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Moss Soup

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Author: Tricia Edgar

Grade Level: 6th - 10th; Type: Life Science

Objective:

To determine whether spreading a moss soup over an area increases moss growth.

Research Question:

Does creating a moss soup lead to moss growth on paving stones?

Moss is an intriguing plant. Like ferns, it reproduces through spores. These spores float through the air or the water to land and create new moss plants.

While some people struggle to remove moss from their lawns, others love the look of moss. A cottage garden or an Asian-inspired garden is the perfect place for a moss garden. Those who create bonsai also love adding moss to the base of these small plants. In this experiment, you will explore moss reproduction and determine whether mixing moss in a slurry and spreading it on the ground can help moss spores move around the garden and begin to grow.

Materials:

  • Moss
  • Old blender
  • Yogurt
  • Notebook and pen

Experimental Procedure:

  1. This experiment is best done in early spring.
  2. Get a clump of moss and shake the soil off it.
  3. Place the moss in a blender. Add 1 part moss and 4 parts yogurt.
  4. Blend the moss.
  5. Get two rocks of similar size and shape. Neither of them should have moss on them.
  6. Spread the mixture on a rock in a shady and sheltered area where the moss will not be exposed to direct rainfall. Place another rock beside it. Place both rocks in an area where moss is already growing.
  7. Over the next few months, watch both rocks to see whether either of them grows moss. Measure the area of moss growth weekly. Continue the experiment for as long as possible.
  8. Create a line graph of moss growth.

moss graph

  1. Compare the growth of moss on the two rocks. Did the rock that received the moss soup grow moss more quickly than the other rock?

Terms/Concepts: Learn how moss reproduces;  Learn how to make a moss soup

References:

Hidden Forest. Moss Reproduction.

http://www.hiddenforest.co.nz/bryophytes/mosses/reproduction.htm
 

The Artistic Garden. How to Grow Moss Technique.

http://www.the-artistic-garden.com/how-to-grow-moss.html
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