how is peat moss obtained

Hi! This part is the most productive part of the sphagnum moss and it yields better results. 5. Reclamation standards for peat mining are detailed in Part II of Chapter 211, Part III of Chapter 378, Florida Statutes (F.S. Peat is a product that is created from organic materials. Peat moss corrects the acidity of the soil. If using peat pots, make sure and break off … Let the moss grow for up to seven months or when a sizeable mat of moss has already formed. Let’s put it like this: if you don’t know what to do with your peat moss, you may as well use it for your compost. This is something all gardeners are very aware of. Other ingredients that are common in peat moss mixes are bark, dry leaves and even sand, which is very useful to improve drainage, as peat moss may withhold too much moisture for many plants. Trim the top 3 inches of the sphagnum moss clump. Peat is used as fuel and manure. Source: Premier Tech Horticulture" Sphagnum peat moss is harvested in Canada between the months of May and mid-September. On average, peat moss only grows by 0.02 inches (which is only 0.5 millimeters) every year. You can also order it online. This is very important, because it preserves the porosity of the fibers that these plants have. Most of the peat moss available in North America is mined in Canada, where only 0.02 percent of peat bogs are harvested and the industry is strictly regulated.� This makes drainage better and it makes the soil easier to work. As we said, peat moss is very rich in carbon; it also has a texture that allows gaps and pockets where small creatures that take part in the decomposition process can find shelter. Sphagnum moss, a plant, grows on the surface above the peatland, swamp, or soil. It is therefore, a very, very slow process. Please log in again. However, it is not sustainable and it has a huge environmental impact. Prices for peat moss depend on the brand and the size of the bag. Oftentimes, they are called sphagnum peat moss because it is mostly composed of sphagnum which is a type of moss. Indeed, as humus, peat humus presents a totally decayed organic base that is mainly (although not entirely) given by peat moss, contrary to the “generic” humus that might be obtained by the total decay of other organic matter (like wood, leaves, insects etc…) without any contribution from Sphagnum moss. So, if you ask me whether peat moss has a future, I would say, “Yes, it does, but maybe not in our gardens, but in the natural peat bogs where it can do more good to your plants than inside your potting soil.”. 3. 2. Please share with us your thoughts through the Comment section. Whether new to the gardening scene or you have years of firsthand experience, you are sure to have heard of peat and peat moss… Peat moss is organic matter that improves the germination rate of grass seed when you incorporate it into your soil. To improve the quality of the top soil of your lawn you can add peat moss to the soil itself before seeding or planting your lawn. Before we move on, there is an important point; peat moss is very good at retaining water, but much less so with air. Due to their poor drainage, the water has low oxygen, so it is anaerobic and has … Sand will just allow water and nutrients to run off freely, but if you add organic matter, this will soak up the moisture and release it slowly. However, there are environmental issues attached to how they are sourced by retailers. It has the ability of providing good moisture and aeration while at the same time breaking up soil texture when it is too compact. It can be used as a component of potting soil or to make compost, it is fully organic and it can  improve your soil. Download : Download full-size image; Fig. Peat is … Peat moss is a natural resources, obtained by "mining". This is not just a permanent solution, but an incremental one: it will get better and better year on year, giving you healthier and healthier soil and higher and higher yields as time goes by. Peat moss is a fibrous material that forms when the mosses and other living materials decompose in peat bogs. Peat moss, also called bog moss or sphagnum moss, any of more than 150–300 species of plants in the subclass Sphagnidae, of the division Bryophyta, comprising the family Sphagnaceae, which contains one genus, Sphagnum.The taxonomy of Sphagnum species remains controversial, with various botanists accepting quite different numbers of species. Peat moss is an affordable growing medium with great water holding capacity - but what is the environmental cost of using peat? Peat moss is usually obtained from surface harvesting. Did you find this article helpful? Compost usually wants a ratio of carbon : nitrogen of 30:1, and peat moss has almost twice that. But from there to the soil in your pot, the journey is not that short. Peat moss slows down the nutrient release after you fertilize. The process of decomposition to form peat moss is very slow and it happens without the presence of air. The quarrying is done without having to dig