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moss
dirt ball
garden soil
clay soil
japanese art
tiny bit
bling
simple steps
Kokedama Diy: Japanese Moss Balls
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Kokedama Diy: Japanese Moss Balls

The Japanese art of kokedama is catching on in the West. It’s a fun and quirky way of sprouting plants from wonderfully fuzzy moss balls. Kodedama is a great way to bring stylish garden bling into your home. It’s really easy to create your own work of art if you follow these simple steps:

Dirt ball recipe. Getting this mixture just right is extremely important, after all, it is the container for your plant. Kokedama needs to have a firm ball of soil that will not break apart, but also loose enough to have room to retain water. A good recipe for a Kokedama dirt ball contains both heavy, clay based garden soil and loose or light peat-rich potting soil. Both of these can be purchased in bags at any nursery. An approximation of the recipe would call for 30% heavy garden soil and 70% potting soil, however, you’ll need to experiment with these amounts. You may want to try the clay-based potting soil specially formulated for bonsai plants, called akadama.

Make the dirt ball. Now that you’ve got your soils together, it’s very important to thoroughly mix them together. The next step takes some work: make sure all the peat particles have been mixed in and aren’t visible. Really take your time here, the clay soil needs to be completely mixed in with the peat. If there are any clods in the garden soil, chop them into small, easily mixable pieces. Now,add a small amount of water at a time. Form a ball with both hands. If it doesn’t maintain its shape when you set it down, you've added too much water. If the ball stays together, try gently dropping it into your soil bucket. If it continues to keep its shape, you're ready for the next step. Add more soil and form the ball again if it flattens. If it falls apart, add a tiny bit more water. Try this method again until you're satisfied with the shape of the dropped ball.

Prepare the plant. Remove your plant from its pot and gently shake the soil form its roots. You may want to soak the roots in water to loosen any excess dirt. If the roots are tremendous, you can snip off some with a scissor. Now gently wrap the roots in a small amount of sphagnum moss. This will help retain moisture.

Insert the plant. Take your two thumbs and push them into the dirt ball forming a hole big enough for your plant’s roots. Separate your thumbs to make the hole larger if needed. Insert your plant into the hole. Add more soil if necessary.

Cover with moss. Spray your moss sheets with water to make it more pliable. Press the sheets of moss around the dirt ball. You may need extra hands for this step. Don’t put moss too close to your plant base, it needs to breathe.

Tie with string. Use thin cotton string to secure the moss. After a few days it won’t need to be tied, you can remove it if you wish. Place your Kokedama work of art in a shallow dish, one that does not hide the moss ball. You can also tie with jute or fishing line and hang your Kokedama. String gardens of Kokedama look fabulous.

Enjoy. Now you have a piece of original garden art for your home.


Street Talk

Wow, there is so much to learn from other cultures, especially ancient civilizations. For gardening, the Japanese have such an incredible artistic legacy. I often wonder if that stems from the fact of so many people living on a small Island that they value their space, which is such short supply, so much. Living in a country as vast as Canada makes us take space for granted. Besides gardening the Japanese have some amazing systems of organizing life without a lot of room. Great post and I have to agree with Bill entertaining language.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

You're turning some great phrases here, Lisa...."dirt ball recipe"....."stylish garden bling"...."wonderfully fuzzy moss balls"....reading your articles is always an entertaining adventure! Bravo! :-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

great article and a very beautiful website you have created

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Tommy, how very kind of you to check out my site and to leave a nice comment. You've made my day.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Wow Lisa, I've never heard of such a thing as this. You know, Iv'e noticed that when I make sculptures with clay, especially if I make one with a flow of water in mind, I often come up with an object that looks like it would sit just right in a Japanese garden. I just seem to gravitate naturally to the Japanese kind of design and style. Iv'e never made a conscious decision to make Japanese designs. It just comes out that way. I carefully read you're instructions, which are very detailed, and was able to follow along and I'd love to try this idea. I would love to have these string gardens of Kokedama hanging all around our veranda and I reckon Val would love them too. Now it's going to be a matter of making time to do it. But I'm putting this on my to do list. fascinating, thank you:) I'm going now to share this article to my Pinterest audience and I know exactly the group of people who will love to read your article. Talk again soon. Robbie:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Geoffrey, thanks for reading it!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

great article Lisa

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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