With many modern homeowners looking to blend natural elements into their contemporary curb appeal, moss growth between patio pavers is no longer being looked upon with contempt as it used to be. In fact, many are now embracing it. If you’re curious about stepping into the world of growing moss between paver spaces, you’re in the right place!
Moss is a low maintenance non-vascular plant (Bryophyta), insect-rich-wildlife habitat. Moss helps retain soil water and prevent soil erosion. To grow it, remove any weed, dig a trench, choose your moss, plant, and water it occasionally.
Is Moss between pavers bad?
The answer to this question is both ’yes’ and ‘no’, depending on your aesthetical preferences. While some homeowners consider moss growing between patio pavers as an eyesore, the majority love the rustic feel that this plant adds to their otherwise modern patios. They even go ahead to take specific measures to boost the growth of moss in the spaces between their pavers.
Can you encourage moss to grow between pavers?
Yes, to boost moss growth between pavers, ensure the area is adequately shaded and that the soil between the pavers is sufficiently moist and acidic. You can- therefore- water the soil between the pavers to improve moisture conditions, while also applying a soil acidifier such as Sulphur or aluminum sulfate.
If you have no idea what the pH of your soil is, you can have a landscaping contractor test it. The contractor should advise you on the amount of acidifier you’ll need to lower the soil pH to the desirable 5- 5.5 acidity level.
You can also encourage moss growth between patio pavers in your backyard by purchasing a moss variety that’s adapted to thriving between pavers. Examples include Irish moss, rock cap moss, hair cap moss, and cushion moss.
How to Grow Moss between Patio Pavers
1. Weed the Spaces between your Pavers
For starters, you’ll want to get rid of any weeds or unwanted growth that’s already sprouted between your patio pavers. The best way to do this is by uprooting the weed plants/grasses by hand so that they won’t be able to grow back after a while.
2. Dig out a Trench for Planting
After weeding, you should now remove about ½-inch of soil/sand from the spaces between the pavers. You can do this effectively using smaller landscaping tools that can fit in between the relatively narrow patio paver spaces- such as a trowel. Undertaking this step will provide you with an adequately deep trench where you can plant your moss.
3. Prep the Spaces between the Pavers
Next, apply half an inch of garden soil into the trench that you dug out in the previous step, while also irrigating the pavers. Irrigation ensures that the garden soil is sufficiently moist to support the growth of the moss that you’re about to plant.
4. Find your Moss
After preparing the spaces between your pavers, it’s now time to plant your moss. However, you may be asking yourself where you can get good-quality moss for planting. The most obvious answer would be to purchase from a commercial landscaping supplies business or even your local plant nursery.
If you can’t find moss being sold around your area, you can try sourcing for moss fragments from other parts of your own compound, or within a friend’s or relative property. As earlier mentioned, moss thrives in moist and shaded areas. You are- therefore- more likely to spot moss fragments under trees on your lawn, or even beneath rotting wood in your backyard.
After finding some moss fragments, collect them by shoveling or troweling them out. If the moss is growing on a piece of rotting wood or log, you should cut out some of that growth medium together with the moss to boost the chances of thriving.
5. Plant your Moss
After finding and collecting your moss fragments, or purchasing from a nursery, plant the moss immediately. However, if you won’t be able to plant instantly, you can maintain the health of your moss by keeping it in a shaded area. Daily misting will also help since moss plants love moisture.
When planting moss, firmly press down the plants into the soil between the patio paver spaces. For bulbous moss bought from local nurseries, you can ensure an easy fit between narrow paver spaces by cutting down the moss into slender strips before planting.
6. Water after Planting
You’ll want to finish off the planting process by watering your pavers and new moss just after planting. After this, regular watering for the next 21-35 days will help ensure the proper root establishment of your moss. Remember, you’ll want to avoid overwatering your pavers at this stage, as too much water will wash the moss plants away.
Another reason to grow moss between your patio pavers is that, as a gardening enthusiast, it’s is one of those plants that will give you little maintenance trouble. For starters, moss doesn’t need to be mowed, pruned, or fertilized to stay healthy. The plant also stays green through the cooler seasons of the year and is moderately wear-resistant.
On the flipside, moss is usually vulnerable to fungal infestations, which may result in entire moss patches dying out. Also, the plant is likely to start rotting should it find itself heavily thatched by dead, fallen leaves from nearby trees and shrubs. To prevent this, ensure to regularly dethatch the area using a rake, especially during fall when more leaves wilt and fall off.