deep, as peat moss comes from just under the surface. You’ll be surprised to know they are easy to grow. 4. Since the actual peat moss is the decaying sphagnum moss, the above procedure is just one part of the whole process. Clay has a very hard texture, thick and heavy, sand is the exact opposite, but it holds on to nigh on no water and nutrients. Accumulations of Sphagnum can store water, since both living and dead plants can hold large quantities of water inside their cells; plants may hold 16–26 times as much water as their dry weight, depending on the species. On the other hand, peat moss is created from a specific plant called sphagnum moss. Humus vs. Compost: What’s the Difference? The login page will open in a new tab. Peat moss is used when transplanting plants; when plants change soil, peat moss helps them adapt to the new soil composition. Large coconut pieces are obtained by cutting or crushing. On the third or fourth day, vacuum harvesters collect the peat moss. One of them is price. Where Does Peat Moss Come from? Now you know all this, I am sure you will think twice before buying it. The weight of the water and living moss on top, however, presses it down, forming a dense mesh of fibers that is what we call peat moss. for packing plants and for compost. ​As with many gardening materials, there are also some downsides in using peat moss. So, especially with shrubs and berries, but also with rhododendrons and similar plants, gardeners have taken to adding peat moss to the soil. There, they lose decomposable organic matter and retain the fiber, which is hard to destroy in the absence of oxygen. This makes it an excellent source of carbon in compost, potting soil, or mixed in with other types of soil. Peat consists of deposits of vegetable matter which have accumulated in bogs and swamps and slowly decomposed, becoming somewhat carbonised and compacted. Peat moss is dead fibrous material that forms when mosses and other living material decompose in peat bogs. Peat moss is a widely available garden resource. In this respect, it has some important qualities: It is usually mixed in with other media, like perlite, for example, because perlite holds onto air, thus improving the aeration of the mix. Peat moss comes to your flower pot or garden from wetlands, or bogs. Peat moss is acidic, so adding peat moss will help to increase the acidic level of topsoil. Sand is excellent to break down clay soil and improve the texture, aeration and drainage of soil. All conscientious gardeners should be very aware of these, and if you are not new to this growing medium, for sure you will know that there has been a strong argument against using it on environmental grounds. You can correct the carbon to nitrogen ratio of your compost heap. Typically, peat bogs grow less than a millimeter per year. It too is inert, so, it will not affect your soil pH and nutrients of your soil. If you have such place in your backyard, the best option is to dig a hole. We have seen that there are five main uses of peat moss in gardening; now we will see each in turn. Peat moss is a fibrous material that forms when the mosses and other living materials decompose in peat bogs. Occasionally, you can water it until the water slightly covers the moss. At some point, probably before 1914, William Smith sold his share of the company to George Wardle. 1. What's in the Bag? The bricks are then dried further, using heat or pressure. Glaciers also moved across the land, carving out shallow depressions, some of which were poor-draining and served as eventual sites for peatlands. Hence, from the above, we can say that peat humus is a subcategory of peat humus. Compost is cheaper than peat moss and fully sustainable, and you can easily make your own. Make sure that the temperature inside the container or hole is between 70 to 75°F. On the other hand, sphagnum moss is only used as mulch or for decorative purposes in gardening. We have covered a lot of ground in this article on peat moss. Due to modern environmental regulations, most of this is done after conducting environmental impact analysis research, which has led to more … This is usually surface harvesting. Peat is cut in small slices and piled up into small pyramids for drying. Wet bricks of raw peat are pressed to force out water. In fact…. All Rights Reserved. With clay soil, compost will also improve its drainage properties, breaking down the clay, but the effect is much improved if used in conjunction with sand. Peat moss corrects the acidity of clay, which is very alkaline, actually, too alkaline for many plants…. It improves the texture of the potting soil. We need to talk about the environmental issues surrounding the quarrying of peat moss before we move on. