FAQs/BLOG

The more I learn, the more questions I pose to myself. There is such a void of information presented in understandable terms that many other folks have lots of questions, too. It’s a challenge to find the answers sometimes. Through a diligent search of the scientific literature; networking with bryologists and moss lovers; and practical knowledge gained through astute observations in nature as well as my own moss gardening activities, I am building my own expertise.

In an effort to share this knowledge, I have a voice through the Mountain Moss Blog site. With so many people wanting to know more about mosses, this Blog answers FAQsFrequently Asked Questions. Follow my Blog to learn more through periodic postings and updates. Your input and ideas are welcome.


Go Green With Moss!

Mossin’ Annie

36 Responses to “FAQs/BLOG”

  1. 1
    Donnie

    Mossin’ Annie,
    I recently bought 30 square feet of moss from mountain moss.
    I just received it last night.
    On the side of my house I am installing flagstone and want to put the strips of moss
    in between the cracks. That side of the house stays moist and gets very little sun because
    of a privacy fence.
    I know the sheet moss needs an acidy soil to thrive.
    My plan was to put down a small layer of crush and run in the cracks for draining.
    Then I wanted to add another 1 inch layer of topsoil before I plant the sheet moss.
    Is this a good way to go about this? And if so, should I mix something in with the topsoil to make
    it more acidic before I lay the moss down?
    Thanks for your help

  2. 2

    Dear Donnie,
    I just received notice of your questions posted on my blog at http://www.mountainmoss.com. You indicated that you purchased moss from us and just received the order of 30 sq ft. We have not received/processed/shipped any such order. If you had indeed purchased mosses from Mountain Moss, then these issues could have been addressed prior to your purchase to ensure that you got the appropriate moss for your needs. I’m not sure if the type you bought from elsewhere is the best choice for your project.

    If the nursery that filled your order cannot assist you, then you may wish to engage our online consultation service. As a full service moss supplier, we actually design and install moss features so our expertise could be valuable to your efforts. I would request more specific information about your micro-environment, sun exposure, seasonal weather conditions and your intended supplemental watering regime before offering any detailed professional advice. Beware: If you bought mosses that arrived dry in a box, you may face challenges… and perhaps even introduce harmful pests to your garden.

    When purchasing live mosses, it is advisable to deal with a reputable nursery. All shipments of moss plants provided by a certified nursery should include written documentation verifying that plants have been inspected for nematodes and other pests or diseases in compliance with regulations with that state’s Department of Agriculture and the USDA. Certain states, like Oregon, have concerns with other pests that could be dangerous such as the glassy wing sharpshooter, a leaf hopper, which could cause damage to the grape crops. Appropriate treatments are required to eliminate this threat. It is standard procedure for Mountain Moss Enterprises to include this required paperwork as well as a copy of our Nursery and Collected Plant licenses with all shipments. We are committed to providing healthy moss plants free from potentially harmful diseases or pests. We emphasize quality in all aspects of our operations. At Mountain Moss, we want our customers to be satisfied with long-term success and sustainability.

    If you wish to engage our consultation services or purchase from our inventory, please contact me directly. Good luck.

    Go Green With Moss!
    Mossin’ Annie

  3. 3
    Loyd Kinnett

    Annie – We are having a small roof built over our garden gate. I was pleased to see on your site that we can order moss that will grow in the sun. How do we prepare the roof for growing moss and will these instructions be in the shipment? We live in Flat Rock, NC and I understand you are in Brevard. Do you have a nursery that we can look at the moss we will buy? Thanks, Loyd

  4. 4

    Good Morning Loyd,
    Enhancing the entrance to your garden by adorning the roof of your gate with mosses will hint of the magic awaiting beyond. The year-round green of mosses will create an ambiance even when the colorful flowers of Spring and Summer have faded away. Indeed, there are bryophytes that tolerate sun exposures. Yet, please realize that they exist in nature in micro-niches where moisture accumulates or where springs consistently trickle.

