the REAL dirt on peat moss!

I am an avid gardener, I would say I am fairly knowledgeable when it comes to planting, growing, etc. BUT today – I learned something new from the PRO, Todd, so now I want to share it with you! This week’s blog is going to focus on PEAT MOSS.

I always thought that peat moss was some neatly placed green covering that came with some plants. I never really knew that it served a purpose, until today!

What is peat moss?

  • A large absorbent moss that grows in dense masses on boggy ground. The lower parts of the peat moss decay slowly to form peat deposits.
  • Peat moss can hold up to 20 times its dry weight in water.

What are the benefits of peat moss?

  • It’s mainly used as a soil amendment or ingredient in potting soil. Because of the acidic pH, it’s a great additive to acid loving plants.
  • Magnolias, Liriope, Japanese anemones, California lilac, blueberries, and more.
  • Using peat moss will increase moisture retention.
  • NOTE: do not use peat moss alone as a potting medium.

The bad?

  • It breaks down extremely fast, which results in squeezing the air out of the soil. This can result in an unhealthy condition for plant roots.
  • Peat moss releases millions of tonnes (metric tons) of CO2, yearly.
  • The collection and use of peat moss are destroying peat bogs and increasing the loss of birds, plants and insects that rely on them.

Peat moss on your lawn?

  • In addition to plants, peat moss can be applied to soil before seeding your lawn. Spread 1-3” of peat moss over the soil and work it in to a depth of 6”. Once you complete the seeding, apply a ¼” layer over the grass seeds. This is a great additive because it will resist compaction, provide aeration and absorb moisture which will ensure your soil doesn’t dry out too quickly. Another benefit of covering grass seed with peat moss is that it will protect the seeds from being washed away as well as preventing them from drying out.

Alternatives to peat moss –

  • Wood-based materials: wood fiber, sawdust or composted bark.
  • Compost
  • Coconut coir

Associations and Memberships

Building Industry Association of Lancaster County Ephrata Area Chamber of Commerce Techo-pro Contractor Certified ICPI Installer