Mosses as ground cover

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by rockandroller, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. rockandroller

    rockandroller Active Member

    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    North Okanagan (formerly NB)
    We've moved to a rather boggy, moist forest. (Balsam firs, white birch, maples, black spruce, larch, white pine, and more...)

    I've noticed lots of different native MOSSES growing around. I'm rather fond of them, so is there any compelling reason to get rid of them? I guess for soil-erosion prevention we should probably keep them from overgrowing the established lawn ( grass has better roots than moss, right?)

    But in the 'wild' areas of the yard, I'd like to cultivate a "mossy floor". Just wondering if there are any special considerations I should think about...
     
  2. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,121
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    If you like the moss, keep it!
    R&R, your new home sounds lovely. Give us some photos of the mosses, trees, and etc., if you can.
    I applaud your desire to work with your environment, and your appreciation of it.

    Here is a site that you will enjoy. Bryophytes are Beautiful!

    http://mountainmoss.com/
     
  3. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Anacortes, Washington, USA
    I agree with togata. There are Peat mosses, true mosses and Liverworts. My favorite liverwort looks like tiny Dr. Seuss trees. Proper name Marchanta polymorpha. I'm referencing Pojar & Mackinnon's Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast since it's where I live. You might be able to request it at you library or something similar. There is a whole world in minature in dealing with these plants. barb
     
  4. Neko

    Neko Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Westminster, BC
  5. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    Please accept the Moss Lovers Medal of Honour. I encourage moss in my garden in those areas that are damp &/or shady. Also in cracks between rocks & pavers. I love the moss in the shady parts of my lawn - it does not need mowing - Yay!

    Spread the word. I am sick of watching some of my neighbours spread various chemicals & fertilizers EVERY year in a totally useless attempt to remove moss. All the time the growing conditions favour moss...well, it will grow back.

    Moss removal & control is IMO one of the biggest ripoffs in the horticultural & gardening world. Moss is not a disease & does not need to be treated as such.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  6. rockandroller

    rockandroller Active Member

    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    North Okanagan (formerly NB)
    Thanks to all for the feedback, this is all very new for me (been living in the big cities most of my life)

    here are a few closeups of some of the local mossies...
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    Hmm? The first pic is actually a Club Moss, I believe. Possibly a species of Lycopodium. Not a true moss, but a very interesting plant sort of stuck evolutionarily between the ferns & the higher plants. If you are interested look up the species that are local to you.

    I think the second one is a species of Polytrichum.

    The last one is a species of Sphagnum - Peat Moss - maybe.

    ...There, you have exhausted my Botanical brain for the day. Have fun.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,856
    Likes Received:
    207
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Agree #1 is a clubmoss, rare and endangered so definitely one to treasure. They are only found in wild places and can't survive cultivation, so don't try changing anything around it.
     
  9. SMadsen

    SMadsen Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denmark
    Sounds like a really cool place. And your attitude towards the surroundings is also really cool. The only moss that can be annoying, I think, when one was aiming at grass lawns rather than lawns of moss is the turf-moss Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus but where it thrives it's more the fault of the lawn designer than of anything else. Make or leave an environment for Rhytidiadelphus and it will commence and thrive no matter what.

    Anyhow, your first photo is indeed a lycopodium (coolest thing). Then two hair cap mosses (Polytrichum), then two different broom mosses (Dicranum sp.) and then a peat moss.
     
  10. SMadsen

    SMadsen Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denmark
    Umm, photo #5 may not be a Dicranum, though.
     
  11. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    "...clubmoss, rare and endangered". Depends where you are talking about. Maybe so in UK, but it grows widely & pretty commonly in our woods, wet spots, remaning bogs & higher altitudes around here, & I suspect also in much of North America.
     
  12. flywaysuzy

    flywaysuzy Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    quesnel, bc, canada
    They will cover forms too, then you can get a moss topiary! We have one funny shaped moss sculpture on one of the lower roofs at work. Too bad my office window faces west...too sunny! Maybe I should put one out in the back pasture. I remember reading how to make a moss spray by blending up sheep manure and mosses and then spraying it around where you wanted the moss garden to be.

    I have lots of sheep manure in the barn and lots of moss in the woods, but I'm not sure about the blender part...Has anybody made a moss sculpture or garden?
     
  13. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Fraser Valley, BC.
    Blender? Well I just get an OLD blender (significant other becomes excited when I use her new one) mix the moss with yoghurt & a bit of water & pour it wherever I want moss to grow. It works. I have never tried a form &/or manure tho'. I'd like to know if that works too.

    ...I feel inspired. I think I will try & cover a small lantern with moss.
     
  14. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    California, USA
    The clubmoss is Lycopodium annotinum.
     

Share This Page