aemed with a simple putty knife

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aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  dick benbow on Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:38 pm

I bundled up against the 40 degree weather and set out with bucket in hand to look for the "right" moss. The trail I had in mind for Hikers was paved and wound down thru a canyon. But was filled with the wrong kind. So as I walked back to the truck, I noticed a rock retaining wall peppered with the right stuff.
It seems every spring during repotting I never have any amount of moss to get easy access to. So I vowed this year to do something about it. When I returned home I put the moss into earthen containers. Some I will allow to dry out in the shed for easy screening to add with the spagnum moss layer at repotting time in hopes that spores will establish themselves.
Normally i dislike this time of year, not much to be done, but contemplating about repotting got me up and busy working on my hobby Smile

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:35 pm

dick benbow wrote: Some I will allow to dry out in the shed for easy screening to add with the spagnum moss layer at repotting time in hopes that spores will establish themselves.

dick - it sounds like you havent tried this before, have you ?

verrrry curious if it works !

anyone else ?

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  dick benbow on Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:26 pm

I have not personally tried it, but keep hearing others say it works. last month I collected a bunch of moss and dried and gratted it for the museum, but we haven't used it yet. sifting the dried moss thru screen was a bit of a chore.....

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:45 am

i have heard that making a paste with ground moss & buttermilf can then be spread across a surface to make moss grow

still curious about the sphagnum though...

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  steveb on Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:57 am

I thought moss was added only when the tree was being shown. If a tree isn't being shown then we don't want moss, correct? Or, have I totally missed something - which is probably the case.

Thanks

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  0soyoung on Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:12 am

steveb wrote:I thought moss was added only when the tree was being shown.  If a tree isn't being shown then we don't want moss, correct?  Or, have I  totally missed something  - which is probably the case.  

I rather like having it as it keeps my inorganic soil from drying out too fast (however, it turns to goo when chem fertilizer is thrown on it) and it helps to stop the medium from being washed away on mounded plantings.

I use Turface MVP, so I must put down some sphagnum then the moss on top - else the moss just dessicates. If I don't have live moss, I throw dried moss and sphagnum in an old food processor with some water and simply pour the slurry on the 'soil'. This works best in the fall for me. I have a nice carpet by spring (if the birds don't get it).

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  Bruce Winter on Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:07 am

I also chop moss in a processor but dry so I have lots of it through the year. Never thought of doing it with water. Maybe it does it faster wet, and no dust. Hmm, I'll have to try it. Then I could dry it. As you say, it keeps my inorganic soil from drying out too fast. So it's good on the (in my case) pumice. But a major problem here is moss rotting the bark at the base. Lost some large old trees through the years.
There's a trowel and plastic bag in the car and an eye out for the "right" moss.

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:40 am

Kevin,

the moss I use will grow on asphalt in full sun. as Nina Shishkoff [ was the plant doctor here on IBC - now on Facebook drawing cat cartoons ] said, as long as your moss dries green, it's okay.
All I do, is take a bit, press it flat, and then press it gently on the soil.
Spreads rapidly in the Wet Season.

Of course life would too simple without the Antshrieks to pull up the moss for you, so I also use mosquito mesh over some of the tree "lawns".

I searched all over and found the perfect moss, where else, but in the backyard.

Got the p.m., I am fine but a bit busy, will have a drawn image for you later, in the Elm topic. Hope you don't mind.
Laters.
Khaimraj

* Unaffected by my use of fertiliser, but I only fertilise into moist soil and at 1/3 strength.

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:27 pm

wow... lottsa good moss info at a time (for some of us) when there aint much else to do Wink

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:34 pm

steveb wrote:I thought moss was added only when the tree was being shown.  If a tree isn't being shown then we don't want moss, correct?  Or, have I  totally missed something  - which is probably the case.  

Thanks

As is so often the case, the reply here is "It depends."  Moss can be useful or it can be a pest.  As others have said, it works to keep topsoil in the pot.   But too much moss can keep soil too wet, and moss growing up the trunk of your trees may damage bark -- depending on the species of tree.  Some say it also hides critters, but with the possible exception of fungus gnats I've never seen examples of that. 

For may of us, though who live in humid climates, the entire issue is moot.  We have moss.  Period.

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  dick benbow on Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:20 pm

I'm pretty keen on removing moss from the roots and trunks of my trees. Good use of olde toothbrushes, when their human use comes to an end....Smile

I also find myself removing about a quarter inch in from pot lip, to allow water spray to run off the moss and soak into the pot.

regarding "moss" I use several species for show trees to create a diverse and interesting look to the forrest floor.
For my own trees at home just the one species, in a uniform carpet.
Around here we fight with what we call "irish moss" or "star weed" that needs to be removed or it soon takes over
I'm a fanatic when it comes to my library, enevitably I read up on something I'm interested in and keep the book to go back to for reference.