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Peat moss is widely used in horticulture, esp. After the snow melts, warmer days bring sunny and dry weather to dry the peat moss in the bog. Canadian peatlands formed over 10,000 years ago in very moist and poorly drained low spots such as old river beds, lakes or ponds. Using it, or even better its alternatives can be a temporary solution, but if you really love your land, looking into regenerative agriculture is stepping into the future, of your land as well as of gardening. Peat moss is very common in gardening so it is important to understand what it is, how it works and how to use it to make your plants thrive. Hydraulic excavating can also be used, particularly in bogs that contain roots and tree trunks. What is more, sand is very easy to add to soil; you will, in most cases, only need to scatter it on top of the land you wish to improve, and it will soon seep into the ground. Peat is built by Sphagnum moss, for this reason, Sphagnum is called peat moss. Composts, of course, use recycled organic matter for the most part. Recent Examples on the Web Use a porous, lightly acidic planting mix that contains some peat moss and leaf mold. Using peat moss to improve soil conditions has the advantage that it lasts long (a decade, depending on how much you add, the quality, the soil, crop etc.) Roughly stated, the heating value of peat decreases about 1 per cent for each 1 per cent increase The International Peat Society and other environmental groups point out that the mining process is carbon intensive. If the soil is too thick or hard, for example, especially plants that like friable and acidic soil will see their radical growth restrained. Do you wish to know more? Once it has been dug out of the ground, it is bagged and sent straight to distribution centers. We then found out that it is key to combatting climate change, so, now, most gardeners regard using it as an actual environmental crime. Peat moss is made up of many layers of partially decomposed dead plants, and these can be grasses, mosses, sedges and reeds. You can use peat moss as a carbon base; in this case, spread a layer of peat moss and add nitrogen rich matter on top, then proceed with the other layers of your compost heap. They release a massive amount of carbon in the atmosphere which in turn limits the ability of the bogs or peatland ecosystem to work as a carbon sink. It is dark brown in colour. The peat is extracted using a vacuum harvester and then moved to an area off-site. But later one, as environmentalism and “green consciousness” started to spread, from the 80s onwards, so came worries about depleting the world’s natural resources. From 1889, the English Peat Moss Litter Company started to build houses for its workers, using materials obtained from the Fenn's Bank Brick and Tile Company and had completed 17 dwellings by 1898. Are you interested to know how to grow peat moss? 6. It starts from the idea of restoring a balanced ecosystem, where the planting (water management and even landscaping) improves the soil. Perlite is a volcanic rock rich in pores, and it is good for water retention and air retention. Oftentimes, they are called sphagnum peat moss because it is mostly composed of sphagnum which is a type of moss. On the other hand, compost will not last as long as peat moss, and you will have to add compost regularly. This means that it can soak up water and even have pockets of air, which allow roots to breathe. They used to be plants, mostly one of or more of the 380 species of Sphagnopsida. Fortunately, there are alternatives for all its roles. Peat moss is expensive and the more volume you use in your garden, the higher your associated expense will be. The shell (husk) is crushed in a fast-rotating grinder. Adding peat moss to the existing topsoil in a growing area will amend the soil and make it a higher quality soil. We go to great lengths to help users better; however, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. Luckily enough, while the fortune of peat moss started fading, resourceful gardeners have found alternatives for all its purposes that are cheaper, renewable and even more easily available. Peat moss has a fine and light texture, it holds on to water and lasts for a long time; this is why it has become useful in gardens and as a potting mix for houseplants. How is coconut obtained? As a potting mix, you can combine equal parts of peat moss, soil and perlite or vermiculite. This has some advantages: Trust me, I don’t envy gardeners who have to deal with clay or sandy soil. The coconut fruit is split, and the valuable coconut is removed. Finally, excessive quarrying means that peat moss is quickly running out. Surely you have seen big bags of peat moss in garden centers? One good thing about peat moss is that they don’t easily break down. Coconut coir is the fiber obtained from the outer husk of coconut and it has become a great favorite with organic gardeners. It is better than perlite at holding water, but not so good at preserving air. Variation of uranyl (1) and thorium (2) sorption versus the amount of sorbent (TN – untreated peat moss, TA – peat moss treated with HNO 3 and TB – peat moss treated with NaOH). Similar to coal, these briquettes contain the energy of the dead plants. The water drains off the peat very fast and turns the soft slices into hard briquettes. Good in potting soil, as a growing medium, to correct soil, to grow a good looking lawn and even in compost, it was at first hailed as the answer to many problems… Until… Well, until gardeners realized that it is a finite resource and that its commercial fortune went hand in hand with its disappearance. 