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Search Results for ' Moss gardening'

PAL Questions: 3 - Garden Tools:

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Keywords: Moss gardening, Lawn alternatives, Ground cover plants

PAL Question:

What is the best way to encourage moss to take over and cover large surface areas in a relatively short amount of time? My goal is to replace my lawn with a moss garden.

View Answer:

Here are some links to information which may be useful to you:

Primitive Plants: Mosses, Ferns, and Allies

Moss cultivation:

Encouraging Mosses

Mad About Moss—The Simple Art of Moss Gardening

There are two books I would recommend, Moss Gardening by George Schenk (Timber Press, 1997), particularly the chapter on "Moss Carpets," and How to Get Your Lawn Off Grass by Carole Rubin (Harbour Publishing, 2002). Rubin gives directions for preparing your site, which involve digging out existing plants or--in your case--smothering the lawn with mulches of leaves (12 inches), bark (3 inches), or newspaper (10 sheets thick). Schenk offers several different methods for creating a moss garden. Briefly paraphrasing, these are:

  1. Work with nature, allowing self-sown spores of moss to take hold. (Prepare the site by weeding, raking, and perhaps rolling the surface smooth.)
  2. Encourage the moss in an existing lawn by weeding out grass. You can plant what the author calls "weed mosses" which will spread, such as Atrichum, Brachythecium, Calliergonella, Mnium, Plagiothecium, Polytrichum, and others.
  3. Instant carpet: you can moss about 75 square feet if you have access to woods from which large amounts of moss can be removed legally.
  4. Plant moss sods at spaced intervals (about one foot apart) and wait for them to grow into a solid carpet.Choose plants that match your soil and site conditions.
  5. Grow a moss carpet from crumbled fragments. This is rarely done, and only a few kinds of moss will grow this way, including Leucobryum, Racomitrium, and Dicranoweisia.

Another approach is to change the soil pH. Sulphur should be beneficial to moss and detrimental to lawn grass. The reason for this lies in the fact that moss grows best with a soil pH of 5.0-6.0, while lawns grow best with soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 (according to The Lawn Bible by David Mellor, 2003). Added sulphur lowers the soil pH, creating a more acidic environment.

Season All Season
Date 2007-04-04
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Keywords: Moss gardening, Mosses, Lawn alternatives

PAL Question:

Could you tell me how to replace grass with moss in the shady areas of our lawn?

View Answer:

There are a number of options for replacing the grass in the shady part of your garden. Should you decide to cultivate moss, Oregon State University's page on Encouraging Mosses should be of interest.

There are two books I would recommend, Moss Gardening by George Schenk (Timber Press, 1997), particularly the chapter on "Moss Carpets," and How to Get Your Lawn Off Grass by Carole Rubin (Harbour Publishing, 2002). Rubin gives directions for preparing your site, which involve digging out existing plants or smothering the lawn with mulches of leaves (12 inches), bark (3 inches), or newspaper (10 sheets thick). Schenk offers several different methods for creating a moss garden. Briefly paraphrasing, these are:

  1. Work with nature, allowing self-sown spores of moss to take hold. (Prepare the site by weeding, raking, and perhaps rolling the surface smooth).
  2. Encourage the moss in an existing lawn by weeding out grass. You can plant what the author calls "weed mosses" which will spread, such as Atrichum, Brachythecium, Calliergonella, Mnium, Plagiothecium, Polytrichum, and others.
  3. Instant carpet: you can moss about 75 square feet if you have access to woods from which large amounts of moss can be removed legally.
  4. Plant moss sods at spaced intervals (about one foot apart) and wait for them to grow into a solid carpet.Choose plants that match your soil and site conditions.
  5. Grow a moss carpet from crumbled fragments. This is rarely done, and only a few kinds of moss will grow this way, including Leucobryum, Racomitrium, and Dicranoweisia.

In her book Big Ideas for Northwest Small Gardens, Marty Wingate recommends Mazus reptans. It is semi-evergreen to evergreen with tiny blue flowers from late spring through summer. It takes full sun to part shade and is delicate looking, but takes foot traffic. It requires some fertilizer to stay perky. Another source of ideas is the website www.stepables.com. Click on "plant info," then "plant search."

Another ground cover that can take foot traffic is Leptinella gruveri "Miniature Brass Buttons."

Season All Season
Date 2007-06-08
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Keywords: Tolmiea, Moss gardening

PAL Question:

Can you provide me with information on growing moss indoors? Also, do you know if Tolmiea is known for being fragrant?

View Answer:

Here is some information on growing moss indoors, from Yahoo Voices, which links to an article with directions.

The web site Bizarre Stuff is another resource. Excerpt:

Mosses can be grown in terrariums fairly easily. Collect moss from an area where it is okay to do so and transport in plastic sandwich bags. Sprinkle with water and seal the bag if you won't be setting up the terrarium right away. Use a large, clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Lay it on its side in a shallow box or on a stand so that it will not roll. Place sand and pebbles about 1/2 inch thick in the bottom of the jar. On top of this place some of the soil from the same place where the moss will be collected, or mix a soil of charcoal, light gravel, leaf mold and garden soil. The soil should be level with the opening of the jar. A little sulfur scattered on the soil will help to prevent mold from growing. Plant the moss by pressing it into the soil. Water the terrarium, screw the cover on, and place it in a shady place. If it seems too wet, leave the lid off for a few hours to allow some of the water vapor to escape. Eventually you will get the balance of water just right, and the moss should thrive. The terrarium should sustain itself for several weeks or months without needing additional water if the lid is kept tightly on. If conditions are just right, the moss may eventually send up little stalks. Some of these stalks form spores that will fall to the soil and germinate into new plants.

The January 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens has an article, "Pleasant Under Glass," by Suzy Bales. Here is an abstract: The article highlights the fragile beauty evoked by glass gardens or terrariums. Everyday containers such as carafes and vases can make ideal terrariums. Featured in the article is an antique terrarium that becomes a stage for a miniature woodland garden. It has flowering Cape primrose, rabbit's-foot fern, golden club moss and black and dwarf mondo grasses.

The January 2003 issue of Sunset has an article by Kathleen Brenzel, "Serene Greens," on miniature indoor landscapes: Presents ways in creating a miniature indoor landscapes. Use of copper trays in Irish and Scotch moss; Dimension of the ceramic cache pots for mini bog plants; Amount of water used for hyacinth floats.

Now on to Tolmiea. I consulted several reference books and online plant databases, but none mentioned fragrance as a quality for which this plant is known. This does not necessarily mean it has no fragrance, only that it is not notable.

Season All Season
Date 2007-08-02
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June 24 2013 12:55:25