I do. Peat moss has been my garden's best friend for a long time. It is mainly a soil conditioner, and that is what makes it so valuable. I used to garden on heavy clay, and even though my soil is now clay loam, it still benefits from the incorporation of some peat moss when planting. Now the going advice for planting trees or shrubs is to not make any special efforts to amend the soil, the logic being that the roots will be too happy in their little spot and not reach out into the native soil, but I've tried both ways now and I thought the adding of peat moss was one of the best boosts for my new plants. It is an easy way to generally keep improving the soil of an established garden to dig in some compost and peat moss with each new planting, too.
I picked up that last little technique early in my gardening days. There was a older neighbor lady who had a lovely old fashioned garden. I went over to help her a bit, and she shared that technique with me, it is one I've used happily through the years. Now I am that old lady! and I share it with you:)
Once, long ago, I made the common mistake of buying 'Michigan peat' when I wanted sphagnum peat moss. They aren't the same thing, Michigan peat being a type of top soil. Nice, but not peat moss and not a soil conditioner. What a conditioner does is something of the same thing as adding in any organic matter: it adds bulk and breathing space into the clay and holds moisture and valuable nutrients in the sand. Peat moss is also somewhat acid in pH, which is good when your soil tends to be alkaline.
The thing to remember about peat moss is how much moisture it will hold. It can stay quite dry when using it with new plantings, so I am always sure to "mud things in", add more water until the moss is truly wetted. It can crust and dry in droughty weather, so it is best below the surface and not to be used as "mulch". Remember that with peat pots, too: break down the sides and get them under the surface so they don't wick up and dry out. If under the surface, where they stay moist, they rot down nicely.
Some garden advice warns that peat moss is dusty and one needs to use a mask when working with it. I never have done that- I just try to not throw it around in the air when getting it into the ground! I don't like to breathe dust anyway; most people don't. So just use caution, know that when getting it from plastic bag to earth, it can disperse in the air where you breathe it... just take your time shoveling it or pouring it out. No big deal, really. At least that is my opinion, but if you have goggles and a mask- go ahead and use them. I like to look like a bug when I garden, too.
Technorati Tags: peat moss, soil
A gardener, blogger, writer, who has been blogging here since 2004, and writing for my website, Ilona's Garden since 1998.
About Ilona Erwin
All rights reserved to their respective authors :
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Linking and using material attributed to the author is encouraged, ask for permission to use photos, please.
Google keeps sending people to my blog for answers on when to prune a mugho or mugo pine . I know I've mentioned it in posts, but now ...
This post is for Kim, aka Black Swamp Girl , blogging @ "A Study in Contrasts" who, by the way, has some of the loveliest photo...
Dream Catcher after two years growth While out shopping , of course I couldn't resist checking out the sale shrubs that were le...
I do. Peat moss has been my garden's best friend for a long time. It is mainly a soil conditioner, and that is what makes it so valua...
At least I think that is our tendency. We tend to care about the environment as our love and appreciation for it grows with our gardening ...
I started the other day: hand pruning the Mugo pines by cutting off the new candles midway down. I didn't do it so well the past few ye...
No, not Rusty ... the ones that he took photos of in his garden;) I love Rusty- we've been internet friends for some years now... that ...