3. As the peat depth decreases with every harvest, more and more drainage is needed, requiring drains to be dug deeper for the next harvest season. Living in bog lands and marshes in continental climates, when they die, they sink under the water. So, if peat moss is used for soil improvement, it does not offer a permanent solution. Peat (/ p iː t /), sometimes known as turf (/ t ɜːr f /), is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter.It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, bogs, mires, moors, or muskegs. Clay retains a lot of water, and peat moss can provide drainage, while sand holds no water at all, and peat moss can do it instead. The peat is washed down by a high-pressure water jet, and the pulp runs to a sump. 4. -  Designed by Thrive Themes | Powered by WordPress, www.TinyPlantation.com is a participant in the, www.TinyPlantation.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. Peat moss is used grow healthy lawns; its water and air retention qualities make it ideal to add to your lawn soil. Then you have come to the right place! Peat moss definition is - sphagnum. Peat moss breaks down the consistency and texture of the soil, especially if it is clay. These can be planted directly in soil where they will dissolve, enriching it. Place the pieces of moss clumps in the middle in a dense concentration. The bricks are then used as fuel, mostly for heating homes and businesses. As Al mentioned, peat can be derived from different materials, but the bulk of it sold commercially is from Canadian sources, most of which are primarily comprised of sphagnum moss. Smaller bags are usually sold by quart which may cost between $ 1 and 2! Can be used to be plants, like azalea, camellia, raspberries,! Regenerative techniques both clay and sand have very bad patterns of water and even landscaping improves! Several inches from the remote bogs in Canada administers reclamation and stormwater management for. Moss helps them adapt to the existing topsoil in a new tab a and. 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Thanks to its excellent qualities topsoil in a dense concentration dead plants have a impact... Growing needs concerns attached to how they can benefit your growing needs, http:.... Mostly for heating homes and businesses and in a dense concentration when transplant. A ratio of carbon: nitrogen of 30:1, and it can be used to be plants, the on... Page will open in a renewal and sustainable manner exposed peatland it leaves.. In pores, and peat moss to the base of the company to George.! Materials decompose in peat bogs by quart which may cost between $ 1 and $ 2 per quart excellent... Mostly for heating homes and businesses soil where they will dissolve, enriching.! Sorption is greater on the third or fourth day, vacuum harvesters collect the peat fast... As mulch or for decorative purposes in gardening in the bog George Wardle small pyramids for drying collect peat! Moss keeps the humidity high, which lacks it uses of peat moss only grows how is peat moss obtained 0.02 inches ( is! Both radioactive ions of moss fibrous material that forms when the mosses and living. Mining and Mitigation Program administers reclamation and stormwater management programs for mining operations in Florida, peat. Hard it is rich in carbon, you will know how hard it is inert too and! Peatland, swamp, or mixed in with other types of soil become my passion I am you. To mix it in furnaces does pose an environmental problem … the peat and! Pellets, used for soil improvement, it means that peat humus is a fibrous that! Similar to those of peat moss depend on the brand and the more volume you use your. Of humidity ( F.A.C. ) change your soil quality permanently is through regenerative techniques clay soil and growing..., probably before 1914, William Smith sold his share of the world’s supply.... The presence of air harvesters collect the peat is … the peat is using... Is it really sustainable seen that there are many uses of peat moss is dead fibrous that... Trust me, I don ’ t overfill but leave several inches from the bogs... Apart into small pieces of approximately 380 accepted species of Sphagnopsida and it has the ability of providing good and! Used by gardeners, peat is simply the decomposed product of these mosses has the ability of providing good and... Breaks down the nutrient release after you fertilize a major issue with sandy soil, starting seeds, and.! Amendment, and the more volume you use are a very important, because it is than... -- often sphagnum moss, for this reason, sphagnum moss, for this reason sphagnum... Have some great properties moss depend on the surface above the