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Interesting Article on Peat Moss

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Interesting Article on Peat Moss

Post  AZDYJ2K on 9/22/2012, 3:56 am

I did a search on peat moss and came upon this interesting article:
http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0712/asknlpeat.html

I don't know the validitiy of the source, however, the article does bring up some interesting points and for me it brings the use of peat moss into question not only as a non-renewable resource but also the ecological damage that peat moss harvesting can possibly do to the environment and our climate. After reading this article I may try an experiment with some of the alternatives (coir, redwood fiber, kelp fiber, etc) to see if any of those are viable.

I would like to see what others think after reading this article.
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Re: Interesting Article on Peat Moss

Post  floyd1440 on 9/22/2012, 7:18 am

@AZDYJ2K wrote:I did a search on peat moss and came upon this interesting article:
http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0712/asknlpeat.html

I don't know the validitiy of the source, however, the article does bring up some interesting points and for me it brings the use of peat moss into question not only as a non-renewable resource but also the ecological damage that peat moss harvesting can possibly do to the environment and our climate. After reading this article I may try an experiment with some of the alternatives (coir, redwood fiber, kelp fiber, etc) to see if any of those are viable.

I would like to see what others think after reading this article.

You are required to use only 1/3rd of peat moss in your SFG and never add any more but this sems to be causing to much damage to the enviroment so you would rather use something else. Lets get rid of your non renuable products in your house first.

Cars
Cell phones
Compuers,
TVs
Electrical wiring
Dishwasher
Stove
Sink
Duct work
Heatng anf cooling systems
Lamps
Light bulbs
Gutters
Nails..no sub floors, pictures, roofs etc/
Cars and trucks
Toys
Bed frames
And do not forget natural gas, electricity as even the "green" stuff is produced with non renuable products, water.

Nice yard sale though...............
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Re: Interesting Article on Peat Moss

Post  Mamachibi on 9/22/2012, 7:24 am

It certainly is a complex issue. There are many considerations, and the opportunity for unintended consequence is nearly limitless. When choosing a waste product from chocolate production, for example, one would be supporting an industry with widespread human rights violations and deforestation practices much more damaging than the careful practices of Canadian peat harvesting. Before I could purchase a waste product of the "dairy biogas industry", I'd have to research how the animals are treated, their diets and the overall impact of that process.

If money were no issue whatsoever, I would probably seek out an ethical coconut coir source, as I am most familiar with that process of those discussed in the article. Sadly, money is an issue, and if I am gardening to save money, feed my family, and share the harvest with the community, that issue takes forefront at this time. One day I hope it will not be so.
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Re: Interesting Article on Peat Moss

Post  llama momma on 9/22/2012, 7:37 am

I believe coconut coir is used and discussed elsewhere on the forum. If you want, you can look it up in the white search box. I have not used it and cannot personally comment on it.

But remember that gardening the Square Foot Garden method, we are reducing the garden space by 80%. Of the 20% that is remaining only 1/3 of that is peat which we add Only once. That seems to me a very responsible use of natural resources. Remember we add compost during the remaining life of the garden, but no more peat. If you want you can simply add far more homemade compost in your original mix. Third world countries without access to all the ingredients will use straight compost, zero peat and zero vermiculite.
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Re: Interesting Article on Peat Moss

Post  RoOsTeR on 9/22/2012, 8:21 am

Mel just wrote an article on peat moss and it's use in square foot gardening.
www.melbartholomew.com/whats-up-with-peat-moss/

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Re: Interesting Article on Peat Moss

Post  camprn on 9/22/2012, 8:23 am

The article brings up some very good points yet shows a photo of an Irish peat bog, not the same as here in North America. Here are a few more things to think about when creating the soiless Mel's Mix, regarding using sphagnum vs. coir.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peat

http://urbangardenmagazine.com/2011/02/reusing-media-coco-coir/

http://www.usu.edu/cpl/PDF/CoconutCoirPaper.pdf

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg0715241330846.html

Most peat sold in the US is grown in Canada.
http://www.peatmoss.com/

My way of thinking is that I live in north America, sphagnum is a renewable resource here on the continent and the environmental impacts, reclamation processes and carbon footprint is what it is. Coir is an attractive alternative, but wastes massive amounts of water processing it and the it has to be freighted half way round the world, massive carbon footprint and has sodium balance problems that lead to nutrient troubles in the garden that are not present with the use of peat (sphagnum) moss. It is not less expensive to purchase here in the US. Peat is a starter ingredient and after initial is not required to recharge the garden. The recharge of nutrients comes from your homemade compost. In my opinion, for what it's worth, compost is best. Very Happy

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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