Peat And Its Nutritional Properties For Plants

Peat is the first stage of carbon coke formation. It is therefore used as a fuel, but above all as a substrate and mulch for vegetable gardens and gardens. There are many peat-based products on the market, such as whiskey and anti-contracture pillows. Let’s find out a little better.

Peat etymology

The meaning of the word comes from the French tourbe.

Peat meaning

The peat is a deposit of plant remains waterlogged.

Also called the ‘fossil fuel of quaternary age’, consists of 50-60% carbon, 5-7% of hydrogen, 30 to 40% of water and between 1% and 3% of nitrogen.

How do you form the peat

They form in soils full of water in the absence of oxygen and hydrogen (typically, pools of water, wetlands). That’s why, sometimes, between the layers, you can also find insects and the carcasses of other animals.

Because of the acidity of the environment and of the cold, in fact, these deposits do not decompose completely, but are able to emit greenhouse gases. To form 1-1,5 mm it takes 1 year!

Peat coal

Having a low water content, and ash is considered a fossil fuel poor, characterized by a very high percentage of humidity. It’s most used for the production of electricity.

Light, spongy, and can contain up to 90% of water, which is reduced by up to 30% after drying. It is, therefore, a coal age recently, which is used more as concimante and fertilizer.

The peat smoke?

It is useful for heating where there is no wood or fossil fuels. But its calorific value is very low, especially in relation to the amount of smoke generated.

Generates smoke also, of course, during the process of carbonization and fossilization, which transforms into lignite, coal and anthracite. That is, only with the evaporation of moisture from the surrounding.

As the peat used in scotch

But it is also useful to the process of distillation; it is in fact responsible for the taste peaty whisky. More peat burning (from a few hours to a few days), the more the whisky will be smoky.

When you add to scotch

Is merged with the whisky at the time of maltatura.

Through special ovens called a kiln, the grains of barley dry, and the smoke penetrates in the beans still damp, creating a pungent aroma and smoky, typical especially of the scottish whiskies.

Peat potting soil

It is mainly combined with the potting soil vegetable and flower gardens, as being the acidic and fibrous, it makes the soil light and soft: ideal for ornamental plants.

By lowering the pH of the soil helps in the cultivation of acidophilic plants, such as azalea, hydrangea , and heather; and encourages the germination and keeps off the pests.

Sphagnum peat

The sphagnum moss (Sphagnum) is the so-called moss peat. It is an aquatic plant that helps in the formation of bogs, marshes or swamps where the peat.

If air-dried, sphagnum becomes the main ingredient of the potting soil for the cultivation of orchids, tropical plants, and carnivorous, and is useful in the rooting of cuttings. When it is green, is from the substrate and the gasket for plants with aerial roots.

Peat acid

Is another way to define the sphagnum peat. Can be milled, in clods, or frozen.

How do I collect the peat

  • Peat, milled, collection from April to September, from the surface layer of a peat bog (approximately 1-2 cm from the surface). Before harvesting, a layer 2 cm thick is turned over several times, and dried in the air and in the sun and then poured into piles.
  • Peat sods, obtained through the extraction in rectangular pieces from bogs. These tiles are arranged on the surface to be so dried and dried. It is the most easy to preserve.
  • Peat frozen extracted to a depth of 40 cm. In the winter, the sod is turned over several times to be well-exposed to the cold. Until the next year, when it is harvested (always between April and September). It is the most permeable.

What is the peat

But the peat acid is also distinguished by the degree of grinding:

  • Fine fractions: finely ground is useful to the cultivation of vegetables and for the seed, but it is used often in parks, on golf courses and in public areas
  • Mean fraction: is the one present in the potting soil universal. Useful to improve the conditions of the terrain, it can also be used for the cultivation of plants and flowers in pots and greenhouses
  • Coarse fraction: it is the most permeable. Is used therefore as a substrate, and is ideal for the garage home in great vasiere, for the growth of conifers, plants, berries, ornamental plants, and as a mulch for the roses.

Peat acidic sphagnum

The acid of pure sphagnum moss comes from the surface layers of the peat bogs of central and northern Europe, Canada, Australia, the Amazon, Russia and South-east asia. There are various types: blonde, dark, and black, depending on the color.

Peat color

The color is given by the organic substance present in it. The blonde, for example, owes its yellowish shades to the sphagnum moss. This means, therefore, that a sphagnum peat young will be darker with time.

The more young, the more peat will be less decomposed, that is, less acidic. The black one is therefore more decomposed, since it is extracted from deeper layers of the peat.

Blonde peat moss

The blonde is the most acidic, since it is more rich in organic material (up to 97% compared with 90% of the peat of the dark); then it is the best for the preparation of potting soils. But it is also the one with the least amount of ash, therefore less suitable to be used as fuel.

