Prepared by Maher Jabado
What the heck is peat moss? What does it do and where does it come from? Why is sphagnum peat moss the best thing you can possibly put into your garden soil?
Peat is lighter, softer, and more crumbly than ordinary garden soil. This texture allows it to trap air and water differently than regular soil and so becoming a natural organic soil conditioner. In a nutshell… Peat moss restructures your garden soil.
Peat moss does not contain nutrients but it absorbs nutrients both already existing in the soil and those added by you. The cell structure of sphagnum peat moss is large so it can absorb extra air and nutrients like a wick or sponge. By absorbing these important nutrients, peat moss then releases them over time as your plants need them. Otherwise, what happens is that important nutrients are lost through a leaching process and you’ll have to fertilize more or have plants that are not as healthy as they could be.
Another of the great benefits of sphagnum peat moss is that it is very light weight when you are working with it. Peat moss is a good value for the money because it is compressed into bales. After opening, it expands to about twice the amount as in the package. Once in your soil it can retain 20 times its weight in moisture and will release water slowly as plants need it. The following are benefits of Sphagnum Peat Moss:
Creating New Garden Beds:
You will definitely want to include peat moss in your next gardening project. Following are steps to properly add sphagnum peat moss:
Amending Existing Garden Beds:
This is a great idea but you need to be as careful as possible not to disturb plant roots. Dig and add 1-2 inches of sphagnum peat moss into the top 6-8 inches of soil for both existing and transplanted plants.
Compost versus Peat Moss:
And the winner is… Both. Compost is incredibly important because of the nutrients jam packed into it. When you mix both peat moss and compost together you get a one-two punch that will knock the socks off your neighbors when they see your garden. Peat moss restructures the soil and compost provides the nutrients. By blending the two together you’ll reduce the compost’s tendency to compact the soil and thus allow more air, water and nutrients to reach plant roots.
Note: Peat Moss also extends the life of compost in the soil by 4-5 times.
Sphagnum peat moss improves the composting
process by speeding up decomposition. Since
peat moss has high acidity, it traps and
saves valuable nitrogen sources that often
escapes compost heaps as ammonia.
Healthy soils with plenty of organic matter will promote superior plant growth. You’ll get this with Sphagnum Peat Moss and have the best garden around.