Anyone growing moss species in pots?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by terrestrial_man, May 11, 2006.

  1. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    I hope that this does not sound like a lame question for UBC but I am down in central California and there are no such things as moss lined forest floors or even moss covered tree branches in these here parts-at least none that I have found-not counting the microscopic species-I even have a tiny moss growing in the cracks of my concrete driveway but it is not Polytrichum or any of the very cool larger mosses that I enjoyed seeing in my brief sojourn up in northern California.
    Fortunately a friend sent me some mosses from Washington and I am growing them in pots and am always on the outlook for more culture information to help me improve my culture. It is all guesswork but I seem to be guessing fairly well.
    I hope to be putting up a web journal on them at some point later this year (?) on my website.
    But in the meantime if there are any moss growers that read this post please reply and let me know what is happening in your culture! Thanks.
     
  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  3. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks so much Newt!
    I was hoping I would find a fellow moss fan. Moss growers are few and far between. I seem to find alot of info on getting rid of mosses!!! I guess for folks up in the NW it is a scrouge from Hell!!! Grows everywhere. Just lucky that the days of the privy are over or you wouldn't need any paper. Just grab a handful of that green stuff growing in the corner!!!!

    Anyhow it will take me a while to get through all the info you have linked me to. What I usually do is print out everything and then read it later.
    If you are interested I do have a website that hopefully I will be posting a journal upon about the mosses (and the Lycopodiums) that I am growing or trying to grow.!! It is very interesting to do so.
    Cheers,
    Jerry
     
  4. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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  5. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Jerry, you are so very welcome! Moss was also used as 'diapers' for babies. It's really cool stuff. Lots of uses as you'll see once you get into those sites.

    I'd love to see your journal! I grew up in the mountains of NY and would hike in the woods and marvel at what grew there. Actually, I still do marvel!

    Newt
     
  6. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    We were both posting at the same time. I'm at the site! Now I'll never get to sleep! LOL

    Newt
     
  7. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I loved the bog!! I thought it was wonderful. I wish I had the space to grow one in my yard. Alas there is a tiny pond in the '5 year plan'. I do have a damp and shady area where I grow some primulas though.

    Our climate is so very different then yours. Have you thought about going on some orchid or moss expeditions when you retire? I'll bet you'd love the Amazon Jungle! I got to see so much growing wild there I was 'ga ga' the whole time. I found this growing along the river in Peru.
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16559066/Large

    This was growing wild in a small village.
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16559037/Large

    Chocolate grows from this tiny flower out of the trunk of the tree. I'm a chocohaulic!
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16559039/Large

    Not a very clear pic, but just for you!
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16564471/Large

    Hibiscus also grows wild in the jungle.
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16591179/Large

    The native people eat the roots of these.
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16591188/Large

    Clerodendron anyone?
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16559081/Large

    How about this for a root flare on a tree?
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16529786/Large

    Newt
     
  8. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Newt,
    I did my running around years ago. Now I have a jungle out back that I need to get some control over though not too much as I have some opposums living in the bushes as well as other smaller animals such as worm salamanders!
    Not much for traveling anymore which I think is due to the fact that it has all gotten crowded. Like you go somewhere thinking of seeing something native and it turns out the natives are foreigners working on the job of being natives!!!! While the real natives are in the backroom counting all the tourists dollars they get from their overpriced tours of the wilderness!!!
    Don't mean to sound sarcastic but I went to college at HSC for a bit (graduated there with a bachelors in Botany) and I can remember how great it was up in the woods where you could easily get lost. No real trails just wildness! But sigh! last time in that area years ago the understory of tall ferns had been cut back and a wide trail had been laid and it was all civilized!!!
    So now I rather visit the wilderness in my memories as it's still real there!!! See what happens when you age-so take lots of pictures of the part of your world you love knowing that that image will be all that will be left in the course of time-make notes-make recordings at the time. old movies are not just sentimental fodder!!! Nostaglia lives!

    (oops guess I got off the thread??)
     
  9. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    Here is an image of one of the best growers I have:
    http://jsionline.freeservers.com/poly1.JPG
    I will be doing a webjournal on my site and will have other images plus commentary.
    Cheers and a BIG THANKS FOR THE LINKS, Newt!
     