    When mosses are used in gardens or on roofs, there needs to be an assessment of humidity and moisture factors of your particular location. It may be necessary to supplement rainfall to maintain conducive conditions for mosses to thrive for both aesthetic and reproductive reasons. If your plan incorporates a “green roof” concept, bryophytes require no additional structural support but you will need to consider adding a drainage component, water retention fabric and perhaps 2-4 inches of soil. To meet moisture requirements, I encourage rainwater retrieval and recirculation with an overhead watering or misting system on a timer. Of course, you can simplify your watering process by simply using a sprinkler or watering it yourself with a garden hose and traditional water source. To answer your questions with more detail would require further communication.

    Mountain Moss Enterprises offers site consultations to assess the micro-climate and other factors. In addition, we provide turn-key installation services. We are happy to work in concert with homeowners , landscapers and green roofers as mosses are introduced as a horticultural choice. If you feel that our expertise could be of value in your installation, please contact me directly to schedule your own personal site consultation which is like having your own lesson on bryophyte types and moss gardening techniques.

    If you wish to move forward on your own, we can provide the appropriate mosses for your project from our rescue operations and propagated mosses in our nursery. Currently, we are transitioning our nursery operations from one location to another, and therefore, not open to the public. However, we would be happy to make an appointment for a special visit to our demonstration moss garden in Pisgah Forest. We will make sure to have a selection of moss trays available for your purchase at that time. Since you live so close, a ride over from Flat Rock via Kanuga/Crab Creek Road will eliminate the need for shipping costs.

    You may be interested in attending one of my Go Green With Moss programs. On Saturday, May 19, 2011, I will be giving a program for the Southern Appalachian Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. The meeting will be held in the Flat Rock Village Town Hall from 10:30 – 11:30 am. It is open to the public.

    It is always a pleasure to meet another moss lover. I look forward to hearing back from you. Please contact me directly: mossinannie@gmail.com or 828-577-1321. Thanks for ordering one of our 2011 Bryophyte Calendars. It will ship out today.

    Thanks for contacting us.
    Go Green With Moss!
    Mossin’ Annie

  5. 5
    Samantha in Sunny Florida

    I live in Central FL and am looking to install moss under my cedar trees. I have very little light coming through and would like some thing green to grow, as I cannot keep grass growing there. In the summer we have everyday rains but dry out quickly. I also have three kids that would be trampling over it all day long. I was thinking that the dicranum scoparium variety might work. I want it to be green and soft for their little feet, but be able to hold up through the draughts that occur, rains in the summer, little maintenance (as we do have water restrictions, but we get alot of dew in the mornings that will help) and of course the activities of the kids. We also entertain alot and want it to look nice while we are in the pool. Do you recommend the dicranum scoparium or have any suggestions that might work? Thanks!
    Samantha in Sunny Florida

  6. 6

    Hey Samantha
    Sorry for the delay in responding. I just found your comment about mosses for Florida in your cedar grove.

    Dicranum scoparium (windswept, broom, mood) moss might work for you. It does like living under cedar trees. It is indeed so soft to feet… little feet of children and big feet of adults! It is my favorite “foot” cushion. One of my very favorite moss gardens that demonstrates sustainability, located in Asheville, NC, Kenilworth neighborhood, has a 3000 sq ft moss lawn of Dicranum. It is like heaven walking on this 60-year-old moss lawn originally designed and installed by an AVL landscape designer, Doan Ogden. It displays brilliant green year-round and has attained a loft of at least 6 inches.

    With that said, Dicranum can also be a “picky” moss. Sometimes it gets “burned” displaying a yellow dead section that emanates from the center of the colony, not the edges. If it is located in conditions that are “too soggy”, then it gets black and dies. You could try it but I’d recommend introducing only smaller amounts to see how it likes your location.

    Other types for you to consider: Climacium, Polytrichum, Hypnum, Bryoandersonia, Thuidium. Although these mosses tolerate sun, they will also thrive in shade. Mosses will like Florida’s daily afternoon showers and the morning dew. When water restrictions are lifted, let the kids play “under the rainbow” while giving mosses a brief overhead watering (2-5 min sessions for several times a day).

    Another mossy idea for the kids: Create a moss fairyland feature with the kids in your cedar woods. They will gain appreciation for gardening, discover the magic of mosses, and their creative imaginations will be stimulated. You could use a variety of types to create that emphasize different textures and shades of green. Start them on a moss journey that could last a lifetime.

