Here's my first attempt at dry starting moss on driftwood. Dry starting moss works well when you want the moss to become firmly rooted onto the driftwood as opposed to simply floating all around it and breaking free. In a nutshell, the process consists of breaking up moss into small pieces in a blender, mixing it with a dollop of thick yogurt to create a chalk paint-like consistency, painting it in a thin layer onto saturated driftwood, placing it in a container to trap in humidity, and misting it every day to keep the surface moist while aerating the container to prevent the growth of mold. The series of photos represents my interpretation of how to do this. Please share your experience with this method and any tips for success and pitfalls to be avoided.
2 - Add the moss ball and enough water to blender to facilitate blending
3 - Blend until particles are about a mm in length
4 - Drain off the excess water (here using a rotifer sieve, but cheesecloth would work well too)
5 - Place the wet ball of reduced moss into a cup with a dollop of thick yogurt
6 - Mix well into a chalk paint-like consistency
7 - Load up a paint brush and ...
8 - Paint a thin layer onto the top of saturated driftwood that has been soaked to lose its buoyancy and release tannins
9 - Place the pieces of driftwood into plastic bins with some moisture to maintain humidity
10 - Cover with plastic lids, label (Christmas, Flame, and Weeping mosses), and place in front of a sunny window
That's it so far. I'll post more pics of progress. GWAPA friends Kris Weinhold, Jen Williams, and Nick Kinser think the moss should only take a few weeks to root. The key to success is reportedly maintaining the moisture levels while aerating regularly to avoid excessive mold growth. Fingers crossed!