Any Other Topics: SOFT TUFA.
Started by: GEOFFREY ALDERTON
Hi allGo to latest contribution by Geoffrey Alderton, 01 December 2011, 10:14. Go to bottom of this page.
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Earlier this year I got hold of several decent sized lumps of Tufa. Two of the pieces are sandy coloured and quite soft. After jet washing, to remove all the loose stuff, I positioned them in the raised bed. They absorb a lot of moisture and moss grows on them very quickly. When drilling holes, 20mm dia X 100mm deep, in the two soft lumps, the weight of the drill was enough to get the drill bit down to the 100mm depth. My questions are; 1 Will the two soft sand coloured pieces eventually harden up and turn grey like my other tufa? 2 Is there a product I can put on the tufa to stop some, if not all, of the moss growing on the tufa. A product that won?t damage the plants.
Hi again. These are the two pieces of soft tufa.
Here in Aberdeen we find that the soft tufa gets covered in moss very quickly, with no hindrance from anything we've tried ....while staying pretty sandy coloured and soft under the moss. The hard grey stuff stays hard and grey and gets much less moss on it......what will happen in your area, I can only guess at. There are a lot of plants which really enjoy a piece of tufa to root into... so your efforts will be rewared. I'd keep an eye onthe moss growth though.... it can take over if left alone for too long!
In the past, when sowing seed, a very dilute solution of potassium permanganate was recommended for controlling moss. I think this should work with tufa too, but I would imagine that in higher rainfall areas it would be a recurring problem.
In our Forum of the VRV (Flemish Rock Garden society) there's an interesting topic of a member who has succesfully been testing a product called "Mogeton" - I'm not sure if this is available in the UK though.
Texts are in dutch, but Google translate might help !
Provided you use the right dosage, it seems to do the trick, without harming the plants...
Hi all. Well I did a trip round my local garden centres looking for Potassium Permanganate or a product with it in the mix and came up with zero, but I will keep looking. I finished up purchasing a spray bottle of Bayer Garden Advanced MossKiller. Rapid Action. Results within three hrs. I thought with this on the label it has to be OK. I sprayed up my two pieces of soft, mossy tufa, came back three hrs later to have a look and I think the moss actually looked greener. I will give it forty eight hrs and then if its not sorting the moss out I will spray the two pieces a second time. Regards Geoff
Hi Luc. I will have a look for the product MOGETON and if available give it a try.
Thank you all for your tips and advice and passing them on to myself.
Hi all. Just had a quick search for Mogeton and it is available for use on hard surfaces in the UK.
A 1.5kg pack is Euro 155. with .75 kg packs from £40 to £80 so it's not cheap. I will keep looking to see if smaler packs are available.
To source Potassium Permanganate I'd try a pharmacist or perhaps a shop selling pond or tropical fish.
Should not be too hard to find. You'll only need a little bottle of crystals to try. A pinch of crystals in a watering can should be sufficient .... if it's going to work!
Good luck, Geoffrey,
Using too much Potassium permanganate will leave a coating of dark brown Manganese dioxide, which you may or may not like. Diluted vinegar kills moss on things like Sempervivum, but would partially dissolve some of the tufa I think.
My problem with tufa of indeterminate age, is how to keep it soft enough for drilling. I buy lumps, new or recycled, whenever I find a bit I like, but may not use it until a year or more later. Is keeping it dry enough or does it need sealing in polythene to slow down hardening?
I have used very successful MgSO4 (Magnesium Sulphate)
It is a white powder you just sprinkle over the moss. Liverworth hates it! So far I have not seen any damage to plants, but it is always better to try it a bit before you use it on a bigger scale.
I have also used "Mogeton", which is very expensive but works super. It is better to spend a bit of money (if you calculate what you use) then a tufa garden over grown with moss. It is also possible to use it on seedpots with liverworth.
Harry, thank you for responding to my plea for advice from the king of tufa!
Luc's suggestion seemed a good one and your comment adds weight: if that works for the finest tufa walls in Holland then it must be good. Thank you!
Hi all. The Bayer Garden Advanced MossKiller seems to be doing the job, although we have had few heavy rain periods, since aplication. The moss has turned fawn coloured and is dying. The spray does not appear to have afected the couple of plants sprayed over. Erinus and Androsace. If the moss continues to die off I will continue with the spray on my other lumps of brown tufa.
As you can see from the pictures the moss is taking over.
Hi again as you can see I have posted one of the pictures twice.