Dried moss can be used to line planters, as part of floral displays, in Easter baskets and many craft and decorator applications. Moss is easy to harvest by peeling it off rocks or other surfaces. Be careful not to over harvest any one area, as the moss takes time to grow back. You may need a license to harvest in parks and forests. Take a tray or box with you to gently lay the moss into so it doesn't get crushed and break. Larger pieces are easier to work with, but they take more time to dry.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic scraper
- Bird netting
- 4 Nails
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Use a plastic or fairly dull paint scraper to carefully start and edge on the moss and pull it off. This works for the thicker types of moss that grow in mounds on rocks and other surfaces. Place each piece flat in the box to take home for drying.
Harvest sphagnum moss by hand or by raking it up. It will be found usually on the ground. Sphagnum moss should be squeezed out, as it will contain a lot of moisture. It may be bagged up for transporting to a drying area, as the uses for sphagnum moss do not require it to be in full, intact pieces.
Make a drying rack outside in a semi-shady area or indoors in a dry space. Cut a piece of bird netting or any other mesh fabric that will allow air circulation. The piece will need to fit between two posts or walls or other structures that will support it. Hammer in the nails across from each other and run pieces of twine through the edges of the netting across to each nail. This will make a mesh hammock for drying.
Set each piece of moss gently on the bird netting and cover them with another piece of bird netting. This will prevent the wind from catching the dry pieces of moss and animals from getting into the material. If drying indoors, set up a fan that will blow air across the moss to facilitate drying.
Remove the moss after three or four days, depending upon the size of the pieces. It should feel lightweight and dry to the touch. Store it flat in a warm, dry area that is out of direct sunlight, which will fade the moss. Use the moss as decor or filler. You can also rehydrate it by soaking it in water and use it to line planting baskets.