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How Moss Is Good For Moist Areas In Landscaping
Do you have an area within your property that is always damp? This moist area might have more water than you'd like. Wouldn't it be great if you could naturally remove some of the water from the soil to help prevent drowning out other plants in the same area? With moss, all of that is possible. When it comes to moist places on your property, moss is a fantastic option. Here are some of the significant benefits of moss for damp areas around your property.
Moss Absorbs Moisture Well
Moss thrives in areas that are moist and not in direct sunlight. It's best to think of moss-like nature's sponge. It can absorb an impressive amount of water. Moss can pull in 10 times its weight in water. This way, if you want other plants to thrive in a typically saturated area on your property, the inclusion of moss will help remove some of the water, so the root systems of your other plants are not over-exposed to the water.
Requires Little To No Maintenance
You can spend an entire day tending even a small garden. Moss lets you take a bit of a break. Moss needs next to no maintenance to grow and thrive. As long as it is out of direct sunlight and the ground remains damp, it will grow. And even if it doesn't rain for some time, the moss will remain vibrant. Because it's a smaller plant, it doesn't need much water to live off of, and it can use the moisture it has absorbed for extended periods. In some ways, it's like a landscaping camel. It will pull in the water when it's there and then live off what it absorbed when it doesn't rain.
Removes Chemicals From The Soil
It is a good idea to perform a nutrient test on your land's soil. Depending on where you live, there is a chance you might find trace chemicals in the soil. This is even more likely if you live near older factories or abandoned production plants. It can often take years, if not decades, to entirely rid the soil of chemicals absorbed into the ground. Moss can help with this. Mosses will help pull the chemicals out of the earth and prevent other plants from taking the substances in (which is especially important if you're thinking about growing a garden on your property). Plus, because moss overgrows in moist areas, you can replace the moss that has absorbed some of the soil's chemicals with new moss. This is why moss is often used to help purify the soil.
Moss Gardens May Be The Answer
These are just some of the many advantages moss presents to you within moist areas of any property. If you're looking for a comfortable, natural fix for landscaping areas that are constantly moist (such as the bottom of a hill in the shade), you need to consider adding moss to your property.
There are many benefits to incorporating different strains of mosses into your garden. Mosses require minimal maintenance and provide a soft, cushioned landscape for yourself and your family. These beautiful, deeply green species can transform a grassy area in desperate need of attention into a veritable wonderland of nature. Perhaps the soil in your area is too acidic for the lush, verdant yard of your dreams, or perhaps you enjoy the shade cast by your massive oak trees too much to cut them down and give the grass more sunlight. Either way, if grass is not producing the yard you want, mosses may be your answer.
Selecting the Right Moss for the Job
There are around twelve thousand moss species in the world, and many of them are difficult to identify without the aid of a microscope and years of experience. Carpet Moss, genus Hypnum, is used to refer to about eighty species of mosses. These tend to favor decaying wood in well-hydrated areas. Sheet moss, Hypnum curvifolium, is one of these types of carpet moss, which describes the way the moss grows outwardly in dense mats of a brilliant green to cover large landscapes. These are typically used in most moss gardens.
Planning (and Planting) Your Moss
Mosses appear naturally in landscapes that are more favorable to moss growth than grass growth. If your yard is naturally conducive to mosses – with plenty of shade and water – cultivating what is already there could prove beneficial to your gardening plans. If you would rather transplant a few species from your local wooded areas, mosses can be easily removed and rehomed in your yard. As mosses do not have root systems that anchor the organism to the ground like grasses, they are easily excavated by hand or by trowel and replanted as you see fit.
The remaining grass will have to be removed down to the root, lest it compete with your transplanted mosses. Once the mosses are placed, either in long sheets or small sections, the moss will take over, provided the environment is amenable. Checking the amount of water and shade in a given area is paramount, and maintaining the proper pH level will ensure a wild growth of moss. Mosses reproduce via spores, not seeds, and these spores can be carried by wind or rain to new areas and eventually cover the entire landscape.
Maintaining Your Moss Garden
If mosses have occurred naturally in your garden or yard, then maintenance might not be much of an issue. The preconditions for moss growth are water and shade – if your landscape already possesses those, then half the work is done. If you have used mostly transplanted mosses, then some light watering may be necessary. Over-treading and fallen leaves and limbs can also be worries for transplanted moss; mosses gather water directly from rain and water vapor and anything that prevents that, such as a covering of fall leaves, could cause problems. Aside from the occasional weeding, your moss garden will thrive.