    Mountain Moss offers Dicranum and other recommended moss types at our online Moss Shop. We hope you’ve found this information helpful and decide to place an order for our products. We distinguish ourselves from other moss suppliers by providing LIVE, thriving mosses – many of which have never been available to the public before. In addition, as experienced moss gardeners and dedicated horticultural researchers, we offer practical expertise and advice to our customers. Although some folks just pick our brains and then go shopping elsewhere… or buy from someone else and then request our advice, we continue to maintain our “good spirit” attitude with our educational outreach. We are committed to providing quality products and sharing the benefits of bryophytes for our environment.

    We wish you the best as you…
    Go Green With Moss!
    Mossin’ Annie

  7. 7

    Dear Mossin’Annie,

    I really love your website. I have been looking for somewhere to buy moss which has certification to ensure not bringing any unwanted passengers into the UK. Do you ship to the UK and what are the normal shipping charges /

    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind Regards,
    Kathryn

  8. 8

    Hey Kathryn,
    It’s always good to hear from another moss lover. Mountain Moss is certified by the NCDA to ship within the USA. All US nurseries are required by the USDA to have each and every shipment inspected. To follow proper procedures, your shipment would need to be inspected by my NCDA inspector in accordance with regulations. For international shipments, we have contacted the destination country to make sure that we address particular pests of concern. Even within the US, I make sure that we comply with different concerns from state to state.

    There is an associated USDA certification fee for each international shipment’s inspection which ranges from $80-$150, depending upon the quantity ordered. Treatment might be necessary which increases costs as well. Then, there is the cost of international shipping. And, of course, the initial cost of the mosses.

    If you wish to pursue this process, please contact me back directly rather than ordering through our Moss Shop. It is time-consuming and will require lead time to arrange for the inspection and then ship to the UK. Also, if you could provide the appropriate email address and contact for your region, it would expedite the process of making sure no pests or diseases are introduced through the moss shipment. A link to the official Web site with particular phytosanitary requirements would be quite helpful as well.

    Once you have determined which moss types you want and your quantity, we can proceed. Mountain Moss can issue a special PayPal invoice that cites the additional inspection fees and shipping costs associated with an international order.

    Mountain Moss offers an extensive selection of moss types and exceptional specimens, sometimes in sporophytic stages. We practice responsible land stewardship in the rescue and cultivation of our bryophytes (mosses). All mosses are shipped live and fresh. Thank you for considering the products of Mountain Moss Enterprises.

    Go Green With Moss!
    Mossin’ Annie

    PS Please let me know your purpose for these mosses — landscaping, green roof, moss lawn?

  9. 9
    Helene Edwards

    I live in North Florida and have a similar situation, only my trees are live oaks. My question is the sandy soil that we have. Will it be dense enough to support the moisture required to grow moss? When would be the optimum time to install it?
    can I enhance the area enough to sustain a planting? I would like to use it as a path covering around the beds. Thanks for any advice.

  10. 10

    International orders must be processed with a special PayPal invoice since additional inspection fees and shipping costs must be applied. To place an international order, please contact us directly: mossinannie@gmail.com.
    Thank you.
    Mossin’ Annie

  11. 11

    Hey Helene,
    Mosses do grow in Florida in sandy soils that are clay-based or in poor drainage areas. The extensive leaf canopy of oak trees is desirable. Supplemental watering (brief sessions 2-5 minutes each) might be required for mosses to thrive in your desired location. Fall or winter might be better times of the year for your hot climate. Keep area free of leaf litter. You’ll have to seriously address acorn litter by power blowing or using temporary netting. Beware that squirrels may impact your mosses if they dig around for acorns creating the need for maintenance repairs. Good luck. Mossin’ Annie

  12. 12
    wild

    Hi Mossin’ Annie, this is Wild, waving at ya from Arkansas.

