How much sunlight can the four types of Moss tolerate?
Because the moss species we offer are primarily shade-loving mosses, direct sunlight is a definite "no-no" (except for sun-tolerant moss). Sporadic sunlight during varying periods of time during the day can be offset to some extent by regular hand watering or preferably with a sprinkler or misting system. However, we must emphasize: Shade mosses thrive in the shade. Haircap, and in some cases, Hypnum / Fern Moss will tolerate partial sun locations with the right amount of moisture being regularly applied.
Which of the mosses is best utilized in pathways, particularly between flagstones and stepping stones?
Hypnum (sheet) moss is ideal for such applications. Because of its versatility and resiliency, hypnum/sheet moss serves as the best medium for such efforts. In addition, of the mosses offered, hypnum (and also fern) moss is the one variety that has the lowest profile, spreads the most quickly, and can withstand normal foot traffic, (provided the shoes do not have spikes or heels).
Why ship on Mondays through Thursdays in Spring?
Because of our commitment to our customers that they receive our mosses in the finest condition, we ship on these two days to ensure that our products do not sit in UPS terminals for extended periods of time over weekends. We do not want to risk the chance that our moss be exposed to long periods of storage at high temperatures. Please note: Should an order be placed after 3:00 PM on Thursday, it will not be shipped until the following Monday. Our shipping policy is your order will arrive within 7 - 10 business days from date of order. If it will be longer we will contact you.
What is the best time of year to transplant the moss?
Moss transplanting can be performed year-round. However, the most ideal times of the year are spring (Late March through mid-June) and fall (September through November). It should be noted that although the hotter summer months are not ideal, our company has experienced excellent results with several large projects during hot periods in July and August. The key to success with these applications was most likely due to the sprinkler systems that had been previously installed at the sites. But also we have found that trees being leafed out completely and providing maximum shade is actually a big plus for proper acclimation of moss - so summer can actually be a great time for starting a moss garden. Winter is also fine, provided the ground is not frozen, and is free of snow (obviously!)
How should pH testing strips be used, and what is the ideal pH for growing moss?
Simply take a sample of your soil and mix it with de-ionized water in a 1-to-1 ratio. Now place a color change strip into the mixture. Next, compare the color change of the strip to the various colors on the chart - this will provide a fairly accurate pH reading. The ideal range for shade-loving mosses is 4.5 - 5.5. Lower readings are fine, but anything over 6.0 should be adjusted with our wettable sulfur. You do not have to wait following soil amendment prior to transplanting, just be sure to water the sulfur in well so that it is not pooling on the surface. Sun-loving mosses actually prefer a more alkaline soil of 6.5 or higher.
How long before the hypnum / fern moss begins to spread once it is laid out, and can I divide it into smaller pieces to keep costs down and wait for it to fill in over time?
Hypnum and fern moss, once they are laid out and watered well, should double in size within twelve months. Sheet mosses like Hypnum and Fern moss can easily be divided into smaller sections or "plugs" that are then spaced in a checkerboard pattern and allowed to fill in over time. The other mosses offered do not spread at a high rate, as their growth habit is much more "clump-like" in nature.
How do I create a "moss slurry"?
Moss slurries are used to dramatically reduce costs of attempting to cover large areas with a smaller amount of moss. This method can work well, but in all honesty is much more hit or miss in nature than transplanting entire sections of moss. To create the slurry, simply take water (or beer), a handful of moss, and a spoonful of Moss-Tac powder, and put this mixture in a blender. Blend for a minute or so. The result should be a thin moss slurry that can then be smeared out over a large area of soil, rocks, statues, etc. Paint or spread this slurry over the desired area(s), and most importantly, keep it watered constantly until it becomes well established.
The easiest way to create a moss slurry is simply to order a Moss Milkshake from Moss Acres - all you need to do is add water! For inoculating large areas we recommend simply broadcasting a very THIN coating of our pre-ground moss fragments over the firm, bare soil surface and then keeping the moss fragments moist until they knit to the soil
What geographic areas has your moss been successfully transplanted into?
Moss Acres now has customers throughout the country. To date we have experienced an incredibly high rate of transplanting success. There is virtually no problem shipping into any northern climate, as our moss grows in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvanian where the winters can be quite severe.
Regarding southern and western locals, we have been pleasantly surprised thus far with a very high survival rate. Hot and dry environments will definitely require denser shade and irrigation if relocation shock is to be avoided. To date we have happy customers in many southern regions, including, Texas, Southern California, Tennessee, as well as some other southern states. Prior to placing a larger order, it is always best to try some smaller quantities of our different mosses to see which species best adapt to your area prior to placing a large order. For this reason we now offer our very popular "Moss Sampler Set".
What maintenance is involved with moss?
Moss is a very hardy plant once established, but the first several weeks it needs to adjust a bit until it becomes happy in it's new location. This means regular misting or sprinkling to keep the moss damp (no ponding water). Once established in a shady area (no more then one hour of direct sun each day), moss can dry out and go dormant until the rains return. Please note: never water during extremely hot or sunny times of the day. Try not to water during very hot and humid periods - this can encourage mold and fungus that could attack the moss. Better to let the moss naturally go dry and dormant - it will better resist fungal infections.
Try to keep weeds and grass out by pulling them. Once moss has filled in thoroughly and no grass is close by, the moss will remain realtively weed free. The most important thing to remember is to remove all leaves in the fall. If leaves are left on the moss, they will kill the moss over time. They do not insulate the moss - moss loves the snow and cold. The moss will rot and mold under leaf cover.