Landscaping and gardening with moss certainly isn't a new idea, but it has been gathering steam in recent years. These days, with economic uncertainty and water scarcity, it may be resonating even more.
Today, May Day, the New York Times has an interesting piece on moss, leading with the story of a retired horticulture professor who "hasn't watered his lawn since the Kennedy administration." The man, one David Benner, also hasn't mowed, yet his two-acre spread looks lush and green.
It's all about the moss. Instead of ripping it up or spraying it with killer chemicals, more and more homeowners are deciding to encourage it, and that's very good news for the environment. Why? It grows fast and prevents erosion. It also grows thick and repels weeds, so you aren't tempted to buy weedkillers. Deer don't bother it, and it doesn't need fertilizer or much water.
Moss does need shade however, meaning it certainly isn't going to work everywhere.
According to the delightful, creative Christine Cook, who owns Mossaics, a moss gardening business in Easton, Conn., the ancient plant needs roughly one percent of the 10,000 gallons (beyond rainwater) that the EPA estimates a suburban grass lawn drinks annually. That means if only one person on each block changed out some of their grass for moss, we could see substantial water savings particularly important in increasingly water-strapped areas.
There are thousands of different varieties of moss, so you have plenty of options to choose from. It is wise to cultivate a variety that is well suited to your region and local micro-climate conditions. Then, you shouldn't really have to do any maintenance. Learn more, and order moss, from Moss Acres.
It's encouraging that more and more Americans are getting creative, and thinking outside of the old green carpet. Watering and applying fertilizer and chemicals to our lawns is one of the bigger impacts we have on our strained environment, and finding ways to reduce that, while still enjoying beautiful spaces, is a great thing to do.
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