    I’m working with my naturally growing mosses found around my place. I’ve got a problem tho, I’m trying to keep various moss types segregated & have been doing the only thing I know how, manual method of hand ‘weeding/segregating’. I want the fern & feather mosses, and of course I’m being invaded by the small star(haircap) of which I don’t want, because it turns brown then gets hard. So imagine me shoveling a mixture of feather & star & some soil that comes with it, is there a way to segregate the small star (haircap) from the sheet, and SAVE THE FEATHER? I want to try something that will clean the feather from the star, preferably some kina sifting or winnowing or maybe put the stuff in my wife’s washing machine, but she won’t like me, if I try that. I don’t want herbicide as a treatment..but maybe there is one that won’t harm my feather & fern moss? Maybe you have a suggestion for me, from your commercial viewpoint.

    wild;)

  13. 13

    Hey Wild Man from Arkansas,
    It will be difficult to keep moss types separate because the spores and/or fragments will spread to other areas and colonies may not remain exclusive of other bryophyte types. The only way to keep a colony PURE would be to weed out the types you don’t want and use them in another area. You will be fighting against Mother Nature’s way. Polytrichum (haircap) seems to “seed” its spores easily into “sheet” or fern type mosses. The “little haircap” you’ve mentioned might actually be Atrichum (star moss). While Atrichum goes through a dormant or transitioning stage (after the sporophytes are present) that is REDDISH-BROWN, within several weeks, colonies will display intense new GREEN growth. And Atrichum sporophytes provide spectacular maroon patent-leather color. Now, Polytrichum can go through a BLACK stage that truly looks like death. Once again, if you have patience, these colonies will rebound with new GREEN growth of gametophytes. As for fern and feather mosses, beware that Thuidium (delicate fern moss) can be far more invasive on other moss types than what you’ve described for the Polytrichum or Atrichum. I’ve had Thuidium invade my moss spiral in the dead of winter while covered with snow. Even when I separate types, Thuidium and Hypnum (another fern moss type) can sneak into my moss designs. Weeding them by hand or replacing the entire area might help this issue but I’ll admit that I have started to weed them out as necessary. Fragments may be placed to start new areas. Fern mosses might go through a golden or yellow transition but bounce back to green again.

    I’m not sure I understand your question about the washing machine or separating types before planting. Of course, preening out or removing unwanted types from your colonies prior to planting may help. Also, preen any weeds or grasses out before planting to minimize these invaders. Whatever you might use to KILL unwanted mosses will probably KILL or STRESS the ones you want to keep, too.

    Good luck and keep enjoying your mosses. If you’d like to try other types, check out our online Moss Shop for specialty mosses from our exclusive and extensive selection that might not already be growing on your property. As cultivation specialists, we offer advice about a variety of bryophyte types and moss gardening techniques that other moss suppliers don’t provide to their customers. Let us know if we can help you further.

    Go Green With Moss! Happy Holidays!
    Mossin’ Annie

  14. 14
    wild

    Hi again…this is wild from Arkansas,

    I’m going green with moss & wishing you & yours a Merry Christmas! I’m not yet a cash customer, but….ummm….because of your mossponsibility you devoted alittle of YOUR time to my inquiry anyway…I’m very happy to say ‘thankyou thankyou thankyou’.

    Speaking of Christmas, I got a stocking full of oakcharcoal cinders last year (I get in trouble sometimes), and naturally…I poured it out in some gravelly area at my place, but did you know– that this year it produced like majic, the cleanest/purest little patch of pure feather moss! Once I found the patch, I scraped it up and moved it to my red clay base area…walked & watered it in. Changing the base from black charcoal to red clay didn’t immediately kill it…so i’m wondering if I should add burn pile cinders more often to my base clay mixture that I have set aside for my moss to live in.

    sending happppppyyyyyyyyy smilllllllleeeeeeeees

    wild;)

  15. 15

    Hey Wild Again…
    Your are certainly welcome for the advice. Once again, you’ve discovered another MAGICAL aspects of MOSSES. Bryophytes are pioneer plants… the first plants to make a home in the most unhospitable conditions. There is one moss known to grow from ashes or after a fire… called Funaria. It offers an incredible array of sporophytic colors. However, as pioneers, these mosses set the stage for other plants to come in later in the evolutionary scheme of Mother Nature.

    Red clay can be a preferred substrate for mosses that tolerate atrocious conditions… like Atrichum (star) that I mentioned to you. If you combine charcoal and clay, you might discover even more delights. As moss gardeners, we need to share with each other our successes or failures so that we can build our body of knowledge which will be helpful to other mossers who want it in their landscapes. Please note which types appear and those that thrive as you experiment around. Please keep us posted.

