I feel very fortunate to be in the position to ask anything of David Spain, moss expert, co-owner of Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! and developer of Moss Rocks! And I do.
Often, when I’m researching a piece for this blog or another media outlet, I’ve learned to question long held beliefs. David has taught me think about moss and to question what is being spread by word of mouth.. At first, I felt confident in my understanding of what is widely written about. However, I’ve learned to ask anything of David to better understand exactly how moss grows and thrives. After all, he is the moss expert; I am the communicator. A classic example of this is the pH preference for mosses. I believed, and what is widely written about, is that moss thrives in a pH between 5.0 – 5.5.
Most believe this too, so I asked David Spain, what is the perferred pH of moss?
According to David Spain, I have dispelled the common adage that mosses prefer an acidic soil in the 5.0 to 5.5 range. Moss is often found growing on acidic substrates and this is often noted as an indication of their preference for that pH range. It is more correct to say that other plants don’t prefer pH levels of 5.0 to 5.5, therefore acidic soils promote less competition, thereby allowing moss colonization. Most mosses will colonize a much wider range of pH than other plants, since they do not draw nutrients from substrates, their need for a certain pH range is overstated.
You too can ask anything of David Spain. If you have a moss question, please let him know by leaving a comment, here on the blog, at any time.
AVAILABLE October, 2011
Words: Helen Yoest
Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.