Page 29 - The Hunt - Summer 2018
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                  Once the moss clumps take hold, they thicken up, turn rich green after a rain, and resist weeds.
not a rake—and nothing noisy or electric. It could be considered a tedious job, but I tend to zone out.
The only downside is that birds and squirrels sometimes dig under the moss, and I have to patch it up. Once I watched a wild bunny carry away mouthfuls of my moss to line her nest.
While moss is lovely, it can be a problem when it appears in the wrong places. When it grows on pavement and the driveway, it makes surfaces too slippery to walk on. Bleach will kill moss, but it’s not good for the environment. Recently, I learned that ordinary baking soda works even better and is not as harmful. It can be used next to an area where you want the moss to grow. Sprinkle it on the affected area, wait a few days for the moss to loosen and turn brown, and brush it off with a whisk broom and dust pan. If you have a compost pile, throw away the residue there, and away goes the problem. o
ground. It can stand light foot traffic, but not ball games and heavy use.
There are two main kinds of moss. The acrocarpous types make a mounded colony and have upright growth. These rounded clumps are sometimes used in pots or between rocks. The pleurocarpus types form spreading carpets and make good lawns. They settle in faster than the acrocarpous types. Sphagnum moss is one of these. So are many others that will land and grow well for you.
Though moss has been used in exquisite Japanese gardens for ages, it has recently become popular in crafts and can easily be seen online via searches or with Pinterest. Biophilic interiors employ moss. You’ll find directions for covering baskets with moss, making large moss letters for special events,
making terrariums with various types, using moss on green roofs and walls and between pavers and stepping stones, using it to plant or underplant troughs and pots, making a decoration out of a stump or rotten log, even using moss to carpet your kids’ fairy or dinosaur garden. A small trough planted with moss and dwarf hosta looks great.
Although moss grows in shade, it needs light and water to grow. In nature it can be found in the woods, especially at the edge of splashing streams. It’s somewhat unnatural for an area to stay mossy, because any open spot is more likely to have seed- lings from larger plants appear.
If moss is covered by leaves or gar- den competition, it will die, so good care means frequently sweeping up litter. I use a soft whisk broom and dust pan for this, 27

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