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Peat Moss is not scarce?

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Peat Moss is not scarce?

Post  BillOcala on Tue 21 Feb 2012 - 6:28

Mel was concerned about Peat Moss:"The second ingredient in Mel’s Mix is peat moss. It’s a natural material occurring on the earth that has been made after millions of years from decomposing plant material. You can usually determine how old peat moss is by measuring how deeply it’s buried. It is commonly used in agriculture to improve existing soils because it makes them lighter, more friable, and water retentive. There are plenty of debates about the use of peat moss because it’s a nonrenewable resource. Because there is a limit to this valuable material I’d like to guide you in using it responsibly while maximizing its benefits.

Bartholomew, Mel (2006-02-14). All New Square Foot Gardening (Kindle Locations 1427-1432). Motorbooks International. Kindle Edition. "
Now I ran across peatmoss.com and peatmoss.com makes it sound as if we should not be concerned about peat moss use:

"Isn't there a shortage of peatland in Canada? Isn't harvesting peat moss depleting these areas of wetlands?


No. There are more than 113 million hectares of peatlands in Canada.
Less than 0.02 percent (17,000 hectares) of Canada's peatland area is
currently being used for horticultural peat harvesting and related
applications. Canadian sphagnum peat moss is a sustainable resource.
Annually, peat moss accumulates at more than 60 times the rate it is
harvested. Harvested bogs are returned to wetlands so the ecological
balance of the area is maintained."


So it is a bit confusing. Either we shouldn't be concerned about it's availability after all, or there is more to the story.
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Re: Peat Moss is not scarce?

Post  sfg4uKim on Tue 21 Feb 2012 - 8:07

Perhaps Mel didn't know about peatmoss.com, or maybe that information wasn't available when he was doing research for the book.

My opinion (for what THAT'S worth) is that there isn't "more to the story".

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Peat moss is not scarce......

Post  tomperrin on Tue 21 Feb 2012 - 17:05

We are not even close. The industry statistics indicate that we use the tiniest fraction of peat moss available and that it is, indeed, a renewable resource. That said, last year was terrible for peat moss producers in Canada due to the weather. Peat moss needs to be dried out before it can be scooped up and baled. With rain almost every day in Nova Scotia, for example, production was severely constrained. I have seen reports of 70-80% decline in production. My horticultural supplier tells me he is or will be rationed. I have no info on whether or not other areas in Canada or the US have picked up the slack.

Tom
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Re: Peat Moss is not scarce?

Post  camprn on Tue 21 Feb 2012 - 17:08

tomperrin wrote:We are not even close. The industry statistics indicate that we use the tiniest fraction of peat moss available and that it is, indeed, a renewable resource. That said, last year was terrible for peat moss producers in Canada due to the weather. Peat moss needs to be dried out before it can be scooped up and baled. With rain almost every day in Nova Scotia, for example, production was severely constrained. I have seen reports of 70-80% decline in production. My horticultural supplier tells me he is or will be rationed. I have no info on whether or not other areas in Canada or the US have picked up the slack.

Tom
Oh Dear!!!! Shocked That's terrible news about last years production of Canadian sphagnum. I going to get a bale tomorrow, just to have on hand.

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Re: Peat Moss is not scarce?

Post  QuestionAndPlanter on Wed 3 Oct 2012 - 10:58

Hooray! I'm THRILLED to learn from Mel's blog today that peat is DIFFERENT from peat moss, and that peat moss IS renewable.
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Re: Peat Moss is not scarce?

Post  RoOsTeR on Wed 3 Oct 2012 - 12:06

I posted the link awhile back. Here it is in case anyone missed it:
www.melbartholomew.com/whats-up-with-peat-moss/

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