Have you noticed that there are never any progress photos that really show the moss growing into a lush graffiti word? Everyone starts a post the same way, with the instructions for moss graffiti and a picture of them painting muck on a wall - but nothing showing the actual process of the moss growing in. This post I can definitely relate to after misting my moss twice a day for about 5 weeks straight and getting nothing to grow.
The cynic in my wonders if all those great moss graffiti photos aren't just transplanted moss stuck to the walls and cut into shape!! Either that, or I started my project too late in the fall on October 25.
|My moss slurry attempt, starting with this huge bowl full of moss gathered from north slopes in a field.|
|I mixed it all up in a bowl with water and plain yogurt according to some directions online.|
|Looks like a chunky milkshake. The egg beater didn't really pulverize the moss, but it broke it down quite a bit.|
|I started spreading it onto my nice porous rock with a spatula, end switched to just gobbing it on with my hands.|
|The yogurt helped the slurry stick to the rock, even on the vertical sides. I packed it on good and thick with chunks of moss in it, hoping some would start growing right away.|
I even kept my yogurt moss slurry safe from the rain with a little rain coat! I didn't see any results, and I lost hope. I'm not the only one, check out this episode of Man vs. Pin. All of those posts and videos you see about moss graffiti never show the progress photos, they only show these yahoos mixing it up and promising to check back later. Does moss graffiti even work?? In theory yes, you can use slurry to propagate moss in your yard, but it certainly doesn't seem to grow in the perfectly cut out designs you see online.
I decided to pull a Mythbusters and "replicate the results" rather than following the ideal process. I just wanted moss on a rock!
|Giving my slurry some TLC to keep it safe from the rain. You can't say I didn't give it my all!|
Giving the Transplant Method a Try
I went home to Ohio for Christmas - a lot of time had passed since I started my moss rock project in October. My dad told me about a huge patch of moss on a public pedestrian path between two roads. I went to check it out and saw a huge carpet of very shallow leafy spreading moss apparently growing on just an asphalt path.
|I brought two freezer bags full of moss back to Indiana with me.|
|I put it on the rock that night, I couldn't wait. I wet the rock and the moss and pressed the thin layer of scum into the pours of the rock, wetting it and pressing it into the crevices to form to the shape of the rock.|
|It only took 1 bag to completely cover the rock. I was happy it stayed on, even on the vertical sides. The thin layer of scum was holding it to the rock, hopefully letting it grow into place and hold on.|
|After a light rain I was optimistic that this moss transplant would hold in place, even though it was already late December! I figured it was winter hardy moss since I found it bright green on the path in the middle of winter.|
Hopefully this takes, it definitely has the look that I've always (for a few months) wanted. It looks like it grew right on the rock, so maybe if it holds tight and grows into place it will be convincing! If it takes off and grows a lot this spring I might take some extra moss and start some other rocks. I really like this look!