Monthly Archives: November 2011

Encouraging moss

Dear David,

I live in Georgia and have moss growing naturally on the bare earth in front of my house. This strip of land, between the sidewalk and street, has always been a challenge.  Since moss is growing there on it’s own, what can I do to make it fully covered in moss? It’s never looked any better than it does now and I don’t want my neighbors thinking I haven’t tried or that I don’t care.

Thanks for your help.
Becky

Dear Becky,

What you ‘ve describe is the way many a moss garden has come to be.   Mother nature gives us the hint that she has a solution to those tough areas with a really tough little plant — a plant she first used to cover the bare spots on earth when it was 450 million years younger.

The best way to develop a moss garden or moss carpet is to work with the existing native species that have already found the conditions appropriate.  Your species of moss, shown in the photo,  looks rather content, so it won’t need much time to make you and your neighbors happy enough to consider converting the whole street into a low maintenance parkway.

Before you begin to encourage further growth, you’ll need to spend a little time eliminating any weeds or grasses that are hanging on.  Hand weeding is rarely a welcomed chore, but it can have it’s zen moments, too.  To remove the weeds, use a sharp object or weeding tool to gently pry out the roots.  Doing this instead of pulling the weeds will ensure getting out the whole weed.

After you’ve cleared all vegetative competition, you should also remove small stones or other debris, such as fallen leaves.  Moss may eventually cover anything in it’s path, but first you must give the area the best advantages possible to speed up the process.

Once you’ve prepared the area, it’s all about the watering.  Remember moss only grows when it’s wet; if it goes dry, it will stop photosynthesis.   Moss is extremely drought tolerant.   When dry, moss doesn’t die, it simply goes dormant.   Moss’ ability to go extended periods without water, yet spring back to a growth state as soon as water and sunlight are present, is one of the many desirable traits of having a moss garden.

How often you need to water is best answered by how fast you want the moss to fill in. The optimal watering schedule would be to water lightly six times a day, beginning in the early morning and ending 2 hours before sunset (See our blog post here for further watering tips.)  Using this schedule should give the area in the photo full coverage within three months. If you were to water half as often or every other day, it would probably take six months.  Watering once every other day in the mornings will still produce the same results, but it will take longer to be full, lush, and resilient.

Water is the key ingredient for moss growth, but not for survival.  Deep watering has no benefit since moss is a non-vascular plant.  Surface watering is all that is needed.  Unlike grass,  moss does not have roots to collect water from the soil.   The amount of water needed to grow moss is far less than would be needed to grow grass in the same location.

For our clients, we recommend initially having moss gardens on a water mister systems, timed to come on frequently.  (More on that in a future post.)  Once the moss garden is established, this watering system can be removed.  When the moss garden has fully grown, the regular, frequent watering is no longer necessary and rainfall alone will provide what is needed.

Using this same watering technique, you can actually begin growing moss in areas with no visible moss growth.  There are moss spores sitting dormant everywhere.  If you apply water at regular intervals, the spores will germinate and colonize the area without ever having to introduce the moss on your own.

Good luck Becky and let me know what you and your neighbors think in three months when everything else is still brown except your parkway!

Best wishes,
David Spain

Photo provided by a reader.

 

Order your Moss Rocks!  online today.  Moss is grand.  Moss is green.  Moss is good. Make the most of it; order Moss Rocks! today.

By: Helen Yoest

Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at info@mossandstonegardens.com.

Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.

Happy Mossgiving

Happy Mossgiving

Happy Mossgiving to you and yours
Let us give thanks and praise.

Moss be with you
Moss be good
Moss be all over your neighborhood.

Moss is green
Moss is gold
Moss is something to behold.

Moss in pebble
Moss in cobble and in boulder
Moss in sizes made to order.

Moss on Lichen and on Raindrop
Moss on Toadstool and on Bark
Moss on your desk, not the dark.

Moss is old
Moss is new
Moss is trending like a blue.

Let us give thanks and praise on this turkey day.

Moss is grand
Moss is green
We are told, Moss Rocks! are the best you’d ever seen.

 

Thank you all for your support.
From our families to yours, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

May your day be filled with love and light.

David Spain and Ken Gergle

 

 

Photo credit David Spain.

 

Order your Moss Rocks!  online today.  Moss is grand.  Moss is green.  Moss is good. Make the most of it; order Moss Rocks! today.

By: Helen Yoest

Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at info@mossandstonegardens.com.

Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.

Moss radio

We Dig Plants – Episode 74 - All About Moss

 

An educational interview with David Spain on growing moss gardens at home.

 

 

 

 

Order your Moss Rocks!  online today.  Moss is grand.  Moss is green.  Moss is good. Make the most of it; order Moss Rocks! today.

 

Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at info@mossandstonegardens.com.

Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.

Growing moss between stepping stones

Dear David, a.k.a. Moss Rock,

How do I get moss to grow between the stepping stones. I have flagstone. I have shaded it from about 60% of the sun, watered it regularly and added sulfur to the soil. I get a little moss and some lichen, but I want more moss.  And what do you suggest for zone 8?

Jenn

Dear Jenn,

The secret is out, growing moss takes only watering. Mosses are extremely drought tolerant, so they don’t need water to survive, but they do need water to grow. Mosses only perform photosynthesis when they are hydrated, otherwise they happily remain dormant until moisture returns.

The key to establishing moss anywhere is to water.  As to how much and when, see our blog post on watering mosses.

Look for pluerocarp mosses and transplant between the stones, then water until they fill in, that’s it! If you don’t know your pluerocarp from your acrocarp see our blog post.

Pay attention to your sunlight conditions and look for mosses growing in the same exposure to better your success, collect different species and mix them to further ensure one species will like the conditions.

A note about moss between close set stones, this tends to be an area where drying out occurs quickly, so watering techniques are most critical, so keep ‘em moist, but don’t drown! Good luck and send us pics of your success!

P.S. The photo used in this post was taken at the Moss Farm and while this is the extreme when thinking of planting moss between flagstone, we used the photo to show off…I mean to show a point.  We like doing moss in a big way.  Use more moss, less flagstone.  ~Helen

Words: Helen  Yoest



Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at info@mossandstonegardens.com.

Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.

 

 

 

Moss Rocks! for outdoor decor – Moss is good

Light bounces off Moss Rocks!  in the night when the moon is full giving the effect of moon drops in the evening garden.  During the day Moss Rocks! brings light to brighten the mossy landscape.  Moss Rocks! brings moss where no moss has grown before.  Moss Rocks! rocks the garden, day and night, like little jewels beaming light where darkness lies sleeping.

Adding Moss Rocks! to the home garden is only limited to your imagination.  Finding subtle shades of shade, will keep your Moss Rocks! thriving.  On a bench, a table top, on the patio or deck, Moss Rocks! will rock your gardening world.

Bring you Moss Rocks! indoor too.  Moss Rocks! are the universal garden accent piece, indoors or out.  Give as gifts to friends in need of green and goodness.  Worry less this holiday season knowing you will be welcomed into your hostesses’ home with the most appropriate gift.

Order your Moss Rocks!  online today.  Moss is grand.  Moss is green.  Moss is good. Make the most of it; order Moss Rocks! today.

 

Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at info@mossandstonegardens.com.