug up and used for better purposes such as more garden space. For those of us who are still holding on to that vision of a patch of green outside our house, consider allowing that to be moss instead of grass. Chances are it may happen whether you want it to or not.
Think about this. Moss never needs to be watered, mowed or fertilized. As an added bonus, it prevents soil erosion. You don’t even need to weed it if you are okay with leaving a few dandelions for friendly foragers. Americans burn at least 800 million gallons of gas each year mowing grass. One hour of mowing with a gas-powered mower is equivalent to driving 350 miles in terms of air pollution. We are all aware of conserving water, even in the Northwest. The use of native and drought resistant plants is becoming a major landscape design trend in 2008. If you look around, you’ll see that nature is our best trendsetter.
The Japanese have used moss as a design element for centuries. They try to evoke the beauty and serenity of what occurs naturally.
The next time you are worried about the moss in your yard, take off your shoes and walk barefoot. You may just become a moss lover (if you aren’t one already).
To learn more about growing moss, check out Moss Acres, one of the few resources for moss.