sphagnum peat moss - Knowledgebase Question

riverdale, md
Question by LMCOLOMO
June 20, 2006
What is sphagnum peat moss for?


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Answer from NGA
June 20, 2006

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Peat moss is the dead, partially decomposed organic material that accumulates in the lower levels of peat bogs. It is used as a soil conditioner and helps break up heavy clay soils as well as improving the water-holding capacity of sandy soils.

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.

Peat is "harvested" from natural peat bogs, processed, and sold by various companies. Peat contains organic material in various stages of decomposition; some differences you see among bags of peat may be due to processing and packaging.

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