    If you’ve found this information helpful, you might consider contributing to my moss gardening book project as a token of your appreciation. Every little bit will help me move forward with this vehicle to share my knowledge with others. It sure would be nice to get my own Christmas stocking filled with book contributions. My fundraising campaign is at Indiegogo.com… just plug in Mossin Annie’s Moss Gardening Book or copy this link for a direct route: http://www.indiegogo.com/Mossin-Annies-Moss-Gardening-Book?a=288358&i=addr

    Wishing you a happy holiday season. Keep on MOSSIN!
    Mossin’ Annie

  16. 16

    WOW! Wild!
    Thanks so very much for your GENEROUS contribution to my moss gardening book project through Indiegogo.com. I do so appreciate your donation which will enable me to share my expertise through this valuable reference guide for moss gardening enthusiasts. I’ve provided LOTS of FREE ADVICE to inquiring moss minds and spent many hours personally responding to emails, blog questions and extensive conversations on the phone. YOU are the first person, beside silver and gold friends, to show their appreciation by pitching in to my book. THANKS for being such a GREAT SANTA!
    Your moss friend,
    Mossin’ Annie

  17. 17
    wild

    wild waves from The North Pole,

    hahaha…. or I should say HO~HO~HO!, I hear jingle bells, this time of year, and only too happy to give my friend Santa… a nudge in Mossin’ Annie’s direction!

    I have reindeer tracks to patch in my moss colony!

    sending happppppppyyyyyyyy smilllllllllllllleeeeeeees

    wild;)

  18. 18
    wild

    Happy Spring Time from Wild in Arkansas,

    I’m just now figuring out what I did wrong, I think I neutered my moss! gigggggggles It seems last year I was out weeding my patch of hypnum fern moss, and I was just pulling anything that stuck up above the moss…I didn’t know that moss sends up these hairlike ‘spore spikes/flowers’ I just thought they were some small amber colored grass with a funny little ‘powder filled’ button on the end, so I was pulling it out along with real grass…after that, the existing atrichum star moss that was also in the area went crazy an invaded my fern moss nearly overtaking the fern moss! …Probably due to the fact that the star moss flowered with a dark copper colored spore spike, and I let those exist thinking they were ‘obviously moss related somehow…grrrrr related to the star moss, which I really don’t want so much in that area.

    So my question for you Mossin Annie, these little ‘flower/spore spikes’ is that seed for moss? And if so, I want to collect it, even different types of moss flowers but….ummmm…. is there a dormant time that the powdery seed must rest if it were to ever actually grow to moss??? And is there a way to tell .when. the little flowery spike is ripe? I thought it was so funny because I was looking at one of these little flowers and when picked an turned upside down, I can pour out a very small amount of powder…I thought this powder might be better than gold dust…have I struck it rich Mossin Annie?

    ~I know I’m rich, I’m just can’t seem to lay my hands on it~

    wild;)

  19. 19

    Hey Wild,
    You’ve struck MOSS GOLD! Sporophytes could be considered the “flowers” of mosses and the spores encased in the capsules… the “seeds.” The sporophytic state is the 2nd half of a 2-stage reproduction process. This stage is evident by the glimmering setae (stem-like structures that look like colorful pine needles or new grass shoots). Each type of bryophyte has its own unique STYLE of sporophyte with varying heights and capsule shapes at maturity. When first starting this sporophytic stage, the “shoots” will be straight up without much of a capsule shape. As the spores mature in the capsule, this vessel may become round like an apple (Bartramia), nodding or hanging down (Mnium) or elongated (as you’ve observed in Atrichum). The height of the setae will be different for bryophyte familes with the Polytrichum being the tallest — reaching 4 inches.

    You’ll need to use a close-up lens or loupe to see the features of the capsule for a hint as to whether the spores are mature and ready to be released. The tip end of the spore capsule has a covering called the Operculum. The edges of the capsule will have little Peristome Teeth that open and close when ready to propel spores into the air. In the case of Sphagnum mosses, the spores shoot out a 60 mph speeds!!! The number of spores varies from each bryophyte type from a few to MANY… with Polytrichum winning another title with an estimated 1 million spores in each capsule!!! To actually see the spores, you’ll need to move to a microscope and dissect a capsule.

