I usually wash my sphagnum peat moss before using, but not always..........
I was out of sphagnum peat moss so I went and bought some by Scotts.
I thought; lets have a bit of an experiment. Since I have a TDS meter lets see if washing the sphagnum peat moss will make a difference.
I took 12.8 cups of sphagnum peat moss and placed it into my bucket. I then added 1 gallon of collected rain water. All the rainwater I used in my experiments read between 0 and 1 ppm.
I mixed it all up. I took at least 5 reading while I let the sphagnum peat moss soaked in the water for a hour and a half. I got an average reading of 98.29 ppm. I was shocked how high this number was. Did you ever wonder where all the algae and slime mold comes from?
I wrung out the sphagnum peat moss and placed it into another bucket. I then added 1 gallon of rainwater and mixed. I left the sphagnum peat moss in the water for around 10 minutes, as I do not do a second wash. I only did this to take readings with my TDS meter. It came out to an average of 19.71 ppm.
So this little experiment does show that washing your sphagnum peat moss makes a huge difference to the amount of TDS in the soil.
I will always wash my sphagnum peat moss before use now.
But wait there's more.............
I also decided to check Scotts perlite.
I took 6.4 cups of perlite and placed it into my bucket. I then added 9.6 cups of collected rain water and mixed. I took a few readings over a 10 minute time period. I got an average of 16.4 ppm.
I then tried to get most the water out of the perlite and placed it into another bucket. Again I added 9.6 cups of rainwater and mixed. I took a few readings over a 10 minute time period. I got an average of 6 ppm.
Again, washing your perlite will help to lower the amounts of TDS in your soil.
Now this was a bit strange. I was going to dump out the bucket I used the first time to wash my perlite. I noticed a lot of sludge at the bottom on the bucket. So of course this meant sticking the TDS meter in the water again. What I find odd is that it read 44 ppm. When all the perlite was in the water, it measured much less, 16.4 ppm.
So then I remove the perlite from the second bucket. I measured that water. It measured 14 ppm. Again when the perlite was in the water it read 6 ppm.
I'm not sure why this is, but it does show one thing for sure. That washing your soil ingredients lowers the amount of TDS in your soil.
Hope you find this interesting or, useful.