  10. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Oh, the moss looks so soft, as if one should put their cheek next to it. I like that pot too.

    Glad you liked the links. I just love to travel and hope to go back to South America in another year. Many of the places I visited there were not as you describe, though I must admit that it saddened me to see phosphate scum in the middle of the Amazon jungle. It comes from the washing that the native people do. We did have a guide, but it was just him, my son and myself for most of the trip. One couple joined us for a day and we had a wonderful day. There are still many places that aren't over commercialized. Here's the 'dock' we departed from in Iquitos, Peru. This is 'the' dock to go anywhere from there. Our transport is the one with the yellow cover and it took us 50 kilometers upriver.
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16529854/Large

    And that is me, just after I was told which boat we were taking and thinking, "I feel like I'm living a National Geographic moment", when my son took the pic.
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/413348/1/16529852/Large

    Newt
     
  11. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    You will have to excuse my humor! I am sure most of the places that you frequent in your southern treks are for the most part untouched by the fabric of green that seems to have become the dominating force within Western society!
    Yet from what little I know of the Amazon I know that it is becoming one of the last true wildernesses left relatively untouched though each day more strip burning and more human
    growth and development. Just hope there are no major oil fields below all that jungle!!!

    You will need to put together a book or a web journal on your adventures!!

    cheers.
     
  12. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Don't worry about your humor with me. I felt a little sad for your skepticism though as so much of what you said is true. It still doesn't stop me from wanting to go back to the Amazon or visit other places that are 'wild'. My dream has always been to go to Alaska and spend months hiking there, hike in the old growth forests of the PNW, trek across the outback in Australia, see Antartica and ride a camel across the Arabian desert. I suppose a nice Jewish gal like me will have to forgo the camel ride with the world what it is today though.

    So far I've gotten to live my other dreams of visiting the Galapagos Islands and hiking Machu Picchu in the Andes. I got to drive across the desert in Peru (instead of the camel ride) and fly over the Nazca lines so I'm feeling VERY fortunate. My son lives in South America and I got to spend 4 months with him as we traveled through Peru and Ecuador. My hubby joined us for my last 3 weeks and we went to Galapagos together. An amazing place!! You can swim with penguins and have wild birds land on you! The animals there have no fear of humans.

    My son is now living in Colombia and I hope to go back next year. My hubby and grown daughter will join me. I can't wait!! I would also love to see Bolivia and Chile. I often think that I'd be a wildlife photographer if I had it to do over again. Instead I rasied a slew of kids and worked like a slave! Go figure. I got pangs when I read of your career change.

    Since you mentioned a journal, there is a photographic one. It's my son's site, but our travels are on there. All the galleries from 2003 are my trip. You can also view my first trip to New Orleans after Katrina. That one has captions so view it in large thumbnails and just click your way through it so you can read the captions. There aren't any pics that are terribly disturbing. Those are burned into my brain and I didn't figure I needed to photograph them. Here's the main site.
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/

    Newt
     
  13. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    Hello Newt,
    You have been very fortunate! Most people only read about what you have done! But in musing over what you are saying I am reminded of the mother of an old boyhood friend who lost her husband several years ago and now leads tours into China and I believe a few other places. It is like that is the thing for her that gives her life that something special (this sounds like a song??) and I guess that is the grassroots of it all!
    Columbia? That is a tough country to live in during these times!
    Especially if you are an American. You need a Canadian passport! And one that says you are Italian! Arreva derchi! (don't know if I spelled this right or not??)
    One question: how did you get started on learning about mosses?
     
  14. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes, I have been very fortunate. I've driven back and forth across the US a couple of times, once alone with my kids when the youngest was 7. I've looked into heaven at the Grand Canyon, had my breath stolen by the Continental Divide in Colorado and been dazzled by the national parks and monuments in the Southwest. I've always done it on a strict budget and had a blast! Your story of your friend's mother is heartwarming! It's strange how life serves us opportunities. Speaking of which, that is how I came to do so much on the computer with gardening and plants.