If you relate i can reccomend George Schenk's "moss gardening".....


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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  steveb on Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:50 pm

Thanks for the info. I may give moss a try on a few of my trees.

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:54 pm

Thanks Dick,

I see the book is Timber Press, good publisher. Bought it.

I follow Zeko Nakamura's advice, water once, wait 10 to 15 minutes [ water another section of the Bonsai stands ] return and water again.
Do this three times, twice a day, morning and before 4.30 in the evening, in the Dry Season.
Good Reps and with a 15 lb worth if water, watering can. I make 5 miles walking daily, due to watering and the easel.

Wet Season by observation.

Yes, plants must be tidied, and moss removed or toothbrushed - Good Advice.
Laters.
Khaimraj

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  gman on Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:01 pm

Hey Dick,
Being in the PNW we are lucky in that we have many different moss species (in abundance) right outside our door.......I also have just gone over some of Michael Hagedorn's posts on Mountain Hemlock and most have a layer of moss on them (just in his garden).
Also noted your phrase "not much to be done" ?......hhhhhmmm I chuckled as I'm spending a couple of hours each day working on my collection Laughing Maybe you've finished your fall projects.
Cheers Graham

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  dick benbow on Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:44 pm

So pleased to see this topic so well received and opinions/comments offered. thanks all

Graham....All my trees are in the ground and mounded with bark to protect from the cold. I've been hunting for difficult pots to find in the off season ( like those long rectangles for raft types) and watching for estate sales that have japanese scrolls for sale to use in my tokonoma display. Just found a wonderful one of olde minka house holds surrounded by blossuming trees. Will be great for spring.

I do however help David de Groot with his collection, also in the ground but we take out when needing some extra work done. So have been removing olde wire and still doing some pine needle thinning..... Smile

Normally I'm working on trees in the museum but have had a couple weeks off of late...

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moss from my experience

Post  Robert Taylor on Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:23 pm

I've tried growing moss in a number of ways over the years.  I do try to get a variety and prefer the kind that I find on asphalt or sidewalks that get a fair amount of direct sunlight. There is the hint.  Moss likes a firm surface to grow on.  It's taken me a long time for this to register.  I built a stone patio over ten years ago and moss has thrived between the rocks.  I also notice that moss growing on cement on the north side of my house develops rapidly.  There is a lot of clay soil there and rain washes onto the sidewalk there.  
When I started my patio I also created a berm with the idea of having a moss garden there.  I introduced all different varieties there with only modest success.  Another problem was the rich compost that the moss was on
didn't work and actually created other problems. I know now that the soil wasn't firm enough to get the moss established. I did have success using cheesecloth on a firmer base nearby. That moss takes on a grid look from the weave (warp and weft) of the fabric. A friend had great success by putting indoor/outdoor carpet in his garden.
The other problems that I mentioned with my moss garden were caused by animals and insects.  Nesting birds and egg laying slugs were the most trouble.  I feed the birds and don't mind them but the slugs also attract skunks who like to dig, as do squirrels.  Recently I had to do some foundation work under my back porch and had to dig a four foot deep hole in clay soil there.  I managed to save some of that clay which I'll use for growing moss.  
I'm always on the lookout for moss and note where it is. I even take photos if it's a particularly good spot.  My sons rooftop presently offers a promising crop.  
On a bit of a different use of moss is it's relationship with plants.  I've been slowly working on creating a spruce forest. I often go off hiking and have collected moss growing around the roots of spruce trees to add to the soil where I'm growing my spruce trees. It may also contain good fungi as the full grown trees with moss are all healthy specimens.


Last edited by Robert Taylor on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:13 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  dick benbow on Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:16 am

I always appreciate learning from other's experiences...thanks for sharing.

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  dick benbow on Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:20 am

thought this might be fun to watch...from japan's NHK network, program japanology on the topic of "MOSS"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c9fptsw6p8

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  dick benbow on Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:03 pm

technique to use spagnum moss as a bed for bonsai pot moss...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1mJCbiGcfk

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  john jones on Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:04 pm

beer city snake wrote:i have heard that making a paste with ground moss & buttermilf can then be spread across a surface to make moss grow

still curious about the sphagnum though...

That's the way I heard it too.

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  Bruce Winter on Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:17 pm

I just whizzed a bunch of sphag in a processor. It's growing all over up here and after drying it in the greenhouse it was white so I added some drops of india ink to the soaking moss, left it awhile and am now drying it. I get better results applying it dry and wetting it after, then if I want green moss I then push it into the sphag. The green moss will slowly grow if kept moist most of the time. And since the substrate is open, inorganic and free draining there's no such thing as over watering.

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Re: aemed with a simple putty knife

Post  dick benbow on Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:30 am

thanks bruce for your input...... Smile

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