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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#448544
...or maybe a better title of "The Flimsy Huckleberry Finn Sphagnum Raft". :mrgreen:

I had mentioned a floating platform for growing sphagnum moss on that I had read about HERE. It's basically a piece of foam insulation with a heavy cloth laid over it and hanging over the edges. The foam and cloth are placed in a container of water. Capillary action of the cloth draws water up from the water below, saturating the cloth laying over the flat area that is floating out of the water. A chunk of moss is placed on top.

Well, I had a few minutes Wednesday afternoon and kludged one together. Exquisite workmanship and built to NASA standards...well, at least to Boeing standards. ;) (Please hold the applause until after the presentation.) And...here ya go....

The first thing I did was peel the foil and plastic covering off of a piece of 3/4" rigid foam insulation board. I then cut a piece of the board so that it would fit in the bottom of the water container and four narrow pieces to fit around the edges to help keep the moss "onboard".

The next thing I did was get a pair of old blue jeans...I like old blue jeans, but unfortunately (and apparently) I must have sat around "chilling" too much as the, ahem...rear of them had a few unfortunate holes appearing. I know the "ragged look" is today's style, but...I sacrificed them. Besides...they didn't fit anymore. :lol: Anyhoo, I cut a leg off right and then cut it lengthwise right
beside a seam and then cut the seam off. I used the seam I cut off as a wick that I stuck through the center area of the board for added wicking ("OCD-Me" strikes again!!!).

I draped the blue jean leg over the board, placed the strips around the edges and used toothpicks to pierce the foam pieces and blue jean material, thus holding everything together. The toothpicks were kinda like punji stick waiting to nail somebody/something so I decided to break them...that didn't work very well so I just left them there...maybe a squirrel defense? All of this was cut and placed with the precision of a 3-year-old preschooler "coloring inside the lines"...I guess I shouldn't brag, though. :mrgreen:

I filled the water container up and placed the raft on top of the water. I then got some rough-looking sphagnum and piled it on the raft. I think I piled too much moss on the raft as it spread out a good bit, pretty much filling in the interior of the raft. But, I figure I'll watch it and if it turns green and grows over the perimeter area I'll call it "good enough" for this experiment and reduce the amount of moss next time.

So here it is, the precision machined, Boeing certified...."Sphagnum Yacht"!!!! :lol:

One side of the "interior" wick.
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The other side of the "interior" wick.
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Side view of completed "yacht" complete with punji sticks.
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End view of container showing blue jean material hanging in water.
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The "yacht" and it's passenger(s?).
The yacht and its passenger(s?).
The yacht and its passenger(s?).
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By Panman
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#448546
I may try something like that. I don't know why I never connected the need to be saturated and the need to be oxygenated at the same time. Now I understand why my flava pots constantly product live sphagnum while some others do not.
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By hollyhock
Posts:  5658
Joined:  Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:56 am
#448559
Wow. I took a styrofoam cooler lid and poked several holes in it and filled it with live spaghnum moss. Then it's floating in a cat litter box. I have had it for several years outside filled with
drosera rotundifolia :lol:
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By Intheswamp
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#448561
I've got a little help right now with the weather...rainy, cloudy, and warm. The temperature is going to cool down some Sunday, though.

That's what I've been trying to figure out how to get, Panman. It seemed *for me* that the best way to grow sphagnum was in a bare, plastic container with water in the bottom. But, that isn't perfect. It always seemed to have a thin waterlogged mess on the bottom, and keeping it in that "moist, not wet" state was a roller-coaster ride. I'm going to watch this and see how it does.

The next yacht that I build will probably be in a larger tray. That way I can have several islands of moss scattered on top of it. The islands can grow together hopefully. :D

