Questions about growing moss on concrete

FuumaOctober 16, 2011

So I am working on growing a moss garden in shady places of my lawn where grass doesn't want to grow. I'm a complete novice, though I'm enthusiastic. I've got patches here and there that I'm cultivating moderately successfully so far. I'd like to add some height differences to the area and so was thinking of incorporating some stones, preferably ones I can grow moss on as well, as inexpensive as possible.

I was thinking it might be fun and interesting to mix some concrete and make some abstract shape molds just by digging holes and filling them in with concrete, waiting for it to cure and then digging the concrete back up. Then flipping it flat side down and adding it to my moss garden, to grow moss on them.

I am wondering if anyone has done anything like this and if so, any tips or help would be appreciated. I also have this irritating feeling that in my reading up on mosses, I read somewhere about moss not growing well on some concrete, or something about curing it differently/longer before trying to grow moss on it, because the acidity/alkalinity of the concrete mattered. But I can't remember or find much about any of those things now that I want to, so I'm not sure what to do and don't want to waste my time and money on a shot in the dark. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated!

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Moss grows fine on concrete (I have some growing on mine), you can even grow it on a brick if you want. You might not get the same height/thickness as if it's on soil though. You might have best results by making up the paste with the moss and milk/beer/yogurt/etc.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 8:03PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

There are calciphilic mosses that like growing on limestone and those species should take to concrete as well. Select ones that you find growing on concrete as starter cultures. To get them going quickly you could try to make a misting system. I know someone who used an intermittent mist system for her research on mosses and the parts were pretty inexpensive. There is a section on mist propagation in the rose forum faq that includes discussion on how to put one together.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 8:28PM
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Older concrete often has moss. Moss prefers acidic, shady, damp, & moist, so if you can provide that it will grow. Here in western WA we can't get rid of enough moss as it grows everywhere the sun doesn't dry out.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 12:29PM
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topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)

I have a brick patio covered with moss, and a patio made from concrete made to look like brick, and it has no moss at all. The concrete may get moss someday, but 10 years has not produced any yet. I would try the hypertufa recipe instead of straight concrete, as it is more porous and has peat moss which decreases alkalinity.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 8:29PM
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