Peat Moss – A Gardener’s Best Friend
The What, Where, How, When and Why of This Amazing Garden Amendment
You’ve probably seen the bags at your garden store, or the big burly bags on the neighbors sidewalk or near a planter, and wondered why are they using peat moss? As it turns out this byproduct of the decaying plants is an amazing amendment for your garden and landscape.
Peat moss is one of the most valuable resources out there for gardeners. It is an all-natural material that is collected from swamps, wetlands and bogs. It is a form of decayed plant matter, which is composed of partially decomposed and decomposed sphagnum moss. Overall, it is an excellent soil amendment for all types of gardens and helps to improve soil structure, water holding capacity and encourages the growth of beneficials.
What are the benefits of peat moss for gardening?
Peat moss has a number of amazing benefits for your garden. First off, it is a completely natural source of organic matter and helps to improve soil structure and nutrients. If you’re like me and struggle with clay based soil, It helps change the soil consistency, and is a mechanism to break up clay soils and helps sandy soils hold moisture and nutrients better.
It also helps to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and fungi in the soil, creating a source of nutrients oxygen and moisture, which can help to improve plant growth and overall plant health. Another benefit of peat moss is that it is nearly pH neutral, which means it can be used in almost any soil type without changing its acidic nature.
You can also laying down as a top dressing, and it acts as a shield to keep in moisture, while letting water drip through for hot environments and climates. It also helps to reduce weed growth in the garden, as it inhibits the growth of weed seeds. It can also help to reduce the amount of fertilizer and other nutrients needed in the garden, and provides a long lasting source of nutrients is it breaks down in soil.
When to Apply Peat Moss
Peat moss can be applied at any time during the growing season, but it is best to apply peat moss in the spring when the soil is warm and moist, and you can give it a head start and it’s breakdown process through that warmth and moisture. But you can also be applied in the fall when preparing the soil for the winter, or preparing beds for early spring planting.
How to Apply Peat Moss
Applying the fluffy substance is easy and can be done with a few simple steps, and there really is no right or wrong way. You essentially apply it just like you would any other soil amendment. First, spread the peat moss evenly over the top of the soil surface. Then, use a garden rake, garden cultivator, or shovel (here are some excellent quality gardening tools for application) to work the peat moss into the soil. It is important to mix it into the soil well, as this will help it to break down and become more effective, and start the process of altering your soil structure, making gaps for oxygen and moisture retention. Once the peat moss is mixed into the soil, water it thoroughly. It’s soaks it up like a sponge, and can provide thirsty plants a drink as the temperature warms. This will help the peat moss to absorb moisture and start to break down. It is important to remember that peat moss requires a lot of water in order to be effective. So don’t be stingy with the drinks. A good mantra for life in general ;).
Peat moss is a hidden, and best kept secret for most gardeners. It is a natural soil amendment that helps to improve soil structure, reduce weeds, and reduce the amount of fertilizer needed in the garden. It can be applied at any time during the growing season and is easy to apply. With the help of peat moss, your garden can be healthier and more productive, and you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood or garden club.
Note: there is a bit of controversy about the use of peat moss and how harvesting it can affect the environmental landscape. I’ve done my own research, and in my opinion, we’re just using a resource that the planet has given us and we’re moving it from point A to point B. Do I want to leave it in the bottom of the swamp where it’s no good to anyone? Or do I want to use it to grow and foster plants and trees and a lovely garden to educate the next generation? I’ve decided to use it for good.
Tags: garden amendments, how to use peat moss, peat moss, soil enhancement, soil structure