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Shady Gardens: Shady ground cover tolerant of imperfect drainage

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Weerobin
Saint Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 20, 2010
4:44 PM

Post #7984255

We put in a new entry walk a few years ago.
I purposely had the stones placed slightly apart, so I could plant a fill-in ground cover.
I had planned to use dwarf mondo grass, as it has done well in other areas of my yard.
I thought the mondo would look great offsetting the harshness of the stone.
Unfortunately, the mondo grass idea hasn't worked out.
I tried it twice and it doesn't overwinter in this location.
It has overwintered fine in other locations in my yard.
So I presume it is due to poor drainage in the walkway.
Does anyone have any other suggestions of a shade-tolerant really low-growing ground cover which might fill the crevices between stones?
Here's a shot of the walkway. Alas, no sign of the prior mondo grass remains...

Thumbnail by Weerobin
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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 21, 2010
12:57 PM

Post #7986273

How about mosses? There are many types and many different looks to them.
Weerobin
Saint Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 21, 2010
6:23 PM

Post #7986991

I love mosses - I'm just totally ignorant about them.
I love their look, so if they would survive in this situation, it would be great.
I've looked at a nursery called Moss Acres, I think.
They have some mysterious 'moss milk shake', as I recall,
which you pour onto the area you want to get moss established.
Maybe I'll try it?
Since nothing else has worked, may be worth a shot.
Thanks for the suggestion!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 21, 2010
6:39 PM

Post #7987036

I'll try and get photos of ours tomorrow. I never bought any of them - they just arrived on the scene due to the conditions that exist - soil acidity, moisture, shade.

Just to be sure I checked my photos and I do have two shots of mosses:

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 21, 2010
6:41 PM

Post #7987040

How did I end up with astilbe?

I'll try again.

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 21, 2010
6:42 PM

Post #7987043

The other one:

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Weerobin
Saint Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 22, 2010
2:56 AM

Post #7987531

Pirl, I also have scattered patches with fairly dense moss growth.
Maybe I'll try transplanting some to see how it does.
I'm not sure I know how to transplant a moss, but I'll investigate.

P.S. Loved the astilbes...!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2010
4:01 AM

Post #7987565

Thanks!

If you have a PH tester you might want to check where you have it growing now and compare the PH to the areas where you want it to grow to be sure they're similar.

I'd take a scoop of the soil, including the moss, just to be sure you're giving it the same soil. You can break up the moss (like the one in my last post) into small segments and they'll all grow. I'd also drench the soil first and then plant the moss.

When I get outside I'll take a clump, break it up, take photos and show you how much you can get from a tuft of it.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

July 22, 2010
7:09 AM

Post #7987894

I remember reading somewhere about putting moss into a blender with mayo or yogurt and mixing it up pretty good then planting that to form new moss areas. Google it I guess!!!

PS: Scott I'm dumfounded that YOU are asking for advice! I thought you were the King of Shade gardening...

Doug
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2010
7:38 AM

Post #7987961

Martha Stewart had it on TV or in her magazine years ago.

This link mentions Martha's recipe and gives a link to it:
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Lawns-725/Moss-blue-stone.htm
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2010
7:41 AM

Post #7987966

Look for the green banner - "Basic Recipe and Guidelines"

http://www.the-artistic-garden.com/how-to-grow-moss.html
Weerobin
Saint Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 22, 2010
5:02 PM

Post #7989122

Wow, looks like a science project! I'm all over it.
But I can GUARANTEE my wife will NOT allow her blender to be hijacked for this noble purpose.
She's still hacked off about the fancy kitchen scizzors (aka 'poultry shears')...
But I think I can pull it off.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2010
5:43 PM

Post #7989215

Many thrift shops have blenders for $5.00 or less.
back40bean
Decatur, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 27, 2010
7:49 PM

Post #8001205

I have rescued quite a bit of moss from an abandoned lot near my house and if I knew how to load pics you'd see that what I planted in early spring is doing very well now. I dig patches, hopefully with few weeds and plant the moss by placing 3-5" plugs(?) around an area leaving room for them to grow together. Planting is really nothing more than pressing/steping them into the ground and watering well. It's a good idea to give them a regular sprinkling of water in the absence of rain and weeding will be required, but if you have a good habitat you will be richly rewarded.

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