Peat moss in Canada
Posted: Apr 12, 2020
Peat moss is a dark fibrous material found in bogs like swampy and waterlogged lands in the northern hemisphere. It takes a long time to form. It consists of decomposed organic matter including sphagnum moss.
Peat moss retains water and has useful characteristics associated to it. It increases soil moisture, acidity and porosity. It is used to amend soil and is an important horticulture product. Its sterile water retention and drainage ability makes it popular in hydroponics. It also germinates seeds. There are plenty of other uses of Peat moss.
Bogs and peat moss can mostly be found in Canada and Russia. That is where the majority of the world’s peat moss is extracted. Finland, Ireland and the UK are contenders, but don’t operate commercial peat extraction on a large scale.
The extraction process of Peat moss includes drainage, removal of surface vegetation and supply around the globe. The water drains through the grooves in the upper layer. The top layer of four to eight centimeters will be extracted once a year after the peat field is ready for production.
Surface milling is done for horticulture peat. Vacuum harvesters reduce the physical damage to peat. Integrity of peat fibers is protected throughout the harvesting process. Mechanical damage breaks apart sphagnum fibers. That then results in deterioration of its porosity in a container and creates more dust.
Harvest takes place when bogs are unfrozen. The time is period is usually May to September. To keep the underlying bog intact and prevent erosion, milling machines are only used to loosen up the top couple of inches of peat. The top layer is then dried for a day or two.
Peat moss’s favorable qualities have made it a significant part of gardening. In fact, it has some unconventional uses as it is used by shippers who transport live aquatic animals, for seabed covers. Also, it’s used in diapers and bedding. Don’t rush through the buying process. Do your research and select the best type for your garden.
Uses of Peat moss
The dark brown fibrous material you may have seen in your garden or a nursery, is Peat moss. It is a versatile material used in gardens. It consists of decomposed organic matter including sphagnum moss. It is the solution to make your garden more productive than before.
Peat moss is usually found in bogs like swampy and waterlogged lands in the northern hemisphere. It takes a long time to form.
It retains water and thus is a helpful agent for plant growth. It is clean, sterile, acidic and non-compact.
Peat moss has important characteristics that make it incredibly useful. Some of its uses are listed below.
- Peat moss is an ingredient of potting soil. Potting soil is a mixture of organic matter like peat moss, coconut coir, compost, perlite and sometimes even sand. It helps in water retention, aeration and drainage.
- It can be used in amending soil. If peat moss is added to dry soil, it increases its absorption. It enhances the drainage capability and reduces the compaction in clay soil. If a soil is alkaline, it can be reduced to neutral by the addition of peat moss.
- It is used to germinate seeds. Damping-off is reduced by the sterile nature of peat moss.
- It is also popular in hydroponic because its sterile, high cation exchange capacity, water retention and draining ability.
- It comes in handy when plants are to be transplanted. When a tree has to be moved to another location, it cannot be ensured that the soil already present there is ideal for plant growth. So, peat moss will aid healthy plant growth when you re-plant a tree.
- A compost pile can be build so the plants can be fertilized. Peat decomposes more slowly than other organic matter. It guarantees nutrient content in the soil for a long time.
- Adding peat moss can overcome the strong odour in your compost pile.
- It improves soil texture by breaking down.
- The qualities of peat moss make it very suitable for vegetable gardens since those have extremes of wet and dry. So, peat moss counters the negative impact of it on the growth and production of vegetables.
- Dried peat moss can be used for surgical dressings. It is also used in diapers and beddings.
- Shippers who transport live aquatic animals use it as a seedbed cover.
Peat moss’s strong qualities have made it a significant part of the horticulture industry over the years. It’s ideal to apply a least 1 to 3 inches which should be worked to around 6 inches deep. It is proven to increase soil moisture, acidity and porosity.
Hank’s Trucking and Bulldozing Ltd. is a family-owned and -operated company serving the Lower Mainland’s excavation and soil supply industries since 1978. As a second-generation farmer,