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TRANSPLANTING MOSSES

Mosses are among the first plants that ever were. The first
mosses were formed by a mixture of algae and "fungus
threads", which do some of the things that roots do. A moss
called "lichen" (pronounced "like-en") can grow in places
that are too cold for other plants. Lichen can even grow on
rocks! It needs just a little bit of soil which the wind may
have blown into a crack in a rock. When it rains, and the
rock is wet, blue-green algae sometimes forms. Then, blown
by wind, or brushed off from an animal's fur, some spores
fall into the algae. Together, they form lichen. Some
lichen is pale green; some is a rusty red. There are many
colors of lichen.

Sometimes mosses grow on roof-tops in places where the
weather is warm and it rains often. Some people think you
can tell which way is north because moss grows on the north
sides of trees. The truth is, that isn't moss; it's blue
algae. The algae forms on the sides of trees that are away
from the wind and the sun. That is sometimes north, and
sometimes not.

The mosses that we usually know about are the regular green
mosses that grow in soil, in places that are moist and shady.
You can find mosses in the woods where it is shady, and near
streams.

Mosses, ferns, do not have seeds; they have spores. If the
wind, or an animal brings moss spores to a place where moss
can grow, the spores form threads, which are called "hyphae"
(pronounced "high-fay"), and look rather like spider's webs.
The hyphae are like roots, and it gives the developing moss
the food it needs, and keeps it from blowing away in the
wind. The moss begins to grow, the hyphae works into the
soil (or the crack in a tree or a rock), and as it grows, the
hyphae forms "rhizoids," which are what fully-grown mosses
have instead of roots. The rhizoids carry water and food to
the mosses, just like tree roots feed the trees. Like trees
do, mosses also use the rainwater and minerals that fall on
the outside of their leaves.

If you want to grow some moss in another place, if you are
very careful, you can lift the moss and take it somewhere
else. You will need a small scoop so you can dig up some of
the soil under the moss. If you just rip it up like a
rug, you will tear off all the rhizoids and hyphae, and the
moss will die. Reach carefully under the moss, about one
inch deep into the soil, and lift gently. Have some wet
newspaper or paper towels to set the moss on after you've
lifted it. Take it right away to the new place to transplant
it. If it will be a little while before you can take the
moss to the new garden, wrap it carefully in the wet paper,
and don't let it get in the sunlight. Remember, the new
place has to be shady and moist, and not in the bright
sunlight. Don't disturb it while it is getting started. Any
plant that is transplanted (that is, moved from one place to
another) must put down new roots and get settled in to the
new garden spot.


TRANSPLANTING MOSSES

Mosses are among the first plants that ever were. The first
mosses were formed by a mixture of algae and "fungus
threads", which do some of the things that roots do. A moss
called "lichen" (pronounced "like-en") can grow in places
that are too cold for other plants. Lichen can even grow on
rocks! It needs just a little bit of soil which the wind may
have blown into a crack in a rock. When it rains, and the
rock is wet, blue-green algae sometimes forms. Then, blown
by wind, or brushed off from an animal's fur, some spores
fall into the algae. Together, they form lichen. Some
lichen is pale green; some is a rusty red. There are many
colors of lichen.

Sometimes mosses grow on roof-tops in places where the
weather is warm and it rains often. Some people think you
can tell which way is north because moss grows on the north
sides of trees. The truth is, that isn't moss; it's blue
algae. The algae forms on the sides of trees that are away
from the wind and the sun. That is sometimes north, and
sometimes not.

The mosses that we usually know about are the regular green
mosses that grow in soil, in places that are moist and shady.
You can find mosses in the woods where it is shady, and near
streams.

Mosses, ferns, do not have seeds; they have spores. If the
wind, or an animal brings moss spores to a place where moss
can grow, the spores form threads, which are called "hyphae"
(pronounced "high-fay"), and look rather like spider's webs.
The hyphae are like roots, and it gives the developing moss
the food it needs, and keeps it from blowing away in the
wind. The moss begins to grow, the hyphae works into the
soil (or the crack in a tree or a rock), and as it grows, the
hyphae forms "rhizoids," which are what fully-grown mosses
have instead of roots. The rhizoids carry water and food to
the mosses, just like tree roots feed the trees. Like trees
do, mosses also use the rainwater and minerals that fall on
the outside of their leaves.

If you want to grow some moss in another place, if you are
very careful, you can lift the moss and take it somewhere
else. You will need a small scoop so you can dig up some of
the soil under the moss. If you just rip it up like a
rug, you will tear off all the rhizoids and hyphae, and the
moss will die. Reach carefully under the moss, about one
inch deep into the soil, and lift gently. Have some wet
newspaper or paper towels to set the moss on after you've
lifted it. Take it right away to the new place to transplant
it. If it will be a little while before you can take the
moss to the new garden, wrap it carefully in the wet paper,
and don't let it get in the sunlight. Remember, the new
place has to be shady and moist, and not in the bright
sunlight. Don't disturb it while it is getting started. Any
plant that is transplanted (that is, moved from one place to
another) must put down new roots and get settled in to the
new garden spot.


 
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