Ongoing research indicates that peat moss presents many disadvantages to gardens when mixed in the soil. What does this mean for the average gardener? Well, it’s time for gardeners to explore peat moss alternatives, such as dairy farm digester-derived fiber.
Here are some reasons to consider skipping peat moss when you plant your garden this spring.
So what exactly is peat moss? Peat is an organic substance that is derived from the partial decomposition of vegetation, predominantly sphagnum moss, in a water-saturated environment. Peat is a spongy material that gardeners till into the soil in order to soak up water and slowly release it. The slow release of moisture is a benefit to the garden, but many disadvantages of peat are now being examined.
Fortunately, there are other options. For example, dairy farm digester-derived fibers obtained through an anaerobic digestion process are a fantastic alternative. Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes by which naturally occurring microorganisms transform waste into valuable byproducts in a controlled, oxygen-free environment.
In order for a garden to flourish, the soil needs to be rich in nutrients. Peat moss is nutrient poor and provides no nourishment to plants. This doesn’t just affect plant growth, it changes the composition of the soil.
Nutrient-poor soil does not attract earthworms because the earthworms are also dependent on those nutrients. Without the movement of earthworms the soil is not properly aerated and becomes compacted, restricting the growth of roots and choking off plants.
Digester fiber has a longer fiber length and good porosity compared to composted products. University research has shown that digester fiber provides “an excellent growth substrate with correct physical properties to serve as a soil amendment with a good level of nutrients to spur growth.”
The study continues, “Unlike peat moss, the fiber contains Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium along with valuable trace elements in amounts that promote good root development and plant growth. No heavy metals are present in the fiber.”
If you use peat moss, you will need to amend the soil with additional additives in order to correct the pH level. The natural decomposition of the peat moss causes acidity that is harmful to most plants.
Gardeners who use peat moss should closely monitor the pH level and add lime when needed to add alkalinity. Soil additives cause damage to the soil over time, so it is best to use natural soil without interference. When you use digester fiber in lieu of peat moss, there’s no impact on the overall acidity of the soil, providing a healthier environment for the root systems of plants.
Peat moss is a natural substance composed of decaying material in a bog. Any diseases present in the portion of the bog where the peat is harvested can remain in the saturated spongy peat. What does this mean for your garden? Unfortunately, it can have a big impact.
These diseases can easily travel through the moist soil and transfer to the roots of plants in your garden. These pathogens are difficult to detect since there aren’t visible external causes, such as insects or other pests.
The cultivation of peat moss from natural bogs destroys the other organisms that live there. The slow-growing nature of peat moss makes it one of the least renewable resources. In order to harvest the peat, the bogs are drained, releasing a great amount of carbon dioxide into the environment.
Fortunately, peat moss alternatives like digester fiber soil can combat greenhouse gas. Using one cubic yard of a digested fiber soil like Magic Dirt in lieu of peat moss offsets up to 1 ton of greenhouse gas emissions.It is clear that peat moss presents many negative effects to one’s garden. If you’re seeking an environmentally-friendly peat moss alternative, consider Magic Dirt. It’s a digested fiber soil that retains more water than regular soil, produces residual energy, and doesn’t release greenhouse gases. Above all, your garden will flourish with Magic Dirt. Click here to find a retailer today!