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Ways to spread moss to an acrage

Posted by Nashonii 6 Ozarks (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 7, 05 at 4:56

I have been following this forum, and the knowledge that is here, with great interest! My lawn has now been killed and the moss that is around the front-edge is doing well, but I have an acre that needs to be sewn with moss.
What ways have you used to spread moss to large areas?
(I have only read of the brush method,on rocks.)
Earlier, I mentioned trying to spread it using a fertilizer adaptor on my garden hose, but someone mentioned to me that the moss might clog up in the adaptor.
Has anyone tried sewing moss to such a large area?
Any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

Hi, I have a fairly large moss garden. Somewhere between 1/2 to 3/4 of an acre with 26 types of moss. I've been working on it for 9 yrs (2 yrs of which were drought years). I've never had any luck with the blender method. What works for me is direct transplanting during rainy weather from fall thru spring. I used George Schenk's Moss Gardening book as a guide plus a lot of trial & error. Best advice is to start collecting & transplantng moss. It's amazing how much you can get for free. Once you have moss, it starts making spores which makes more moss & on & on. For me the last 2 years since the drought have been wonderful. I'm getting totally filled thick moss carpet. You learn best by doing. If you have questions about transplanting a particular type of moss, email me & I'll let you know what works for me.
Happy Gardening.....jjane

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

I have a garden that I have been trying to grow moss in for a couple of years. I also have Schenk's book. I have ferns which do not come up every year and moss which is slowly dying. I "planted" moss on wood chips which I thought would be good since the forest floor is mostly that material. The moss I have is very lush and has long "strands". It was mostly found under spruce though. I have it under birch trees as I live in Alaska, which has lots of birch, spruce and moss. Any suggestions from anyone on how to revive the moss garden?

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

I have used the following method with success on my landscape jobs. It is an old Japanese technique. Gather local native mosses in mid summer, scooping them up with a flat edged shovel so some of the soil is attached. Lay them out on newspaper in a warm, dark spot such as an attic. When the moss is dry and crumbly, put clumps in a regular large kitchen sieve. Walking around the areas where you want moss, work the dried mosses through the sieve. Keep watered. It helps if you have raked and smoothed the soil before spreading the moss. In time you should have a nice moss carpet.

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

Thank you all!
I have already been gathering and transplanting the moss I find other places on my property. Nandian's idea sounds like a faster plan! How long do you let the moss 'dry', before it would die?
Thanks for all the advice! It is very appreciated, Diann

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

Dried moss never truly dies. They have herbarium specimins that are 150 years old and when the moss was taken out and moisted again, it grew.

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

I've used my bulb planter to punch out circles in the moss that grows in the gravel driveway. I put each circle (plug) in my bucket and bring them back to the house. Then I use the bulb planter to punch out circles of sand and dirt in the ground where I want the moss. I just put each moss plug into each punched out circle of ground. This moss seems to just need a little "stirred up" ground to grow and spread. At first it looked like I was making a checkerboard. It has spread and the place I took it from has filled in. This moss doesn't seem to be growing "in" the dirt or on the gravel.

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

A gravel drive makes a great moss nursery as does a stone walk. I've harvested moss from both countless times and the moss keeps growing back. Also for the last 2 years, I've not limed the lawn and have collected a fair amount of moss from there to put in the Moss Garden. This fall the lawn will have to be limed, but the drive is still a great producer of moss. I peel the moss up (no dirt) unless it's atrichum which must have soil taken with it. Below is a useful link for moss gardeners.
Happy Gardening.......jjane

Here is a link that might be useful: Living with Mosses

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

Thank you everyone your reply, and the links.
I almost had the moss going untill it rained!
I had had my grass killed by Roundup, and the moss was growing wonderfully. But the rains brought grass, and now it has grown, and has taking over....all over..4-6" tall, and seeding out! I'm at ground zero again!
I will have the grass killed again, just before winter.
I was hopeing to have it gone, my garden-path laid out, and bulbs planted in their spots by next month!!! Now, there are no 'spots', no moss showing..just grass again! GRRRR
Hopefully next spring the grass won't start up again!

If anyone has any suggestions for me, or HOPE, please tell me! I have bulbs for planting, but nothing but an acre of grass to show for all summers intensive labor of ground preparation.

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

Sorry for your set back. I'm surprised the grass came back so strong.

Question 1: do you have good shade from trees on this acre that's grassed in so quickly after the rain? If not, you may have to plant more trees to provide enough shade to help the moss & hurt the grass.

Question 2: What is the pH of your soil? Acidity will help the moss & hurt the grass. 5.5 works for me. Check Schenk's book for ways to safely make the soil more acid. You can buy a good soil tester from garden supply companies for about $15. Or the state Extension office will usually test a sample for free.

Compacting the soil will also help the moss & hurt the grass. I'd mow the new grass to help compact the soil & keep it from making seed. It may be that you have so much seed on site that it's going to take several tries to start & kill all of it. However, You certainly don't want any more seed than you already have.

Hang in there. It does get easier, but like all gardening there's always something to do.

Best regards........jjane

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acreage

I've read Schenks book (as per recommendation here). I like how he splits up the 5 ways of accomplishing the task.

In my yard/lawn, I have fairly compacted soil and shade, so Mosses naturally grow in some of the yard.

So right now I am trying to encourage the moss already present in one area to take over and I will soon be encouraging lawn in other parts.

(funny thing is I applyed lime to the grass and also in one area were there seems to be a resistant area of moss.(this was before I realized I wanted moss) and the moss is still THRIVING there! LOL.) I'll soon be transplanting that moss :)

My question regarding Schenk's book is this:
I want to make the soil condition right for the moss to thrive. It mentions aluminum sulfate, sulfur, powered milk.

I've ruled out the powered milk and sulfur, but where doesw one find aluminum sulfate anyway?

worse come to worse, just go with Rhododendrum fertilizer?

RE: Ways to spread moss to an acrage

For those interested in aluminum sulfate, sulfur & powered milk, check your soil FIRST. Just like using too much fertilizer, more acidity is not always better & can kill. There's a maximum/minimum for optimal growing conditions. Perfect is 5.5. Also there are a few types of moss that are adapted to alkaline conditions & would like lime. It's a good idea to identify both the moss & soil type before adding anything to the mix. If you're wrong, it's better to have used the least permanent. Safest in order are powered SKIM milk, rhododendrum fertilzer, sulfur and last aluminum sulfate.
Remember if you haven't checked everything first, you're flying blind. In my years of moss gardening, the best results for adding stuff is minimal effect and the worst results are dead moss.
Best of Luck & happy gardening....jjane

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