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Indoor gardening | Making a Moss Lined basket

by dig the dirt editor

This technique was popular among Victorian gardeners, who knew that a moss basket’s permeable skin guarantees perfect drainage while allowing air to reach the plant’s roots. The moss also acts as a reservoir, absorbing excess water and releasing it back into the soil as needed. Even the water that evaporates from the moss’s outer surface is not wasted.

 

 

INDOOR GARDENING | MAKING A MOSS LINED BASKET

 

Using this technique you will boost the humidity of your soil.  By boosting the humidity around the plants’ foliage, the evaporation protects the greenery against the desert-like aridity of winter’s hot, stuffy, indoor atmosphere.

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STEP 1: SELECT AND PREPARE THE PLANTS

  • There are any number of foliage and flowering plants that adapt well to the treatment.
  • Use rooted cuttings, since these smaller specimens are easier to insinuate through the basket’s walls.
  • Commonly, cuttings are grown three or four together in a two-and-a-half- inch pot.
  • Water well, and allow the cuttings an hour or two to fill with moisture. Then slip each root ball from its container, and separate the plants by cutting their roots apart with a knife.

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  STEP 2: LINE THE BASKET

  • Although plastic containers are widely available, the hemispherical wire nests that serve as the skeletons for moss-lined baskets are not difficult to find.
  • A wire nest 12 inches in diameter is a handy size for an indoor basket. Larger baskets are available, but I find them more appropriate for outdoor displays.
  • Use sheet moss to line your basket- it will make it an easier task.
  • Simply soak the moss in warm water, then press it into place along the inside of the wire form; if more than one piece of moss is required to complete the job, be sure to overlap adjoining edges.

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STEP 3: PLANTING

  • Pour an inch of ordinary potting soil into the moss nest, tamping it down lightly with the bottom of a small flowerpot.
  • With a knife, poke a hole in the moss wall at a point just above the soil level. Choose a healthy cutting and ease its root ball in from the outside, between the wires, through the hole, and into the basket.
  • Move four or five inches farther along the circumference of the basket and repeat this process, carrying on until you’ve ringed the basket with plants.
  • Add enough soil to the basket’s interior to bury the cuttings’ roots about an inch deep, tamp down gently, and plant again, staggering the second tier of cuttings so that none lie directly over any of those in the lower ring. Add yet another layer of soil to bring the level to within two inches of the basket’s lip and then plant the top. Space four or so cuttings evenly over the basket’s surface, and sift soil in among the roots, firming it down with your fingertips.

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4. WATERING AND CARE

  • The care this type of hanging basket requires is much the same as that of any other, except that it needs more frequent watering since moisture evaporates from its sides.
  • The moss basket’s one liability: It leaks. Set a bucket below these containers when you water and leave it in place for 20 minutes afterward while the basket drains.  Do not hang moss baskets over hardwood floors. A tiled kitchen floor or a bathroom is another good alternative, as is a sun porch finished with indoor/outdoor carpeting. Or hang the basket in a window, protecting the sill with a tray of pebbles. Any spillage there is an extra dividend, another source of humidity to help your houseplants through winter’s artificial drought.

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Tags

indoor gardening, DIY, moss basket

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