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Moss in your ground cover

by Rudi Adam

Most of us tend to use moss as part of our ground cover - we just put a piece on and hope for the best, but most of the time the moss will not take and when dried out, starts to curl up at the edges. The result is a ghastly sight.

The best and longest way is to wait until moss grows naturally under the tree, but this can take a long time and happens only with Bonsai of long standing with soil conditions just right.

So we resort to putting on pieces of moss at potting time - sometimes when we are lucky the moss 'takes' to the soil, but other times it will curl up and we have to replace it periodically.

What can we do to encourage the moss to take?

First of all, take away all the old soil from under your piece of moss, then apply a paste made from clay and peat, mixed with water to a pasty mess, place this on the required spot, slip it into place and tuck the edges into the potting medium. Finally, put gravel over the edges of the moss. This should stop it from curling up as it is forced to stay in place.

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Haiku

Rolling on and on

those distant mountains captured

for ever on a stone... ~ Doug Hall

Random Bonsai Tip

If surface roots are unequally spread around the trunk or if they are lacking completely you can drill holes and insert match sticks or make deep scars around the base of the trunk on the side where the roots are needed below soil level. Apply hormone powder and sphagnum moss; cover with plastic and keep moist. Leave for 6 months to 1 year for the roots to develop.