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Question - How do you maintain a moss path?

How do you care for a moss walkway? The house I purchased has one, but it needs attention. What fertilizer, etc.?

Robert Strange

Answers

A moss path is usually successful due to its damp, shady environment. Moss is propagated by division and spores. Moss spores are everywhere, in the air, in tap water that originates from upland areas, in the peat you buy, in lawns, on the roofs of houses etc. To encourage an area to moss over, put grass cuttings into a large bucket or tank and mix it with water. Allow it to soak over night. Then strain the liquid through sacking or similar over the area that you want to moss.

Any fast acting fertiliser will encourage other plants and grasses to grow instead of moss. Moss areas are maintained by ensuring they are kept damp and do not dry out.

A word of caution about encouraging a lot of moss to grow too near the house. Moss can be extremely destructive. It grows on most tiles when wet and becomes detached when it dries out in hot weather and when birds peck at it. When it becomes detached it damages the tiles and blocks gutters. Moss can also cling to the insides of asbestos guttering and block them and drainpipes. Some people like to encourage moss to grow over roofs etc. It may look nice, especially after rain. But what happens if you want to remove the moss for maintainance purposes?

Of course walking straight from a moss path over a lawn will spread the moss onto it, and damp moss is extremely slippery for walking on.

 
 

Making Paths and Walkways shows many practical examples of alternative paths as well as moss paths. The book shows a pretty, ornamental moss path carpeting a bridge across a stream. I think its mainly ornamental, otherwise there may be a few wet misadventures! The book has clear instructions, with colour pictures and diagrams, on how to construct paths using various designs and different materials.

The book is available from Amazon, click here for   UK   or   USA.

 
 

There is an excellent book on moss gardening called Moss Gardening by George Schenk. Moss areas are a feature in many woodland gardens and are popular with Japanese style gardens.

The book is available from Amazon, click here for   UK   or   USA.


 

 

 

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