    If you want to be a moss miner and harvest these spores, it may be a challenge to determine when the sporophytes have reached maturity. Polytrichum capsules actually look a bit shriveled when sporing. The timeframe is variable on when the sporophytic process occurs because it could be location-specific or plant-specific. Some may spore over a period of days while others may shoot out spores for several months. Remember, mosses don’t follow typical seasons like flowers. If you flick the sporophyte and dust-like spores fly out, then it’s time to collect the tops. I’d suggest that you disperse moss fragments and spores in a broadcast fashion like when spreading other seeds.

    On the flip side, removing or transplanting mosses while at mature sporophytic stage could just disperse more of the spores into new spaces. If you want to manipulate your mosses and try to maintain pure colonies, then conduct your extraction activities while sporophytes are not present or at least in the young, straight stage.

    If you have healthy mosses, you may not be able to contain them from each other. Some mosses will be more aggressive growers and “invade” your other mosses. The mere fact that spores spread in the wind may make it difficult to control where they land. I imagine you’ll have to try and weed out unwanted types as soon as you see new growth.

    In your particular case, the sporophytes of the “fern” mosses like Thuidium and Hypnum are less showy. As you’ve realized, you should NOT WEED OUT the sporophytes of mosses that you prefer. In contrast, the Atrichum has a beautiful and dramatic – burgundy-bronze – patent leather appearance with a distinctive barrel or pipe shape. Its operculum, which serves as a lid on the capsule, will be white-ish.

    I’m still working on my moss gardening book. The chapter on botanical characteristics will provide insights into these moss “flowers” and the signficance of sporophytes to the overall reproductive processs… and how these stages could impact successful moss gardening. Good luck as a moss miner and stay in touch.

    Your mossy friend,
    Mossin’ Annie

  20. 20
    wild

    WOW Mossin’ Annie what an interesting answer,

    I’m certainly looking forward to buying the book! I wonder, what are the human allergic realities with those millions of 60 mph moss spores….I mean just think of all the people that might convert from the grasses to commercially available mosses from Mountainmoss.com if the allergic potential was less? I know I roll around on moss(actually I’m not napping, I’m goldmining, I’m goldmining!! giggggggglessss) and I never seem to itch or anything like that from it…whereas varied grasses I might be mildly allergic too~~just a thought. I definately prefer moss ground cover over grasses just because it doesn’t seem to ‘hold’ chiggars like grasses do. Everyone I know HATES chiggars. As for ticks & mosquitos, those guys seem to be everywhere in the woods (I’m trying red cedar sawdust around my place to slow those guys down). At my place, nearly all the grass areas are reduced or eliminated opting for mosses and leaf mold or sawdust/mulch among the existing hardwood mix trees.

    I’m even trying a long strip of mosses along the dirt driveway to hold down on dust, its alittle too sunny and dry along the driveway, but the idea is to reduce erosion that is caused by the compacted road materials. Its funny but you can literally get flooded on top of a hill, which is probably due to impermeable roads & parking areas which catch and pour off flash floods!…so I need my driveway to shed water quickly and remain dry for driveability, but I also need the rain to soak into the ground and hold there..thus reducing soil erosion, therefore that is why I’m trying the moss ‘sidewalk’ along the driveway/ditches. There is a drawback to the moss tho, the driveway sediments build up over the moss everytime it rains..so don’t put the moss in the bottom of the ditches! The moss now goes on ‘the built up sides of the ditches’ and leave the bottom of the ditches clear for drainage. I know for sure this…put moss on the built up sides or windrow of your dirt drive, and the material tends to washout less.

    Hey Mossin’ Annie I sent ya an email to your gmail account around Christmas time…did you get my one email I sent?

    sending happy smilllllllleeeeeeeessssss from arkansas

    wild;)

  21. 21

    Hi Annie,

    I have convinced a new customer to go with a moss lawn, and we just got the soil test back. He has a pH of 6.5 and the calcium level is excessively high. I’m thinking these levels will self-adjust eventually, since he has been adding lime (as recently as this past fall) in attempt to save a straggly lawn. However, he is anxious for an emerald green ‘lawn’, and I am anxious to order some of your flats of moss. ;-) But of course, I want to make sure the conditions are right and the moss is happy. He currently has a lot of fern-type moss… possibly the thuidium. I want to add some species that attach more firmly to the soil, as I am sure there will be a lot of leaf blowing during the fall. Thanks for any advice you can offer, Annie.

