Peat moss is one of the horticultural products that everyone, whether beginners in the field of flowers and plants and gardeners are familiar with. Peat moss is used as a suitable environment for plant growth and soil improvement in gardens and pots. Peat moss has long been used as a staple in horticulture, and if it is not available, different alternatives can be considered. Join us in this article to get acquainted with peat moss, its disadvantages, advantages and alternatives.
What is Peat Moss ?!
Peat moss is actually a special and rare type of peat, but there is a major difference between it and peat. Peat is formed in wet and swampy areas by the fact that layers of somewhat decayed plant material come together to form a dense, fiber-like material that is highly adsorbent. Peat moss is also formed and decomposed in cold, humid, oxygen-free environments by the growth of peat moss in environments containing peat.
As mentioned, peat moss is a special type of peat that is formed in areas with high concentrations of sphagnum moss. So it is true that all types of peat moss are peat, but not all peat is peat moss.
Learn about the advantages of peat moss
In the 1940s, peat moss found its place in horticulture after years of use as a fuel source. Given the considerable list of very practical benefits for the human race, it can be said that it is currently one of the best nutritional sources for growing plants.
1. Water storage power
Peat moss can hold a significant amount of water and can be easily drained after saturation. Peat mosses can store and retain up to 25 times their dry weight. This amount is equal to the storage of water by natural sponges found in nature.
2. Modifies and reduces soil pH
Peat moss ingredients have an acidic pH and range from 3.5 to 6 on average. This makes peat moss a good choice for growing plants that love acidic environments and can be used as a soil conditioner to lower soil pH.
3. Light weight
Peat moss weighs less than garden and potting soil. To find out the lightness of peat moss, when the exact amount of soil from both peat moss and potting soil was selected, it was found that the weight of dried peat moss was about 18 kg and the weight of the same amount of soil was 18 kg, ie 7 kg difference. Weight. In addition to its light weight, peat moss becomes elastic after drying and resists compaction, which creates large pores in the lung area and better root respiration.
4. Free of any bacteria or chemicals
Because peat moss is low in oxygen, unlike other soils it is free of any bacteria, fungi, weeds or harmful chemicals. Therefore, this material is sterilized by nature itself and is an excellent environment for the growth of young seedlings.
Peat moss naturally does not have much mineral content, but due to its constituent structure, it retains positively charged nutrients and keeps them available for plant absorption.
5. Easy to use
Peat moss is easy to work with and very clean due to its compact texture. Unlike other soils, it leaves no dust.
Using peat moss, in addition to all its advantages, will also have disadvantages. Unfortunately, because of these key drawbacks, people today are looking for peat moss replacements.
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The disadvantages of Peat Moss:
1. A non-renewable resource
Peat moss is really slow to form compared to other minerals. For this reason, some consider it a non-renewable resource, and its use is often criticized by environmentalists.
2. High price
Due to the fact that the harvesting process is more expensive than other materials, so it becomes more expensive to buy peat moss.
3. Poor of nutrients
The swamp in which peat moss forms is due to its high water level and lack of nutrients, which makes it poor in nutrients.
4. Slightly acidic environment
As mentioned in the advantages of peat moss, this material has an environment with a slightly acidic pH. This may be good for some plants that like acidic environments, but for others, it is a big drawback.
5. Weakness to wind
It does not work well as a mulch because it is very light and easily moved by the wind when it dries.