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Natural ground moss in layout landscaping

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PED
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Natural ground moss in layout landscaping
Posted by PED on Thursday, May 17, 2018 8:34 AM

My yard has an abundance of ground moss in the shady areas. It looks like it would work well to represent an area of ground that is overgrown with low trees/shrubs on an N scale layout. I took a piece and set it aside to see what it would look like after sitting for awhile indoors. After several weeks, it still looked OK but I think it would take months/years to determine how it looks in the long term. I don't care if it loses it color as long as it holds its shape/texture.

Has anyone tried using ground moss on your layout for an extended period? How did it work out.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, May 17, 2018 8:58 AM

Depending on the humidity in your room, the moss will either dry out, become brittle and eventially turns into dust, or it will develop mold growth and turn into a potential health hazard - unless you use some kind of preservation method.

In former times, moss was simply soaked in formaldehyd, dried and colored, but that stuff is highly toxic and a known carcinogen.

My best advice is to stay away from natural moss as a ground cover.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:39 AM

Tinplate Toddler
Depending on the humidity in your room, the moss will either dry out, become brittle and eventially turns into dust, or it will develop mold growth and turn into a potential health hazard - unless you use some kind of preservation method.

Like glycerin?  Isn't that how it is made soft and pliable in those bags of it you can buy?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:00 AM

riogrande5761

 Tinplate Toddler

Depending on the humidity in your room, the moss will either dry out, become brittle and eventially turns into dust, or it will develop mold growth and turn into a potential health hazard - unless you use some kind of preservation method.

Like glycerin?  Isn't that how it is made soft and pliable in those bags of it you can buy?

 
Yup, that's the stuff used to preserve lichen and moss for scenery use.  I believe that it's available at drugstores.
 
Wayne
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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:01 AM

riogrande5761
Like glycerin? Isn't that how it is made soft and pliable in those bags of it you can buy?

Thats what David Frary uses in his book, "Realistic Model Railroad Scenery".

His formula for the basic preserving solution is 3 gallons of water, to 1 gallon of commercial grade glycerin, and 1 1/2 packets of green fabric dye.

This for using natural lichen.

I would think it would work for what the OP has in mind, at least worth a try.

Mike.

 

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Posted by j. c. on Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:37 AM

many moons ago some one brought me several bags of moss from west coast, i did treat it with glyceren water mix but added some grain alcohol as a wetting agent . it lasted well for the 3 years the lay out was. 

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Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:01 PM

You can give it a quick shot with the airbrush to make it look even better or just spruce up the old stuff.

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:54 PM

My bad - I simply forgot about glycerine!

Still, I´d like to stay away from that stuff. Fur bushes and ground cover, I used WS Polyfiber, white glue with a shot of cheap brown paint in it and WS turf in various colors. For some unknown reason, I don´t like organic materials on my layout- other than lumber.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by bogp40 on Thursday, May 17, 2018 4:51 PM

Using lichen soaked with gycerin may be OK, but i would use caution about moss, some types may work, but not sure how well it will last. There are many scenery products that you can use directly out of the bag and never worry about it. Even layouts with lichen need periodic sprucing up as it dries up and becomes very brittle.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

PED
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Posted by PED on Thursday, May 17, 2018 6:19 PM

Thanks all. This is ground moss - not lichen.May look at the preservative methods you suggest. I am interested in it because it is FREE and would look great for N scale. Unless you count painting my blue foam with green paint, I have not started landscaping my layout yet so I am looking at my options.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, May 17, 2018 7:51 PM

While great to use natural material, I'm weary of something growing there.  I bet there's nothing easier than natural things, but I much prefer buying artificial knowing there isn't a hidden biology project there!

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:08 PM

Hey Paul,

Why not give it a try? The worst that can happen is that it falls apart and has to be replaced.

I would suggest a couple of things. First, rinse it thoroughly to get as much dirt out as possible. Second, bake it in a warm oven (225 degrees maybe) for an hour to kill any accompanying organisms. Keep an eye on it in case it starts to burn. Then do the glycerine thing, and then add colour and maybe some ground foam for texture if it looks too smooth.

I tried for years to create a moss garden because I like the look. Alas, the moss would not accept being forced to grow where it didn't want to. Fortunately we do still have some moss in the low lying wetter areas. It is in bloom right now. It has the smallest flowers in the garden!

Dave

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Posted by joe323 on Friday, May 18, 2018 6:14 AM

Maybe its just me but it sounds like more work than its worth.  But that’s just me.

Joe Staten Island West 

PED
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Posted by PED on Friday, May 18, 2018 7:55 AM

hon30critter

I tried for years to create a moss garden because I like the look. Alas, the moss would not accept being forced to grow where it didn't want to. Fortunately we do still have some moss in the low lying wetter areas. It is in bloom right now. It has the smallest flowers in the garden!

Dave

Never seen any blooms on any of my moss.  Probably different variety of moss here in Arkansas vs yours in Canada.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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