April 8th, 2005


The joy of lint.

Recently, I noticed something which points to an interesting use for lint.

The dryer vent for our house comes out near a walkway in the back, but along that walkway, I've noticed accumulations of moss on the sidewalk. Turns out, the moss is growing -- very rapidly -- on a substrate of lint.

Well, I have a part of the garden underneath the shade of trees, where for years the grass has fought a losing battle. So, I had the idea... why not bring a few patches of moss into this area? It's green, has a lush feel to it, and should do better than the grass.

So, to make a long story short, I am "seeding" a particular area of my walkway with used dryer lint sheets mixed with bits of moss, hoping that they'll take off and produce a few large swaths of moss that I can then move into the shady bits of the garden, especially amongst the stepping stones and rocks. I'll let you know how it works.

I'm apparently not the only one to notice the uses of common lint. Dry cleaners didn't know what to do with the stuff, so they paid a ton to get rid of it all... at least they did until someone came up with the idea of mixing it with farmland soil. Turns out that it increased the germination rate for some plants by as much as 60%, and increased the water-holding capacity of the soil by 300%.

So, a simple answer for what to do with dryer lint. Stir it in with your potting mix or soil, especially when doing new plantings. Your garden will thank you.

Thus endeth the day.

Sunset on the beach at San Francisco, just south of the Cliff House.

Had an enjoyable, long day in S.F. I need to transcribe Karpinski's talk, but I plan to get it out there sometime soon. More good details to come.

Oh, and I got her email address too... Hopefully I will be able to ask some followup questions.