  22. 22
    wild

    hi Kay Wade this is Wild from Arkansas,

    I think Mossin Annie might be alittle busy in the field, but I have alittle time to blog…hahaha so here goes ‘advice from the inexperienced’.

    To convert from a straggly lawn, to effect a fresh moss lawn sounds like a rewarding project. I would think your establishment tasks will be the most important & labor intensive.

    The initial site preparation to eliminate existing (deep)grass roots & leaves would benefit your moss establishment & long term maintenance. Unwanted small trees also must also have their roots dug out…because just about any plant can easily grow thru a mossy surface layer, so initially clear the area thoroughly of unwanted plants.

    Consider future moss watering requirements, possibly a sprinkler/misting plumbing system would keep your moss very happy, albeit plumbing is an expense for convenience. The frequent water for the moss is very important, especially during the new establishment, & should not be neglected once established. Natural rainfall sustains moss wonderfully, but it is fun to add water during dry spells.

    Kay, your concern of ‘firmly attaching’ the new moss is in part to the surface your preparing for the moss. Moss naturally likes to be the first on the scene of fresh dirt or sand or rocks or even tree bark, moss is well known for its niche to establish in unimproved soil conditions. In order to get your moss to firmly attach to the ground, the ground surface should be firm.

    I would offer a little process I use at my place, after the initial site grading is finished, (removing stones over 1/4″size) I continue to use my leaf rake to clean the soil of debris. But the surface is now soft and not that great for a firm new establishment of moss! So I just walk it down to compact the dry surface layer, then watering said surface & continue walking (moccasin shoes) pushing the dirt around continue grading as necessary. Now for the fun part…I use a hand trowel, or even a short length of 2X4 wood, and while the soil is wetted, continue troweling the surface (much like finishing concrete) pushing the small stones down which will become embedded in the dirt, and the finest size dirt (mud slurry 1/8″-1/4″ deep)will remain at the surface which will secure your moss well. If you have time, let the site you just troweled, dry out for a day or two, inspect your grading job & repair as necessary, if it rains, trowel any little erosion channels. When your satisfied with the surface smoothness, bring your moss, wet the soil well & place your moss, try to place piece after piece butted together, don’t leave gaps because the rainfall will cause the exposed dirt areas between moss pieces to slightly erode. If those gaps erode, the dirt that eroded must go somewhere, which is usually atop other moss pieces, remember you will be watering your moss daily until established and the potential to erode could cause soil surface problems & give the grasses ‘an easy shot’ at your new moss yard…butt your joints. Once you have placed the moss on the moist ground, use a hand water sprinkler to water in the live moss, walking the moss into the wetness is very important. The moss will act like a sponge and you can step on it several times as the water is applied at same time, ‘soaking the moss into the dirt, & soaking the dirt into the moss’. Don’t step on the moss so much that it is buried under the soil, but if you see dirt squishing into the moss & you feel like the soil contact is sufficient, then that was enough water & walking. Allow the new moss to drain for a few hours and walk it in some more. The next day you should be quite happy with the results, inspecting the whole surface, while walking & watering again, at this point, if you feel you need to ‘soak & squish’ any pieces that have not adhered well, do it now. The moss is fragile within its new home for the first two months, so walk & water daily, looking for firm adherence & feeling for firm soil conditions under the moss. Weeding is always good, especially on a new plot, because your daily attendance will fix little things before they become problems. If you pull a weed try to get the weed root, & push the moss to close the area where the weed was pulled, put alittle water there & push the moss tight to the ground. Do not wash your moss in the early stages, because of the hydralic pressures & volumes will lift the moss from the dirt adherence. Use a mist or sprinkler not a forceful water hose stream. The moss should not be saturated to the point of over covered with standing water like in low areas. If that happens hopefully it drys out within 2 or 3 days and doesn’t occur too frequently.

