You’ve all have heard that a rolling stone gathers no moss. Well it is true. Not just because moss likes dirt better than rocks, but a rock has to stay very still for a long time for moss to really take a good hold, and even longer for it to grow. But once it does take hold it is a glorious thing.
Moss grows on anything if it is in the right place. Bricks, rocks, wood stumps, walkways, bridges, trees. Moss is really ubiquitous (everywhere); if you want moss on the ground where grass is growing sparsely, just cover the grass with a tarp, then you will see the moss grow. Without competition, the moss always grows.
It must be on the north side, as this side gets more shade. Just some nice morning sun and the rest of the day is shady. If you give moss water it will grow. The moss spores must be everywhere, because wherever there is the right moisture and shade, there is moss. Although moss really has no roots, it does have tiny feet. They help it hold on to the soil or rocks where it plants itself.
If you do not like bugs, you will not much like moss. It is the safe haven for many tiny bugs. Ask a bird, they love moss, and will not leave it alone, because they know the bugs are just underneath that glorious green moss layer. Birds do not eat the moss or hurt it, but they will spread it around for you.
Moss also provides the perfect bed for seeds. Growing moss requires continuous plucking of these seed invaders that have been deposited into the moss. So if you ever want to grow something from seed, and you want them all to germinate, chose small patches of moss to germinate them in, then transplant them once they come up.
If you want to cover a rock with some moss, and do not want to wait ten years, try using the blender. Just take some moss, remove most of the dirt by shaking gently in some cool water. Pop into your blender, and add some coffee grounds, and about two tablespoons of flour. Spread this pasty mess on your favorite craggy rock face. Now just keep moist for five months … yeah, you heard me, five months. When you get moss, you get the finest, smoothest green moss, and it will mature quickly into the original moss you put into the blender.
If you have some moss, you will notice some tiny tall spores that look like a tall stick with a capsule on the top of it. This is how the moss reproduces itself without a blender. To grow moss from these spores, just pick the tiny spores, and put into a dry jar until the spores mature, may by a week, then do the pasty mess trick with the coffee grounds and the flour, and yes wait about five months. I prefer the blender myself.
Moss is not for the impatient, nor for the horticulturist that likes pretty flowers, but it does provide a wonderfully diverse cover for those shady wet spots that need some green. Plus it is great for kids to play with, and watch it come to life from its dry state, with just a spray from a bottle of water!
Caution: Moss does not like the rolling stones, but you might try green day.