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stay-at-home moss mom

August 9, 2012

I have become moss obsessed. I research it, look at pictures of it, and memorize all the different kinds of it. I now know that moss loves to be misted rather than showered. It grows best on acidic soil. It doesn’t mind sun but prefers shady areas. It can survive long periods of drought once it is established even though it doesn’t have a vascular system or roots. Moss is basically the superhero of the plant world.

We have a large spruce in our front yard and nothing grows under it. Seems to me that this is the perfect location for a moss garden. So, I consulted one of my best friends,The Internet, and I found a place called Moss Acres that would mail me a box full of my new obsession.

moss in a box

There are four different kinds of moss that came in the box, haircap moss, rock cap moss, hypnum moss and cushion moss. They are all totally dried out and therefore weigh next to nothing – great for shipping costs.

moss preparation

It was important to clear the area and prepare it properly. I cleaned away everything to get down to the bare soil. If your soil isn’t acidic enough you can add wettable sulphur.


Before I started laying the moss I wet the entire area and then spread a powder called Hortasorb. It is a water retention and bonding gel that just gives the newly transplanted moss a little extra help while it is getting used to its new home. Then I used a bucket full of rainwater and dunked each piece for about 10 seconds before placing it firmly under the tree. I also bought box of Moss Milkshake. It’s a milk carton full of ground up moss mixed with buttermilk and Hortasorb. All you do is sprinkle it around and add water. That is what I used to fill in the areas that weren’t covered yet. Moss takes a long time to grow so hopefully by next summer we will be able to see it fill in a little more.

cushion moss

I baby my moss. I water it twice a day. I check on it constantly for greenness, making sure it doesn’t dry out too much. I am off to buy a new Hudson sprayer so that I can mist it properly. I might even break down and buy a special misting system that hooks on to your hose. My friend just referred to me as a stay-at-home moss mom which I found to be fairly accurate and hilarious. Aren’t they cute? I know that you aren’t supposed to have favourites but I think that I like this little cushion moss the best.

haircap, rock cap, cushion and hypnum moss

moss under tree

I totally love our new moss garden. It makes me happy. They say that kids are a lot of work, but they’re worth it.


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