Surface vegetation is removed and the upper layers allowed to dry in the sun before being vacuum harvested or removed by other methods. Peat moss is majorly used for soil amendments and soil components. Sphagnum is a type of moss that’s most notable for its amazing absorption ability, capable of taking in 20 times as much water by weight as the moss’s dry weight. Many of these bogs are found in wetland areas of Canada. It is sterile, absorbent, and the homogeneous material is easy to work with. Don't confuse the peat from dead plants with the actual sphagnum moss from living plants. One challenge with planting new grass seed is keeping it adequately moist and protected from birds until it germinates. They are dead and decayed moss that accumulate over time at the bottom of bogs. It is used to line baskets, as a seed-starter medium, as a medium that most big-box store Phalaenopsis orchids are growing in, and as an amendment in potting soils. To enjoy the benefits of peat moss in your garden, mix it evenly into the soil about 12 inches deep. The moss helps keep the soil warm and holds moisture in, keeping the soil from drying out as quickly. You can also boil every hour removing water at the end of … Is Amazon actually giving you the best price? Like peat moss, sphagnum moss is harvested for the horticultural trade. The decomposition process is slow and it takes place without air. It is typically mixed with white specks of perlite, a … Peat moss is the dark brown fibrous product of sphagnum moss and other organic materials that decompose in peat bogs over thousands of years. The moss helps keep the soil warm and holds moisture in, keeping the soil from drying out as quickly. Look for Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss for your worm bedding. It is commonly called peat moss, but that isn't what you want. Both fibrous and powdered form of dry sphagnum moss are used in gardening. The peat moss sold in garden centers is the partially decayed remains of plants grown in high-acid peat bogs. Let’s discuss some facts about peat moss and how to use it in your garden. For garden use, the peat is allowed to freeze when wet to improve its water retention. Peat moss can hold around 20 times as much water as its dry weight. Peat moss is a great seed starting medium. Regular soil is too heavy for plants just sprouting from seed. It consists of shades of green, gray or brown. Eventually, live moss grows over the layer of dead moss; and the dead moss contributes to the formation of peat used as a gardening medium. It is usually sold in its natural stringy texture, but is also sold chopped up. It’s basically a natural sponge. Hi! As a soil amendment, which is what the baled product is mostly sold for, peat moss is also a poor choice. It takes hundreds of years for peat moss to be created in nature. You may have seen bags of peat moss meant to be used as a soil conditioner. Not all Sphagnum Moss is equal In a large city recently, I called half a dozen garden centers looking for long fiber sphagnum moss. So here is the summary of what peat moss is: Gardeningdream.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Here are some of the uses or benefits of peat moss: . Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. That is why, increasingly, coir is being used as an alternative to peat moss in soilless potting mixes. Here is how the two differ: First of all, "sphagnum moss" can refer to a living plant. Sandy soil in the garden can make it challenging to grow various shrubs, bushes, and flowering plants. When using peat moss in your worm beds, DO NOT use peat moss that contains additives such as fertilizer. It’s basically a natural sponge. Since the 1950s, sphagnum peat moss has been a common ingredient in potting soils sold in the United States. So, both come from sphagnum but peat moss is used for soil improvement, because of its ability to change the texture of soil and water retention properties and because its low pH can be used to correct the soil’s acidity. Peat moss is an excellent soil amendment for your acid-loving plants. Most peat moss for use in garden soil comes from sphagnum moss. Most of the peat moss used in crop production comes from Canada and is composed mainly of mosses from the genus Sphagnum (of which there are 160 species of sphagnum found globally). Peat moss is useful as an additive in potting mixes, as a soil amendment, and in your vegetable garden. You may have seen bags of peat moss meant to be used as a soil conditioner. Alternatives to Sphagnum Moss. But the sphagnum moss used for this purpose was a plant growing in nature not that long ago. Most common is peat from the sphagnum moss plant. Because of the water in these bogs, anaerobic conditions are maintained, conditions that retard full decomposition. Peat moss and sphagnum moss are two types of mosses used as soil amendments in gardening. There are approximately 12,000 species of moss, but it’s only the 380 species of sphagnum moss that create peat. The popularity of peat moss as a soil amendment can be accounted for by listing the following pros: Peat moss does, however, come with some cons, as well: David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. The decomposition process happens without the presence of air, which slows the development rate. Sphagnum peat moss is valued by growers and gardeners because it is virtually free of weeds, insects and diseases. It comes from various materials. Sphagnum moss is a natural antibacterial, and can be used as a natural cleansing agent for wounds. The dry sphagnum moss or peat moss has mass of light fibers which is extremely useful in horticulture and gardening for various purposes. Sphagnum moss, also known as bog or peat moss, grows naturally in standing water, forming bogs. Sphagnum moss is the top of the bog and peat moss is the decomposed product deeper down. Peat moss is excellent for making your garden more productive than ever. So what differentiates peat moss from the regular compost matter is the moss which it is made up of. Although sometimes referred to as "peat" for short, peat moss and peat are not, technically, the same thing. The most common use for sphagnum peat moss is to amend garden soil. Why should't imported soils include sphagnum peat moss? The peat moss sold in garden centers is the partially decayed remains of plants grown in high-acid peat bogs. For example, it is commonly used to line wire baskets for hanging plants, to retain the soil. It breaks down too fast, compressing and squeezing air out of the … Peat moss is derived from Sphagnum, a bog-dwelling soft moss. Make sure it is organic and not treated with fertilizers. To begin with, the terms "peat" and "peat moss" often are used interchangeably although they are slightly different. Some purchased Canadian sphagnum peat moss was mixed with tap water and allowed to re-hydrate for 24 hours. The peat moss genus Sphagnum is an economically important bryophyte. The result is that the peat moss is preserved almost indefinitely. The water was then removed, leaving behind moist peat moss. As a soil amendment, which is what the baled product is mostly sold for, peat moss is also a poor choice. Canadian peatlands formed over 10,000 years ago in very moist and poorly drained low spots such as old river beds, lakes or ponds. Is it to protect natural habitats with moss? However, these two things are not the same. The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association claims that peat-moss operations keep the bogs from being drained for development, that five to ten years after harvesting, the bog will be a “functioning wetland” again, and that after 25 years, 90 percent of the original flora will grow back. Why should't imported soils include sphagnum peat moss? By using The Spruce, you accept our, How Peat Moss Is Different from Sphagnum Moss, Why Peat Moss Is an Effective Soil Amendment, Vermiculite: What It Is and How to Use It, How to Grow and Care for Chinese Money Plant, How to Make a Kokedama—The Japanese Art of the Moss Ball, How to Grow and Care for Black Huckleberries, The Difference Between Potting Soil and Potting Mix, How to Improve Garden Soil With Amendments, 10 Weird but Pretty Carnivorous Plants that Eat Bugs. And preservative purposes allowed to freeze when wet to improve its water retention glaciers also moved across globe! 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