Moss or not ?

Mitty

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I used to start moss in my Bonsai pots ; however, in some cases , the moss and lichen gets out of hand and has caused root rot. It appears that thick moss and lichen can stop water from running through/ evaporating and whilst feeling dry , the roots are deep down and rotting. It could be that as I have 100 bonsai trees, I don`t get round to trimming and weeding to all pots . Does anyone else have this problem? I have MS , which does not help as I am often too ill to work . But I am very keen on recommending Bonsai keeping as an ideal hobby for people with neurological illnesses.
 

Cadillactaste

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I've kept my collection under 35. Moss grows exceedingly well in NE Ohio...more so than weeds in a pot. I don't intentionally moss a pot unless for a photo opportunity...and lately, not even for that. Moss on bark can damage it. Carefully using vinegar with an artists brush on a trunk ensuring not to drench the roots. Will kill off moss on the trunk. One must wait for the moss to brown and die off then...it's easily picked off. My friend in Florida uses something sprinkled on her pots to prevent weeds. I can ask her what the name is again. Since I don't grow weeds...I never purchased any. But may help your fight to battle weeds.
 

Cadillactaste

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Okay...asked my friend.She is referring to Adam Lavigne.

Preen. I do what Adam taught me....I put some in an empty shaker bottle (parmesan cheese shaker works great) and keep it with my repot stuff. It works great but be sure you start with NO weeds in the substrate.

So repot time is when it's applied. I asked to be certain. So maybe something to add to repotting regiment.

CORRECT! It's a pre-emergent and it works by preventing the weed SEEDS from germinating.
 

Mitty

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Thank you so much for your advice. I did try vinegar some years ago, and it seemed to work. Recently, I have been so involved in repotting that a few of my trees got left out. I just can`t work for more than an hour or so as I start to fall over (MS i`m afraid).
But I realise that I can`t ignore letting the moss and weeds get so high or I get root rot. It works like a raincoat; you seem to water the plant, yet the top moss gets dry, but in the bottom of the pot there is loads of rotting roots. I am using a different substrate now, with chipped flints and crushed lava. I will let you know how it works out.
 

HorseloverFat

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Good stuff already told to you, here!

If i use moss... I TRAIN patches to grow on inorganic substrate FIRST.. (Many do NOT make this “conversion”...only the strong survive).. then take THOSE special moss trays, containing the “trained” mosses.. and nurture them until they “take over” those trays... THEEEEN you’ll just HAVE moss, trained to grow on inorganic on hand for spore collection and topdressing.. IF you want to go that route. (Moss farming is actually quite rewarding)..

100 bonsai trees!? Nice!

Pics?
 

HorseloverFat

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Thank you so much for your advice. I did try vinegar some years ago, and it seemed to work. Recently, I have been so involved in repotting that a few of my trees got left out. I just can`t work for more than an hour or so as I start to fall over (MS i`m afraid).
But I realise that I can`t ignore letting the moss and weeds get so high or I get root rot. It works like a raincoat; you seem to water the plant, yet the top moss gets dry, but in the bottom of the pot there is loads of rotting roots. I am using a different substrate now, with chipped flints and crushed lava. I will let you know how it works out.
Oooooh I have noted this phenomenon... I KNOW what you are talking about.... I THINK.

Mosses/lichens take over the top.. then actually, in CERTAIN colors/types of plastic, they crawl down the sides,.. not letting true aspiration take place and “smothering” the roots with moisture. (And slime)

It this harmonizing with your situation at all?
 

Mitty

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Hi Horseloverfat, unusual name, but I am sure there is a logical , even funny reason.
I don`t think I will have time to grow better moss, but I might try a tray as I have not used this system before. I have been using moss that grows on the roof (birds I suppose ). Thanks for the encouragement..,; sounds like you have had similar problems to myself. Such a waste when you lose a tree, all the time spent and raising a sapling. I shall carry on the good work ( I intend to use some chopped moss with my soil mix ) I use Akadama, Kyodama , Lava, chipped flints at the bottom, and Pumice. I sometimes add composted leaves for an organic bacterial start..
 

HorseloverFat

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Hi Horseloverfat, unusual name, but I am sure there is a logical , even funny reason.
I don`t think I will have time to grow better moss, but I might try a tray as I have not used this system before. I have been using moss that grows on the roof (birds I suppose ). Thanks for the encouragement..,; sounds like you have had similar problems to myself. Such a waste when you lose a tree, all the time spent and raising a sapling. I shall carry on the good work ( I intend to use some chopped moss with my soil mix ) I use Akadama, Kyodama , Lava, chipped flints at the bottom, and Pumice. I sometimes add composted leaves for an organic bacterial start..
I’ve found that topdressing with moss.. or positioning so moss naturally OCCURS.. is the best way to avoid those “ventilation” issues.. the moss AND root system growing somewhat TOGETHER, y’know?... Whereas throwing a “tuft/pad” of moss on the top inhibits airflow in one certain area, right away.. this causes conditions which spread mosses and other neat greenies (Not to mention possibly detrimental pathogens, festering in that curious little “tent town”)FROM that point.. outward...

Like....bear hugging your roots rotten with green slime.

Your soil mixtures sound groovy!

I don’t see available flint, very often.. but than again, I’m not readily LOOKING.

So this tells me you either live near nice “flint”... or you have other hobbies which involve flint. ;)

My name is in reference to A book by my favorite author, Philip K Dick... In this book, where a Philip K Dick character ALREADY exists.. HorseloverFat is the character that philip k dick uses to validate/express his increasing delusional paranoias by the end of his life.

He also wrote ‘Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?’ And ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Minority Report’ and many others utilized by hollywood... his “fame” was mostly post-humous.. he lived his life a penniless addict who ate cat food for sustenance (WHEN he ate)..

🤓
 

Mitty

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Hi there, interesting letter. I can buy small flints as a bottom substrate to allow water to escape. Very cheap around Warwick in UK midlands. I do normally use 1/2 inch of Kyodama for drainage. But flints encourage roots to split, so I can mix some fine flints in the "soil" which is 40% Akadama, 20 % Pumice, 10% crushed black lava, and 10% composted leaves. and some flints. I use aquarium gravel (fine ) as a mulch on top. I think it looks nice as well. It also helps to stop birds going through my pots at dawn and chucking my moss and soil all over the place. !!
My trees have been better since I started to use Aquarium stones. The gravel is actually taken from river beds and well-graded : costs about 50p per pot. A 10 kilo. bag goes a long way.
I have taken the decision, not to use moss anymore and have removed it from all my Bonsai pots.
 
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