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Natural Flock Material?

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I was at the LHS the other day, and found out that flock is $20/tin these days. I've also seen videos suggesting alternatives - Luke Towan constantly extols the virtues of using dried leaf material. Another channel suggested using parsley of all things! Given that I can get a tin of parsley for $3 vs $20 for the flock, it would seem worth trying. 


It occurred to me that if dried plant leaves works, how about drying something like real grass? I've thrown some grass (no stems) into my dehydrator and it's come out to a very similar texture to the parsley. I've yet to really grind it up fully, but I can't imagine it's going to be much different. 


A third channel - Luke's APS suggested colouring sawdust.


Any comments or suggestions? Is there a major drawback to the DIY out of dried plant material?

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Lots of diy stuff you can do. With organic natural materials it is good to process with something like polyethylene glycol and ethanol to help preserve it well and dissuade critters from munching on it later. I’ve heard of folks having issues with silverfish, crickets, la cucarachas, and mice when using some unstabalized materials.


Some plant materials will change color a lot with time as the pigments degrade slowly. There are some tricks from the dried flower folks that can help try to preserve the colors for the long haul. You can buy things like stabilized lichens and toss them into a coffee grinder to chop up fine. 


Most of the shredded leaf folks ive seen are doing larger scales. A leaf in n scale is 1mm in dis at most (6” scale).


sawdust works but it’s a pain to color. I did some when young and money was tight. My dad had a big wood shop so we had no shortage of sawdust! It never colored well for most ground covers to my taste. I used rit dyes mostly. Also it’s shape never seemed quite right, rougher stuff was not like most plant material and finer stuff is like fine sand.


you can make your own ground foam pretty easily, lots of YouTube videos on it. Basically chop up the foam rubber into little blocks, then soak in acrylic paint and squeeze out excess and let dry. Then mince fine in a coffee grinder an/or blender. Let’s you really control your colors and particle size.


folks have picked up various soils and fine gravel and sands as well. Just need some sieves to get the right ranges to use and wash and bake in the oven a while to kill critters in it. Experiment as some change colors a bit when fixed with glue.


a few tubs of ground foam are not much money and go a long way. Unless you have a lot of time and little money I think you may find trying to roll your own a bit of work and a lot of experimentation to get it dialed in well. But if you enjoy that sort of thing there is a lot you can try, just have to see how they work for you as opposed to commercial ground foams.





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