Falling leaves and critters?

NHRed(z5 NewEngland)October 31, 2005

This is my first year with a Moss garden. It is a small courtyard style with lots of moss and peastone. I realize that falling leaves are a fact of life here - but I have a big silver birch growing in the middle which is shedding little catkin scales and tiny bits of bark and wood all over the stone and moss. This is impossible to rake up, so how do you deal with it? I tried using a vacuum, being careful not to suck up any moss with limited success. It looks like I will have to screen and wash the stone in the spring. Does any one use a leaf blower?

My second problem is that the critters all love this place which is fine becqause they are cute little buggers and part of nature, but now they are doing what comes natuarly at this time of the year - which is burying seeds for the winter which absolutely is causing havoc with the moss. They are tearing the bejezzis out of it and throwing dirt all over the place. The other critters are moles, which I never see, but they are tunneling under the fabric under the stone leaving these bubbles everywhere. Occassionally they will surface at the edges and leave a mess. Does anyone have any techniques for controling or repelling these guys? I will most likely wait until spring for major repair of the moss.

Thanks

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judithjane(z7, NC)

For many years,I have used an electric Blower/Vac made by Toro to clean up leaves in my moss garden. It's terrific! It blows the leaves off the moss quickly & efficently transfers them to the compost area. Because it's electric, it's no louder than a large fan + no gasoline exhaust. Best $50 I ever spent for a tool!!! The only down-side is coiling up a couple of hundred feet of extension cord ever time I use it. It's also much lighter than a gasoline model & doesn't tire me to use for hours. My moss garden is close to half an acre.

Repairing critter damage as it happens or at least a couple of times a week works easier for me and keeps an intact moss carpet. Don't waste your money on rubber owls, electronic rodent repellers or chemical sprays. Just neat up the area and compact with your foot. The moss will be fine. I've never had a mole problem, but a friend does. When stolling in her moss garden, we just walk down the mole runs. My worst damage comes from ant hills & I use insectacide for that.

I truly recommend the leaf blower. It took a little practice to avoid blowing the moss off the ground since I use the 210 mile an hour setting. Using the right angle is now second nature, leaf removal goes quickly and the moss is undisturbed.

Best regards.......jjane

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 12:39PM
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