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Gardening with Peat Moss

Gardening with Peat Moss

Many gardeners often discover that the quality of the dirt in their gardens is less than optimal while preparing the soil for gardening. Dirt that is hard or dry (or both) makes growing grass, flowers, trees, fruits, and vegetables especially difficult. Plants need loose, moist soil to properly form the roots that provide nutrients and water to the plants. So, how do you improve the quality of soil that is dry, hard, or clayous? Learn how to use gardening peat moss in your garden with these tips and instructions.

Uses of Peat Moss

Peat MossGardening peat moss is a natural material made from decomposing sphagnum moss that is primarily used to improve the quality of soil. Because of its porousness and sponge-like texture, peat moss is especially useful for raising moisture levels in dry soil and for aerating hard or clayous soil. When added to heavy or hard soil, peat moss aerates the dirt and thus balances the ratio of soil to air, which allows the roots of plants to grow deeper and stronger. Adding peat moss mixed with compost to sandy soil adds body and improves overall quality. Peat moss also helps dry soil remain moist by holding onto water and releasing it more slowly, much like a kitchen sponge drains slowly. By retaining moisture, peat moss also retains nutrients that plants need for healthy growth but that might otherwise wash away more quickly. Peat moss is an excellent soil additive for dirt on lawns, in gardens, and under trees and bushes.

Adding Peat Moss to Soil

Adding peat moss to your soil is fairly easy especially if you do so before you plant any flowers or vegetables in your garden. The quickest way to mix peat moss into the dirt is to use a motorized or manual tiller. After cleaning the surface of your garden by removing garbage and pulling weeds, spread a layer of peat moss about an inch thick over the top of the soil. Using the tiller, mix the peat moss into the dirt thoroughly. Do not just spread the peat moss on top of the soil without tilling because this lightweight material will simply blow away in the wind. You may also use a gardening fork or gardening spade to mix the peat moss into the soil; however, this method is must more time consuming and laborious than tilling. If you plant your seeds or seedlings immediately after adding the peat moss, make sure to water your plants as soon as you are finished. If you plan to wait and plant later, you should water the soil anyway so that the peat moss begins retaining moisture.

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Gardening peat moss is an easy-to-use soil additive that helps loosen heavy soil while retaining the moisture and nutrients that plants need to thrive. Adding peat moss to your gardening soil is simple with these tips and instructions.

References

The Many Faces of Peat: http://www.servicemagic.com/article.show.The-Many-Faces-of-Peat.14242.html
Peat Moss Uses: http://www.gardenguides.com/79475-peat-moss-uses.html
Using Peat Moss: http://www.peatmoss.com/pm-lawn.php

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Image Credits

Gardening with Peat Moss: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schultz_Sphagnum_Peat_Moss.jpg and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Worms_in_soil_factory.jpg
Peat Moss: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schultz_Sphagnum_Peat_Moss.jpg

Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cats. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

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