Can somebody post up Sphag peat picture?

Oxboy555(Las Vegas)November 15, 2013

I'd like to compare the stuff I can find locally to optimum quality available out there for 5-1-1.

Somebody posted it's better to have light-colored and fluffy as opposed to dark and powdery. Some pictures would help with this visualization.


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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

This image is from a website that also shows images of other horticultural substrates, like sedge peat, and has a good explanation of their qualities. Follow the link to learn more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Common Substrates

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Here's a photo of the "bad" kind of peat: peat humus, which you get if you buy the cheapest stuff. It's not worth it. According to the website I referred to above:
"Peat Humus is dark brown to black in color and is the most highly decomposed of all of the peats. It is usually derived from Hypnum or reed-sedge peat. The original plant remains are indistinguishable. Whereas Sphagnum, Hypnum and reed-sedge peats are usually greater than 90% organic matter, peat humus may contain significant amounts of mineral soil. The pH level may range from 5.0 to 7.5. Because peat humus has moderately high levels of nitrogen, may have high levels of ammonium nitrogen and may have a high E.C. level, it is not recommended for seedlings or salt-sensitive plants. Peat humus has a C.E.C. of 160 - 200."

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 12:55PM
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When I have seen tan fluffy sphagnum moss discussed it is usually in the context of orchids, many people keep a wide variety of orchids in a product that looks like attached link. I'm not sure how it well it would mix in something like 5-1-1, I have made 5-1-1 with a dark brown powdery sphagnum peat moss that is much less expensive than the orchid style tan colored long strandy stuff. Most photos I have seen of other's 5-1-1 ingredients show a similar, dark brown, powdery product. Interested in references to pictures of other sorts of sphagnum in the context of 5-1-1.

maybe what I linked to isn't "peat", I don't really know.

Here is a link that might be useful: sphagnum moss often used for orchids

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Sphagnum moss is not the same as the sphagnum PEAT moss called for in the 5-1-1 recipe. Sphagnum moss is alive when it is harvested. Sphagnum peat moss is the dead, decomposed sphagnum moss. The photo I linked to is what you want. You should be able to tell that it was derived from live plants. Sphagnum moss is great stuff for orchids, seed starting and other horticultural uses, but the stuff you linked to is not the sphagnum peat moss used in 5-1-1.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 6:38PM
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When I visited Ireland in 1970 they were digging the peat in your picture, allowing it to dry, and burning it in their power plants to produce electricity. The locals burn it in their fire place, makes a pretty blue flame. I just do not think I would use it in my potting mix. Al

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 12:28PM
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Oxboy555(Las Vegas)

Here are a couple of pics of what I use -- I think it's ok, but would welcome comments.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Oxboy555(Las Vegas)

Packaging above, product in hand here:

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Oxboy: Your stuff looks fine to me, and probably better than average. It is a lot cheaper to buy by the bale unless you only need a tiny bit. It's about $10 for 3 cf of Premier brand (or about 10 times as much as you bought) at Home Depot.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:01PM
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I do use Sphagnum Peat Moss that looks like much like what Oxboy just posted - in fact I currently use the Premier brand 3CU ft bales that Toni mentioned. It's pretty decent, but I do notice that it has a small amount of twigs. I once used a much more expensive, smaller bag of sphagnum peat moss by Hoffman, which had no twigs and was very uniform, but also very expensive so when I found the much cheaper bulk option I switched to it.

I think I just got confused by the words "fluffy" and "powdery", the Sphagnum Moss (I know now, that is NOT PEAT) evokes "fluffy" to me and is lighter colored like Oxboy said, so figured I'd post it for comparison. Thanks for the small lesson.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 8:03AM
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