    I use 3′ wide sheets of white plastic to cover new moss areas, inorder to concentrate natural ground moisture & allow air thru the moss layer, lucky I have full shade, because the plastic would cook the moss underneath if subject to direct sunlight. The plastic is fun for me because I don’t have to haul as much water…when I fold back the plastic and the moss & dirt looks moist then I don’t add much water, it also keeps the little squirrels from trying to help me in my moss plot. Occasionally I pull back the plastic and give it an inspection to verify moss moisture & soil adherence.

    As for rocks, I find them moss covered in the wild and it always seems true that a rolling stone won’t gather moss! But if a stone is pushed into the soil, full soil embedded, it thereby gains the natural moisture of the ground and will sustain moss quite well.

    wild;)

  23. 23
    mary

    do mosses stay green or turn darker

  24. 24
    mary

    how big is flat

  25. 25

    Hey Mary
    Various moss species do indeed change their “shade” of green. This visible change can occur do to changes in humidity or sun exposure. Also, new growth tends to be a brighter green and older growth can be a darker or duller green, brownish or even rust color depending upon the characteristics of specific bryophytes.
    The myriad of green/yellow/golden/bronze shades can be quite fascinating adding depth and dimension throughout the seasons.
    Mossin’ Annie

  26. 26

    Hey Mary,
    Mountain Moss offers an exclusive selection of unique mosses. We sell flats of mosses. Flat tray size is 11×22 inches. Each tray contains 1.33 sq ft. You can order through our online Moss Shop. Thanks for considering our LIVE mosses for your project.
    Mossin’ Annie

  27. 27
    Kevin

    Hi. I live in Mobile Al and I have been growing moss in my yard for a couple of years. I think I have hypnum, cushion, haircap, and a mystery moss. After some trial and error it is starting to look good but the problem is we get a ton of thunderstorms and my yard floods. (Last year it rained well over 70 inches.) The hypnum seems the most soggy-tolerant but I am wondering what would be better-suited for the lower parts of the yard. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  28. 28

    Hey Kevin in Mobile…
    I’m a bit surprised that your Hypnum is liking to be soggy. Leucobryum (cuhion) will definitely not be happy if it stays too wet. Polytrichum (haircap) should do well anywhere! Assuming your location is in the shade, I’d recommend Sphagnum (major wet lover), Bryhnia, Bartramia, Thuidium, Plagiomnium, Atrichum undulatum or Rhodobryum for moist locations and consistent wetness. Avoid Dicranum (rock cap) because it will really crud out if it stays too wet for very long. Storms and flash flooding of areas should not harm any mosses unless water accumulates in the area for weeks. It rains between 75-105 inches annually where I live… yet, on hot, dry, summer days, I still provide supplemental watering.

    Thanks for considering expanding your moss selections by purchasing from Mountain Moss.
    Go Green With Moss!
    Mossin’ Annie

  29. 29
    Kevin

    Thank you so much. That is very helpful and I will place an order. I should clarify that I didn’t so much think the Hypnum liked being soggy but that it had seemed more tolerant than the others. In light of your response however I think I was not considering other factors for why Hypnum has done so well. Also the soggy duration tends to be days, at the most, so it sounds like I should be fine. Thank you again.

  30. 30
    Dan

    Hi there Annie!

    First time moss customer, long time moss admirer.

    I’m looking into making my own terrariums using apothecary jars/bell jars, etc and placing fantasy miniatures in them to create small, fantasy world scenes (Think Lord of the Rings/The Shire etc).

    Do you have any advise for growing moss in a terrarium? Substrates? Types of moss that would work best? Other plants that can compliment the moss without interfering?

    Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks much!
    Dan

  31. 31

    Hello – we are a wholesale/retail/importer company in Canada – do you sell to Canada?

  32. 32
    Bruce

    Hey Annie,
    What is the best way to get rid of volunteer grass and weeds in my moss yard?
    I heard that the use of “grass killing chemicals” like Round Up will not effect the moss but have a heard time believing that!
    Is it time to get on my hands and knees or is there a easier way?
    Bruce

  33. 33

    macys printable coupons april 2013…

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    Ciera

    Hello I am looking to buy mat for a moss bath mat, like made on the page I reference below. I’m wondering if this is in fact practical and if so, what types of moss should I buy? Thanks in advance!

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