So you probably think you should make your Fairy garden/pot look even better by putting some grass on the ground, but regular ground is too big for our fairies, so the perfect option would be moss. Some would think moss is easy to keep, but it is not always the case. there are different types and the often need a different environment than the plants you put them next to. So here are a few tips to help you deciding if moss it’s the way you wanna go.
1. First things, first. Usually the spots where you can find moss have the perfect wetness of the ground/rock and the air around it. If you can match that environment, you can grow moss. BUT usually the flowers you want to pair moss with, don’t need that much wetness, or can’t stay outside too long.
2. Different types of moss means different types of needs. Some need shades and other need sun and water, so you need to know what kind of moss you have, either make sure you get all the info from where you buy it, or try and replicate the exact environment you got it from.
3. Moss can come with mold, yes, because they like the same things, but you can avoid mold if your ground is always wet, but also the ground doesn’t keep the wetness too much, and the pot has holes so the water doesn’t run it’s course. And if you want to make sure you don’t get moldy moss from outside yourself, you can simply check the ground under the blanket of moss. You’ll see tiny white spots, like flowers, so try and avoid that.
4. You can also find bugs. Some hide for the cold weather in the moss, because it provides perfect home for them. They keep them warm, and safe from wind and frost. I found a large larvae once, needles to say I screamed like a lil’ girl, dropped it and it fell out of the moss and couldn’t put it back (well, I couldn’t try because I did not want to touch it again, sorry big guy…blah)
“Mosses need moisture to reproduce sexually, but not asexually. Water is needed for photosynthesis, but not for survival. Moist areas allow for faster growth, but isn’t necessary for existence. Acrocarps mosses tend to be more drought tolerant than Pleurocarps.” – according to Moss and stone gardens site.
5. “Moss is a beneficial addition to the garden in many ways: it retains moisture content, similar to mulching, it is superior to mulches in that it is a living layer that processes nutrients and contributes organic material, it does not become compacted, and doesn’t need replacing annually.” says Moss and stone gardens, here.
6. What you thought you knew about moss but it is not true: Moss does not grow only on the north side, it can grow anywhere it has the good conditions to grow, mostly wood, trees and rocks. Moss does not attract flees, ticks or mosquitoes, they prefer the tall plants so they can hide. And buttermilk, and beer, and everything else you’ve heard that it can help your moss develop, it’s false, you can’t magically increase the moss you have, though I never tried that recipe, I’m sure the best way to grow moss is by division of a colony or fragmentation, and damp soil, so try that first.
So if you’re planning to grow moss, make sure you know what you’re dealing with and meet its needs. And remember to cook your buttermilk, and drink your beer, not waste it on something that has more chances it will fail. Keep coming back for more information about fairy gardens, or you can always share your pots and garden photos here.