    Not sure I should post this here, but here it goes anyway. After my travels with my kids across the US, to central Florida and to the Near North of Canada I became disabled. I spent the better part of 9 years in a wheelchair and in bed. I became more interested in gardening as 'exercise' and there was this patch of moss growing in the front yard that I could sit on. It was so soft it didn't hurt me to sit on it. I would pick out the weeds and encourage it to grow. I talked to it. Should I say that on a public forum? It brought back wonderful memories of my hikes in the woods where I grew up. I became grateful for the soft moss. I answer questions on several forums and when people complain about moss in their lawns and want to eradicate it, I cringe.

    Living life in a small compartment when one is not able to leave their bed, makes you see things you never saw before, even when you had looked at them many times. You 'see' the world differently after something like that. Keep in mind when you view those pics of me in South America that I had only been out of that chair for about 3 years. I arrived in Peru still using a cane. In Peru I was able to afford intensive physical therapy during my stay. My climb up Macchu Pichu and my hikes in the Amazon Jungle were my triumphs! It took me a very long time with many, many breaks, but with a patient son, husband and guide, I did it! I look at life as an adventure and I just love adventure. My son had this picture blown up to 3' by 4' and it hangs in the family room. I smile at it all the time.
    http://drdigital.smugmug.com/gallery/415325/1/16628119/Large

    So that's how I became interested in moss.
    Newt
     
  15. Joe Keller

    Joe Keller Active Member 10 Years

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    To my fellow bryophiles, my all time favourite gardening book is "Moss Gardening" by George Schenk. Here is a link for it at Timber Press. http://www.timberpress.com/books/isbn.cfm/0-88192-370-2 As for gardening with mosses, lichens, etc, " For those that understand, no explanation is necessary, for those that do not understand, no explanation is possible" Thanks for the thread, Joe
     
  16. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    Hello Joe,
    Thanks for the link on the book. I get the catalogs from Timber Press but have never ever gotten around to snagging this book. Always other priorities!

    And Newt,
    Golly! Your story is heartwarming! It really should be in print with images and shared with those who are or have experienced the agony of paralysis. It is a world that only those who are close to it can understand. And I definitely understand. You have seen my journals-they are entirely a JPEG file! that makes them easy to use and you don't have to do a whole lot of programming to post it on the net! I applaud you on your persistence and on your success!!! Believe me, a higher authority definitely had their hand on you.

    I realize that this has really gone deeper than just the moss but I think that this thread is very important and will be a blessing to those who take the time to partake! What is interesting is that these thoughts linger! While I was in the process of feeding my cats this evening I was musing with my inner spirits and I had this flash of a poem hit me as I pondered what you had been saying and what I had written that you mentioned. So I hardly ever get a poem flash so I hurriedly wrote it down. So Newt I want to dedicate this gem to you:
    IN THE FOREST OF MY MIND-
    Among the branches overhung and mosses green
    dripping ribbons of washed tears
    low clouds smother the ground near
    so wearily my steps taken
    and so fearful the path unseen.

    In the distance between two tall trunks
    that tower hauntingly above the forest green
    a trace of light is seen.

    Onward towards that ray of hope
    my steps quicken in hurried anticipation
    and upon the forest floor
    lies bare a path long since forsaken.


    cheers.
     
  17. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    FYI - I love moss too. I found this website http://www.mossacres.com/ but their site ships to eastern and mid-western states. Perhaps they could recommend a western supplier.
     
  18. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Growing4it,
    There are no Western commercial moss growers that I know of. I am growing several
    and am always on the outlook for more species to grow. Currently because of some
    undetermined event, I lost the majority of my mosses that were kept in one area of my
    backyard, I will be constructing a special plant bench just for the mosses and in so isolating them will protect them from accidental drift of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and animal damage while providing cool but partial sun.
    If you like mosses I would encourage you to master growing those that are in your area as there are many that occupy a variety of habitat.
    The main considerations is to use a small container such as a shallow plastic bowl that you can poke holes in the bottom and around the sides of, a shallow strate on which to place the moss or to collect the moss with a shallow substrate that is placed directly into the growing bowl, no use of fertilizers or other chemicals, distilled or r/o water only (rain perhaps in your area), dappled light or at the least a minimal 200 foot-candles of light.
    I am still in the learning process. I do have some moss images up on my site and hope to add more on what I had been growing and what I am now growing. No timetable.
    Again. I encourage you to try growing them yourself and keep notes and images as this is all relatively unknown even though mosses have been grown by man for centuries.
     

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