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I have a bare patch of shady ground in my background, about 10 feet by 15 feet in area, where I'd like to start growing a healthy layer of moss this year. I have a limited budget, less than $100 US. I've come across several approaches to growing moss:

1) Transplant live moss to the target area (a possibility - there is plenty of moss growing elsewhere on my property),

2) Run live moss through a blender and spread the slurry (presumably containing live spores) onto the planting area,

3) Purchase moss spores or live plants from a garden store or online.

Does anyone have experience successfully growing moss? Which is the most effective technique?

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Moss is easily out competed by grass and weeds unless the environment favors it. I can find moss growing in cracks in the dry north side of the house or in shady wet areas. If you want to encourage moss what really makes it grow fast is continuous supply of moisture. Not sitting in water but on top of damp soil.

Depending on your soil you could make a moss garden by transplanting some from other areas and just making sure it is damp. A drip hose and a timer come to mind if the slope is right.

This moss is growing on a rock but has constant access to moisture moss on a rock

Another alternative is Irish moss, Sagina subulata which looks like moss and is a little less demanding. enter image description here

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A few years ago I had to maintain the rather scrappy gardens of a run down block of flats in east London (annual rainfall - about 600mm). There was a large patch of bare ground that used to attract weeds. I used to spot treat these with Roundup every couple of weeks. After a year or so, moss started to cover this bare area (Roundup doesn't affect moss - nature abhors a vacuum). The advantage of this "method" is that you end up with moss species native to your location. As with any herbicide, follow the label instructions.

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