The toothpicks worked ok, but next time I will definitely use something else. I'll use small zip ties to attach the side railings next time. It's a pretty simple design...the moss stays hydrated but doesn't sit underwater. And I need simple things!!! :mrgreen:
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By Intheswamp
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#448562
hollyhock wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 8:25 pm Wow. I took a styrofoam cooler lid and poked several holes in it and filled it with live spaghnum moss. Then it's floating in a cat litter box. I have had it for several years outside filled with
drosera rotundifolia :lol:
There ya go!!! Looks like it's working good, too!!! :D
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By hollyhock
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Joined:  Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:56 am
#448563
Intheswamp wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 8:48 pm
hollyhock wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 8:25 pm Wow. I took a styrofoam cooler lid and poked several holes in it and filled it with live spaghnum moss. Then it's floating in a cat litter box. I have had it for several years outside filled with
drosera rotundifolia :lol:
There ya go!!! Looks like it's working good, too!!! :D
I always try to find the "easy" way to achieve the goal. But your "project " will probably be great. Is it just for spaghnum? Because it's hard to keep pure from errant weeds, seeds, etc. That's why I made my floater raft for temperate sundews. I might add some filiformis, intermediate, anglica. And if possible linearis :D
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By Intheswamp
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#448564
Well, that lid idea was a good one! I'm hoping the yacht idea works as well as your lid!!! For now I'm just looking for something to grow sphagnum on/in. I like the idea of growing some sundews onboard. I grew some filiformis Florida Giant x Tracyii clones last year in about two inches of sphagnum (stuck some pieces of a leaf I accidentally broke into a shallow moss tray...and they grew. They're just starting to wake up. They survived the freezes this winter. When it's warm more consistently I might just toss a few sundews seeds on the moss, thanks for the idea! :D
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By Intheswamp
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#448568
This is an aspect of the yacht that I was interested in. We got 0.83" of rain this afternoon. The water in the container rose but the yacht floated up keeping the moss from getting submerged more than it's contact with the wet blue jeans...but, the moss had a good rinsing. I'm kind of excited as the mechanics are working out pretty good...now to see if the moss likes it! :D
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By Intheswamp
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#448571
I don't know if you can see the difference in the water level or not. The yacht is riding just as hide above the water as it was before the rain. :)
beforeafterrain (Custom).jpg
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By MikeB
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Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#448574
Panman wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 3:37 pm I may try something like that. I don't know why I never connected the need to be saturated and the need to be oxygenated at the same time. Now I understand why my flava pots constantly product live sphagnum while some others do not.
Sphagnum always grew well in my non-draining pots:
Sarracenia purpurea.jpg
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My Sarracenia flava plants.jpg
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Lots of water and sunshine made for happy moss.

With the Sarracenia, looks can be deceiving. The plants appear to be doing great. However, when I repotted them, I found their roots only reached two-thirds of the way down the pots. The soil in the bottom third was anaerobic and smelled "skunky". This was when I stopped doing non-draining pots. I drilled holes in the bottom of these planters and stuck them in large tubs. The moss didn't appreciate the drier conditions, but the Sarracenia loved the oxygen flow through the pots.
Rootball.jpg
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By Intheswamp
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#448580
I'm taking that last photo as being one of a rootball of a plant that was grown in a pot with good drainage?

In regards to the square pot of moss. When it rains heavy and the pot fills up with water do you simply let it sit till the water perked to the bottom or evaporated?
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By MikeB
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#448626
Intheswamp wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 11:18 am I'm taking that last photo as being one of a rootball of a plant that was grown in a pot with good drainage?
Yup. That was from a year ago, when I divided "The Beast", the flava var. rubricorpora that I got from Mike Wang back in 2014. Lots of healthy roots but a nightmare to untangle (there were 3 divisions in that pot).
Intheswamp wrote: In regards to the square pot of moss. When it rains heavy and the pot fills up with water do you simply let it sit till the water perked to the bottom or evaporated?
The next day, I usually tipped the pot to drain off enough water so the sphagnum wasn't submerged.
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By Intheswamp
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#448627
Untangling that maze of roots would be a chore!!! Healthy, though! :D

Tipping the trays is what I've been doing after rains. I've been using clear Sterilite containers. I've got a couple getting brittle that I'm going to have to swap out soon, though. I like the clearness of the Sterilite containers but they're not meant for leaving in the sun. I've got one old cat litter box that's beginning to get brittle, too. The floating island will help keep me from having to dump the water out and instead store it for the moss to use as needed. It will be interesting to see how it works out into the hot summer...and whether the moss is happy.
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By Intheswamp
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#448752
We all love cotton...blue jeans, t-shirts, underwear 8-) , socks, candy :mrgreen: , etc.,. It absorbs water greatly and is pretty good at capillary action when used as a wick. BUT, upon reading some at the permies.com forum it seems (naturally) that cotton rope mentioned in a thread there can eventually...stink...get clogged...etc.,. Good for a while, but definitely has an expiration date. For a basic round wick they're suggesting 7/16" to 1/2" braided nylon rope with a solid core. I understand that, no problem. Now, I've got to figure out a fabric to use as the deck mat for the yacht. It seems that a purpose-sold capillary mat is used in some big greenhouses for watering seedlings. I guess I'll just keep a watch on it and swap it out when I see degradation in the denim material. Maybe by then I will have figured out a good material. All capillary material is not created equal! 8-)
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