Moss instead of Grass

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Emmaji, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Emmaji

    Emmaji Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I want to plant moss in the front yard that is EVERGREEN and BRIGHT GREEN and you can walk on it.

    And is NOT eaten by chafer bugs.

    Please help.
     
    Lysichiton likes this.
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    9,926
    Likes Received:
    326
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    We've had a couple lunchtime conversations about this here at my workplace. I think our conclusion was that it is an untapped market; there is a demand for moss as a replacement for lawn, but as yet, no suppliers that we could think of.
     
    Emmaji likes this.
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,202
    Likes Received:
    268
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    I don't think moss will deter crows and racoons from foraging for chafer grubs.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    9,926
    Likes Received:
    326
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    I think the thinking goes that if there are no grass roots available, the larvae have nothing to feed on. Same deal with growing clover instead of grass -- not preferred by the chafer beetle, so eggs are laid elsewhere.
     
    Emmaji likes this.
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,202
    Likes Received:
    268
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    I've seen lawns that are predominantly moss that have been dug up by these creatures. I guess there'll be grubs as long as there are some roots for them to feed on. The problem then becomes having to kill off the grass completely.
     
    Emmaji likes this.
  6. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    Yay! I have been on the moss kick for years. Some of the advantages of moss:

    It grows in, and indeed prefers, shade.
    No fertilizer required.
    No top dressing, or soil amendments needed.
    Little mowing needed, just to remove debris from the surface.
    Zero care in the summer, reliably greens-up with the first rain.
    No pests or predators that I have encountered in the Fraser Valley

    Bryophytes are great.

    Edit: You don't have to buy it or plant round here. It just grows, unless you want a particular species (which I have done by scavenging from roadsides/crown land in couple of specific locations)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
    Emmaji likes this.
  7. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    Junglekeeper, why does one have to kill off the grass completely? Just keep mulch-mowing as needed and let nature take its course. I have a mix of moss, grass, and several other species over most of my lawn. I suspect my healthy mole population helps control the larger fauna top layers of my soil. When they make hills, I carefully scrape-off the raised dirt without collapsing the tunnel. And, keep mowing.

    Has anyone looked at whether moles actually do control chafer beetle larvae?
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,202
    Likes Received:
    268
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    It would be great if moss could be an alternative to grass. I've always considered lawns to be unenvironmental because of the fertilizers and such that have to used as well as the water required to maintain it. I admire yards that resemble a woodland in which mulch and native plants are used. That seems to be a much more welcoming place not only for people but for birds and other small wildlife.
     
    Emmaji likes this.
  9. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,440
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    I've noticed that most, if not all, of the lawns in our Burnaby neighborhood that have been dug up for Chafer Beetles have a mixture of moss and grass. My lawn has no moss and has so far not been bothered by this pest. I checked an area of my lawn where the grass was not growing very well and found no sign of beetle larvae or pupae. Perhaps the moss invades a lawn when the grass growth is reduced due to root damage from beetle larvae.
     
  10. Emmaji

    Emmaji Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I have a feeling that might be true! However, I don't quite know how to find out........and don't want to put moss all over the yard only to have it eaten up like the grass was.........
     
  11. Emmaji

    Emmaji Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I am wondering if this means the Chafers love it best when there is moss AND grass! Lordy Lord........I hope there will be more research on this.....I LOVE moss!
     
  12. Emmaji

    Emmaji Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Thanks! This makes some sense to me. I hope all our grass roots were taken away when we had them dug up....but one never knows. I will also try clover in different places. I want to know which clover is the best for a lawn and remains evergreen, etc......I don't believe you can walk on it, though.
     
  13. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    Emmaji likes this.
  14. Emmaji

    Emmaji Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Hello.....what do you mean by mulch-mowing? I am a novice gardener, but any help that will put some green mixtures on my yard (like yours) would be great. However, I live in Vancouver West and all the lawns in the area have been eaten by Chafer. I am wondering if lawns in your area have been eaten.
    Thanks for any reply!
     
  15. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    Mulch mowing - just don't use the bag. Leave the cuttings on the lawn. Helps with moisture retention & increases organic matter. Don't believe the advertisements from the lawn industry. You don't actually need to do "Thatch removal" or "moss killing". Check it out.

    I'm in Langley and I have seen some damage to lawns, but not on the same scale as in Coquitlam. Personally, I have plenty of raccoons and crows around but no damage to my lawn despite my occasional application of chicken manure and generally synthetic chemical-free garden. As I say, I have encouraged a variety of species in my mown area.
     
    Emmaji likes this.
  16. Earth Ox

    Earth Ox Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    vancouver island
    I am wondering if this type of clover gets powdery mildew in August as does the wild variety.

    Someone once told me that milk encourages the growth of moss and I used stale milk + water to promote moss growth where I wanted it. Seemed to work. One problem with moss is bare spots if someone skids on it or drags something heavy across it. I have moss by default where it is shady so I helped it along.
     
    Emmaji likes this.

Share This Page