Biemond Nurseries use peat moss as a primary potting medium across all our sites. With 35 years of research into the best media for our plants, we choose to use this product above all others.
What is peat moss?
Peat is formed from the decomposition of sphagnum moss and other organisms over many thousands of years. Peat accumulates in cool, moist climates in wetlands or lakes which turn into bogs. Peat is mostly mined for fuel, in place of other options like coal; only 1% of peat moss is used in horticulture.
Why do we use it?
Totally broken down product
Regulates plant growth
A fine material, delicate on hands and plants
More forgiving than other options
Can hold water up to 20 x its weight.
Generally lack weed seeds and pathogens.
High porosity allows penetration of fine roots.
Allows plants to uptake nutrients, rather than drawing them into the media
Where does it come from?
It is mainly found in the northern hemisphere – Canada, northern Russia, Scandinavia and Scotland – and, in the southern hemisphere, in New Zealand, Tasmania, Argentina and Chile. We use blends of peat from Latvia & Estonia.
Is it sustainable?
In the horticulture industry, only around 1% of the earth’s peat moss resources are used. Once a bog has been used for the top layer of peat, water is pumped in and the peat will start to regenerate. Compared to other options which involve deforestation to plant pine or palm trees, peat moss mining has less dramatic effects on the local environment.
How do I use it?
Peat moss doesn’t dry out completely, however when it starts to pull away from the edge of the pot you can drench it and allow excess water to drain.
Peat moss works well with slow-release fertilisers, however you only need small amounts, as the medium itself will not absorb any of the nutrients, leaving it all for the plant.
Do I still need fertiliser?
When we pot our plants we add a slow-release fertiliser, which lasts for 3-6 months. We recommend adding this again at the start of spring or a liquid feed once a month.
Peat Moss vs Pine Bark & Coir
Peat moss is soft, while pine bark is harsh
Peat moss is stable & fine, while pine bark is sandy
Peat moss does not draw nitrogen, while pine bark will absorb nitrogen for itself
Peat moss is taken from bogs which are then regenerated after mining. Pine Bark & Coir generally require deforestation of an area to clear space for growing the tree.
While we prefer to use peat moss, this is not always readily available for purchase. If you do purchase a pine bark potting mix, make sure you buy the best quality version for optimal results.