Start of moss season

I know there are places where moss grows year-round or almost so, where it actually becomes a nuisance, just another "weed". Around here though winter marks the start of what I call "moss season", because under the snow (sometimes) and cold damp those patches of moss are starting to come into their own.

I was reminded of this earlier this week on my walk. Although most people have mossy spots somewhere in their yards, there are a couple of houses on my normal walk route that have what most would consider to be moss problems. I think they're wonderful, and here's an early look at one of them.


This house is on a corner and I get to scrutinize not only their front yard, but their side yard as well (and their backyard to be honest, since they have virtually no privacy). It's this side yard that is the mossiest.

In the Midwest at least, moss in lawns typically indicates too much moisture, not enough nutrients for turf grasses, and/or acidic soil. 

I've watched this yard for years, and nothing really thrives here in the shade of an oak. Lawn didn't last, and the "natural" planting with various native grasses and plants isn't really taking off either. The moss though thrives, at least until it gets hot and dry.

So right now there is a lot of moss here -- a beautiful carpet of it. Moss really perks up in winter and becomes so much more noticeable when it provides some of the brightest green around, then once spring arrives it's overshadowed by pretty much everything else. The heat of summer then puts most of it back into dormancy, except where there's plenty of moisture: near water, or where lawn sprinklers run amok.

In the next month or so I'll be on the lookout for more examples of moss at its peak, and will surely post about it when I find some (and will even use my good camera, unlike the photos in today's post which came from my little point-and-shoot). 

Moss is one of my fascinations! (click for more of my moss posts)

How do you feel about moss where you live or garden? 


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Lisa  – (January 13, 2013 at 9:08 AM)  

It's green and requires no mowing... What's not to love?

Jason  – (January 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM)  

I'm a big fan of moss. I have some pretty healthy moss growing between pavers in the back yard and I've occasionally thought of trying one of those recipes that is supposed to help it spread.

ricki  – (January 14, 2013 at 2:46 PM)  

I do everything I can to encourage moss.

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