Peat moss is a gardening staple as a soil conditioner with Canada supplying over 80% of the peat used in horticulture worldwide. Peat plays an integral role in most potting mixes because the organic material is relatively inert in that it does not harbor diseases and insects but has the ability to hold up to 20 times its weight in water. This unique characteristic makes it invaluable for growers wanting to start seeds or for young transplants.
It also serves as one key element in our SoHum Living Soils. Here’s everything you need to know about peat moss:
What is peat moss?
Peat moss is a general name for about 400 different types of mosses. They are well known for their ability to accumulate and store large amounts of water, even as they decompose. When used as a soil amendment, peat moss usually consists of partially decomposed remains of different mosses. You might also see it referred to as sphagnum moss.
What nutrients are found in peat moss?
Peat moss is not known for providing a wide range of micronutrients for plants. However, it can be used very effectively as a soil improver that helps retain micronutrients from fertilizers and other substances. Peat moss is able to bind or hold on to tremendous amounts of nutrients. Thus, the surrounding soil will be able to hold nutrients more effectively.
Why is peat moss a crucial ingredient in a living soil?
Peat moss is one of the best choices when you need a soil amendment that increases water retention. Important to remember that a good soil is about 25% air and 25% water – two essential components to life. Using peat in combination with perlite (carbon that has been superheated – kind of looks like Styrofoam chips) can help create a perfect growing environment with little pockets of air and water. Roots growing into these pockets are surrounded by the life in the soil and that’s how microbes help deliver nutrients to the plant.
Is using Peat Moss a Sustainable Choice?
SoHum sources their peat from companies with a commitment to sustainable peat bog management. Proper harvesting based on ecological principles have these bogs becoming a source to drawn down carbon from the atmosphere within 15 years. So, we firmly believe that, if properly managed, peat is a renewable resource and a far more sustainable choice than coco coir.
Benefits of Peat Moss for Indoor Gardening
- Peat moss does not contain any of the harmful pathogens that can flourish in indoor soil;
- Peat moss is one of the best options available for crops that require acidic growing media;
- It serves as a natural amplifier for SoHum Living Soils and your own organic composts;
- It is a great way to spark ideal initial conditions as both a soil builder and a seed starter.
Benefits of Peat Moss for Outdoor Gardening
- Unlike many forms of conventional compost, peat moss does not contain any weed seeds;
- Peat moss can stay active in outdoor soil for years, improving aeration (in clay soils) and water-holding (in sandy soils);
- Because of its exceptional water retention, peat moss is great for any rocky or sandy soil;
- When used in combination with compost, peat moss can extend its life by several years.
Applied in the right amounts to the right crops, peat moss makes a long-term difference in soil quality. To learn more, contact us.