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Moss or Grass

I m a big fan of creating different areas in my garden to attract wildlife. I have clay soil which gets baked in summer and is soggy all winter. I have four different areas of grass, one of which I leave uncut until the end of August. The large area of grass in front of my pond is more moss than grass and is beautifully green. I could spend time raking and re seeding with grass but would happily leave it if moss is beneficial to wildlife. However I can't ever remember reading anything to back this up. Can anyone provide a list of the pros and cons of moss? Thanks


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,878

    Everything has its place in nature, something will be lurking in there, maybe something too small to see. That something will be eaten by something else, it's all part of the food chain.

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    From Devon Wildlife Trust:

    "Moss provides important shelter and food for many of our minibeasts and can be encouraged to grow in the garden by providing logs, stone piles and untidy areas. In turn, other species, such as birds, mammals and amphibians, will be attracted to the garden looking for a minibeast meal."

  • KayteKayte Posts: 11

    Thanks that s good enough for me to justify keeping at least one large mossy patch!

    Are there lots of different types of moss to cultivate? Are some rarer than others? 

    I guess my patch will also provide building material for nesting birds in spring and lining for hanging baskets too.

  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,096

    I leave moss in my south- facing 'lawn' as it stays green when the grass dies. I would think that any indigenous plant that grows naturally will support some kind of indigenous insect life. 

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • I've never understood the idea that you should rake moss out of lawns. Moss gives a nice springy texture which is nicer to walk on, especially in bare feet. I think lawns with a wide mix of species (including moss and clover) are also more resilient than pure grass sown lawns. Plus, if the conditions are favourable for moss then the chances are high it will just grow back anyway, unless you start using moss killer which is a totally unnecessary use of chemicals in the garden for no good reason.

  • KayteKayte Posts: 11

    I agree  Onopordum about not using moss killer.Also why put yourself through hours of raking or the expense of buying or  hiring a scarifier then reseeding a lawn to then see it shrivel and die as it bakes in the heat of a south facing exposed  garden? The moss is green all year and also saves lots of mowing time!

    Does anyone know where or how you can cultivate sphagnum moss?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,288

    Lots of small birds gather moss for their nests. I love watching the bluetits gathering moss from our back garden. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Sphagnum moss grows happily in my sheep fields, which are 50% rushes and waterlogged peaty soil. Not conditions most people want to garden in!

    I get a few handfuls if I need it for a basket or to top a pot of bulbs and it is a useful warning of where not to tread. You could easily get bogged down, quite literally - found a dead ram once, only the tops of his horns showing!

    Most birds nests I have found here are partly or even nearly all moss, some with wool added for warmth. One innovative bird had added orange baler twine for strength and colourimage

    I agree about moss in the lawn, especially in shady or damp parts (most of my garden!) where it would be a constant battle and expense to try to eradicate it.

    Last edited: 03 November 2016 08:00:14

  • The_herpetologistThe_herpetologist West YorksPosts: 481

    I have some lovely patches of Star Sphagnum moss near one of my ponds and they are teeming with insects,especially over winter when they provide much needed warmth and shelter. Keep the moss l say.....


  • KayteKayte Posts: 11

    I love the look of your mossy area. image Where did you get your moss from? 

    What s that lovely bright green plant that looks like it s growing from the log?

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