Peat Moss vs. Peat Humus - Knowledgebase Question

Abbotsford, WI
Avatar for momvk
Question by momvk
May 8, 2000
What is the difference between peat moss and peat humus? I am making my own soil to use for a general flower garden and I am planning to add a peat product to a mixture of commercial top soil and vermiculite. Should I use peat humus or peat moss, and why?

Answer from NGA
May 8, 2000
Uploaded by drdawg
Peat humus is the dead, highly decomposed organic material that accumulates in the lower levels of peat bogs. It is an excellent soil conditioner, but has a lower water-holding capacity than peat moss. It is a relatively expensive soil amendment.

Sphagnum moss is a living moss that grows on top of a sphagnum bog. It is generally used by florists. In the natural processes that occur in the bog environment, layers of the moss become submerged and begin to decay. This decayed sphagnum moss often makes up a large percentage of commercial peats, thus, peat moss. If it dries out, it is hard to rewet.

Peat is harvested from natural peat bogs, processed, and sold by various companies. Peat contains organic material in various stages of decomposition.

If your flower garden will be in a raised bed or in-ground, I would use compost instead of peat humus or peat moss. Compost has more nutrients, a neutral pH, and is easier to rewet if it gets dried out. For a container planting mix, I would use peat moss, as it is lighter than compost.

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:

( No account? Join now! )

Today's site banner is by Murky and is called "Ground Cover"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.