Thursday, March 27, 2014

Moss Milkshakes

Transplanting Moss

One of the first plants on earth, moss can add a lush storybook quality to my Little Town garden. writes, "Since they obtain all their nutrients from the air, moss plants require nothing more than shade, acidic soil, and adequate moisture to flourish."

Click here for a video on how to establish a moss garden. Last week I used this information to transplant moss from various places in my yard and woodland area to the Little Town garden.

Transplanted moss to my backyard Little Town called Parsley

I also followed advice from A Nest for All Seasons to transplant moss: (1) Find the moss; (2) Remove it with a sideways scooping of the trowel; (3) Remove all weeds; (4) Place it on bare soil in a shady area and then water (I chose a rainy week to transplant); (5) Keep moist for at least a week; (6) Watch the moss grow healthy.

Transplanted moss to my backyard Little Town called Parsley

The Moss and Stone Gardens blog gives more specific details:

All mosses are classified as either acrocarpous or pleurocarpous. Acrocaps have an upright growth while pleurocarps spread out branches. For acrocarps work in sections about the size of the palm of the hand to keep the colony intact. Pleurocarps can be collected by scooping, scraping, or raking. David Spain of Moss and Stone Gardens writes that for months 1 and 2, water acrocarps daily. During month 3, water every 3 days. Then progress to once a week for month 4 and twice monthly for month 5. After month 5, water only if rain is absent for three or more weeks. Pleurocarps can be watered daily to encourage establishment and spreading. You do not have to reduce the frequency as with the acrocarps. [This site has more good information, so check it out.]

Transplanted moss by the barn

Creating a Moss Milkshake

I want mossy walls, rocks, and timbers, so I was glad to discover the moss milkshake. You can purchase the mixture, or you can easily make your own. Here are three similar recipes:

  • Ingredients: 1 part live moss, 1 part sugar, and 2 parts beer

  • Ingredients: 2 cups live moss, 2 cups of live cultured buttermilk or plain yogurt

  • Ingredients: 2 cups of water, 2 cups of buttermilk, live moss (to fill to top of blender container)

Instructions for all three recipes:

1. Place ingredients in blender. (I bought a $15 "mini" one at Walmart just for moss shakes.)

2. Puree the moss concoction until the consistency is that of a milkshake.

3. Take a paint brush and "paint" the mixture on porous pots, rock, paths, steps, and timbers.

4. Place objects in the shade and mist surfaces to keep the surfaces most.

5. In about two months, you should see healthy patches of moss.

Painting on the moss milkshake with my little helper

After cool and wet weather during this last week, look how happy the moss is in its new home.

The next post will share my transplanting existing plants to the little garden. See you then!