Sphagnum moss is a genus comprising more than 100 different spongy mosses. Commonly referred to as peat moss, sphagnum is prevalent in marshes and bogs where the nourishment from rain and decaying plant materials are retained in its thick growth. Sphagnum is a popular mulch and soil supplement in home gardens around the world, and growing your own sphagnum can help in maintaining a beautiful landscape as well.
Select an area in your yard that is lower in elevation than the rest. If you have a garden pond, consider choosing the area surrounding the pond. Otherwise, any spot that experiences frequent water exposure is ideal for moss to thrive.
Break apart the ground in which you are wanting to sprout the sphagnum moss, using a shovel.
Sprinkle a layer of commercial (dead) peat moss over the selected area. The layer should be about an inch to two inches thick. For an area of 5 feet by 5 feet, a 20-pound bag of peat moss is useful.
Pour approximately 10 pounds of organic potting soil over the surface of the peat moss.
Mix the dead peat moss, potting soil and garden earth together with the shovel. The end result should be a very fluffy and dark mossy soil.
Break the chunk of live sphagnum moss into smaller chunks. For a large growing area of 5 feet by 5 feet, a one pound chunk of sphagnum is adequate. Each of the smaller chunks should be about the size of a quarter.
Place each chunk of live sphagnum moss on top of the prepared peat moss and soil mix. Space the chunks of sphagnum sporadically, with no particular pattern. If you're planting the moss near a pond, scatter a few chunks of the sphagnum near the growing algae or pond grass.
Water the moss and soil liberally once a week, preferably using a dripping hose line to give a long, deep watering to the sphagnum. Slowly, but surely, the moss will begin to expand, and multiply on its own.
Things You Will Need
- Live sphagnum moss chunk (purchased from garden shop or online retailer)
- Commercial peat moss
- Potting soil
- Heavy rocks (2, to hold down plastic)
- Plastic sheet (heavy duty, 5 feet by 5 feet)
- Harvesting the sphagnum moss for garden use is a cost-friendly alternative to purchasing mulches and commercial peat mosses.
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