Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Growing Lichens on rocks

I read somewhere that painting yogurt on rocks will hasten the appearance and speed the growth of lichens. I tried doing this in the summertime but still have no results. I had a forgotten quart tub of plain yogurt in the frig that had a bit of mold on top but didn't smell "off". I diluted this into a watery consistency like some of the yogurt drinks you can get now and painted it on a lot of rocks. Nothing. Maybe the heat and full summer sun dried the yogurt too quickly or the coating may have been too thin but there is no evidence of lichens or moss.

Today I went out again with brush in hand. Since it had just rained last night I thought the yogurt wouldn't dry so quickly and I used it full strength this time. The rocks look weird with white streaks slathered on top and on the sides. Now we have fog so hopefully lichen spores (?) will have time to land on the yogurt and establish itself if indeed that's the way they propagate. I need to do some research on how lichens grow. Will report back later.

2 Comments:

Anonymous gary@garylittleton.com said...

yogurt. Lichens will grow on rocks, but so slowly you may need years and a magnefying glass to see the start of them. They secrete a weak acid and digest the rock. If you want to help get them started, paint the rock with a good live yogurt. Not a moldy one. This will help to "digest" the rock (just like the yogurt contains bacteria that help to digest your food) which the lichens can then feed on.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks for the tip Gary. How about some dilute vinegar which contains acetic acid?

6:45 PM  

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