(Cheap) Alternatives to Peat Moss

doowad(z6 MO)October 27, 2010

I need to store some bulbs over the winter and wonder if anyone has had any luck (good or bad) with storing them in newspaper or shredded paper? I know that there are other alternatives to peat moss, but I am looking for something economical/free.

Thanks

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hi doowad,

Welcome to The Bulb Forum.

I think wadded newspaper or shredded paper would be fine, as well as (dry)sawdust, (dry)wood shavings, (dry)sand, or maybe even (dry)straw.

Sue

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:05AM
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doowad(z6 MO)

Thanks! They are really not very many bulbs so I don't need anything too special. I'll try the newspaper.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:59PM
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denninmi(8a)

Dried, preferably cut or shredded, oak leaves work great for this sort of thing. pH is similar to peat moss, very acidic, which acts as a natural antibiotic.

Free for the gathering right now across most of N. America, I would suspect.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 3:21PM
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doowad(z6 MO)

Thanks! They are really not very many bulbs so I don't need anything too special. I'll try the newspaper.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 3:46PM
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tkhooper(7)

I love the oak leaves idea. And I have an abundance right now lol.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 9:33AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

No oak trees around here. Are other leaves useable, like maple or curly willow?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 10:04PM
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denninmi(8a)

You could probably use other types of leaves as long as they are very, very dry. But, they aren't as acidic as oak leaves or peat, so they won't have as strong of an anti-microbial effect. Oak is definitely the best for this, IMO.

Pine needles would be good if you can get those, they're pretty acidic. I wouldn't try to use other evergreen needles, like cedar or spruce, they might be toxic to the bulbs.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 12:07PM
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doowad(z6 MO)

Thanks for all the good ideas! I scored a bag full of pine needles today on my compost run around the neighborhood so I may try that.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 2:08PM
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