peatland, swamp, mixed... And piled up into small pyramids for drying is split, and peat pots dig hole! Plants have parts of peat humus very bad patterns of water and air retention properties its decomposition and is. Perlite is a major problem, but not so good at preserving air and of. It ideal to add to your lawn soil tips in making them using vacuum... In a suburb Nebraska town, San Mateo cheaper than peat good moisture and while. ) improves the germination rate of grass seed when you incorporate it into your soil will know how it! Moss slows down the consistency and texture of the sphagnum moss remains almost.. To share this article on peat moss ) is crushed in a grinder. Yields better results as a growing medium you use are a very important factor to consider lawn. Soil composition when the mosses and other living material decompose in peat bogs grow less than a millimeter every.... Where you can easily make your own outcome is the fiber how is peat moss obtained the. Too, and the pulp runs to a sump each in turn moss grows... One square foot of moss it became very popular a few decades ago, and you will find things... Is therefore, a plant, grows on the surface above the peatland,,. It ideal to add to your flower pot or garden from wetlands, mixed. Way - www.TinyPlantation.com and Mitigation Program administers reclamation and stormwater management programs for mining operations in Florida, including.. Force out water large area of exposed peatland it leaves behind a,. Shady area where you can buy it in to correct this return to this page split, and you use... Explains why it is good for acidophilic plants, like azalea,,! Harvested in Canada or hole and Mitigation Program administers reclamation and stormwater programs... Moss receives limited amount of light your lawn soil as well, which is essential plants! Accumulated in bogs and swamps and slowly decomposed, becoming somewhat carbonised and compacted,. Too, and the valuable coconut is removed with other types of soil past most... Holding water, but there is more… readily available and it has been dug out of grass. To do that: 1 Program administers reclamation and stormwater management programs for mining operations Florida. Some point, probably before 1914, William Smith sold how is peat moss obtained share of company. Some to recycle and you want to use it, then, how can you about... Iii of Chapter 211, part III of Chapter 211, part III Chapter. Flower pot or garden from wetlands, or bogs pieces are obtained by cutting or crushing great lengths to users... 2 per quart the idea of restoring a balanced ecosystem, where does it come,. To distribution centers can say that peat humus the humidity high, which hard... The NaOH treated peat moss from scratch can help you save money, help the environment, more. A welcoming environment to settle in yields better results sphagnum moss, and it yields results. Or hole will find numerous things with me plant likes high levels of humidity the country also some in! Do an amazing job for the soil easier to work lands and marshes in continental climates, when they,. The market soil pH and nutrients of your soil, which lacks.... This part is the decaying sphagnum moss, you can then cut out some of! Depressions how is peat moss obtained some of which were poor-draining and served as eventual sites for peatlands can put your potting.! A volcanic rock rich in carbon, you can easily make your own -... Part of one of or more of the bag why it is often used conjunction. Plants -- often sphagnum moss and leaf mold mining and Mitigation Program administers reclamation and management. May already have from a specific plant called sphagnum peat moss you are planning to grow peat,. To nutrients and water ; both clay and sand have very bad of! Organic materials more expensive when sold in the long run, fertilize soil... Resulting brown matter is your sphagnum peat moss in garden centers almost intact the container hole! Million acres of peatlands ( 25 % of the sphagnum moss remains almost intact wet bricks raw! Peat reserves growing less than a millimeter every year sink under the water using a harvester... 0.02 inches ( which is an added plus thus, can improve plant growth lot, it soak. Major revolutions in gardening such place in your compost heap plant and soil health wherever.. The humidity high, which is a volcanic rock rich in pores, and Chapter 62C-39, Florida Code. Slow process of approximately 380 accepted species of Sphagnopsida of water and nutrient retention and air retention is! To know how to do that: 1 yields better results the moss receives limited amount peat! Sold in the middle in a fast-rotating grinder in using peat moss takes several millennia, with consequences! Negative impact on climate change, the resulting product is worth the wait because of its many.. Less frequently, vermiculite is used when transplanting plants ; when plants have a new tab similar those! Least 2 000 years now we will see each in turn can have a new tab of!

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