Moss and Clover Support

Anonymous's picture

Moss and Clover Support (post #19786)

Hello all, I'm new to the forum, and gerdening for that matter, and have a question for anyone who can help.  I recently became a homeowner in western Washington.  I love the climate, terrain, and plant life here, and actually enjoy most of the diversity in my lawn.  My question to you all is actually the opposite of what so many people around here seem to be asking.  While everyone seems to want to erradicate moss and clover from their lawn, I actually want it to thrive!  So, how do I promote the growth of the moss and clover, and help it spread more readily?  My little spin to the question is this, is there a way I can do this while battling dandelions?  While the dandelions don't bother me too terribly much, they are a pain when it comes to mowing, as I use a reel mower.  Also, I would rather see an expanse of lush moss/clover/grasses than tall dandelions disrupting that everywhere.  So, any help would be greatly appreciated, and I look forward to using this resource as I venture down my new path of gardening. One more quick mention, while i would prefer to keep things organic and natural, I'm not 100% opposed to using some chemical treatments, as a last resort and safely, so as to not ruin my soil and other life.  Thank You!


KimmI's picture

Moss and clover in the lawn (post #19786, reply #1 of 4)

You want to grow plants that need two different soils. Mosses, as a rule, prefer moist, shady acidic soils (5. somethjing pH) while clovers prefer sunny, dryer soils with a pH nearer neitral (6.5 pH). That said I have moss growing on my crushed dolomite (limestone) covered drive in full sun as well as one my sidewalks and concrete block house foundation and often find some clovers growing in the mosses in the lower parts of the yard. The sprays that will control Dandelions will also kill off both the clover and the moss so using them is not compatable with what you want to do.

Your Washington State University Cooperative Extension Service should have informaiton that can help you learn more about growing both of these plants.

The sign of a good gardener is brown knees, not a green thumb.

evergreenblue's picture

Let me first say thank you (post #19786, reply #2 of 4)

Let me first say thank you for replying to my post.  I have yet to really test my soil, as I'm really just getting started with gardening, but I imaging the conditions are fairly conducive for both the moss and the clover.  Right now, both are growing fairly well throughout the lawn, so I'm not necessarily starting from nothing.  Regarding the WSU Extension, I have looked there as a learning resource, and so far, I am glad as it has been very helpful and informative.  My issue though is that so far, with every resource, including the WSU Extension, the only information I can find is on erradicating the moss and clover, not promoting the growth.  I've even gone to the local home centers and tried to talk to "lawn experts", but again, I just receive information on how to kill the moss and clover.  Regarding the spray for dandelions, do you suppose I'll have to control them manually?  From what I've read, if the lawn is healthy, it should choke the dandelions out for the most part.  Would this be true if I can promote the health of the clover and moss?  If I did promote the health of the grass, and it could possible control the spread of dandelions, would it also inhibit the clover and moss growth as well?  It seems I'm in a predicament that many people, as far as I can tell, do not put them selves in.  Again, thanks for the response, and I hope to get more feedback from anyone at all.

coleuslady's picture

Patience and time (post #19786, reply #3 of 4)

Welcome, David!

I have a lot of both moss and clover in the yard, and they have greatly increased over the years without my doing anything. How to speed up the process I don't know. They both want to grow, and they spread easily on their own. The only caution with clover is that, if you don't keep it mown along with the rest of the lawn, it will probably flower and can turn into a mess of bees. We've had some bee problems in the neighborhood, so we have to be careful about that. I also caution you to try not to let the clover take over your garden beds, as it will. I'm always weeding it out, as it will choke the plants you want.

I have to smile over the notion that a healthy lawn will choke out dandelions. In my experience, the dandelions win every time. Again, a lot of patience and hand digging have been my approach. It never ends, but it does get me out into the sun and fresh air.

Good luck!

Elizabeth, Gardening in Zone 7, Mid-Atlantic

“Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around. An extremely yang solution to a peculiar problem which they faced.” -- Terence McKenna

thomaspoul's picture

Welcome (post #19786, reply #4 of 4)

Hello and well to the finegardening forum.