Magnificent Moss, UT Gardens’ February Plant Of The Thirty day period


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Monday, January 31, 2022 – by Paul Moore, Nashville-primarily based plantsman and photographer &#13

What will come to your mind when you feel of moss?  Do these modest, non-vascular flowerless vegetation in the taxonomic division Bryophyta sensu stricto transportation you to an enchanted forest in a fairytale, or a memory of mountaineering together a mountain stream hugged by moss-lined boulders? Whatsoever your reminiscences or know-how of moss might be, it is a interesting living factor that is normally both misunderstood or merely goes about its daily life unnoticed. 
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I have liked moss for as extensive as I can keep in mind.&#13

Pictures and the love of nature have been central in my daily life for more than 40 years, and moss has normally been portion of the visual track record and magnificence of several of the areas I maintain near and pricey to my heart, nonetheless I realized little about them.   

 

In the slide of 2011 that was all about to adjust for the reason that moss was about to enter my planet in a large way. 

 

I experienced been hoping to create a good lawn to complement my native plant back garden for decades, but the soil was so thin and of these types of lousy quality that I had all but presented up on it. A single drop I was strolling the garden location (or what was left of it) and trying to come to a decision if I was going to plant grass seed once more when I recognized a little patch of moss about 3’ in diameter growing in what Iawn remained. I created the choice to nurture the space by trying to keep it absolutely free of leaves and debris and encouraging the moss. I manually taken off the grass and weeds in the spot so the moss did not have any competitors. Then I made use of an assortment of normal weed and grass killers, with various stages of accomplishment, to speed up the process.  

 

Slowly but surely the moss began to spread and by spring it experienced stuffed in most of the place, even though it was continue to not what a single could get in touch with “lush.” Immediately after a couple of several years, the moss stuffed all the locations that experienced been garden, and it was gorgeous! I started putting up pictures of the moss garden on my social media and website and sharing them with all my plant friends. The reactions and fascination were rapid and considerably-achieving. In all my decades of rising and promoting native plants, nothing compared to the stage of curiosity and enthusiasm the moss lawn obtained in all those early times. 

With all that good suggestions I started reading in earnest everything I could about moss. The far more I go through, the extra fascinated I became. The questions from website visitors and from followers on social media were endless, and the pleasure was palpable. Inquiries commenced to roll in: 

“Can I wander on it?”
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“Does it continue to be environmentally friendly calendar year round?”
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“Are there mosses that expand in the sunlight?” 
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“Do I need to have to weed a moss lawn?” 
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My investigate certain them they could, it would, and indeed, sure, indeed. Far more thoughts arrived:  

“Do you have to fertilize it?” 
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“Do I have to mow it?” 
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“Does moss have to have very good soil?” 
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“Does the buttermilk in a blender thing function?” 
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And with them additional solutions: no, certainly not, nope, absolutely not. Then came the far more sophisticated inquiries that necessary extra in-depth solutions, this kind of as:

“Does moss have roots?” 
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The remedy? Moss doesn’t have legitimate roots but a root-like structure termed rhizoids that connect to the soil floor. The more I investigated, and the more intricate the questions and solutions became, the extra enthralled I was and the more momentum this new interest gained with followers. New moss lovers had been born. 
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A moss garden may not be the resolution for anyone but it is a wonderful solution for these with the proper circumstances. A moss lawn is a terrific environmentally friendly garden choice and its 12 months-spherical magnificence will reward you for several years to occur. My recommendation for all those that want to give it a try is to get started out with a small location to master its specifications. The most important versions in my moss garden are Thuidium delicatulum, Oxyrrhynchium hians, Hypnum curvifolium and Brachythecium sp. 
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I’ve only touched the surface about moss and moss lawns. To even more your knowledge, I advise the adhering to three books, The Magical Planet of Moss Gardening by Annie Martin, Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer and at last Typical Mosses Of The Appalachians by Karl B. McKnight, Joseph R. Rohrer, Kristen McKnight Ward and Warren J. Perdrizet.  
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It is critically important to acquire mosses from nurseries that are both of those dependable and sustainable in sourcing what they promote. A reputable nursery that I strongly recommend is Mountain Moss Business (mountainmoss.com) in Brevard, North Carolina. 
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You can check out an set up of varied mosses at the UT Gardens, Crossville.



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