Each summer, I like to get the kids involved in a DIY project of some kind. At 7 and 5, they are still a tad bit young for the old hammer and nail but I always find “creative” ways for them to help me. This year, I thought it would be an excellent project for us to add a little age to some of the larger pots and stones in our yard with some artificially grown moss…to the dismay of my wife, she really loves that blender.
We live in a home just outside of Toronto and are fortunate enough to have a fairly decent sized yard. Over the spring, I constructed a nice little rock garden in the corner of my property. Not to toot my own horn but I think that I did a fairly good job. The only problem was that I bought the stones from a rock quarry and they were clean which gave the structure a very “new” look where I was looking for more of a Stonehenge/Easter Island look.
I talked to a friend at work and he gave me his tried and true method for quickly growing moss on stone, brick, and pots.
1 Part Moss
1 Part Sugar
2 Parts Beer
Once you have all of the ingredients together, it’s time to mix them and that’s where the blender comes in. Puree the moss mash in the blender until it gets a creamy consistency. Then all that is left to do is coat the stones and pot surfaces with the mixture. Mist the surfaces every now and again to insure that they are moist. Moss grows best in the shade so try and move any treated objects as required until moss begins to grow. After about two months, all of the rock and pot surfaces that we treated had a very healthy patch of moss growing on them.
I was actually told that you can substitute the beer for yogurt or buttermilk. I felt that a yogurt or buttermilk concoction might get a bit stinky after a couple of days so I went with beer.
Finding moss shouldn’t be that much of a problem. I could have picked some up at work pretty easily but I thought it would be nice to make an adventure of it so I drove the kids down to a nearby wooded area. Some garden and landscaping stores will carry moss but you might have to go out and find some. We needed quite a bit of moss (and beer) due to the number of stones and pots that I wanted to cover but if you are looking to cover a couple of pots, it shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to find enough in the woods or a nearby forest area.
It is also possible now to purchase garden moss such as these. As many commenters have expressed, it is illegal in many states in the US (and perhaps in other countries as well) to just pick up moss from parks and protected areas.
If you want to try this project, it is best to buy your own moss if you can’t find a free and safe source. (added by Chellet)
Daniel works as a consultant for Greenbloom Landscaping in Toronto and regularly contributes articles and blog posts to their website. Greenbloom Landscaping offers a complete range of services for both commercial and residential clients throughout the entire Greater Toronto Area.