Last summer I lamented that my raised bed gardens didn’t do as well as my neighbors’. He told me his secret is lining the bottom of the raised bed with moss – plain old moss from the woods – to retain moisture.

Eager to begin planing, I decided to experiment with the moss idea. I  selected the smallest of my five raised beds to begin with.


Hannah and I collected moss that grows abundantly on the rocks in the woods.


With Paul’s backhoe temporarily out of commission, I removed the dirt from the raised bed by hand with a spade. Tonight, as I sit here on the sofa I’m feeling every bit of that manual labor.


We lined the bottom and sides with the sheets of moss before shoveling the dirt back in.


When filling the bed again, I worked in chicken compost and started the gardening season by planing kale and spinach in the bed.

I’m not sure if I’m up to manually retrofitting the other four larger raised beds. I may have to wait until the backhoe is operational again. Time will tell if this experiment is worth the effort!