What Is Peat Moss Made Of?

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Peat moss is commonly used in flower beds and planters to help regulate water and air flow to flowers, shrubs and other plants. There are many common sources of this common product for your garden.

Identification

  • Peat moss is made from decomposed mosses, such as sphagnum, hypnum, reeds or sedge. The most common source of peat moss is sphagnum.

Harvesting

  • Peat moss is generally removed from the ground by a process similar to mining, or stripped from the surface of the Earth.

Geography

  • Two-thirds of the world's peat moss is found in Russia, with large reserves also common in Finland, Ireland, Canada and the northern part of the Midwestern states in the United States, according to the University of Vermont.

Benefits

  • Peat moss is able to store 20 times its weight in water and slowly releases it to the plants that surround it, according to The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association. It also protects soil from hardening and leeching and provides air to root systems.

Considerations

  • Some environmentalists are concerned about peat moss conservation, according to Mother Earth News. This is because 10 million cubic yards of peat moss are harvested from Canadian peat bogs each year, and it takes the bogs 1,000 years to produce one cubic yard of peat moss.

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