Field of Science

Growing Mosses in the Laboratory

Here is a shot of the light cart that I am growing my mosses on in the lab. Dr. Schlichting graciously lent me this awesome piece of equipment. It has three banks of lights, one of which I am currently using. I am in the process of expanding my moss research colony so that it will soon occupy all three levels. The lights are on a timer and are set for 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness. The mosses had plenty of light during the summer sitting out on the windowsill, but with the winter months the needed more light to achieve optimal growth.

The soil on which I am growing my mosses on is a mix that is made in the EEB Plant Growth Facilities at the University of Connecticut. We have spectacular greenhouses on campus and a great greenhouse staff! If you are ever in the area you should stop by to visit the greenhouses. They are free and open to the public.

The recipe for the soil mix is as follows:

Rich Sandy Loam
3 gal. loam
71/2 gal. peat
3 gal. leaf mold
3 gal. sand
10 Tbs. lime

The quantities are pretty large. They mix this up in the greenhouse and store it in garbage can sized containers. Scaling back would probably be best for at home use.

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