Peat moss sphagnum

The blonde sphagnum, then, is pure, from the very low pH (between 3 and 3.5). Almost devoid of nitrogen and mineral salts, and is suitable for the growth of carnivorous plants.

Peat in the aquarium

Soft, rich in organic substances, the black becomes more porous in the winter, and it is one that is used for aquariums because it is capable of feeding the water with humic acids and trace elements.

For the amount normally used in aquariums, does not change significantly the chemistry of the water, nor is it beneficial to lower the pH. What release is beneficial for certain types of fish, benefits which are reduced in hard water, where should be combined with other softeners of water, such as phosphoric acid.

Often used also only to mimic the color of the natural habitat of the fish by ‘black water’, must not be fertilised, (since it tends to release toxic compounds), or of sphagnum moss, because if immersed for too long, it will tend to rot.

Peat where to buy

You can find in the shops of gardening in nurseries and on the internet. The one for the aquarium, also in pet shops.

Peat price

The cost varies depending on the amount and type. Bales of 250 l of blonde sphagnum can cost you about 40 euro, while with diskettes and vessels does not exceed 20.

The similar prices that aquarium pellets. But in trade, you can also find in the form of granules, compressedformed of fibrous, raw and in liquid products such as extract.

Prices are lowered if you prefer to buy the potting mix (composed of varying percentages of peat) or peat organic pure.

Sphagnum grows?

Thanks to its ability to absorb water like a sponge, sphagnum is able to grow and develop for several square kilometres, giving rise to peat bogs such sfagneti or the peat bogs of peat moss, characterized by acidic water and devoid of minerals. Different sfagneti are also found in Tuscany.

The sphagnum moss will end up?

It is a living organism. So that it may develop, giving rise to the sfagneti, must occur in certain physicochemical conditions in the surrounding environment, including the constant presence of water.

Why bogs are important

Peatlands help to regulate the climate by removing from the atmosphere the carbon dioxide and storing, in exchange for carbon.

Because the peat bogs are diminishing

Through the extraction and the remediation of acts to make room for the new fields, the peat bogs are diminishing in number and scope.

In Italy, disappeared in the peat bogs of the Park of Lura, and they are retiring those of the Sebino, both in Lombardy.

From the peat bogs, you can get renewable energy?

Being the coal ‘younger’, the peat bogs are not a renewable energy source. It is in fact less sustainable fossil carbon, as by burning, produces less energy, but more carbon dioxide.

As the bogs preserve the bodies

This ecosystem is characterized by the almost total absence of oxygen, which is responsible for degradation of the tissues.

It is therefore in places such as bogs that were found in the ‘bog’, or corpses, even human, that have kept the skin and internal organs. The peat in ‘eat’ instead of the bones, which is calcium carbonate.

Peat Ganna

The Lake Ganna is a river basin of the municipality of Valganna, the province of Varese. Part of the protected area Campo dei Fiori regional Park, which also includes the Marsh Pralugano and two bogs, the Pau Majur in the area of Brinzio, and the Peat-bogs of the Carecc.

Both of the wetlands, even though they have been affected over the centuries by different land reclamation works are the natural habitat of many species of fauna and flora, some of which are extremely rare in Italy.

Peat diy

To replace the peat in the aquarium, use a bunch of dead leaves or pine cones on the ontanorthat lower the pH and the quantity of the heavy metals they release humic acids and have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

As a means for the deposition and storage of eggs of ovoviviparity, you can instead use the coconut fiber.

An excellent alternative for the soil is compost, which makes the soil even more lightweight and draining. It is also nutritious, yet require more frequent irrigations (but less abundant).

Another substrate that is sustainable, that more favours the growth and the radicatura and flowering of potted plants, is the fiber of the wood.

In Trentino, at the flower beds, the public, is used instead of the coconut fibre. Lightweight and with a high capacity of water retention, is more biodegradable, and does not cause suffocation of the roots.

The briquettes of peat sustainable?

The carbon present is of vital importance for several species of animals and plants. In Switzerland, the swamps are protected areas since the Eighties, yet every year, there are still extracted 150 thousand tons of peat.

The pellets of peat are organic?

The pellets are often generated from organic waste (wood, shells and other agricultural waste). But, unless there is written explicitly, are not organic. Swamps and peat bogs, in fact, are often located in industrial areas.

The peat pots are good?

The peat pots are containers 100% biocompatible. Make it easier for planting without causing trauma to the roots, and allow an optimal development of plants and vegetables.

Can be useful especially as seedbeds, as they lighten the soil and make it more porous.


I’ve been around farming all of my life. Farmers Life Blog is a way I can share my passion for all things farming and gardening and hopefully share some of my knowledge and experience through the process. Shootin' the breeze doesn't have to be confined to the front porch anymore, now there's a whole world to share my deep and abiding love with.

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