Firstly in this article, getting to know Peat Moss is vital. Its possible that in a garden or nursery, you would have seen a kind of dark brown fibrous material, this material is called Peat Moss.
This material called Peat Moss is naturally obtained by “mining”, and it is called “Peat Moss” because it is a product of sphagnum moss and other organic materials that decompose in peat bogs for many years.
Sphagnum moss is a plant grown on the surface layer above the peatland, soil or a swamp, while Peat is formed from different materials, but a large percentage of the peat harvested is composed of sphagnum moss.
The process of decomposition takes place very slowly in the non-oxygen layer. But over a long period of millennia, a thick layer of dead homogeneous material named Peat Moss is formed.
Earth’s Abundance and History of Peat Moss
The earth only contains about 3% of Peat Moss and are commonly found in bogs and wetlands of the northern hemisphere of the earth.
Russia has the largest amounts of peatland in the world, with Canada taking the second place, followed by other countries like Sweden, Finland etc.
Historically, Peat was not introduced into gardening and horticulture practices not until 1940s. Prior to that time, Peat was rich in carbon, therefore used as a source of fuel in some countries for many centuries.
Is Peat Moss Fertilizer?
A fertilizer is any natural physical matter that for sure supports the ground for suitable growth of plants. Peat Moss in its features and characteristics has this ability.
Why is Peat Moss Considered a Fertilizer?
When added to the garden for example, Peat Moss helps to enrich and aerate the soil. Adding some few inches of Peat Moss to a garden soil, the surrounding plants are helped by working as an ideal natural soil additive.
It is capable of retaining valuable nutrients that might otherwise leach out in sandy soil. More so, hardening is avoided, which can inevitably prevent adequate water absorption by plants in clay soil.
It helps to aerate the roots of garden plants, thereby allowing the plant’s root system to absorb oxygen, nutrients, and water when it’s been added to a heavy clay soil.
In accordance to reports from the Canadian Peat Moss Association, Peat Moss has the ability to retain 20 times its weight in water.
With it’s composting ability, nutrients are added to the soil for plants to slowly absorb; a unique ability to work as a sponge to absorb water and nutrient.
This ability also allows the Peat Moss to soak up nutrients that will fertilize the surrounding plants.
As it holds the nutrients within its spongy makeup, it slowly releases them into the soil.
The cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil is been increased when Peat Moss helps the soil to hold nutrients.
It as well gives plant the enablement to easily maneuver their way through a very hard soil.
To prevent the leaching away of nutrients either through irrigation or rainstorm, the rapid absorption of Peat Moss coupled with its slow soil release helps to achieve this.
With its acidity value, Peat Moss is very suitable for acid-loving plants like blueberries, straw berries etc.
Aside from the ability to work alone, Peat Moss can also be mixed with rich compost, helping the garden plants trap the compost nitrogen, which will find an escape route as ammonia into the surrounding environment if not for the Peat Moss.
With the help of trapping the nitrogen in the soil, it will make the usage of nutrients become an easy process for plants.
Peat Moss is free of chemicals, salts, insects etc. It doesn’t harbour fungi when you add it to the soil; as these fungi can be very deteriorating to the life of young seedlings.
Peat Moss also doesn’t contain any seeds from plants, it will not add any unwanted weed seeds to your garden, therefore posing no danger when it’s been added to the soil.