Peat Moss? Can she really be assailing peat moss? What’s wrong with that??
First of all, it’s not sustainable. Do you know where it comes from? It comes from something called peat bogs. These are primarily found in Canada and the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Council would have us believe that just a tiny fragment of what is sold every year is what’s available to be harvested.
That may very well be. But it’s sort of like any other resource: coal, oil, natural gas, etc. There is a finite amount of it and it will be used up. (Although not according to the arguments made by the CSPC–you can read all about it in their 45 page document here.)
Even if more peat accumulates per year than can possibly be harvested (a fact that my Canadian friends tell me is not correct), there’s just no reason to use peat moss in many circumstances and here’s why:
1. It’s extremely hard to re-wet once it dries out. Think about a house plant, which is still quite often planted in a peat based soil. Once it’s very dry and you water, what happens? All the water runs straight out the bottom instead of being absorbed, right? Because very dry peat does not absorb water. Now think about that same stuff in your garden. Not good, particularly in our drought situations. Why would you use that stuff?
2. Many of us have acidic soil. Peat is acidic by nature. Why add an acid based amendment to your already acidic soil?
3. And finally, there are just way better things to add that will do better things for your garden. Compost is far more beneficial and will enrich the garden no matter what your soil type or acidity.
So please–they next time you are at the garden center and you see a great big bale of peat moss, stop to think about your conditions. Perhaps you’d be better off with some compost instead.