White Peat – Used as a basis of many substrates.
Baltic Peat Moss is a relatively young white peat, partially decomposed sphagnum moss (Sphagnum is a genus of approximately 380 accepted species of mosses, commonly known as “peat moss“) that can retain between 10 to 12 times its own weight in water.
Structure of peat at the magnification of the electron microscope:
Total porosity, about 95%¾
Big specific surface area, about 200 m2/g¾
High liquid binding ability, 600-800 l/m3¾
Low volume weight, about 160-180 kg/m3
Milled sphagnum is an ideal germination medium
Milled sphagnum is a fine grade of sphagnum moss. In texture it resembles a coarse grade of chunky
peat moss. Milled sphagnum holds moisture well and is an excellent choice for seeding mixes.
Black peat is appreciated by growers because of its high water capacity, but not only.
Physical properties of black peat.
Black Peat has a high buffer capacity for nutrients and can store water for a long period of time. Only naturally frozen black peat finds use in substrate production. Peat that was not frozen would get hard after drying and would not be able to absorb water well.
Black Peat may contain significant amount of natural soil conditioners like humic matter which is often called Peat Humus.
Black peat is organic component of growing media in all cases.
Extracted from the special layers of the peat field and originating from some Latvia peat bogs. It has a dark colour and a heavy weight due to its dense, compact structure. As the Black Peat is frozen normally in winter time, it is still sufficiently able to absorb and drain water.
Is a very important component of the finished substrates. They require a lot of manual work to make the final product more expensive. However, the result obtained outweighs the investment. The soil is light, loose, does not flatten, well absorbs water and drained it out, provides excellent air access to the roots.
Important demands for growing media.
Great efforts are being made to find the optimum raw materials that can meet the rather controversial requirements of the plant roots. They need air, water and keep nutrients at the same time. And at the same time roots cannot tolerate water retention (need fast drainage), and drying, uneven fertilizer distribution or soil compaction.
When resistant against compaction, mixes preferably should be forgiving, in which “excess water will drain quickly, stays wet, but not damp, in outdoor containers after heavy rain or due to “a mistake in irrigation by an employee.“
Peat humus –
is a common potting soil ingredient used for soil enrichment. Unlike Sphagnum peat, which comes from Sphagnum moss and is partially decomposed, peat humus is derived from Hypnum moss and is fully decomposed. Peat humus is also referred to as black peat – it is also dark brown to black in color.
As for peat humus specifically, it is an incredibly rich source of organic material; simply put, it’s the decomposed plant and animal matter found in soil, and it contains the organic compounds that form the chemical basis for all life: molecules made of carbon. Peat humus is organic material that is highly decomposed. Strain through water and you create an enriching compound called humic acids.
“Humic substances affect soil fertility by making nutrients more readily available to plants. Humic acids also promote plant growth by enabling root penetration in soils. Humic acid also acts in decreasing water evaporation from soils.” USDA Report
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