Tag Archives: Hypnum cupressiforme

Moss Rocks–aging moss in my moss lawn

A blend of Thuidium delecatulum and Hypnum cupressiforme

 

Dear David,

For the past 6 years I have been slowly replacing my grass lawn by encouraging the native mosses in my yard to grow. I have successfully replaced about 75% of my lawn with a lush moss carpet. Unfortunately I’ve began to notice that the oldest mosses have grown so thick (about 3-4″ deep) that they’re starting to die off. Not only do they appear to be suffocating their own annual new growth, but they’re no longer established or attached to the soil (I can lift the moss up like sod). I fear that I may have to tear out this moss and start all over – are there any better solutions?

Jesha

Dear Jesha,

Congratulations on your lawn conversion!

Mature moss colonies continue to gain in thickness as you described. This is natural and self limiting as the older growth becomes smothered and breaks down, creating soil.

When large areas are carpeted, the colonies no longer have access to new territory to spread into, it is the growing edge that has access to soils where rhizomes can attach. Instead, the colony attaches to itself and forms this mat even though direct attachment to the soil isn’t possible, the interconnected mosses hold together and gravity does the rest.

This fact should not be a concern unless animals or some other disturbance is causing dislocation. You can thin the mosses out to encourage new attachment by pulling up a section, removing some of the under-layer moss and stretching the colony out, as though you were going to pull it apart but stopping before it tears completely. This is the same technique to harvest mature colonies and transplant them to new areas, only in this case you can put them back in the same place.

Another technique is to pull a 4 to 6 inch section out with your hands, exposing the soil beneath, then pull the edges of the moss left behind to partially cover the bare area. Water the area well and walk the feathered moss down to make good contact with the soil. New rhizomes will form and the bare spot will regenerate quickly. If done properly, you may not even notice this was done.

As for the mosses starting to die off or the new growth suffocating, that is a different matter. Mosses continually regenerate adding new growth to old, new shoots should not be effected by the previous generations in an adverse way, this is the natural course for acrocarp and pleurocarp mosses alike. Instead I might suggest a different take. When we create a somewhat unnatural growth of mosses by removing normal competition and promoting an homogeneous  carpet, we are also changing the natural cycle. A different approach is to introduce more than one species for a mixed moss lawn. For instance, Thuidium delecatulum can be mixed with Hypnum cuppressiforme or Plagiomnium cuspidatum. Each species will wax and wain at different times of the year, but one will always be thriving. This blending has proven to be the most resilient over the years and offers advantages that a single species cannot. Try introducing some different moss species and see if that doesn’t help with the problem.

David Spain a.k.a. Moss Rock

A blend of Thuidium delecatulum and Plagiomnium cuspidatum

 

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.

If moss companion plants could talk…Spring


Springtime arrives to The Moss Farm in Raleigh, NC. With spring comes the delicate wildflowers along with ferns, Mayapples, and other perennials. It’s been about a year since many have seen each other. Let’s listen to hear what they have to say….

Houstonia caerulea, Bluets.
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum

Down here, HERE, see me? Yoohoo Japanese Painted Fern.  Can you find us?  Over here…we’re baaaaccccckkkkk.  Had a good rest, you?  We are ready to bloom and blow our fool blue heads off.  Who all’s here?

 

Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’, Japanese Painted Fern.
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum

Under the spores, the Japanese Painted Fern mumbles,”ラット, they’re back.  They are so annoying.  Always too happy especially for being blue….be nice…be nice…be nice…Of course I see you, Bluet; welcome back”

 

 Epimedium, barrenwort
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum and Hypnum cupressiforme

Ah man, I need to stretch…

 

Epimedium, barrenwort
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum and Hypnum cupressiforme

…That’s better…

 

Athyrium ‘Ghost’, Ghost Fern
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum and Plagiomnium cuspidatum

Dad  (Japanese painted fern) is here.  I wonder where mom (Lady Fern, A. filix-femina) is too?  I wonder if they’re still talking…

 

 Asarum canadense, Wild Ginger
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum

Feed me, feed me, feed me….

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
Moss Thuidium delecatulum and Bryoandersonia illecebra

This is the year I’ll prove size really does matter…as in the smaller, the better…

 

Mertensia virginica, Virginia Bluebells
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum and  Hypnum cupressiforme

I’m not English.  I’m not Spanish.  I’m American.  I’m not English-American.  I’m not Spanish-American.  I’m American-American.  OK, give me your best shot…

 

Hepatica, liverwort, kidneywort, pennywort
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum

Hepatica – Hi, I’m Hepatica.

Virginia Bluebells – May I call you Liverwort?

Hepatica – No, you may not.  Please, call me Hepatica.

Virginia Bluebells – How about Kidneywort?

Hepatica – No please, call me Hepatica.

Virginia Bluebells – How about Pennywort?

Hepatica – No please. I insist. Call me Hepatica!

 

Pulmonaria officinalis, Lungwort
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum

Please don’t judge all worts by their spots…

 

Heuchera ‘Tapestry’, Coral Bells
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum and  Hypnum cupressiforme

Does this pink make my hips look big?

 

 Stylophorum diphyllum , Woodland Poppy
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum

Don’t I look dashing in dew? Seriously, don’t I look good in everything?  You don’t think this moss is stealing the beauty from my showing, do you?  DO YOU?

 

Podophyllum peltatum, May apple
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum

Push, push, a little more, push….

 

Podophyllum peltatum, May apple
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum and Bryoandersonia illecebra

There, there, that’s better…

 

Saxifraga stolonifera, Strawberry geranium
Moss –  Bryoandersonia illecebra
(also a little, tiny, Galium odoratum, sweet woodruff)

I hope stripes are in this year…

 

 

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.