Home gardeners know Sphagnum Peat Moss is a wonderful, organic soil conditioner. It helps to loosen and enrich the soil. Peat holds moisture, yet doesn’t allow the soil to be too wet. Its loose nature leaves plenty of room for air, which is vital to healthy plant roots. Peat moss is used to make peat pots and peat pellets, so your young seedlings begin life in a healthy, organic manner
Peat pots hold seed starting soil, yet are soft enough for the plant roots to grow right through the walls of the pots. At transplanting time, the plant and pot are planted in the garden soil. This minimizes or eliminates transplanting shock.
As a rule of thumb – It is time to transplant your seedlings, after the last frost in your area and when the roots of the plant begin to protrude from the sides of the peat pots or pellets. If inclement weather is keeping you from transplanting, and the roots are showing outside of the pot, you can repot the seedling, pot and all, into a larger one.
Peat comes from Peatlands. A peatland is an ecosystem that develops in a bog. A lake or a pond holds rain and groundwater. Vegetation, largely spaghnum moss, grows, slowly filling the bog. As the sphagnum moss dies each year, it partially decays in the bog, creating sphagnum peat moss.
Peat is natural and organic. Sphagnum moss is by far the largest component. Other major components of peat moss are sedge, grasses, and other mossy plants. It may also contain a small amount of other plants, trees shrubs, insects and animal remains.
Dry peat is lightweight, yet holds needed moisture and nutrients. It allows needed oxygen to reach the roots.
It is composed of 96 to 98% organic matter. Other components include Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Peat moss is acidic. The average pH is 4.0. Limestone, a natural element, may be added, to neutralize the pH.
Adds structure to sandy soil
Loosens and aerates heavy clay soil
Stores fertilizer and nutrient, reducing leaching of nutrients from the soil
Saves and holds water, but not too much in the soil
Sphagnum peat moss has many uses:
Growing medium in the horticulture
A major component of home gardening seed starting soil
Peat pots and pellets
A soil conditioner for flowers, vegetables, and herbs
A soil conditioner for planting trees and shrubs
Conditioning new lawn soil
Rejuvenate established lawns
A soil amendment for your indoor houseplant pots and containers.
Added to compost piles to speed up decomposition, and reduce odors.
Did You Know? Peat moss is used in some beddings for horses and other animals. For horses, it results in a shinier coat and helps to keep their hooves healthier. It also reduces odors.
For most applications, use one part peat to 2 parts regular garden soil.
Peat pots are made from sphagnum peat moss, compressed into round or square pots of varying sizes, from 2 -1/2 inches to 5 inches in diameter. The pots are organic and porous, yet strong enough to hold seed starting soil and your young seedlings. At planting time, transplant seedlings in the pot right into the garden, minimizing transplant shock. Roots will easily grow through the pots.
Peat pellets – are compressed peat held together in a string-like mesh sack. Add water and it expands. These pellets are popular for their ease of use. They also minimize transplant shock.