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Peat moss: warning!

  • by Corto Malteze
  • Feb 19 2009 03:07 PM
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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:07 PM

Peat moss is a great product to retain water and give a good consistency to your soil. However, if you use it, make sure you mix it in with some perlite and/or vermiculite. These elements will release water they have stored and rehumidify the peat in case of a drought. They work well together (peat and perlite/vermic). If you use peat alone, in the event of a drought, it will dry out, and will not be good for the soil (dead space), eventually dying and impossible to rehumidify. That's why Promix has vermiculite and perlite blended in. The combination of both will give just the right water/air ratio and save more water for your plants in the field. Use 20-30% vermic/perlite approx. for the mix (not too much as it doesn't feed your plants and stock unwanted excess salts after time. Important: if it is dry, wet the peat before mixing it in. For an organic grow, also use compost, worm castings and the manures, meals placed earlier to have many micro organisms who will also hold water, nutrients and protect your plants.

Edited by Corto Malteze, 19 February 2009 - 03:11 PM.

Replies (49)

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:15 PM

Peat is kinda lame for outdoor grows, even mixed with perlite/sand it can still cause soil to be muddy and retain to much water, plus the more it rains the more acidic your soil will become from the peat. I prefer a good compost mixed with some normal soil that isnt peat based and some sand. Its a very cheap outdoor growing medium, and depending on what fertilizers you use it can be all Organic. Here in Florida the soil is already acidic so you don't want to add anything else acidic to your soil, MJ can look perfectly fine and then the PH can change just a little and your plants start changing colors and falling to the ground. Not a very pretty thing to come to at your plot.

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:25 PM

Thanks man. Yeah, everybody please post your experience with peat moss if you used it to avoid problems. My region is VERY dry so it won't be a problem I suppose. I plant on using 20-30% of it in the soil mix just to be safe (not too much). That and lots of compost, top soil like you said and worm castings. Thanks. I certainly don't want that happening.

Edited by Corto Malteze, 19 February 2009 - 04:33 PM.


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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:46 PM

yea 25% should be fine, and it really only creates acidic problem in areas where it rains a lot and the acidic peat water sits on the plants roots, other than that it is a very good water retainer and much less expensive than vermiculite. Many people use 20-25% in their outdoor grows with no problems, but where i live the soil is already acidic and I don't want to risk poisoning my babies.I would suggest adding lime to your soil mix, it helps keep the acidity level down just in case. I add lime everytime just in case

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  • Dawg2k7
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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:12 PM

I wonder if the peatmoss in my soil is the reason why my seedling keep slow dying after the frist week of growth they just go down hill. They start nice and green and grow decent for about 4-5 days then start to yellow browning slow growth stunted growth.

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:31 PM

Ok thanks FLjester. Yeah, we don't have the same weather. But it's nice to know the limits before adding this or that. And most gardening clerks just can't help me with my situation. :cool:. Peat is hard to work with because it can dry out and die too! You just need to know how to use it well. That's what GC's for!
Dawg, the peat is acidic (5-6) so it's maybe too acidic for the babies. I suggest potting soil mixed with less rich reg. soil. Some cheap soils have bugs in them that kill baby sprouts too.

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:13 PM

So whats the best seed starting soil i can get from walmart or home depot or something?

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:19 PM

I'm in Europe so I don't know. Someone else will help you though.

  • J jeezy

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:36 PM

wat if u ad lime dust to your peat based potting soil. If u were in florida.

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:38 PM

so far I have germed in peat pellets and planted in potting mix with forest compost, peat,perlite,and sand

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:12 AM

So whats the best seed starting soil i can get from walmart or home depot or something?

Start um in the organic MG,thats proly the best you will find at those places.

A nursery would have much better selections,just make sure any soil is not using any timed released nutes.;)

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:20 AM

Peat is no good with my red clay soil. I use mushroom compost, goat manure, and perlite.

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:29 AM

lots and lots of lime is necessary in peatmoss. its only 3-4.5ph... i put 4 heaping cups in 2cf of peat.

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 02:44 AM

dam thats a lot of lime I think that would def fuck stuff up:devious:

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 02:54 AM

I once added just a few TBS of dolimite powdered lime to some canna soil and the pH went through the roof,still have a 5gal bucket of it.:confused:

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 07:30 AM

lots and lots of lime is necessary in peatmoss. its only 3-4.5ph... i put 4 heaping cups in 2cf of peat.


Mr. Stinky, do you use powdered or pelletized dolomitic lime? I read that lime takes 6 months + to break down. Is this true?

What do you think of using ashes? Just as a note, excess ashes can cause nute lock/burn with too much calcium... + lead, and other toxics bad for your plant. Ash doesn't have Magnesium as lime does.

For the 1st month I just use regular potting soil/top soil with a neutral pH (no peat). As long as they take off
normally, they'll have plenty of time to get big and strong with the weather here!

I don't think my peat is that acidic (5-6) but I'll add some lime to the mix to balance the pH in case.

Thanks

Edited by Corto Malteze, 20 February 2009 - 11:45 AM.

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 02:12 AM

i use pulverized dolomite lime. its a fine dust. 4 bucks for a 50lb bag. it seems to work pretty much right away. im sure it keeps working and stabilizes later on, but straight peat will kill tomatoes and MJ within a week, and my peat mixed with lime grows nice straight (no twist or spotting) plants. its a cheap way to grow if you dont want tto foot the bill for promix...i think, anyway

i also add ash of a couple different sources. i know a guy with a corn burner, and i use his ashes. they are definitely the best for growing plants in. a cup of corn ash in a gallon of 6.8ph water will raise the ph off my scale...over 9.2...so its pretty strong. i just spread the wood ashes in the garden.

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 09:25 AM

ok thanks buddy.

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 01:55 AM

wat if u ad lime dust to your peat based potting soil. If u were in florida.

just want to clear up a misconception...Not all soil in Florida is acidic. I have very base soil down here in Broward county.

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 04:29 PM

Bumping this as well as we're all more or less prepping the soil mixes these days. :) FLjester had a bad experience with it and explains well: don't use it if the soil around is already very acidic. Ocitown gives a good warning on lime etc... Whatever happened to Mr. Stinky? why does he appear as a guest? He was pretty cool.
Also don't use peat in your seedling mix imo as it is very acidic (pH 4-4.5). Mj likes 5.5-6.8.

Edited by Corto Malteze, 10 April 2009 - 05:21 PM.



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