Peat Moss as a growing medium

Peat Moss as a growing medium

Peat moss is often used for seedling starting, in potting mixes, and even as a primary hydroponic or aquaponic media. Hobby growers and commercial growers both use peat for its great water holding capacity, a slight acidity that makes pH adjustments easier, and the low cost.

Peat moss is partially decomposed sphagnum moss plants, which are harvested from peat bogs. While peat moss is brown, like soil, it has a different texture and weight, it is light and spongy and crumbles into tiny splinters. It is difficult to wet, but once wet it retains water like a sponge, meaning it reduces drainage of water from the soil.

Peat is a mixture of decomposed plant material that has accumulated in water-saturated bogs in the absence of oxygen. Peat formation is a continuous process, with bogs typically accumulating peat at a rate of 1-2mm every year.

Peat moss can be purchased on its own, but it is often added as an ingredient to potting soil to lighten the soil and allow it to hold moisture better. It is often the main ingredient of soilless potting mixes.

Because the bogs where peat moss is harvested are ecologically fragile, there is now a movement to limit the use of peat moss in gardening.

Physical Advantages Of Peat

Save Water
Peat retains up to 20 times its weight in moisture and releases water slowly as plants need it.
Aerate Heavy, Clay Soil
Peat moss allows for proper root growth by loosening and aerating soils.
Bind Sandy Soil
By adding body to sandy soil, Canadian peat helps it retain moisture and nutrients.
Reduce Leaching
Peat moss reduces the leaching of nutrients in or added to the soil, releasing them over time. This will save on fertilizer.
Protect Soil
Peat moss protects soil from hardening and adds organic material.
Make Better Compost
Peat moss speeds the composting process, reduces odors, and controls air and water in the compost pile.

Different grades, and types of peat, are separated into bays at the production facility and selected for specific recipes for individual growers. Various peat grades, as well as specific additives such as starter fertilizers, are then accurately dosed and blended together to formulate growing media for individual customers.

Finally, peat has a low bulk density and is easily compressible. This makes it very fuel-efficient for transporting over long distances. This helps to both keep prices down for growers and to reduce its impact on climate change.

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