Do Not Use Peat Moss for Growing Vegetables?



Do Not Use Peat Moss for Growing Vegetables?

Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:39 pm

I bought a 30 lb bag of PEAT MOSS. I want to use thisa as a startup soil for vegetables.

As I read the whole bag of do's & don't's -- somewhere on the bag, it states "DO NOT USE FOR THE GROWING OF VEGETABLES."

Q) WHY?

I f all I want to do is START veges -- and transplant them into my garden soil, what difference should it make?


marwen
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Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:36 am

The TV garden shows all say to add peat moss to the soil so that is what I do. I think peat moss is probably worthless as soil all by itself I use it to brake up the clay in my soil and I add 50 lbs of lime at the same time. I put 4 large 3.8 cu ft bags of peat moss on my garden already this year. It decomposes quick, I have to add several bags to my soil every year because of the clay. I was thinking I might try a truck load of mulch not sure how that will do on a garden. It would be nice to find a perment fix to the dirt clod problem caused by clay.
Last edited by Gary350 on Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Gary350
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Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:42 pm

I've thought Peat moss was a great thing a few years ago and used it for a number of things. But just this year I found out that some of it can actually be a bit acidic. Not long after I found that I notice my tomato starts leaves were turning yellow. With help of this forum someone pointed me to a page of common tomato problems and possible causes and fixes. And sure enough yellow leaves can be cause by to low of PH. I got out my little PH tester and sure enough it was fairly low. Even though I think it's good for a "sponge" where you need to keep moister around I will not use it any longer with growing my veggies directly in the soil. I still may use it as a mulch like topping though.
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smokensqueal
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Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:29 pm

I don't use it at all but thanks for the info...
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Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:10 pm

Some peat mosses use a chemical to make them water asorbing; peat when completly dry, actually sheds water. Untreated peat can take AGES before it gets to a point where it has enough moisture to get hydrophilic. And there is the acidity thing S&S was talking about; I used to use untreated peat to filter water for my angelfish (who are Amazonian and like a pH around 5, kind of sour if you like your veggies sweet)...you can move a soil into the 4 range with too much peat...

I use coconut coir instead; it's getting easier to find, it's ph neutral and the compressed blocks I buy (from my friend Petie at Perennial Harmony but you can find it online as well) maybe a foot long and 4x4 in., blow up to fill a regular wheelbarrow (and a lot faster than organic peat will soak up the water (chop, spray, mix, leave it for a bit, repeat until uniformly broken up)

PLUS it's a waste product of coconut production, while peat is a non-sustainable mined product (if you start a peat bog today it will be ready for harvest in a couple of hundred years). So its greener too :mrgreen:

HG
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peat

Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:26 am

so, can I or can't I use it to simply START veges like green peppers, melons, etc to get a heads up by 2-3 weeks and then transplant into the main garden.
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Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:37 am

WRT early planting. Green peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, yes start early. Cucumbers, squash, can start early, but the gains are marginal over simply waiting and direct seeding. Melons, don't know as never tried. Would suspect the results would be similar to that of squash.

As far as the peat moss is concerned. IMO it would probably work, but why go to that much effort and try to use a marginal potting medium. To start with peat moss tends to be very acidic and most garden plants do not like that. This year I did use potting soil, and then covered the seeds with a light sprinkling of Michigan peat. They did just fine. Also, I have an artificial peat bog in my yard. All kinds of seeds come up as volunteers in that 100% Michigan peat environment. So would be surprised if the peat would not do just fine as a starter. If you are bold, experiment. If conservative, then follow the board advice and use a more appropriate seed starting mix.
Last edited by hendi_alex on Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PEAT

Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:10 am

SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN! Nothing ventured - nothing gained. You folks in the USA generally get things into the ground by MEMORIAL DAY weekend.

Up here, our long weekend is one week prior to that date, so, My 18 is pretty much the american equivalent. Right now, early April, I'll give it till the 1st of May, and throw some seeds into a few boxes - along with the PEAT.

THANKS MUCH

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peat

Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:59 pm

besides the acid thing, the point of peat is that it holds water. But for starting seeds and growing the seedlings to size you don't want them wet. Most potting mixes have some peat in it. But too much peat and your seedlings will stay wet all the time and will rot out or damp off.
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Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:41 pm

Good point RG!

I have started seedlings between two damp paper towels in a baggie before; starting is not the hard part. It is developing a root zone and that takes biology and the acidic part of peat is so much so they used it for sterile combat dressings in WWII. I just don't want a sterile situation where I am trying to set up bacterial/fungal/floral symbiosis (how nature roots plants). I just think peat is an overated amendment we use too often to the detriment of both plant and planet...coir works better

HG
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Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:04 pm

I use Canadian Sphagnum peat moss as the primary growing medium for all of my seedlings...true, you have to monitor how you water them, but I have not had a problem. This fall I may do a comparison on seedlings started in name brand potting mix and sphagnum peat moss. All of my plants are in the ground now, except for 1 Stump of the World and a few habanero peppers that I'm growing for my neighbor's wife. If all goes as planned, she will have these tomorrow and start hardening them off before planting. These are all grown in peat moss..with just a touch of Osmocote.

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Stump of the World

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Habanero peppers

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My Garden

And to Gary350, I too have dark clay and it's notorious for clumping...I have been amending compost and gypsum for the last 2 seasons and it's finally starting to get less clumpy..It helps to have the TX tiller (my JD4430 tractor) to break up the soil...it just takes time, and be careful about adding so much lime, it could throw your Ph out of whack.



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atascosa_tx
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Peat Moss

Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:41 am

Scott:

So, are you saying that I should just put up and deal with it -- and get on with life? LOL

Sounds like a plan.
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